Cleveland, OH – The Sandusky Register reports today that Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo criticized the deportation of Jesus Lara Lopez, a Willard father, taxpayer, and homeowner who was forced to leave his family yesterday. As the Register and many other news outlets have made clear, Jesus was deported despite having lived in the United States for nearly two decades, possessing a legal work permit, paying taxes, having no criminal record, and working nights to support his wife and four U.S. citizen children.
Disturbingly, the Register also reports that U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-7), whom the Lara children had begged for assistance in their father’s immigration case, announced that he approves of Jesus’ deportation: “Through a spokesman, Gibbs said he supported Trump’s stepped-up deportation policy and the decision to split up [Jesus Lara’s] family.”
Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice:
What an ugly contrast in morality and compassion. On the one hand, the Bishop of Toledo condemns Jesus Lara’s deportation as a human tragedy, and vows to continue fighting for the Lara family. On the other, the Lara children’s own congressman applauds their dad’s deportation, and does it in the most cowardly way possible, through a spokesperson.
Jesus has had an Order of Supervision granted to him by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2012. The Order has been renewed every year until this year, when it was abruptly cancelled by the Trump Administration. Jesus has no criminal record.
The Lara children met with Rep. Gibbs’ staff not once but twice to ask for his help, and when that didn’t work they launched a petition and asked their friends, neighbors, and strangers to help them get Congressman Gibbs’ support.
Rep. Gibbs’ earlier excuses about why he could not help have been thoroughly debunked by the media. This wasn’t a matter of policy, it was a matter of will–and Rep. Bob Gibbs has thoroughly failed this constituent family. Clearly, he has no compassion, courage, or a beating heart if he thinks that tearing a loving father away from four children who need him desperately is something to cheer.