The Northwest Ohio Immigration Forum

More that 150 people came together in September to combat harsh immigration enforcement measures.   The group included a score of law enforcement, elected officials, and organizations ranging from ACLU to the Lucas County Democratic Party.  A short video of emotional testimonies (above) highlighted stories of families torn apart by deportation discusses the psychological impact on the children, and also the revelations of Graduate Student Luis Macias who reported from a Congressional report that almost 50,000 families had been torn apart in just the first six months of 2011.The number of separated families is stunning, and the numbers only increased throughout the year.

The event garnered support for FLOC’s lawsuit against the US Border Patrol for “profiling” and educated law enforcement officials present about ICE Director John Morton”s Memo.  The Memo call for prosecutorial discretion in enforcement and deportations, listing law-abiding immigrants whose only crime of having entered the country without documents or overstayed their visas as low priority.

Many students connected with ABLE (legal services) also attended the forum, looking for information on applications for Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The event highlighted the growing relevance of the Latino community and FLOC’s campaign for justice for farmworkers and the immigrant population in general.  Large land owner and farmer Chester Mauch underscored the significance of the Latino workforce in agriculture and said that his “white neighbors” couldn’t possibly fill the void if immigrant/migrant workers were unavailable.

For more information about local immigration issues, contact