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Deportations hit hard in Painesville, Ohio

A recent New York Times article spotlights a place we know very well—Painesville, Ohio—only 30 or so miles from our Cleveland office. The piece begins by describing the immigration debate on the national level—the debates in DC and on Capitol Hill as well as the Obama Administration’s commitment to deporting only serious criminals or those who pose a threat to national security. The authors then take a look at Painesville and describe how deportations affect individuals, families and the community as a whole. Contrary to the Administration’s intentions, the people of Painesville will tell you about the parents who committed no crimes and were separated from their children.

There’s Elizabeth Perez, the former Marine whose husband was detained at a traffic stop and deported because of a 14 year old misdemeanor charge.  She is now raising their two young on her own.

Yet perhaps the most heartbreaking anecdote is that of an 11-year-old girl who committed suicide after her father was deported.

Deportations are quite literally ruining and tearing families apart.

This article, as well as several others and data from TRAC, challenge the Administration’s narrative that they are only deporting convicted criminals. TRAC finds that only 12% of those deported in 2013 had been convicted of a serious crime. Meanwhile, about 13% of deportees’ most serious conviction was a minor traffic violation and over 40% hadn’t been convicted of any crimes. That doesn’t seem like a threat to national security, now does it?