In response to the new wave of immigration raids under the Obama Administration, the Central Ohio Worker Center (COWC) is providing resources to educate and protect the community.
The raids were in response to an influx of immigrants fleeing rampant gang violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in 2014.
The Central Ohio community needs to be vigilant and direct in its demands for justice and must be prepared to protect ourselves in case of any interaction with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) or any other law enforcement agency.
COWC is in the process of distributing a “¿Que Puedes Hacer?” postcard produced by our friends at United We Dream. The cards will help educate community members on what to do in case of immigration raids. COWC is also available to report any abuses from ICE or other law enforcement agencies.
“¿Que Puedes Hacer?” info cards are available at local grocery stores and businesses.
Please let us know if you would like some cards to distribute. You can also share the image from the Central Ohio Worker Center facebook page.
COWC issued the following press statement that went out to Columbus area media outlets on the recent increase immigration raids by the Obama Administration and ICE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Central Ohio Worker Center REACTION:
Trump Stigmatizes people with His Dehumanizing Language,
President Obama Deports Them
Central Ohio Immigrant Community Intimidated to Live in Fear...AGAIN
Columbus, Ohio —In response to the White House's new efforts to rev-up deportations including women and children refugees, the Central Ohio Worker Center (COWC) makes the following statement:
The White House's targeting of refugee families is unnecessary and immoral, but sadly not surprising.
As Trump's racist discourse becomes normalized in US politics, the Obama administration chooses to double down on its shameful deportation policy. The sad truth is that President Obama's actions are more vile than Trump's words. Trump stigmatizes people with his dehumanizing language, President Obama deports them.
Make no mistake: these raids are immoral, and justifications for violating human rights are never acceptable. The White House's assertion that this increased enforcement will somehow deter families that are escaping terrible violence is equally preposterous. If a deterrent is needed, then the situation is not under control as the White House has claimed. As long as their countries of origin are more life threatening than the already treacherous journey north, people will seek refuge.
The President and his enablers should cease these raids immediately and focus resources and attention on the preservation of immigrant and refugee rights. Basic decency requires no less.
"While the City of Columbus says it's a welcoming city with ceremonial city resolutions, the immigrant and refugee communities in Columbus are still living in fear. This seems to never end and we are tired of it", said Ruben Castilla Herrera, organizer with the Central Ohio Worker Center.
The Central Ohio Worker Center is calling on all Columbus area faith groups, labor unions, community activists/leaders and allies to denounce the recent increase in immigration raids.
COWC is distributing Know Your Rights information in Spanish and will be taking reports of abuse from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement agencies.