ICE Launches Site for Spanish Speakers
ALTON – A federal agency launched a site Monday where Spanish speakers can read up on the latest information on immigration.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s English website said its goal for the Spanish version is to reach a broader audience. They also want to ensure that the public can obtain information directly from them and not from unofficial sources.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS wanted to find out if the new page would be used by Spanish speakers.
La Union Del Pueblo Entero social services provider Claudia Garcia said she consults clients in Alton on a variety of issues that deal with immigration.
“I always have that kind of question. ‘I’ve been living here this amount of time, is there any way I could get a legal status?’” she said.
Garcia said her job sometimes requires her to go on the ICE website. She said she tries to locate the relatives of clients who are detained.
“I feel they feel more comfortable coming in person, ‘Can you help me out?’” she said.
Jorge Lopez Sanchez, a client at LUPE, said he would not feel comfortable going on to the new site in spite of it being in his native language.
“Since I don’t have an understanding of this, I prefer getting help from LUPE. And since I confide in them, I know they’ll explain it well to me,” he said.
Sanchez said others don’t want to reach out to anyone at all because of their legal status.
We asked ICE if they would investigate someone who reached out to them, and in case the agency believed them to be in the country illegally.
ICE responded saying the new site was launched to provide information about what the agency does to help the public, such as combating child exploitation.
At no point did the response answer our question.
Garcia said in spite of the Spanish outreach effort, she feels people will still continue to go to her for help on legal matters.
She pointed out all Spanish speakers may not understand the terminology used by ICE on their Spanish site.
ICE also launched a Spanish social media account to inform Spanish speaking audiences.