Border Report: The Anatomy of a Rapid Response Network

In response to the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, San Diego immigration advocates came together in December to officially launch a rapid response network.

Networks like this have been popping up around the country, not only in response to the recent surge in immigration enforcement, but during the last decade.

ight years ago, Alianza Comunitaria started a network in North County that alerts people of raids and checkpoints. During the Lilac Fire, it provided information about shelters and other updates.

After the launch of the San Diego rapid response network, I wanted to learn more about how these networks actually work, how they help immigrant communities facing enforcement crackdowns and what it takes to organize and operate them.

I started by calling Marisela Esperanza, the program manager of San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network, who currently coordinates the San Francisco Rapid Response Network — the oldest of its kind in the country. That same morning the San Francisco Chronicle had published a story describing a massive immigration sweep in Northern California, so she was in the middle of mobilizing the rapid response network in preparation.

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Mason Jeffrys