Nonprofit leads “Know Your Rights” workshop for Undocumented Student Week of Action

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October 30, 2019

Laney Tower, by Ryan Barba and Luke Wrin Piper

Laney College’s Undocumented Student Week of Action came to a close on Oct. 17 with a “Know Your Rights” workshop led by the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), a local nonprofit organization that provides free legal support to low-income Bay Area residents.

Speaking to attendees of immigrant and citizen status alike, Ramon Becerra-Alcantar — a paralegal with the Immigration Practice of the EBCLC — offered some advice to those worried about deportation.

“First thing to remember is to stay calm, and do not open the door when ICE comes knocking,” he said.

Even though Oakland is a sanctuary city, Becerra-Alcantar explained that the status does not fully protect individuals from the U.S Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Sanctuary cities prevent local law enforcement from arresting persons of immigrant status unless being charged with a serious criminal offense — but that won’t stop ICE from making contact, said Becerra-Alcantar. “There are still ICE agents around, and they can approach you at any time.”

In an encounter with police, an individual is not required to speak and show ID if they are on foot — and those rights also apply to interactions with ICE.

ICE raids have also been carried out illegally, said Becerra-Alcantar, who explained that ICE will often identify themselves as police and present a warrant signed by an ICE official instead of a judge.

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