Latino Community Leadership in Cleveland Rallies Around Trump's Repressive Immigration Policies
On Thursday, June 21, we started the day at the Free Stamp in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, at a gathering in which community leaders spoke out against the Trump Administration's repressive polices towards immigrants as evidenced by the recent ICE raids and detainment conditions.
In response to the ICE raid at Corso's Flower and Garden Center in Sandusky, Ohio, Ms. Ana Padilla and Ms. Kelsey Fisher of HOLA Ohio, a small, grassroots Latino organization based in Northeast Ohio focusing on Latino outreach, advocacy and community organizing, maintained that "HOLA knows this farm worker community well and they are an integral part of Ohio's agriculture-based economy. Ohio's farmworkers are a fragile and marginalized community of hard working, family-oriented, deeply faithful people who did not deserve this horrific assault."
Likewise, Ms. Jenice Contreras, Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that "while previous administrations have failed in creating a true path to comprehensive immigration reform, the current leadership and 'zero tolerance' takes us even further from true American values."
Ms. Selina Pagan, President of the Young Latino Network, said, "I would like to take a step forward and challenge young professionals in our community to use their voices and their power to object and protest. This is not our new norm, and we refuse to stay silent. We must be angry, and we must change the narrative of our communities. We need efficient paths towards citizenship. We need to welcome those seeking asylum. We need justice. Justice is immigration reform. This fight has never been easy, but no good thing ever is."
Others who spoke out eloquently were Mr. Juan Molina Crespo, Executive Director of the Hispanic Alliance, Inc.; Lorain City Councilperson Angel Arroyo, Jr.; and Mr. Daniel Ortiz, Outreach Coordinator for Policy Matters Ohio.
This gathering was also covered by Channel 19 News Cleveland. Read it here.
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