Cleveland— Today, on June 8, the ACLU of Ohio sent a letter to Senators Brown and Portman, and Representatives Jordan, Kaptur, and Ryan urging immediate action to prevent the expedited deportation of dozens of immigrants following a June 5 ICE raid in Sandusky, Ohio, in which 114 workers were arrested while at work at Corso Flower and Garden Center. The ACLU of Ohio urges federal legislators to immediately intervene for the sake of dozens of Ohio immigrants, as expedited deportations could happen in a matter of days.
“We urge Ohio Senators and Representatives to take immediate action and ensure that no one is deported without access to an attorney and full due process in an immigration court. We have an opportunity to right this horrible wrong, but we must take immediate action. The events on June 5 are not irreparable, and we have the opportunity to alleviate the tremendous suffering of our Ohio neighbors, by ensuring full due process under the law,” said ACLU of Ohio Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner.
The men detained during the raid were sent to the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio, and the detained women were sent to a facility in Calhoun, Michigan. Just four days after nationwide protests to protect immigrant families and end family separation, ICE conducted the largest Ohio raid in over a decade. Dozens of children were left stranded, and their parents could be fast-tracked for deportation.
“The federal government inserted itself into a small Ohio community instilling fear, panic, and chaos that will have long lasting effects on our immigrant neighbors, family members, and friends. Over 200 heavily armed officers came to Sandusky to deliver a clear message, ‘immigrants are not welcome here.’ We must not let this happen unchallenged and urge our elected officials to stand up to ICE and stop the expedited deportation of Ohio residents,” said Mike Brickner, senior policy director for the ACLU of Ohio.
Tuesday’s raid in Sandusky was coupled with an announcement that the U.S. Attorney’s office in northern Ohio planned to add staff focused on increasing immigration enforcement. The same office disbanded its civil rights department in 2017.
Read the letter.