How volunteers with yellow caps aim to keep eye on ICE


Volunteers said they are coming together to keep an eye on federal immigration enforcement agents in the Sacramento region.

"We're able to reassure people that they're not going to be taken away in the middle of the night," Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Director Jovana Fajardo said.

Immigration activists with ACCE are volunteering to be legal observers. Rosario Ramirez is among the volunteers spreading the word about the project and how they aim to help communities in the region.

"All of us know someone who needs the support," Ramirez said. "I think it's an obligation, not only for our union, but also as a person to do the right thing."

Ramirez is an immigrant from Mexico and grew up in San Francisco. She was going door-to-door in south Sacramento Tuesday letting people know about “Migra Legal Observers” and the “Rapid Response” hotline.

The 24-hour line, 913-245-6773, is the place to report ICE raids, Ramirez said. The effort to share the hotline in communities with undocumented immigrants is part of a larger response to President Donald Trump's recent increase in ICE enforcement and the number of ICE agents.

"They're finding it hard living in bad conditions as rents are rising and they're living in fear asking for repairs or living with cockroaches," Fajardo said. "This gives them reassurance they can live their lives and people are supporting them and watching them."

The hotline number, which launched in May, isn't just for keeping tabs on where ICE agents visit. Activists also want community members to call the number to connect with resources like translators and lawyers.

"If ICE comes to your house, to the store, to your work place to call us and we're able to dispatch legal observers to help the family in any way they can," said Edwin Valdez, the response coordinator with the Sacramento Immigration Coalition.

Valdez and other activists helping undocumented immigrants can be identified by the yellow caps they wear.

"This is how to distinguish someone who's helping you from someone who's not," said Valdez, pointing to the yellow cap with an image of a handshake on the front.

KCRA reached out to the ICE office in San Francisco, but they couldn't be reached for comment by the time this story was published.