Immigration

When we ask, “Where is the pain in your community? What keeps you awake at night?” True North’s immigrant leaders share the pain of being targeted and harassed by police, neighbors throwing insults and objects at them from moving cars, being too afraid of ICE raids to send their children to school or go to the grocery store. Our vision for immigration work is creating a North Coast that is a safe and welcoming home for our immigrant neighbors. Immigration paperwork does not define who is part of this community - we do. We stand together when it counts: with our families and neighbors, as co-workers and employers.

Humboldt Rapid Response Network

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In May, 2017, leaders within True North Organizing Network learned of the possibility of building a Rapid Response Network meant for receiving calls when someone witnesses Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. This network is being built to address the fear and anxiety in our community as a result of realized and potential increased immigration enforcement. It allows for the community to show up to witness, accompany, and advocate for those who become victims of raids. Through attending trainings with True North Organizing Network and ACLU of Northern California, you can become part of the Response Team or the Accompaniment Team.

All Responders (Response Team) must complete an Observer/ Know Your Rights Training to join the network. Click 'Sign Up' below to receive information about upcoming training opportunities and to join the Humboldt Rapid Response Network. 

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 Eliazar Rojas, True North Leader (Photo: Brandi Easter)

Eliazar Rojas, True North Leader (Photo: Brandi Easter)

 Sheriff's Lieutenant Duane Christian and Guest (Photo: Brandi Easter)

Sheriff's Lieutenant Duane Christian and Guest (Photo: Brandi Easter)

+ September 11 Unity Action for Immigrant Community

True North Organizing Network Leaders hosted a community event in support of our immigrant community on Monday September 11, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Eureka First United Methodist Church, presenting a summary of months of research and hosting a dialogue with public officials to further the cause of building and supporting a safe and comfortable community with our immigrant loved ones, co-workers and neighbors.

In early 2017, members of the Latino/a Local Organizing Committee based in Eureka approached the Coastal Humboldt Local Organizing Committee to ask for their support in researching immigration in the local region. Their request came as newly elected United States leadership made public statements about increasing deportations and strengthening actions and legislation to support said deportations. Such statements have caused our immigrant communities to live in fear on a daily basis - fear of being out in the community together as families, fear of being pulled over for minor traffic violations, and fear of reaching out to local public service providers for help, especially including law enforcement. When we stand up for the dignity and rights of a particular group of people, we stand up for the dignity and rights of all people. In order for everyone to feel and be safe we need community members, immigrant or not, to trust in calling on law enforcement and other public service leaders without the fear of being deported and separated from their families.

September 11, 2001 marks a historical tragic event when the nation watched as innocent lives were taken away by hateful actions. This pivotal day also marks a tragic spiral into furthering the fear of ‘othering’, as communities of the Muslim faith became associated as terrorists. Over time, other foreign born residents have been targeted as criminals for seeking a better life in the United States. True North Leaders chose this day with intention, because as this tragedy struck the nation it unified communities across differences in a time of crisis. As we continue to feel the ripple effects of the September 11 tragedy from 16 years ago, True North Leaders want to create a public space where coming together for a common cause can be safe, no matter from where a person comes from.

Read More: Local Law Enforcement Leaders Promise to Protect Immigrants

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+ International Workers Day March

On May 1st, 2016, True North Organizing Network organized a rally in solidarity of workers following a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Sun Valley Farms in Arcata, California. In September 2008, ICE agents raided Sun Valley Farms in Arcata, arresting approximately 23 people and placing some in deportation proceedings. In a September 4, 2008 article, Eureka’s Times-Standard interviewed one of the employees present, said “some of her co-workers were very frightened they’d be taken away even though they are legal. The whole experience was terrifying, she said.” The remaining seven workers have for the past 8 years fought their cases in U.S. Immigration Court and are currently in the last phases of their appeals process.

“We are families who came here to work. We contribute to our community and pay taxes. For humanitarian reasons, I ask the federal government to not separate me from my children, who are U.S. citizen,” said one of the workers facing deportation. “My daughter was three months old when her father was taken. I ask that the deportation order be removed and our family reunited” says the wife of one of the Sun Valley workers.

Non-immigrant Humboldt and Del Norte County residents joined their immigrant neighbors in a show of support. One supporter, Leila Roberts of Eureka, reflected, “The neighbors on my block are from Mexico, India, and Samoa, as well as Eureka born and bred. I love that.” She added, “You hear all the time how unfair and confusing our immigration system is. My undocumented neighbors deserve to feel safe and welcome. We can all find compassion for the terrible bureaucratic wasteland they’re trapped in. Comprehensive immigration reform is coming. Until then, live and let live, for goodness’ sake.”

Read More: Crowds Gather For Politics on Gorgeous Eureka May Day

 Israel De Luna

Israel De Luna

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+ Immigrant Rights and Research Summit

On Saturday November 21st, 2015, True North hosted a research summit at Sacred Heart church in Eureka, CA. With more than 100 community members in attendance, immigrant leaders shared their stories and their visions for change. The goal of the summit was to shed light on issues facing our immigrant community by discussing the results that came from months spent talking to community leaders. The major outcome was a relational springboard - the desire for immigrant and non-immigrant North Coast residents to get to know each other, and to get on the same team in order to better solve those problems.

Read More: True North hosts immigration summit to advocate change, True North holds immigration summit