Northern Kentucky hosts forum after ICE raids

Last Thursday several organizations, including Black Lives Matter Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, local Benedictine Sisters, Sisters of Divine Providence, the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, Democratic Socialists of America in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, Supporting Latino Families of Northern Kentucky, Transformations CDC, the Northern Kentucky Women's Network, and the Northern Kentucky KFTC Chapter  came together to host a forum on what was needed to support families being impacted by the recent ICE raids across northern Kentucky.

The event featured speakers from several of these organizations, who shared the stories of families they were working with. These included:

  • A woman who had her keys forcibly taken from her to allow ICE to enter her home without a warrant.
  • A Puerto Rican woman who was detained by ICE after refuisng them the ability to raid their staffing agency.
  • Blanket statements about ICE being given free reign to pick up any immigrants, that those picked up would be leaving behind warm beds and comfort soon, and that it did not matter if someone was on their list or not.
  • The needs of impacted families to pay short term bills with the loss of their primary breadwinner. 

Following these testimonies attendies broke out in 3 different groups: one for assisting families at risk or already impacted by the ICE raids, another to work on immigration law concerns, and another to make direct donations to help families who are missing their chief breadwinners right now.

Some of the concerns on the forefront is how families would deal with the loss of their main breadwinner, the need to cover basic bills and necessities, and the potential wage theft that folks may experience. Those organizing the events are planning next steps on this work, and working to push more just policies to protect local families.

Attendees also highlighted the need for immigrants to know their rights. That ICE must have a warrant to enter, and that folks may refuse to answer the door. Some great resources include handouts from the Kentucky Human Rights Commission (Housing in English/Spanish, Public Accommodation in Spanish), Kentucky Labor Cabinent (wage theft info in Spanish) and the ACLU (English/Spanish) about the rights of undocumented folks.

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