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ICE Raids Raise Fear in Northeast Ohio Immigrant Community

photo of a U.S. border crossing
A U.S. border crossing

Immigrants facing final deportation orders in Northeast Ohio were keeping wary watch this weekend. WhileICE arrests in major cities never materialized, small immigrant communities remain afraid.

Among the hundreds of thousands of people facing final orders of removal from immigration judges is a 19 year old woman in Northeast Ohio, whom we’re not identifying by name. Her mother brought her from Honduras when she was 13, after she was sexually abused for three years, stabbed and threatened by gangs.

“I didn’t go to school, I didn’t get out of my house because I was really afraid that I was going to get killed.” 

She became a new mom three weeks ago, and now she fears she and her son will be forced to return to that world.

“I don’t want my baby to grow up there. I don’t want my baby to go over there and live the environment I lived.”

The woman has graduated from high school and been accepted into college. “I want to continue studying ‘cause I want to be someone in life. And I can’t be anything in my country. But here, I know I can be someone.”  

She’s under a final removal order because of a missed immigration hearing shortly after she and her mother arrived in the U.S. She’s petitioning to have her case reopened.

Ohio has four detention facilities holding immigrants, including a private prison in Youngstown and the Geauga County jail.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.