Lamont directs police in Connecticut not to cooperate with ICE raidsPosted: Updated:
Gov. Ned Lamont is directing police in Connecticut to not cooperate with raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Connecticut has some of the strictest limits in the country when it comes to cooperating with immigration raids. Sunday's raids reportedly are not targeting Connecticut, but state leaders say they're ready no matter what.
"We are here not just to protect immigrant families, we're here to protect our own families,” says Attorney General William Tong.
Gov. Lamont’s guidance to state and local police is to not participate in any way.
"This is not America,” says Lamont. “These are not our values. Mass deportations is the opposite of what America is all about."
This year, Connecticut lawmakers made it even harder for police to work with ICE agents. Now, to hold someone on an immigrant detainer, federal authorities must produce a warrant signed by a judge. Earlier this year, Bridgeport's police chief admitted they called ICE on undocumented immigrants.
"We contact the agency,” Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez said in March. “We let them know that we have this person in custody, and they have a certain amount of time to come and get them."
The mayor says that won't happen anymore.
"Our police department will not act as an arm of ICE,” says Mayor Joe Ganim. “We will not go out where we have no authority, and so police officers, city officials, are not a part of anything the federal government might be doing and we're not sanctioning what they do."
Still, even documented immigrants are nervous.
"It's a painful life to live, always sleeping with uncertainty, sleeping with fear,” Takang Besong told News 12.
The state offers a toolkit for parents to create a plan in place for the care of their children in the event that they are detained or deported.
Available in nine languages, the state of Connecticut’s Family Preparedness Plan includes a guide on steps people can take on their own – without the help of an attorney – to develop a child care plan and includes important forms and documents that families can fill out and store in a safe place where they can be accessed if needed. The plan also includes information on where to find immigration legal assistance and guidance on how to avoid immigration scams.
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