SIREN in the New: Trump postpones immigration raids, calls for quick bipartisan solution

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conduct an enforcement operation at an Atlanta home in 2017.  Photo: Bryan Cox / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 2017

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conduct an enforcement operation at an Atlanta home in 2017.

Photo: Bryan Cox / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 2017

SF Chronicle // Lauren Hernández and Gwendolyn Wu June 22, 2019 Updated: June 22, 2019 8:23 p.m.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conduct an enforcement operation at an Atlanta home in 2017.Photo: Bryan Cox / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 2017

President Trump has delayed the nationwide raids scheduled to detain roughly 2,000 recently arrived immigrant families living in the country illegally.

Trump announced Saturday afternoon on Twitter that “At the request of Democrats,” he has decided to delay the mass deportation order for two weeks to give both Republicans and Democrats an opportunity to come to a bipartisan “solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.”

“If not, Deportations start!” he warned.

The decision was announced just a day before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement planned to begin picking up immigrant familiesliving in major cities across the country, including San Francisco.

A source familiar with the decision said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco called the president Friday night and asked him to call off the raids.

Pelosi called the pause “welcome.”

“Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi said on Twitter. “Families belong together.”

On Wednesday, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said agents would pick up families who have received final removal orders from immigration courts.

Out of the nearly 11,000 cases where deportation orders were issued because the family did not appear in court, 232 were in the San Francisco court, according to the Executive Office for Immigration Review. More than 95% of the families ordered to that court showed up for their hearings.

“Yet again Trump is playing a cruel game with the lives of children and families to play politics,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “As long as his administration continues to threaten our immigrant community, Oakland will continue to prepare — we know our rights and values.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo also slammed the president, saying in a tweet, “We’ll achieve the comprehensive immigration reform that our nation critically needs when we elect a President more interested in solutions than scare tactics.”

Trump’s decision to delay the mass deportations was a “confirmation that this administration’s strategy is to terrorize” immigrant communities, said Hamid Yazdan Panah, advocacy director for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice.

“I think it has a real and tangible human cost, and unfortunately that cost is first and foremost the communities that are affected, as well as those who support those communities,” he said.

Yazdan Panah said he doesn’t believe either the White House or Congress will be able to come to a “humanitarian or humane, sensible solution” in the two-week time frame provided to lawmakers.

Maricela Gutiérrez, executive director of immigrant rights organization Siren, said she sees Trump’s last-minute decision as a form of posturing, coming as it does just days after he officially announced his 2020 re-election campaign.

“It’s day to day for ICE, it’s nothing new. They’ve been targeting people with deportation orders,” Gutiérrez said. “It’s just posturing from the president. He’s trying to flex his muscles since he relaunched his campaign ... and he’s trying to perpetuate that good-immigrant/bad-immigrant dichotomy.”

SIREN Urges Immigrant Community Members to Assert Their Rights // SIREN insta a los miembros de la comunidad inmigrante a hacer valer sus derechos

For Immediate Release: Saturday, June 22, 2019

Contact:; (408) 453-3003


Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) Urges Immigrant Community Members to Assert Their Rights

Over the past few days, the Trump Administration has continued to cause panic, fear, and confusion within the immigrant community with reports of potential increased immigration enforcement and possible delays in those efforts. This is part of the federal government’s ongoing tactics to terrorize community members, families and playing political games with their lives. Regardless of statements coming from the White House, it is vital community members remember they have constitutional rights when they are approached by ICE no matter their immigration status. We urge community members to exercise their rights, prepare your family if a loved one is arrested by ICE, and seek legal support if those facing deportation.  

Below are resources for community members:

Download “know your rights” palmcards (available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese)Make a plan for your family in case a loved one is arrested by ICE (available in English and Spanish)If a loved one is detained or facing deportation, come to SIREN’s free removal defense clinics every Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm at our San Jose office (no appointment needed) and every Tuesday from 9 am to 4 pm at our Fresno office (call 559-840-0005 to make an appointment)Sign up to SIREN’s Rapid Response Network by texting “SIREN” to (201) 468-6088 to report ICE sightings and activity in the Bay Area and the Central ValleyIf you are in the Bay Area, attend our Know Your Rights and Family Preparedness Workshop (in Spanish) at our Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish on June 23 at 2 pm

Immigrants have been responding with power to this Administration’s efforts to threaten and tear apart families help support our efforts to continue to build our immigrant and refugee power by making a donation to SIREN today.


La Red de Servicios, Derechos de los Inmigrantes y Educación (SIREN) insta a los miembros de la comunidad inmigrante a hacer valer sus derechos

En los últimos días, la Administración Trump ha continuado causando pánico, temor y confusión dentro del inmigrante con informes de un aumento potencial de la aplicación de la ley de inmigración y posibles demoras en esos esfuerzos. Esto es parte de las tácticas continuas del gobierno federal para aterrorizar a los miembros de la comunidad y las familias y jugar juegos políticos con sus vidas. Independientemente de las declaraciones provenientes de la Casa Blanca, es vital que los miembros de la comunidad recuerden que tienen derechos constitucionales cuando la Migra los aborda, sin importar su estatus migratorio. Instamos a los miembros de la comunidad a ejercer sus derechos, preparar a su familia si un ser querido es arrestado por la Migra y buscar apoyo legal si los que enfrentan la deportación.

A continuación se presentan los recursos para los miembros de la comunidad:

Descargue las palmcards "conozca sus derechos" (disponibles en inglés, español y vietnamita)Haga un plan para su familia en caso de que un ser querido sea arrestado por ICE (disponible en inglés y español)Si un ser querido está detenido o es deportado, acuda a las clínicas de defensa de deportación gratuita de SIREN todos los jueves de 9 am a 4 pm en nuestra oficina de San José (no se necesita cita) y todos los martes de 9 am a 4 pm en nuestra oficina de Fresno (llame al 559-840-0005 para hacer una cita)Inscríbase en la Red de Respuesta Rápida de SIREN enviando un mensaje de texto con la palabra "SIREN" al (201) 468-6088 para informar sobre avistamientos y actividades de ICE en el Área de la Bahía y el Valle CentralSi se encuentra en el Área de la Bahía, asista a nuestro Taller Conozca Sus Derechos y Preparación Familiar (en español) en nuestra parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe el 23 de junio a las 2 pm

Los inmigrantes han estado respondiendo con poder a los esfuerzos de esta Administración para amenazar y destrozar a las familias. Ayuden a apoyar nuestros esfuerzos para continuar fortaleciendo nuestro poder de inmigrantes y refugiados al hacer una donación a SIREN hoy.


SIREN is an immigrant rights organization based in Northern California and the Central Valley. Its mission is to empower low-income immigrants and refugees through community education and organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy, civic engagement and legal services. We believe that all people regardless of legal status or nationality are entitled to essential services, human dignity, basic rights and protections, and access to full participation in society. 

Maricela Gutiérrez - Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network

Donate to SIREN and give the gift of opportunity.
The opportunity to LEAD. DREAM. VOTE. 

Luchando por #Health4All


El estado de inmigración no debe ser una barrera para las personas que buscan atención médica para salvar su vida, por lo que #Health4All siempre ha sido una prioridad para SIREN. En mayo, como parte del Día de Acción del Inmigrante en todo el estado, los líderes de SIREN, como Karina Guzmán, abogaron con los encargados de formular políticas para proporcionar Medi-Cal completo a individuos sin importar su estatus migratorio. Karina compartió su lucha, como le dijo a The Wall Street Journal, para obtener atención médica. La semana pasada, el Gobernador y la legislatura estatal llegaron a un acuerdo presupuestario para brindar atención médica a adultos jóvenes hasta los 25 años, independientemente de su estatus migratorio. Este es un importante paso adelante, SIREN y la comunidad continuarán luchando por una legislación que cubra a TODOS los inmigrantes, independientemente de su edad y estado.

Lea el artículo completo aquí.

Fighting for #Health4All

Immigration status should not be a barrier for individuals seeking life-saving medical care which is why #Health4All has long been a priority for SIREN. In May, as part of the statewide Immigrant Day of Action, SIREN grassroots leaders, like Karina Guzman, advocated with policymakers to provide full-scope Medi-Cal to individuals regardless of immigration status. Karina shared her struggle, as she told The Wall Street Journal [LINK TO WSJ ARTICLE], to obtain medical care. In the past week, the Governor and the state legislature have reached a budget deal to provide health care for young adults up to age 25 regardless of immigration status. While this is a significant step forward, SIREN and the community will continue to fight for legislation that covers ALL immigrants, regardless of age and status.

Read full article here.

A Message from the Executive Director - May 2019


Dear Friends,

Thanks to the adamant efforts of SIREN leaders, our partners in the FIRE Coalition and allies, on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously affirmed their position of not working with ICE and respecting the due process rights of all immigrants. This represents an important victory for our immigrant and refugee communities! In moments like these, we are reminded of the power of our community, and how critical it is for us to stand and speak up at every level of government.

We also firmly believe that immigrants deserve dignity and compassion including through medical care. Income or immigration status should not be a reason why someone cannot seek health care. This is why SIREN has been committed to being a strong, vocal advocate pushing for #Health4All, as part of our unrelenting agenda for human rights and dignity for everyone.  

We must continue to be vigilant and loud when it comes to the injustices and cruelty of the current administration. Seeing children in detention, robbed of their freedom and innocence, is an abomination few could have imagined. The incarceration and persecution of humanitarian volunteers providing water and support to immigrants on their journey to this country is happening today. And with Trump recently threatening increased enforcement in major U.S. cities, we must remember not to panic but protect ourselves by knowing our rights and reaching out for support. These dark realities remind us that our work is fundamentally about human rights and the dignity of all people, regardless of status, nationality, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Our SIREN leaders, staff, and supporters understand the vital importance of this work and implore your support in this journey. We invite you to join us by making a donation today in honor of our fight to treat all immigrants with dignity.

In community spirit,

Maricela Gutiérrez
Executive Director 
Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN)

Mensaje de la Directora - Mayo 2019


Queridos amigos,

Gracias a los esfuerzos firmes de los líderes de SIREN, nuestros socios en la Coalición FIRE y sus aliados, el martes 4 de junio de 2019, la Junta de Supervisores del Condado de Santa Clara afirmó su posición de no trabajar con ICE y respetar los derechos al debido proceso de todos los inmigrantes. ¡Esto representa una victoria importante para nuestras comunidades de inmigrantes y refugiados! En momentos como estos, se nos recuerda el poder de nuestra comunidad y la importancia de que nos pongamos de pie y hablemos en todos los niveles del gobierno

También creemos firmemente que los inmigrantes merecen dignidad y compasión, incluso a través de la atención médica. Los ingresos o el estado de inmigración no deben ser una razón por la cual  alguien no pueda buscar atención médica. Esta es la razón por la que SIREN se ha comprometido a ser un defensor fuerte y vocal que aboga por #Health4All, como parte de nuestra implacable agenda de derechos humanos y dignidad para todos.

Debemos seguir siendo vigilantes y opinados cuando se trata de las injusticias y la crueldad de la administración. Ver a los niños detenidos, despojados de su libertad e inocencia, es una abominación que pocos podrían haber imaginado. El encarcelamiento y la persecución de voluntarios humanitarios que proveen agua y apoyo a los inmigrantes en su viaje a este país está sucediendo hoy. Y como Trump recientemente ha amenazado con aumentar la aplicación de la ley en las principales ciudades de los Estados Unidos, debemos recordar no entrar en pánico, sino protegernos a nosotros mismos conociendo nuestros derechos y buscando apoyo.

Estas oscuras realidades nos recuerdan que nuestro trabajo se basa fundamentalmente en los derechos humanos y la dignidad de todas las personas, independientemente de su estatus legal, nacionalidad, color, género, etc

Nuestros líderes, personal y colaboradores de SIREN entienden la importancia vital de este trabajo e imploran su apoyo en este viaje. Lo invitamos a unirse a nosotros haciendo una donación en honor a nuestra lucha para tratar a todos los inmigrantes con dignidad.

En espíritu de comunidad,

Maricela Gutiérrez
Executive Director 
Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN)

Victory! We Kept #ICEOutofSCC!


In an historic vote on June 4, 2019, the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County voted 5-0 and affirmed our County’s long standing values of not working with ICE and respecting the due process rights of all immigrants. This policy reiterates that our County will not honor detainers or notification questions from ICE, and reaffirms our policy to require judicial warrants for transfers.

As co-chair of Forum for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) Coalition, SIREN has been fiercely advocating with local policymakers on the importance for the community to ensure that our County does not work with ICE. Over the course of months culminating with a fearless group rallying on the day of the vote, the community was victorious! We appreciate the leadership of our County Supervisors and urge SIREN’s supporters to join us in expressing our thanks - our communities can feel more secure knowing that our County will not  cooperate with ICE.


Read full article here.

¡Victoria! Mantuvimos #ICEOutofSCC (ICE fuera del Condado de Santa Clara!)


En una votación histórica realizada el 4 de junio de 2019, la Junta de Supervisores del Condado de Santa Clara votó 5 a 0 y afirmó los valores de largo plazo de nuestro Condado de no trabajar con ICE y respetar los derechos del debido proceso de todos los inmigrantes. Esta póliza reitera que nuestro Condado no cumplirá con las reclamaciones o las preguntas de notificación de ICE, y reafirma nuestra póliza de exigir órdenes judiciales para las transferencias.

Como co-presidente del Foro por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes y la Coalición para el Empoderamiento (FIRE), SIREN ha estado defendiendo ferozmente con políticos locales sobre la importancia para la comunidad de garantizar que nuestro Condado no trabaje con ICE. En el transcurso de los meses que culminaron con un grupo audaz reuniéndose el día de la votación, ¡la comunidad fue victoriosa! Apreciamos el liderazgo de nuestros Supervisores del Condado y urgimos a los partidarios de SIREN a unirse a nosotros para expresar nuestro agradecimiento: nuestras comunidades pueden sentirse más seguras sabiendo que nuestro Condado no cooperará con ICE.


Lea el artículo completo aquí.

The Hardly Spoken Struggles of Immigrants

The Hardly Spoken Struggles of Immigrants .png

Sara (not her actual name) is an asylum client with a pending case in front of the San Francisco Immigration Court. Sara fled El Salvador with her three children about two years ago due to death threats against her and her family. Earlier this year, Sara came to SIREN’s office looking for support after her case was dropped by a private immigration attorney. She was desperately in need of legal support because she had a fast-approaching final hearing. SIREN took her case and has a hearing in the next several months.

It is often demoralizing for asylum seekers to have their court proceedings continued, leaving them with anxiety, confusion and uncertainty. For most, it takes several court hearings to resolve issues in their immigration case, and often, single mothers are the most impacted.

With no family or friends in the area and with no financial resources to pay for childcare, many mothers are forced to bring their children with them to immigration court. In addition to navigating the intricacies of immigration court, many women are also forced to deal with the difficulties of showing up the best they can for their children.

Such was the case for Sara, who did not have childcare or available family support to care for her 10-year-old daughter, Natalie. Sara’s attorney at SIREN, Grey, made a public ask to volunteers who could help support Sara and Natalie. Within the hour, Sara was able to find help from Gabi (her actual name), a SIREN volunteer who gave her time to provide childcare. Gabi agreed to meet Sara and Grey at the immigration court in San Francisco and care for Natalie while Sara saw the judge. With Gabi’s support, Sara was able to focus on her court hearing and be as present as possible.

Volunteers are extremely important in our work, not only in supporting with application assistance such as DACA or naturalization clinics, but in moments like these, where their presence can make the difference in a client’s demeanor and mental state in court.


Las luchas poco habladas de los inmigrantes

The Hardly Spoken Struggles of Immigrants .png

Sara (no es su nombre real) es un cliente de asilo con un caso pendiente frente a la Corte de Inmigración de San Francisco. Sara huyó de El Salvador con sus tres hijos hace unos dos años debido a amenazas de muerte contra ella y su familia. A principios de este año, Sara llegó a la oficina de SIREN en busca de apoyo después de que su caso fue descartado por un abogado de inmigración privado. Ella necesitaba desesperadamente apoyo legal porque tenía una audiencia final en la corte que se acercaba rápidamente. SIREN tomó su caso, y tiene una audiencia en los próximos meses.

A menudo es desmoralizador para los solicitantes de asilo que sus procedimientos judiciales se extendan, dejándolos con ansiedad, confusión e incertidumbre. Para la mayoría, se necesitan varias audiencias judiciales para resolver problemas en su caso de inmigración y, a menudo, las madres solteras son las más afectadas.

Sin familiares o amigos en el área y sin recursos financieros para pagar el cuidado infantil, muchas madres se ven obligadas a llevar a sus hijos a la corte de inmigración. Además de navegar por las complejidades de la corte de inmigración, muchas mujeres también se ven obligadas a enfrentar las dificultades de mostrar lo mejor que pueden, para sus hijos.

Tal fue el caso de Sara, que no tenía cuidado de niños o apoyo familiar disponible para cuidar a su hija de 10 años, Natalie. La abogada de Sara en SIREN, Gray, hizo una solicitud pública a voluntarios que podrían ayudar a apoyar a Sara y Natalie. Dentro de una hora, Sara pudo encontrar ayuda en Gabi (su nombre real), una voluntaria de SIREN que ayudó cuidar de su hija. Gabi acordó reunirse con Sara y Gray en la corte de inmigración en San Francisco y cuidar a Natalie mientras Sara veía al juez. Con el apoyo de Gabi, Sara pudo concentrarse en su audiencia en la corte y estar lo más presente posible.

Los voluntarios son extremadamente importantes en nuestro trabajo, no solos apoyando en las solicitudes sino también en DACA o clínicas de naturalización. En momentos como estos, su presencia puede hacer la diferencia en el comportamiento y el estado mental de un cliente en los tribunales.