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Willard, OH – Absent a change at the federal level Jesus Lara Lopez, an Ohio taxpayer and father of four U.S. citizen children, will be deported on Tuesday. This morning, his story was featured in a compelling piece by Esther Honig on Ohio Public Radio.
The Lara children’s campaign to save their family has garnered significant local attention in their small town of Willard and surrounding communities. Their story is leading some residents–including Trump supporters–to question why the government is targeting Lara at all.
See this excerpt from Honig’s story:
President Trump’s change to ICE policies has Lara, and others in town, feeling confused and even betrayed.
“He said he was going to deport criminals, and what happened to that?” Lara says.
Lara’s neighbor Jennifer Fidler wonders the same thing.
“Well, I have gone to church with them, usually when they have a cookout, they bring me a plate of food,” Fidler says.
Fidler, a single mother who works at a local factory building snow blowers, met the Laras shortly after they moved in. She says that, like a majority of people in this Ohio county, she supported Trump for president. But now she’s not so sure.
“Wasn’t he supposed to deport the people who aren’t so great?” Fidler says. “The drug dealers, rapists murders all them? Then he turns it around and takes good families like this.”
Now Fidler is one of several people on this block advocating for Lara. Together with members of his church, his employers and even his kid’s teachers, they’ve written letters to their Congressmen and state representatives urging them to let Lara stay.
“Everybody knows that I’m fighting for my neighbors, that I’m standing up for them,” Fidler says.
In the last few weeks, the Laras have gone around Willard collecting some 600 signatures for a petition. A national organization helped collect around 35,000.
Lara’s lawyer has submitted multiple appeals to court. There’s still a chance that in these finals hours, a judge could be granted him a temporary stay from deportation. That’s what Lara is praying for.
Both local and national media have been covering the case, demanding answers from Rep. Bob Gibbs and Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman about what they are–and are not–doing to help their constituents.
A round-up of recent media coverage is available below: