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PHOTOS: Hundreds Rally Outside of ICE Office in Cleveland to Demand Justice for Families Targeted for Deportation

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Some Get Relief, Others Continue Painful Wait in Limbo

President Obama decided to wait on immigration policy reforms until after the November mid-term elections.  But from now until November, scores of Ohio families—including many with U.S. citizen members–face imminent deportation.  Their lives simply cannot wait for an election to take place; they need action from the Obama Administration today.  Today, local leaders and members of the community organized a rally outside of the local ICE office in downtown Cleveland to call on the Obama Administration to do the right thing and keep mothers and fathers together with their families.  Buses of people from Norwalk, Lorain, Painesville, Akron, and Columbus gathered to hear stories and testimonies from families facing imminent deportation.

One of the families featured at today’s rally was that of Pedro Hernandez-Ramirez and his U.S. citizen wife, Seleste Wisniewski-Hernandez.  Pedro has lived in Lorain, OH for over ten years and serves as the primary caregiver to his stepson Juan, a twenty-five year-old man with severe cerebral palsy.

After granting him a one-year stay of deportation last year, then denying Pedro’s renewal request last month, ICE finally did the right thing and reversed their latest decision this afternoon, hours after the rally.

The reversal also came after a Sunday mass and prayer at St. Casimir’s Church in support of Pedro and Seleste, which marks the third time that the congregation—many of whom are immigrants from Poland—has rallied to help a Mexican immigrant facing deportation.

Unfortunately the cases of two Columbus women also featured at the rally: Marinela Martinez-Magana—a mother of three U.S. citizens who’s facing deportation after trying to pay a traffic ticket and Esmeralda Cornejo–also a mother of U.S. citizen children who is required to report for deportation just after the elections –remain unresolved.  Like Pedro, Marinela and Esmeralda don’t have months to wait for the elections to be over; they and their children need the Obama Administration to act today.

View video of the rally here.

View the photos from today’s rally below: