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Activists Start 24 Hour Hotline For Immigrant Community

DENVER (CBS4) - Activists in Denver have set up a 24 hour hotline immigrants can call if they believe they are being targeted by aggressive enforcement tactics.

It's called the Colorado Rapid Response Network and it acts like a 24 hour emergency line.

Several immigrants rights organizations are behind the effort. They've trained a network of more than 100 people to "track, verify, and document abuses, and respond to ICE raids in immigrant communities."

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"If somebody is taken, our network is ready to get folks connected with legal resources, to have the ACLU and other partners on standby to really specify and look at why things might be happening in that particular scenario," said Nicole Melaku, spokeswoman for the Colorado Immigrants' Rights Coalition.

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Organizers at Thursday's launch of the hotline -- whose number is 1-844-UNITE-41 -- say the increasing number of calls prompted the effort. In recent months, questions have been flowing in such as "Should I bring my child to school?" and "Should I go to work or to court?"

Denver City Skyline
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The hotline will help answer those questions and can connect folks with verified legal guidance, but it takes it one step further. First responders are also trained to go into communities and document reports of raids or other possibly aggressive enforcement tactics.

Organizers are hoping after this week's launch, more people will step up to volunteer their services to provide relief for this first round of volunteers. They are also working to find a solid source of funding.

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