Hundreds turned out in Berkeley for a rally at Civic Center Park on Saturday to protest migrant detention camps at the border and imminent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the Bay Area.
The protest was planned weeks before officials learned of potential ICE raids set to take place on Sunday.
"We are a proud sanctuary city," Mayor Jesse Arreguín said. "Our police is our police and will not cooperate in any way with any ICE enforcement action."
The mayor and city council members said that they’re angry and frustrated with how immigrants are being treated.
“Part of what we’re doing today is educating our community about knowing your rights," said Rashi Kesarwani, Berkeley city councilmember. "You do not have to open the door for anyone and if an ICE agent claims to have a warrant you can ask them to slide it under the door--and that warrant has to be signed by a judge.”
The city's mayor said leaders have spent the last few days reaching out to the undocumented community to reassure them that Berkeley is a sanctuary city.
“Our police department or any city staff or officials will not be involved in any way to collaborate with ICE,” Arreguín said.
According to Arreguín, the faith community has also been part of this outreach. Some churches and synagogues will be opening their doors this weekend to those who may be seeking sanctuary.