United Farm Workers Foundation hosts workshop to inform on immigration rights

Hector Martinez, Feature Editor

The United Farm Workers Foundation (UFW Foundation), a nonprofit organization that works to give access to legal status for immigrant workers, had a “Know Your Rights” workshop inside the Collins Conference Center on Oct. 18 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The objective of the workshop was to further explain immigrational rights for those if anyone ever encounters an immigration official.

Bryant Macias, UFW Foundation Organizer, was the one that gave the presentation that evening. Macias explained that the UFW Foundation is a sister organization to the United Farm Workers. Even though the UFW Foundation comes from the legacy of the United Farm Workers, they have different focuses. 

“The UFW focuses on things like workers’ right, getting them contracts and uniting workers. We (UFW Foundation) focus on immigration law,” Macias said.

In his presentation, Macias mentioned some key immigration agencies starting with the main agency, the Department of Homeland Security.  He also mentioned the three branches below the Department of Homeland Security and their immigration duties. The first is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and it is in charge of any immigration application that is submitted to them. 

“If you are applying for a citizenship, DACA, a family member petition or any other immigration application that is the agency that is going through,” Macias said.

Hector Martinez
People start gathering for the “Know Your Rights” workshop inside the Collins Conference Center.

The second branch that Macias mentioned was Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and their focus are on any problems that happen at the border. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was the third branch that Macias mentioned and explained that they are an immigration enforcement agency. The presentation mostly focused on ICE and what should people do if they ever encountered one of the officials.

“ICE can detain anyone who is not a U.S. Citizen, and even if you are still a citizen, they still can detain you,” Macias said. 

Macias also explained that there are only two ways officials can enter someone’s home. 

One of them is a valid order sign by a judge, and the second is with the consent of the owner or someone inside the house that opens the door. 

“When a child not tall enough that can’t see who is knocking on the door and instead opens it, that gives permission for the officials to enter your home,” Macias said. 

Macias explained that individuals should ask the officials to identify themselves and also to let them see the search warrant. 

There are three things to look for in the warrant the date, the individual’s home address, and the signature of the judge. 

Macias explained that the person inside the house should check for the warrant’s details before opening the door. He also said that if an immigration official or police officer stops them not to run from them because that will make them think that the person is not here legally. 

“That happened to a couple in Delano. They were stopped by an ICE vehicle but the couple instead of stopping drove off and that started a highspeed chase that ended with the couple crashing and dying from the crash,” Macias said. 

One Justice, an organization that provides legal help for low-income Californians, had a Legal Clinic and Immigration Resource Fair that same evening inside the Fireside Room. 

One Justice was only seeing low-income individuals who had legal problems and could not afford a local attorney.