It’s been almost a week since Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided a gardening center with locations in Sandusky and Castalia, arresting more than 100 workers. ICE had been investigating the business following complaints, including suspected tax evasion and identity theft. One group is advocating for the detainees and their families.
HOLA Ohio’s Veronica Dahlberg said she and others spent all day Sunday with a representative from the Mexican Consulate, meeting individually with families and children of those detained.
"We got gift cards in their hands, tried to get them answers in terms of their loved ones who were being detained, we consulted with attorneys by phone. It was just a mixed bag of things," she said.
HOLA Ohio and other organizations have been collecting donations for detainees’ prison accounts as well as money for their families.
"By our count, over 200 children are now contending with one or both of their parents in detention – just from one day to the next," Dahlberg said.
A few of the original 114 people detained were released last week because of medical or family issues, Dahlberg says. ICE confirms there are still approximately 90 in detention centers in Michigan and Ohio.
ICE says it is in the early stages of its investigation and would not comment on deportation plans.