SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The threat of ICE raids and mass deportations is creating fear in San Jose’s Latino community.
“You’re aware that at any moment, somebody can be taken from your family, yourself or anything else,” said Luciano, a 23 year old DACA recipient and a UC graduate.READ MORE: Former Theranos Lab Director Continues Testimony
He hides his identity because he’s afraid it could lead to the deportation of his undocumented parents and half his brothers and sisters — especially now with the threat of ICE raids just days away.
“We’d be split. There is mixed status among my family. My parents are getting older and having them split would be terrible for them. We wouldn’t be able to go back to Mexico to visit them or be with them and they wouldn’t be able to come back and be with us,” Luciano said.
“Of course there’s a lot of fear. This is a psychological campaign against the Latinx community,” said Father Jon Pedigo, a Catholic priest who ministers to the immigrant community and is trying to keep the community calm.
“This nonsense about making people afraid is something we have to address head on. We will not be intimidated, we will not become panicked and divided over this,” Father Pedigo said.READ MORE: State Sen. Wiener's Recovery Incentives Act Would Pay Meth Addicts to Stay Sober
Father Pedigo is also part of Santa Clara County’s Rapid Response Network which is gearing up for increased ICE activity with a hotline to report ICE incidents and call out volunteer observers and legal assistance.
“We have attorneys who are on standby to connect with families who have been arrested. Anyone can call the hotline. Please call the hotline instead of just posting on Facebook or social media which only creates more rumors and fears and panic,” said Eunice Hernandez, a volunteer with the network.
She said concerned neighbors should call the hotline at (408) 290-1144.
For Luciano, whose parents came to the U.S. 17 years ago to be farmworkers, there’s only one hope.MORE NEWS: Lead Utility Regulator Overseeing PG&E Announces Resignation
“My hope is that one day we won’t have to live in fear,” he said.