On March 1st , Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia announced the launch of the Deportation Defense Hotline. The new service is part of Stand Together Contra Costa, a county initiative that offers information that can help people navigate the complex immigration system. The County Public Defender’s office provides educational and administrative support with “know you rights” workshops for community members.
When someone calls the hotline to report suspected immigration raids, a trained volunteer “legal observer” goes to the scene to confirm whether an immigration enforcement operation is underway. If the action is confirmed, and an undocumented person is arrested, a lawyer from Stand Together’s community partners, like Catholic Charities of the East Bay goes to the San Francisco immigration court to counsel the person in detention. Other volunteers stay at the scene to provide family members with information that can help them understand the legal proceedings that will follow.
“The hotline itself is intended to be a bat signal,” says deputy public defender Ali Saidi.
All five Contra Costa County supervisors agreed to allocate funds to the rapid response service.
To learn more about the county resources, click here, the hotline’s number is (925) 900-5151.