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Brittany ComakAug 1, 2018, 1:16 pm

Community leaders aim to help undocumented immigrants via ‘Know Your Rights’

Goal of training sessions is to create a network that can assist those who are undocumented

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SELDEN — Local community members are learning at Suffolk County Community College about how they can be better allies for their undocumented peers.

According to Renee Ortiz of the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, they have a large population of undocumented students at the college. And so on Wednesday, some staff members and people in the community took part in a training on how they can be of the most help to these students.

According to the training facilitator Richard Koubek of Long Island Jobs with Justice, the purpose of the training sessions is to create a rapid response network across Long Island. Their aim is to assist undocumented immigrants in court appearances, knowing their rights and having a witness to any ICE action.

The sessions come out of concerns about undocumented immigrants who have committed no crimes but are being deported.

"There is a climate of fear, a growing climate of fear among this community, among this population of folks in our island. And we just want to be able to provide information, to be support," Ortiz said. She added that they also have a growing population of undocumented students that they want to be able to help.

"There undocumented immigrants withdrawing, they're afraid to be present in certain situations, so we're hoping to create a situation that will provide them with some sense of stability," Koubek said.

In the end, the hope is that by training these leaders, they can then train students to be equipped with the knowledge they need to be allies as well.

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