Immigrant Rights

California’s Cambodian immigrants fear more ICE raids on the horizon

It’s only been a few days since an Omni Air flight carrying 36 deportees, rounded up and detained by ICE earlier this year, landed in Cambodia. But already, immigrant communities in the Bay Area and across California are bracing themselves for more.

As the year comes to an end and the dozens of new deportees get acclimated to a country many of them had never set foot in, organizers are doubling down on their warnings to local Cambodian immigrants living in the country illegally, urging them to get documents in order, call family members and legal hotlines, and start setting money aside.

ICE Office In South Bay Draws Allegedly Blocked Attorneys From Seeing Immigrants

MORGAN HILL — Officials at an under-the-radar ICE facility in Morgan Hill have allegedly prevented attorneys from meeting with immigrants brought to the building. 

Detainees brought here three times in recent weeks have been held in vans for extended periods, which attorney Luis Angel Reyes Savalza said is inhumane. 

"They held immigrants here for prolonged periods of time," said Reyes Savalza. "They held them in vans from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and when attorneys showed up to represent these individuals — which is a constitutional right that every individual has in this country — they were denied access to attorneys."

Vietnamese refugees in South Bay fear potential deportation

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --

The Vietnamese community in San Jose is one of the country's largest, which means thousands of Vietnamese immigrants across the South Bay could soon be at risk of deportation.

City leaders tell ABC7 News there is much to lose under the Trump Administration's re-interpretation of a decade-long agreement with Vietnam.
In 2008, President George W. Bush signed a repatriation agreement, protecting Vietnamese immigrants who arrived before 1995, from deportation.

South Bay Officials Condemn White House Plan to Deport Vietnamese Immigrants

Hai Tran fled Vietnam by sea, going from fishing boat to merchant ship to a refugee outpost in Hong Kong before a sibling sponsored his immigration to the U.S. in 1980. His wife, Kim Ho, joined him in California after her own treacherous journey, giving birth to their first American-born child, Huy Tran, two years after their arrival.

Over the ensuing decades, the family earned a keep through landscaping, mending clothes and, eventually, its own nail salon. The war-scarred refugees laid the foundation for the younger Tran to attend San Jose State and Santa Clara University’s School of Law to pursue a career as an employment rights attorney in Silicon Valley.

County ramps up funding to defend immigrants

Supervisors OK $550K to pay for legal defense and ICE raid alerts

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agreed to beef up funding for emergency legal representation and deportation defense services for immigrants, following signs of heightened immigration enforcement by federal officials.

Supervisors unanimously agreed at the Sept. 25 board meeting on a nearly five-fold increase in funding for the so-called Rapid Response Network -- from $100,500 to $550,000 -- which provides a raft of support services deployed when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is sighted in the community and detains immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally.

Locked In A Box: Community Conversation On Immigration Detention Surprises And Stirs Consciences

“I’m not a criminal, I’m not a drug dealer, and I’m not a rapist,” Maritza Maldonado told about 100 Silicon Valley community members assembled for a conversation on immigration detention hosted by Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church on Sept. 17 — the first day of U.S. Constitution Week.

In Trump’s America, childhood crimes haunt Bay Area Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees

Had Phuoc Thang been born in the United States, the 38-year-old electrician would be quietly raising his young family in their comfy Berryessa home, having turned his life around nearly two decades after serving time in San Quentin for drug possession.

Had he been born in Central America or Mexico, he’d likely already have been deported.

But because he was born in a refugee camp in Indonesia to Vietnamese parents who fled communism, things are much more complicated. Thang is part of a unique group of hundreds of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees living in limbo after committing crimes long ago — some as teenagers — that cost them their green cards. 

Bishop McGrath urges ‘courage to break silence and help refugees’

The Catholic diocese of San Jose held a prayer service for immigration reform and reunification of migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday night at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.

Bishop Patrick McGrath presided over the service and began with, “pray for those who can’t come to public service such as this” to an almost-packed church.

The prayer service in Spanish and English presented three sets of testimonials. Diocese Director of Social Justice Ministries Paul Miner requested the assembly not to use videos and cameras, citing the sensitive nature of the testimonials.

Local clergy show ‘solidarity’ with ICE detainees

Local clergy show ‘solidarity’ with ICE detainees

On Holy Thursday, local clergy leaders from numerous faiths represented in South County performed a foot washing ceremony outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Morgan Hill. It was an effort to “show solidarity” with immigrants who have been removed from their homes and separated from their families by federal agents, according to organizers.

The March 29 ceremony was organized by the advocacy group People Acting in Community Together, and led by PACT board of directors co-chair Father Jon Pedigo. Participating in the ceremony were about a dozen other clergy leaders and worshippers from Santa Clara County’s Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities.

In Trump era, ‘Rapid Responders’ protect undocumented immigrants from ICE

Alice and Jamie Lynch keep the small canvas bag near their front door, ready for when the couple suddenly dashes out of their quiet San Jose home. The bag, small and inconspicuous, carries a phone charger, a flashlight and a notebook — items the pair might need if they were to witness raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.