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Government & Politics

Ohio Immigration Group Protests Changing Policies for Undocumented Immigrants

photo of Elizabeth Perez
NICK CASTELE
/
WCPN
Elizabeth Perez, whose husband was deported to Mexico in 2010, speaks at a rally and prayer service Monday.

Immigration advocates are protesting what they say is stepped-up deportation enforcement by the federal government. 

The advocacy group HOLA Ohio says several undocumented immigrants it represents in Northeast Ohio have been detained or given notice to leave the country. They previously had been considered a low deportation priority so long as they regularly checked in with authorities.

Veronica Dahlberg is the director of HOLA Ohio. She helped organize a rally on Cleveland’s east side to protest these new policies. She says enforcement has changed under the Trump administration.

“In the previous administration, which also deported a ton of people, but they didn’t necessarily deport you right away if you could show, like you had families and this and that, many years in the country,” she said.

President Trump’s January executive order on illegal immigration expanded the number of people who’d be considered a priority for deportation.

In a statement, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement says, “Reporting requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis” that depend on pending appeals, issuance of travel documents, and other factors.