Immigrant rights activists rally outside raided 7-Eleven store

LOS ANGELES — The community reacted to a recent immigration raid at a local convenience store. While this raid hit close to home for Filipinos, immigrant rights activists say they won’t back down from what is expected to be increased enforcement.

Last week, this 7-Eleven just outside of LA’s Historic Filipino Town made national front pages, as the site of an immigration enforcement procedure.

Nationwide, dozens of 7-Eleven’s were targeted in ICE sweeps, hauling in 21 workers believed to be undocumented.

The action is part of ICE’s crackdown on employers that hire undocumented workers.

One Filipino resident that lives near the store says he was surprised when he saw the raid begin at around 10 in the morning on the way to work, and he adds that he saw the investigations continuing into the night.

Immigrant rights activists rallied outside of the same store on Tuesday morning, as they were expecting ICE to return for further investigations.

ICE called about 15 minutes ago and will not be coming here today.

“We condemn ICE intimidating people in our community. Intimidating workers, intimidating employers,” said Rosemarie Molina.

The main purpose for us today is for us to demonstrate to ICE that they are not welcomed here in Los Angeles County or any part of Los Angeles County, and to demonstrate to the community that were with them they’re not alone and were here to safeguard their rights,” said activist Cynthia Flores.

This raid also came in the first week of enactment of California’s sanctuary state laws.

ICE’s homeland security deputy director Thomas Homan has warned that the agency would beef up its presence in sanctuary states where local police refuse to aid in immigration enforcement.

“We do believe that they’re here for that purpose alone,” said Molina.

Throughout last year, this area of Los Angeles was the target of raid rumors, while some turned out to be false alarms, this high profile raid and a promise from ICE to increase its California activity, has now put the rapid response network on high alert.

“Any time that we receive an alert from one of our community-based organizations or their membership, we verify it then we activate the network in the manner that we see here today,” said Flores.

The network’s responses include working with lawmakers, and providing legal help to anyone caught in an immigration raid.

The Pilipino Workers Center is among the dozens of groups involved in the rapid response network, and have done their part last year investigating rumored raids at Asian businesses while holding know-your-rights workshops.

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    19 January 2018 at 2:01 am - Reply

    These days, there are so many misguided Filipino homies running scared crying and bitching about immigration enforcement out there. In the first place, they should already know that America is a country of laws…not whatever they feel like doing, not anarchy…