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ICE raids to begin in LA on Sunday: know your rights and resources

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Los Angeles is among 10 cities targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an operation ordered by President Donald Trump to arrest at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants with final orders of deportation. The multiple-day operation is expected to begin early Sunday morning and is also expected to include “collateral” deportations, The New York Times reported, meaning people who were not targets of the raid but are there when the raids happen.

Immigrant advocates say it is important to think ahead, plan, and know your rights and contact a reliable immigration attorney. Immigration Advocates Network has a website with 12 languages to help you find one in your area.

“We have the constitutional right to maintain silence. (But) when ICE arrives…people start to talk,” Luis Aleman, project coordinator at the Orange County Labor Federation, said at a recent church forum sponsored by the Orange County Congregation Community Organization. “The most important thing is to maintain silence.”

It is also critical not sign anything without first talking with an immigration attorney. “A lot of people are handed a paper, told ‘Sign this and I’ll help you.’ And people sign it. And what have we signed? Our own deportation order,” Aleman said.

There are several organizations that provide extensive help and resources. United We Dream has an app called Notifica to notify your Deportation Defense Network to plan, learn, act if you’re at risk for deportation.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center helps immigrants create a family preparedness plan.

It is important to write down and have easy access to emergency numbers and medical information for all family members, including pets in case a neighbor or stranger comes to help. There must also be power of attorney to make health and/or business decisions, or some other form of documentation from a care provider (mother, father, grandparents) authorizing the temporary caregiver to take care of children or pets in the event of family separation or the adults are deported.

LA Cooperative also has a list of resources to help find an immigration attorney and other issues.

And Inquisitr explains what ICE raids are, how to prepare and what to expect if targeted.

It is also advisable to carry a “know your rights” card. Remember ICE agents are law enforcement – they are cops – so expected to be treated as police treat citizens and in turn, respond respectfully to avoid any compounding of issues. That also means you have a right to remain silent and ask to speak with a reliable lawyer, whose name and number you can provide.

LA Cooperative also advises:

If you have an “alien registration number” (a unique 7, 8 or 9 digit number assigned to a noncitizen at the time he or she files that begins with an “A,” followed by a unique set of numbers), you should keep that on you at all times as well. Keep a copy of all this information at home so that your family members know where to find it.

…if police or immigration officials come to your home?

If this happens, do not immediately open the door. Opening the door can be considered giving the officer “consent” to enter. Ask the officer if they have a warrant. A warrant is a paper signed by a judge giving the officer permission to enter your home. The warrant will specify what areas of your home they are allowed to search. If the officer has a warrant, ask them to slip it under the door. Only then should you let them in. Make sure you observe whether the official searches any areas that were not listed in the warrant. If they take any property, make sure you get a receipt. Keep track of what the officer did. Being aware of what they are doing will help you stay prepared.

…if police or immigration officials stop you on the street?

If the police or an immigration official stops you on the street and does not have a warrant, they cannot arrest you without evidence that you are a non-citizen. Remember that you have the right to remain silent and to refuse a search. Do not say anything about your immigration status or where you were born. If you have valid immigration documents, show them. Above all, do not lie and do not show any false documents. Ask the officer, “Am I free to leave?” If the officer says yes, walk away (don’t run). If the officer says no, continue to answer each question by stating that you want to talk to a lawyer.

…if police or immigration officials come to your workplace?

Immigration must have a warrant signed by a judge, or your employer’s permission, to enter your workplace. If you work in a public place, immigration does not need a warrant. If police or immigration officials come to your workplace, stay calm and do not run. If you are questioned or detained, follow the instructions above.”

The LA-based [email protected] Coalition has been on top of trans immigration and asylum issues for a longtime.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center notes that there are special circumstances for LGBT people seeking asylum:

“Asylum for Those Who Fear Returning to Their Home Country – Protections for those fleeing their home countries due to persecution (abuse, threats or other serious harm) are rooted in federal law and international treaties. Given this, it will be difficult for the Trump Presidential Administration to change this area of the law. People with refugee and asylum status are eligible to apply for a green card in the United States and eventually U.S. citizenship. Asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identify from countries where LGBTQ individuals are targeted for abuse or lack legal protections have been successful. Those who have fled persecution or fear being persecuted if they return to their home country but have not yet applied for protection should consult with a qualified legal service provider. Asylum applications should be submitted within one year of arriving in the United States, although there are some exceptions to that requirement. Even if you decide together with a legal representative to not apply for asylum, if you are ever detained by immigration authorities or required to appear before an immigration judge, you should express any fear you have of returning to your country of origin.”

In my extensive interview with Rep. Judy Chu about her trip to Texas  to visit detention centers housing migrant children, the longtime LGBT ally said she is very concerned trans women of color being held in ICE detention.

“I want to make sure that everybody is safe and treated humanely in the detention centers, including trans people. I know that they are the most vulnerable and it just saddens and angers me to see how Miss Leon was treated,” Chu says. “The LGBT community has to be concerned about this, especially with regard to the treatment of transgender people.”

Chu said anyone concerned about these issues should contact her district offices in Claremont (Tuesdays & Thursdays, 909-625-5394) or Pasadena (626-304-0110).

It is important to remember that while ICE agents may act as if everyone within eyeshot is a criminal, there are many people who sincerely care about the humanity of migrants and undocumented immigrants in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Community Services - PSA

Restoring hope during a Pandemic

CalHOPE is made up of many teams of Peer Crisis Counselors located in many areas throughout the Golden State

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By Paulina Angel | When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, no one had any idea how severe it was going to be, and more importantly, how long it would last. As case numbers increased to the thousands, we found ourselves entering a new but temporary norm where community events, concerts, movie theatres and basically anything that has to do with gatherings being put on hold.

The most important and vulnerable aspect of the human species is community, and being deprived of social interaction can be damaging to a person’s mental health. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Community was hit particularly hard.

As we’ve seen community events such as Prides around the world being canceled, to LGBTQ community centers closing their doors, and adding the political climate of GOP-led states passing Anti-LGBTQ laws, definitely put a strain on the community’s mental well-being. 

Now that we are entering a post-COVID world, even though cases are currently on the rise with the new Delta Variant, there is a new project that has been established to provide peer crisis support as part of recovery efforts for California, CalHOPE.

Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and run by the California Department of Health Care Services, California Hope or CalHOPE, provides free outreach, crisis counseling and support services to Californians that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A couple of ways that we provide services to individuals are our CalHOPE Connect online chat that can be accessed via a computer, smartphone or tablet. The other option is our Warm Line, which individuals can call and speak with one of our counselors.  

CalHOPE is made up of many teams of Peer Crisis Counselors located in many areas throughout the Golden State such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. We have counselors that specialize in many communities such as Veterans, African-Americans, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, Parents & Caregivers, Latinx, Youth & Young Adults, and lastly the LGBTQ community.

CalHOPE also provides support groups and workshops, created personally by our many counselors accessible via Zoom or Google Meet. These workshops include topics such as coping with loss, which can range from losing your job to losing a loved one, dealing with anxiety, stress reduction, and more.

Currently, as social distancing restrictions are being lifted, CalHOPE counselors are getting ready to start going out into the community and talk to folks at local community gatherings. A lot of our counselors have so far spoken to folks at vaccination sites and city council meetings, as well as some of the Mini-Pride events that have occurred towards the end of June. 

Since the establishment of CalHOPE, we have seen support from organizations that are focused on medical and mental health, local city councils, elected officials, and several universities in California, as well as the Los Angeles Kings, San Francisco 49ers, and performers such as Sofia Carson, Los Lobos, Laura Marano, Krewella, and Grace Potter.

CalHOPE and its many groups throughout California are happy and honored to do this work and to ensure many Californians that they are not alone, there is someone here that is ready to help you or lend an ear. 

For more information on how you can utilize our services, visit us at www.CalHOPE.org

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Community Services - PSA

Shark Tank star Daymond John & Lowe’s to help LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs

Diverse small business owners are invited to pitch Lowe’s executives for a chance to sell their products online and in stores nationwide

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Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank (Photo by Cody Norman)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Lowe’s and Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and New  York Times best-selling author, are announcing the next round of Making It…With Lowe’s, a nationwide pitch program that gives diverse entrepreneurs a chance to take their business to  the next level by selling on Lowes.com and in Lowe’s stores nationwide.  

Nearly one-third of small businesses in the U.S. were forced to close due to the pandemic, and  one-quarter of minority-owned businesses have temporarily shut their doors. Although the economy is re-opening, entrepreneurs continue to face extraordinary challenges as they work  hard to stabilize their businesses. Lowe’s is bringing back Making It… With Lowe’s at a time  when it is needed most, providing opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs to grow their  businesses amid obstacles that can feel overwhelming.

Lowe’s encourages people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community to apply. 

Making It…With Lowe’s shines a light on the remarkable stories of diverse small business  owners who are often overlooked and underrepresented,” said Daymond John, star of ABC’s  Shark Tank, entrepreneur and investor who will once again host and lend his expertise to give  advice to the program finalists.

“Last year’s program underscored the importance of giving them an opportunity to break through traditional processes. This year, as so many diverse small  business owners begin the recovery process, it is even more important to provide them with a  much-deserved space to succeed,” John added.

The first round of Making It…With Lowe’s attracted more than 1,300 product submissions and the top suppliers received invaluable mentorship from Daymond John and Lowe’s merchants that helped them expand their reach, grow their business and connect with new consumer  audiences.

“As a company that began as a single store 100 years ago, we know firsthand how important  small businesses are to the communities they serve. Through Making It… With Lowe’s, we can  help diverse entrepreneurs reach their dreams of growing and scaling their businesses, all while  helping us find innovative, clever and solution-driven products that we’re proud to offer,” said  Marvin R. Ellison, Chairman and CEO of Lowe’s. “Making It… With Lowe’s is an extension of  our commitment to underserved communities and helps us ensure our products are as diverse  as our associates and customers.”

Lowe’s especially encourages applicants who are members of  the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans and women to apply, with  innovative products both in and beyond home improvement categories. Hundreds of  entrepreneurs will be evaluated for the opportunity to sell their product on Lowes.com, then 75  suppliers will be invited to meet with Lowe’s merchandising teams to be considered for  additional promotion.

Consumers will be invited to vote for their “fan favorite” among the top 15  suppliers. The field will then narrow to the five top suppliers and the fan favorite, who will pitch  their products to Lowe’s executives for an opportunity to receive a truly unique mentorship and  land on Lowe’s shelves and Lowes.com to reach millions of customers. 

Making It… With Lowe’s offers:

  • Thousands of dollars in business grants
  • Mentorship from Daymond John
  • Opportunity to sell products at Lowes.com and at Lowe’s stores nationwide

Making It… With Lowe’s is just one part of the company’s efforts to support small businesses,  and its overall efforts to increase supplier diversity as part of its Total Home Strategy. Last year,  Lowe’s committed $55 million to fund grants for minority- and women-owned small businesses,  as well as rural small businesses. Lowe’s and partner LISC distributed these grants to more  than 2,700 small businesses, making Lowe’s the largest donor to LISC’s Small Business Relief  & Recovery Program and COVID Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund. 

As part of Lowe’s continued support of small businesses, the company will put the inspiring  stories of Making It… With Lowe’s finalists on display during an in-person pitch event at a  Charlotte-area Lowe’s store later this year. Visit Lowes.com/MakingItWithLowes to learn more about the program.

Today through July 30 at midnight PST, applicants are invited to apply at Lowes.com/MakingItWithLowes

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Community Services - PSA

“Parks make life better month,” proclaims LA County Board of Supervisors

Parks Make Life Better Month recognizes the positive community benefits of parks, open space, trails, recreation facilities and programs

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Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area (Photo Credit: Mayra Vasquez, Los Angeles County)

LOS ANGELES – The LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion Tuesday proclaiming July as “Parks Make Life Better!” Month in recognition of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (LA County Parks) and the vital role local, community, regional parks, dog parks, nature centers, trails, open space, and facilities have on contributing to healthy people and communities.

The motion, made by Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor of the First District, comes after LA County Parks experienced its highest number of visitors and demand on services in decades as County residents looked for critical recreation programs and facilities during COVID-19. LA County Parks never closed parks, trails or restrooms and hosted programs such as food distributions, providing thousands of families stability, and supported recovery through COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites. During a time of great uncertainty, loss, sadness and isolation, LA County Parks staff stood together in the service of others to continue the safe operations of parks and outdoor spaces.

“Los Angeles County parks serve as an essential component of the County’s social fabric that unites people across regions and provides recreational opportunities for residents to live, play, and learn,” said Chair Solis. “Throughout the pandemic we saw a surge in foot traffic across parks and trails, affirming the importance of outdoor spaces in enhancing and supporting the overall health and well-being of communities. By declaring July as Parks Make Life Better Month, we acknowledge the role of parks in supporting community health and elevate the work of our park employees who have worked diligently to ensure the continuation of park programming at a time when it was most needed.”

LA County Parks also initiated grab-n-go events while simultaneously delivering pre-recorded and live virtual programming through LA County’s Virtual Recreation Center Parks From HomeThis exceedingly high volume of usage not only proves that parks are a crucial part of every, individual community they are in, but that they also serve as an entry point to care and social safety nets while being an anchor for those most impacted by community instability to seek refuge, rest and resilience.

“Now more than ever, youth, families and seniors need access to parks and spaces to reconnect with others, engage in physical activity and experience the health benefits being in nature and outdoors offers.” said Norma Edith García-González, Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. “As we safely re-emerge from the pandemic this year, eliminating barriers to programs and services that promote health equity is essential. Parks Make Life Better month highlights the value of our Every Body Plays programming in providing access to swim, nature centers, recreational park programming in promoting health equity.”

LA County’s parks, recreation programs and facilities build healthy, active communities that aid in the prevention of chronic disease, and also improve the mental and emotional health of all community members. Recreational programs and services help residents experiencing violence heal from trauma and serve as safe havens. LA County’s open space and natural recreation areas ensure the ecological beauty of the community is preserved and provide a place for children and adults to connect with nature as they enjoy the outdoors.

Parks Make Life Better Month recognizes the positive personal and community benefits of parks, open space, trails, recreation facilities and programs, nature education, and sports for able and disabled children, teens, adults, and seniors. By elevating the role of parks in building healthy people and communities, our goal is to inform the public on the many benefits of accessing parks, facilities, programs and services.

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation manages 183 parks and operates a network of 70,079 acres of parkland, 475 sports amenities such as futsal, basketball, tennis, lawn bowling and multipurpose fields, 42 swimming pools, 15 wildlife sanctuaries, 10 nature centers that serve as a refuge for over 200 animals, 14 lakes – 3 of which are boating and swimming lakes, 5 equestrians centers, more than 210 miles of multi-use trails, the largest municipal golf system in the nation, consisting of 20 golf courses, in addition to the world-class Arboreta and Botanic Gardens and performance venues – Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles County Arboretum, Virginia Robinson Gardens and South Coast Botanic Gardens and the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Theaters.

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