At Telemundo this week is a three-part series about immigrant families facing deportation in Northeast Ohio, and HOLA, the advocacy group fighting to keep them together. Part 1 of the series is here, and part 2 is here (the third part airs tonight). Northeast Ohio is part of the ICE district where advocates this year walked 20 miles in order to protest the imminent deportation of a local father and where other protests have called on ICE Field Director Rebecca Adducci to properly follow directives on prosecutorial discretion.
The Telemundo segments are a must-watch. Here’s what HOLA Ohio Executive Director Veronica Dahlberg wrote via Facebook about how her community in the last few years has grown into an organizing force against deportations:
Part 2 of the report on Telemundo about NE Ohio. In this segment, the leaders of HOLA Lorain shine!!! I could not be more proud of them!! Considering when we first started HOLA in Lorain about two years ago, there was such a tremendous fear gripping the people that they didn’t even want to meet! These very same ladies are now speaking out in the media, standing up and defending themselves and their community, holding officials accountable. This is what empowerment looks like…. They have created significant change, winning over the police chief, Cel Rivera, who blocked immigration authorities from patrolling Lorain after he attended an HOLA meeting and heard the testimonials of families separated after traffic stops. He then organized a meeting with a groups of chiefs of police, so that I could address these issues with them–that has led to major reductions in ICE detentions after traffic stops. HOLA Lorain also won over Rep. Kaptur, who for over a year would not return our calls or meet with us, but now does so regularly. Also, they recruited to the cause local orgs who previously wouldn’t touch the issue, but are now major allies.