Recently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations department conducted various raids affecting thousands of undocumented immigrants in rural America. On Aug. 8, 2018, Homeland Security Investigations conducted a raid in north central Nebraska. The town most affected—O’Neill, Nebraska, has a population of approximately 3,635, and is three hours away from the closest metropolitan city, Lincoln, Nebraska. The Center for Rural Affairs was able to help in response to the raid and, in turn, developed this tip sheet for rural communities that may be affected in the future.
Resources are limited in rural communities; therefore, volunteers and local community members are vital to an emergency response. As we helped undocumented immigrants and their families, we soon understood that important resources such as food, lodging, and financial and legal services were more than three hours away. We strive to help all rural communities in the U.S. by sharing this tip sheet and it is our hope it alleviates some work if a rural community is affected by a raid in the future.