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The Welcome Project is launching the Somerville Response Network, a text message service providing advanced and immediate notice of federal ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids in Somerville.
“The Rapid Response Network is more than just an action plan,” says Development Coordinator for the Welcome Project Kenia Alfaro. “There is a lot of fear in our immigrant communities. Though we can’t puta halt to the actions of the federal government, we can be prepared to help families in our city affected by ICE arrests or deportation move forward in the face of uncertainty.”
The system is simple: if you observe a raid, text 617-863-7783 or 857-928-1987 and be as specific as possible, including your location. A team of volunteers will verify the information anonymously and, if confirmed, will send a message to the entire network. Rapid Response allows advocates who are not at risk of deportation to mobilize in support, either by going to the scene directly or coordinating resources in the aftermath of a raid.
“The goal of the Rapid Response plan is to try and keep families together,” says Executive Director of the Welcome Project Ben Echevarria. “We will alert the community to ICE activity in our community. Some may decide to stay away from the area, while others will go to the scene to protest and help those impacted by the raid.”
In his 2018 inaugural address, Mayor Joe Curtatone emphasized Somerville’s commitment as a sanctuary city.
“Many immigrant families have been plunged into fear and chaos and we have rallied to support them,” he said. “I want to say to anyone who finds themselves or a loved one or someone they know fighting against the cold-hearted and craven immigration policies of our current President — contact us. You are not alone.”
Wow!! I'd like to seek sanctuary in her sanctuary! pic.twitter.com/NFZKiAcsEm
— Party Waren Kebber (@WebbDawgTG) May 3, 2018
Look, I’m pretty liberal when it comes to immigration. You might not agree with my philosophy but I can think of a million other things I’d prioritize right now in this country than kicking out people who’ve been here for 20 years, haven’t violated the law since coming here, and are making some sort of effort to assimilate into American culture. I can’t help it guys – I’m a softie at heart.
But at the same time, we have no idea who ICE is raiding here. I have a hard time believing they’re going after the cleaning lady who kept her nose clean since she was brought here in the back of a UHaul in 1986. Despite what the MSM is telling you, deportations have been going on well before Trump. Obama was nicknamed the deporter in chief. But apparently it’s only a problem now.
Either way, what they’re doing is illegal. The whole concept of a sanctuary city is illegal and hypocritical. Either you’re part of the USA or you’re not. If you’re seceding from the Union and don’t wanna abide by federal laws, then you have to fight Abraham Lincoln. Those are the rules. The people pushing for sanctuary cities are the same people who would lose their mind if a city in Alabama decided they weren’t going to allow abortion in spite of federal law. We don’t get to pick and choose what laws apply to us and what laws don’t. That’s not how a civilized society conducts itself.
Shockingly this is not sanctioned by the City of Somerville, even though it seems like something that would make Mayor Joe Curtatone moist. After all, this is the same guy who wanted to drop the charges against the assholes who blockaded Interstate 93 a few years back, and flies a black lives matter flag at City Hall.
Anyway, the phone numbers to let them know that you have a tip about an ICE raid are 617-863-7783 and 857-928-1987. Whatever you do, DO NOT text that number with fake ICE raids so that these nudniks show up to random places in Somerville and wait hours for federal agents who will never show up.