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Cincinnati Groups Developing Plan To Welcome Immigrants

Ann Thompson
Santa Maria Community Services provides help to Hispanics in East Price Hill.

Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio and other religious and non-profit groups want to make sure immigrants feel safe in Greater Cincinnati, understand changing government rules and get the help they need. An event is planned for Wednesday evening at Saint Monica-Saint George Parish Newman Center in Corryville from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

"Celebrating a Community for All" invites people and teams from all faith communities to develop effective action plans that will contribute to "just and compassionate collaborative efforts."

Catholic Charities Director of Immigration Legal Services Zac Sanders says much of the community is already compassionate toward immigrants, unlike what cable news would want you to believe. "I would characterize that as kind of mixed messages coming from officials," he says.

He worries about changes in government rules that confuse immigrants. Sanders says in some cases they don't apply for benefits that they are eligible for.

Another one of his concerns is agents from Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) showing up at the Hamilton County Courthouse, as was recently reported. Those here illegally could be arrested.

ICE tells WVXU "its officers have been provided broad at-large arrest authority by Congress but will not make civil immigration arrests inside courthouses indiscriminately."

The event at St. Monica-St. George includes an interfaith panel of experts, immigrant testimonials and round table discussions.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.