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Indybay Feature
Mon Mar 20 2017 (Updated 03/21/17)
Open House Prepares Legal Observers Responding to ICE Raids
YARR Training Attracts Crowd of Santa Cruz Supporters for Rapid Response System
The YARR (Your Allied Rapid Response) Open House and Legal Observer Training on March 11 attracted a crowd of nearly 150 people to hear about how they could be part of the Rapid Response Team of Sanctuary Santa Cruz, supporting community members who are targets of an ICE raid or other forms of harassment or bullying. Three attorneys from the Immigrant Liberation Movement (ILM) conducted a training based on their work in three Bay Area Counties now networked in a Rapid Response System. YARR was formed in December 2016 shortly after the election cycle as an outgrowth of Sanctuary Santa Cruz.

Using roll-playing and personal stories, immigration attorneys described what is likely to happen at an ICE raid and its consequences. They described the workings of their phone alert system, vetted for crank calls, which dials the cell numbers of responders within a short distance of an ICE raid. Responders are committed to be prepared for swift action to turn up at the location of the event, and to become legal witnesses using cellphone or other recorders. Trainers noted the importance of capturing certain details to assist in the case of legal proceedings. At the conclusion of the raid, responders then send the evidence to a hotline or to the ACLU website.

Legal witness is one intervention tool of Your Allied Rapid Response. Among the others is the family and legal support offered by Sanctuary Santa Cruz.

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Related Features: Santa Cruz City Council Votes Unanimously to Change Sanctuary Resolution to Ordinance | Raids on Santa Cruz County Immigrant Communities Cause Severe Damage
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