Lubbock immigrant community on high alert
Rumors of possible immigration raids in Lubbock are swirling as more headlines focus on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Operations across the nation.
"They need to be worried, they need to be cautious, they need to operate under the law," Paola Ledesma, immigration attorney, said.
"I have heard people talking about la migra," Ysidro Gutierrez, community activist, said. "Watch out, it's la migra and they're always looking all around you know, in a panicky way, in a nervous way for the immigration vehicle. You know the one with the green stripe."
Gutierrez said the enforcement efforts are nothing new.
"Everything that is happening up to today has been on the existing laws on the books, that have been on the books for decades," he said.
He said the vast majority of those arrested last week had criminal offenses in addition to being undocumented residents. For others, he said understanding the law and legal options when it comes to immigration are key.
"If you are well informed you will have less fear, less anxiety, you won't panic because information is the strength you need for that knock on the door," he said.
Immigration attorney Paola Ledesma said she advises cooperating with ICE agents and obeying their orders.
"Do not resist the arrest," Ledesma said. "If they come and get you, if they come and ask you questions, sometimes they just want to ask you questions, sometimes they want to detain you but in every single case you have to be nice to them. You have to provide them the information they're asking for."
She said while immigration law remains unchanged under the new administration, it is up in the air over what the future could entail.
"Everything is changing everyday and we don't know what directive from Washington is going to be tomorrow," Ledesma said.
She said anyone here illegally should have a plan in place for if they are picked up. She cautions against signing any papers except for the notice to appear.