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Friday, December 15, 2017

Community Groups in Northern Kentucky Respond to Recent ICE Raids

About 130 people attended a meeting sponsored by Supporting Latino Families in Northern Kentucky.
An informational meeting was held Thursday, December 14, at the Holy Spirit Church in Newport for those wishing to help individuals and families impacted by last week’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in Northern Kentucky.

Last week, at least 22 people across Northern Kentucky were detained by federal immigration officials. People were picked up at home and on the way to work.

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While official reports from ICE say the number picked up were in the low 20s, those who have visited the jail and spoken to detainees and their families say there are more than twice that number being held in county facilities.

"I would say it’s closer to 45 people are being held," said Don Sherman, a member of the Immigrant Dignity Coalition who visited the Boone County Jail, one of the facilities where detainees are being held. This appears to be the largest immigration raid in the area since 160 workers were picked up at the Koch Foods plant in Westchester, Ohio, in 2007.

About 130 people attended the town hall/information meeting that included updates on the situation, legal help, family support and other aid. Because so many who were picked up were the main breadwinners, families are in need of basic essentials and financial support for food, transportation, rent and utilities. Social service and legal support agencies were on hand to answer questions and give aid.

The coalition met with members of other area organizations including a newly formed group, Support for Latino Families in Northern Kentucky, to decide how best to help those detained in the raids and their families left behind.

A fund has been set up to help the families. To donate, send checks to Supporting Latino Families in NKY (SLFNK), ℅ Center for Great Neighborhoods, 321 West 12th Street, Covington, KY 41011. The coalition has a Immigrant "Addressing Urgent Needs" Facebook page where more information and a link to donate will be added.

A broad range of organizations took part in the planning including the Cincinnati Interfaith Worker Center, Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee, Northern Kentucky University, Democratic Socialists of America, Northern Kentucky Branch of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Women’s Network, Sisters of Notre Dame, Benedictine Sisters and the Sisters of Divine Providence.

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