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Cleveland, OH — Unions, faith organizations, and Mauritanian community leaders–among others–sent a letter to members of the Ohio congressional delegation today, expressing deep concern about the deportation of long-term Ohio residents to Mauritania, a country that is unable to protect basic human rights and refuses to recognize these individuals as citizens.
As a backgrounder from America’s Voice points out:
Up to 20% of all Mauritanians live in slavery in 2018. This is the highest rate in the world according to the CIA World Factbook. The CIA also states that Mauritania is failing to comply with even the “minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.”
The letter states: “While the Trump Administration recognizes the horrific human rights abuses happening in this country on a daily basis, from slavery to human trafficking to terrorism, it is prioritizing deportation over human life.”
Ohio organizations and leaders are asking their elected representatives in Congress to “call the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC and the Detroit Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement TODAY and tell them to stop deporting Mauritanians to danger and slavery.”
Letters were sent to the offices of Senators Brown and Portman and Representatives Beatty; Chabot; Fudge; Joyce; Kaptur; Ryan; Stivers; and Wenstrup. No office information is available for the incoming Rep. Balderson. The Columbus and Cincinnati regions are home to the largest population of Mauritanians in the United States.
A copy of the letter is available here.