College trains students to ‘document immigration raids’

Sonoma State University will soon offer its students a “legal observer training” where they will be taught how to “document immigration raids happening in their neighborhood.”

According to a Facebook description for the December 7 event, an outside organization known as the Sonoma County Rapid Response Network has been recruited to proctor the training and share its expertise on filming immigration raids.

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“Make a difference in your community by standing up to hostility towards immigrants,” the event description advertises, encouraging students to “receive training as a Legal Observer.”

Legal Observers, according to the event, will join teams who “document immigration raids happening in their neighborhood, so that civil rights violations can be used to build a case against deportation, keeping families together, and protecting our neighbors.”

The Sonoma County Rapid Response Network, notably, specializes in building teams of Legal Observers across the county, even offering a hotline to those with questions during an ICE raid.

“We are working to create a way for people to respond to fear and anxiety in our community as a result of the increase in immigration enforcement, ICE raids, and other attacks against our communities,” the group explains. “We need to build teams of people in each and every part of Sonoma County who can respond day and night.”

The organization also encourages anyone in the Sonoma area who even “witnessed ICE activity” to “report them to our hotline” and “share this information to protect your community from detention and deportation.”

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A handful of Legal Observer Trainings will be offered throughout the coming months, including the one at Sonoma State University, which will be hosted by the school’s Center for Community Engagement.

Campus Reform reached out to the Center for comment on the matter, and is currently awaiting a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski