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ICE Picks Up Two Santa Barbara Residents

Latino Communities on High Alert

Jacqueline Inda with the Immigrant Advocacy Collaborative holds a public meeting to teach people how to get involved with immigrant rights. | Credit: Paul Wellman

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained two Santa Barbara County residents last week. The arrests came at a time when the Trump administration has been under fire in national and international news coverage of its immigration policies that have led to children being held in overcrowded, substandard facilities.

On June 26, Adriana Salazar, a single mother of two young children, was detained when she appeared for a scheduled appointment with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Salazar dropped her daughters off at the Boys and Girls Club early that morning before going up to Santa Maria and did not return.

Salazar was brought to the United States when she was only 3 months old, said her mother, who asked her name not be used. When Salazar received a call from USCIS asking her to make an appointment, Salazar didn’t think they would detain her, according to her mother, because Salazar’s father was not held when he reported for a recent appointment.

Salazar is being represented by immigration attorney Arnold Jaffe, who accompanied her to the appointment on June 26. Jaffe couldn’t comment on the details surrounding the case or whether or not Salazar has a criminal record. Salazar’s mother and a coworker, who started a Facebook fundraiser to pay for her bond, both said they believe Salazar has no criminal record.

The other detainee, a man, was arrested early last week in Santa Maria as a result of a pending deportation order, also not the result of a raid, reported 805 Immigrant, a regional advocacy organization.

Photo: Paul WellmanFrank Rodriguez with CAUSE at a public discussing how to get involved with immigrant rights. (June 27, 2019)

The two detentions occurred days after President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that ICE would be conducting large-scale raids in 10 major cities, including Los Angeles. Though Santa Barbara was not on the list, Latino neighborhoods from Carpinteria to Santa Maria have been affected. Streets and shops have been unusually quiet, according to residents, many of whom are afraid that their family members and friends will be picked up without warning. When the president later tweeted that he was postponing the raids for 10 days, which would coincide with the Fourth of July four-day weekend, tensions in the Latino communities increased. Congressmember Salud Carbajal described the Trump administration’s immigration policies and tactics as “fearmongering, callous, and discriminatory.”

Several “Know Your Rights” workshops have been held since Trump’s tweets. On June 27, the Immigration Advocacy Collaborative (IAC) met at a new Eastside community center to map out a game plan for the following weeks. Of the 30 people in attendance, many were from organizations already working with immigrant communities.

A protest organized by MoveOn was scheduled for noon today at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. The IAC is also organizing a vigil on July 12 at 7 p.m. at the courthouse, as well as a sanitary supplies drive for immigration camps in Mexico. The Santa Barbara Immigration Legal Defense Center is accepting donations at its website to help with legal representation for people detained in Santa Barbara County.

Donate here: sbimmigrantdefense.org/donate

Donations are also being accepted for Salazar’s bond: facebook.com/donate.

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