A report of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Humboldt County has raised concerns throughout the community after a statement was released by the True North Organizing Network, a local community organization based in the North Coast.
On April 18, the Humboldt County Rapid Response Hotline, a community led effort that documents reports of ICE activity and offers legal resources and information, received a phone call from the United Farm Workers (UFW) that a Bayside resident had been arrested by federal agents earlier that morning.
“If there’s a family, we would ask for their permission but people were concerned, and we wanted to share what we knew.”
According to a press release, the UFW dispatcher was alerted by the spouse of the detainee that they were en route to a detention facility in San Francisco. At the time the statement was released, the hotline was advised by the UFW to be alert for other ICE activities in the area. The hotline was also seeking further information about the incident and shared that it was prepared to respond in the event of any other incidents.
Brenda Urueta, coastal Humboldt community organizer for True North, shared that it was necessary to send the report after hearing rumors from concerned community members.
“Normally, we wouldn’t go to the media with reports from our Rapid Response [Hotline],” Urueta said. “If there’s a family, we would ask for their permission but people were concerned, and we wanted to share what we knew.”
However, confirming the report and locating the detained individual has been difficult for True North, despite phone calls to the UFW
and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’ve made several phone calls to UFW,” Urueta said. “I haven’t received a call back. I contacted the sheriff’s office and they made calls to ICE in San Francisco and Redding. They couldn’t confirm any activity or where [the detainee] is.”
Despite whispers of ICE and Department of Homeland Security sightings throughout Humboldt County the past few months, there has not been much to substantiate most reports of their activity in the area. Still, the purpose of the hotline has always been to document any activity and provide helpful information to concerned members of the community.