Whether ICE agents are at the door or someone just needs information about where they can find immigration services, the North Bay Rapid Response Network is there to help.
The 24-hour hotline was created in Sonoma County last year in response to growing fear among undocumented immigrants and their families.
Karla Márquez, community organizer, Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA)-recipient and member of the Napa Valley Dream Team, said that when Napa County residents expressed interest in helping their immigrant neighbors, the best option seemed to be to team up with Sonoma County.
“It just made more sense,” Márquez said. The two communities have similar demographics, some shared government representatives and ties to the wine industry, she said. And, she said, Sonoma County already had coalitions focused on protecting immigrants’ rights.
“I feel like it’s been a really good collaboration between communities,” she said. Individuals, even non-immigrants, have been really open to learning about the immigration process and what they can do to help, she said. “People are surprised at what they can do.”
One of the services the North Bay Rapid Response Network provides is “legal observation.” That means that if someone calls reporting a suspected encounter with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in their neighborhood, house or business that the network will send someone out to observe it.