Today, more than 100 Ohio advocates are walking 20 miles through the Cleveland winter to protest deportations and the broken immigration system. They are being led by Marisela, an immigrant mother and widow whose husband and brother were deported after living in the US for 25 years, and who died while trying to re-cross the border to reunite with their families. Other walkers include Elizabeth Perez, a US Marine Corps vet who served for 10 years–and whose husband was deported in 2010.
Specifically, the walkers–who are from Greater Cleveland’s Latino and Polish communities–are praying for a miracle that stops the deportation of Ricardo Ramos, a married father of three US citizen children. Ricardo was found driving without a license and was initially told he had to leave the US by January 1. He has since received a 2-week stay of deportation that allows him to be in the country until January 16–coincidentally his daughter’s 12th birthday. Ricardo works two jobs, pays taxes, and has been in the country for 16 years. The Ohio advocates are hoping to call enough attention to Ricardo’s case to earn him a longer reprieve from deportation.
As Veronica Dahlberg, executive director of HOLA, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
If we lose Ricardo it would not bode well for others. We’re seeing this too much, families losing husbands and fathers.