By Clarissa Corral
Immigration attorney Rosa Elena Sahagun spoke about immigrant and criminal detention rights at Riverside City College on Sept. 30.
Now more than ever we are living in a political climate that carries a strong “anti-immigrant sentiment” and are seeing “overt racism” towards immigrants/latin community said attorney at law Rosa Elena Sahagun.
Sahagun said that, with the current political climate, it is more important than ever to know what your rights are when being questioned or detained by law enforcement.
According to Sahagun, President Donald Trump is “pushing for very aggressive immigration operations and is inciting racism.
A report by The New York Times supports Sahagun’s claims, reporting that hate crimes have increased by 17% since 2018.
At multiple points throughout Sahagun’s presentation, she emphasized the importance of exercising your right to remain silent when being questioned by the police, stating that giving any type of information could incriminate yourself.
“The police are not your friend. They have a job to do,” Sahagun said. “Contact an attorney and tell them you won’t speak without one (present).”
One of the recent immigration law updates mentioned by Sahagun is that administration can not hold minors for undetermined amounts of time.
Sahagun said the detention centers that immigrants, primarily Hispanic, have been held at as ICE and like administrations, seek out and detain these people at such an aggressive rate, since Trump’s election.
In situations where the police are arresting you, Sahagun advised people to remain silent but to follow orders being given by the police officer.
“Anytime you’re in a situation — life is precious — put your hands up,” Jim McCarron, RCC’s track coach, commented from the audience. “You don’t want to leave this world because a cop was having a bad day or because you reached for something.”
“Never take it to another level of confrontation,” McCarron said to his men’s track team.
“We as an institution are committed to impeding structural issues and racist (issues),” RCC President Gregory Anderson said.