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Border & Immigration

Border Angels Hosts Community Forum With Border Patrol

Rick Barlow, the chief Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, talks with the community, April 27, 2017.
Jean Guerrero
Rick Barlow, the chief Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, talks with the community, April 27, 2017.
Border Angels Hosts Community Forum With Border Patrol
Chief Border Patrol agent for San Diego, Rick Barlow, listened to community concerns and answered questions.

The immigrant rights group Border Angels hosted a community forum with Border Patrol Thursday in National City.

Chief Border Patrol agent for San Diego, Rick Barlow, answered questions from a couple dozen community members, attempting to dispel fears caused by rumors about ramped-up immigration raids and checkpoints.

The event took place at a Mexican restaurant called Papa Gallo Café & Bar.

Mark Endicott, public affairs officer for the U.S. Border Patrol, said Border Patrol activity remains the same as always, with checkpoints only along main corridors like the Interstates 5, 8 and 15.

“When you see a Border Patrol agent in a community, that's a targeted enforcement operation — it's not random, it's not a sweep," he said. "Anything you may see in social media about Border Patrol agents conducting sweeps, conducting random checkpoints, are not true."

An immigration attorney in the audience, Helene Colin, said the event was a good first step but that she does not think the fears in the community will go away anytime soon.

"There so much paranoia and panic in the community," she said. "(The message) has to be disseminated much more widely."