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Ohio nonprofit raises $55,000 to bail out workers following two immigration raids

Posted at 4:51 AM, Aug 04, 2018

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Just as summer began, so did the immigration raids in northeast Ohio.

The first one happened on June 5 at Corsos, a garden and flower center in Sandusky, Ohio where 114 people were arrested as their workday started.

Two weeks later, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided another company called Fresh Mark. ICE raided all three of the company's locations, including the one in Canton, Ohio. More than 140 workers were arrested there, many of them accused of using false identification to get their jobs.

"We want to support our families and we want to protect and defend them so that they don't get split apart which you see is happening all over the place," said Veronica Dahlberg, executive director of HOLA Ohio, a small, grassroots Latino organization based in northeast Ohio.

Dahlberg and the folks at HOLA Ohio stepped in to pay some of the bonds for those arrested in Sandusky.

"So far we've helped 21 of the farm workers, so we post the bonds for them at the Cleveland Heights deportation office," Dahlberg said.

HOLA Ohio has raised $55,000 to put towards bonding out the workers, and so far they used over $36,000.

Dahlberg said the family reunions have been bittersweet.

"When you see those reunions and you can deliver mom to the children or dad back to the household and the people are just so happy," she said. "There's a lot of tears, a lot of hugs, a lot of sadness. Even though mom or dad is home, it's just a long process to try to stay here with their families."

Dahlberg said although controversial, she is proud of the work she's doing.

"People will say 'oh you're helping illegals, you are helping people who are breaking the law,'" Dahlberg said. "I say no, we are helping the children. We are helping us citizen children keep their parents here."