Residents can now be alerted to ICE operations in their area

Receive phone alerts by texting "ALERTA" to 24587

Residents can now be alerted to ICE...

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Ventura and Santa Barbara County residents can sign up to receive alerts about ICE operations in the area.

The Immigrant Defense Text Alert System was created by the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy also known as CAUSE a couple weeks ago.

The idea is to inform undocumented residents about their rights.

Anyone can sign up to receive the alerts by texting "ALERTA" to 24587.

Resources like this bring relief to people who are afraid of ICE agents and being separated from their families. 

“Basically the fear that you don’t have a legal of status per se and anything with what’s going on in politics. You are not safe," said Nancy Aviles Moreno, a college student. 

Nancy Aviles Moreno has called Carpinteria her home since 2002 after moving to the United States with her family from Mexico. She is currently majoring in psychology at a California State University. She is able to pursue her goals because of the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals Program also known as DACA. 

She spoke in front of the Carpinteria City Council on Monday and told them what it was like to live in fear. She joined a room full of people who asked council members to declare Carpinteria a sanctuary city. They were not able to make a decision. 

“I felt that someone going through that situation had to speak up," said Aviles Moreno.

A progressive group called Indivisible Carpinteria was also in attendance. Leslie Westbrook, a co-founder, supports the text alert system and says she was disappointed in the council. 

“We have children that are afraid to go to home to find their parents deported. We have parents who are afraid to walk their children to school. We’re also having local businesses affected because Latinos that are undocumented are afraid to shop and do things. We want them to know that they can feel safe here and that we want to protect them," said Leslie Westbrook. 

Another issue is undocumented immigrants who don't know they have rights are and what they entail. Many people are contacting immigration attorneys like Marisol Alarcon. 

“The phone has not stopped ringing. We are getting so many calls from people who are concerned about their status and what they can do to protect their family members," said Marisol Alarcon. 

She says undocumented people have rights. They have the right to not open the door if an ICE agent is outside. They can also remain silent and ask for an attorney to be present. 

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