On June 12, the COWC Sanctuary in the Streets team was activated in response to the potential detention/deportation of Bijou Sene from Cincinnati, Ohio who was ordered to appear at the Columbus ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) office.
Bijou, originally from Senegal, and has lived in Cincinnati for over 12 year with her three kids - a daughter age 12 and two sons ages 9 and 3 - all of whom were born in Cincinnati. She is an active member of the Clifton Mosque and she loves Cincinnati. Over the years it has become her home and it is the only home her children have ever known.
The Cincinnati Sanctuary Coalition called on the COWC Sanctuary in the Streets team and within a day was able to help organize a presence of over 30 workers, students, faith leaders, and allies in support of Bijou. Our partners Faith in Public Life helped with local media turnout and this story was published by the Columbus Dispatch. including this great piece by the Columbus Dispatch.
We are happy to report that Bijou was not detained. This was a crucial step in securing that she stays in Cincinnati with her family. The deployment of the COWC Sanctuary in the Streets team alongside other Columbus rapid response teams with a possible deportation case from an immigrant in Cincinnati represents the growing cross-state solidarity and network of immigrant rights groups. It also demonstrates to ICE that residents will show up when needed and on short notice to stand up with our immigrant brothers & sisters.