Today, June 15, a coalition of immigrant-rights organizations debuted the Colorado Rapid Response Network, a 24-hour hotline that people can call to report, track and verify enforcement operations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Organizers say they already have over a hundred volunteers lined up to staff the hotline and go out into communities across Colorado to verify ICE operations firsthand. The number of the hotline: 1-844-UNITE-41 (1-844-864-8341).
“The intention of this network is to ease the fear in the community by being able to confirm or deny activity that is conducted by ICE,” said Carla Castedo, state director of Mi Familia Vota, in a prepared statement. “Our network is also trained to observe operations, ensure that rights are not being trampled, and stand together against injustices in Colorado.”
Another organizer, Celesté Martinez with Together Colorado, says the Colorado Rapid Response Network is modeled after existing networks run by the New Sanctuary Movement, based out of Philadelphia, and the PICO National Network, based out of Oakland.
“Both of those organizations have been doing rapid response network work for years,” Martinez says. “We evaluated what would work best by looking at their best practices, seeing what was missing, and then developing trainings and infrastructure here in Colorado.”
In Colorado, the network will consist of a dispatcher (shifts are twelve hours, either 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.), who will field calls and update an online database, as well as a “confirmer" who will go out into the field to confirm reported ICE activity.
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Martinez says that dispatchers can be mobile because calls are routed to their cells phones. “But the expectation is that our dispatchers will always answer their phone during their shifts," she adds.
As for placing a call, she explains the mechanics of the hotline this way: "If you press number 1, it's to report any ongoing ICE activity, raids or enforcement happening in our communities. If you know someone who is detained and would like support, you can press number 2."
Organizations supporting the Colorado Rapid Response Network include Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Mi Familia Vota, the Colorado People's Alliance, Together Colorado, FRESC, the American Friends Service Committee, United for a New Economy and the SEIU Local 105.