Trump Deportation Policies Felt in Northeast Ohio, Immigration Advocates Say

Elizabeth Perez, whose husband was deported to Mexico in 2010, speaks at a rally and prayer service Monday.
Elizabeth Perez, whose husband was deported to Mexico in 2010, speaks at a rally and prayer service Monday. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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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.

HOLA Ohio director Veronica Dahlberg helped organize a rally at St. Casimir church on Cleveland’s east side to protest these new policies. She said 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,” Dahlberg said.

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

“Reporting requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis,” Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, wrote in an email. “The frequency and duration are dependent on many factors including, but not limited to, pending appeals or petitions, issuance of travel documents, or awaiting to go before an immigration judge.”

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