The Central Ohio Worker Center's "Sanctuary in the Streets" Rapid Response team was activated when notified of Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of 4 U.S.-born children from Fairfield who has lived in Ohio for over 15 years, was transferred to Morrow County Corrections Facility awaiting deportation. Organizers in Maribel's community (Fairfield, Hamilton, and Cincinnati) had been following her case carefully advocating her release & reunion with her family.
When word came down that Maribel was to be transferred up to Morrow County Corrections Facility (less than an hour north of Columbus), the community mobilized in less than 12 hours to hold vigil outside the facility in opposition to her deportation. COWC activated our growing "Sanctuary in the Streets" team alongside the Columbus People's Partnership and Faith in Public Life with over dozens staying deep into the night. There was the looming possibility that Maribel was to be deported that evening at 2:00am; supporters stayed until 2:30 to ensure that she was not deported that night.
This short-term victory proved that Columbus residents are ready to do what is necessary to protect our immigrant neighbors.
Unfortunately, just days after this action, Maribel was transferred to another detention facility in Louisiana and deported a week later. While this individual story did not have a happy ending, it strengthens our resolve as an organization and a community to do all we can to prevent, intervene, and fight unjust deportations.
The aim of the Central Ohio Worker Center's "Sanctuary in the Streets" project is to do just this. The primary goal is preventing our immigrant neighbors from detention & deportation. We are doing this through dissemination of Know Your Rights information throughout the city and talking 1-on-1 with the community where they are. We have a dedicated phone line to report police/ICE activity - 614-398-0408. Finally, we will activate our network to do what is necessary to stop the deportation of immigrants who have been detained.