Cleveland, OH — Intrepid and often bilingual journalists have been able to report on some of the rawest, most distressing aspects of the recent immigration raids in Ohio.
Immediately after hearing about the first raids at Corso’s Flower and Garden Center, Univision sent a crew to Ohio to dive deep into impacts on the local Latino community. They were among the first to report how teenagers were suddenly thrust into the role of “heads of household” after their parents were arrested at work and didn’t come home.
Univision’s package featured searing reports from young people left behind, such as this young woman recounting text messages she received from her father as the raid commenced:
First message: “Honey, Immigration is here.”
Second message: “Take good care of my children, I love you a lot.”
Jorge Rivas of Splinter was able to obtain evidence of machine guns present during the Corso’s raid, despite initial denials from government agents. Univision also obtained cell phone video showing the automatic weapons at Corso’s.
NBC Nightly News’ Morgan Radford reported on both the Corso’s and Fresh Mark meatpacking plant raids in her piece on “a crackdown in America’s heartland.” Radford described that following the raids the workers’ children, “many of them American citizens,” were “left alone and afraid, sheltering in churches.” She interviewed Pastor Manuel Luz of Salem, in Spanish, and reported that families are currently in crisis following the raid, but local Salem residents are organizing help and donations.
Univision also sent a team to cover the Fresh Mark raids, and was able to obtain some of the only interviews of families impacted by that set of actions.
Finally, VICE News Tonight’s bilingual reporter David Noriega was able to interview Pas de la Torre, a green card holder who was working at Corso’s with her husband when the raid took place. Noriega’s reporting shows the anguish de la Torre felt, having heard nothing about her husband for three days following the raid.
“Put yourself in these families’ shoes for one minute,” said Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice Ohio. “Imagine going to work in a physically demanding job, mentally prepared for the work ahead of you, and then being ambushed and arrested by federal agents with K9s and machine guns while helicopters hover above. Imagine being a family member or friend of someone working at one of these companies, hearing about the raid on the local news and having no idea where your loved one is or if she is even safe. Or imagine being a kid whose parent went to work in the morning and never came home. These are horrifying things to imagine because they are horrifying things to happen in real life.
“These immigration raids are terrorizing tactics employed by an Administration that believes immigrants are less than human. Thanks to bilingual journalists and others taking the time to dive deep on these stories, as well as the brave Ohioans who are speaking up and telling them, the government’s actions – and the consequences of these actions – are being exposed.”