Open Forum Discusses Immigrant Rights - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Open Forum Discusses Immigrant Rights

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An open forum Thursday night focused on immigrant rights in Nevada. The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, in partnership with local law enforcement, hosted the event at The Little Flower Church in Reno. 

Dozens of community members came out to the forum with concerns mainly about Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Silver State. Officials said their main goal was to tell immigrants that, whether they have legal status or not, they still have rights. 

Under President Trump's administration, ICE arrests have climbed almost 40%. This has the immigrant community in Reno fearful. They worry that these ICE agents, or other law enforcement, will come to their homes or detain them on the street. 

Immigration Attorney, Wendy Chavez, wants to assure them that, unless they have been convicted or charged with a crime, the fear is mostly unwarranted. She adds, "They're targeting specifically people with criminal either arrests or who have been convicted."

Another concern was that immigrants are afraid to report domestic abuse cases or other crimes for fear of being deported. However, Sparks PD's Deputy Chief, Brian Miller, urges those to come forward, saying they should feel safe in doing so, "We don't proactively enforce immigration laws because we feel it's very important on a local level that all community members feel comfortable reporting crimes."

Miller adds they should feel comfortable in their daily lives, even if they are pulled over for something like a traffic violation. He says, if you have a standard license or driver authorization card, local police will not detain you for your status. He added, local law enforcement does not and has never worked directly under orders from ICE. However, if ICE decides to pull the local jail's booking records, they may be contacted to detain someone who has been booked and is undocumented. 

For more information about immigrant rights and The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, click here.

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