The city of Cincinnati, Ohio, is taking a stand. On Thursday, Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld announced that a Rapid Response Network will be created. Its purpose is to protect refugees and immigrants from U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).
According to Cincinnati.com, Sittenfeld filed a motion on July 17 to form the Rapid Response Network, which was signed by six council members. Sittenfeld told local news that he expects a vote on the legislation will happen during the first week of August and he expects the council will vote unanimously to pass it.
The Rapid Response Network will be led by the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, a local non-profit that offers free legal aid to immigrant and refugee families.
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“Because of the current occupant of the White House … we the City of Cincinnati need to be proactive when it comes to protecting members of our community,” Sittenfeld said. “If you pay our taxes, if you are raising your family here, if you are adding to the diversity of our neighborhoods – and all of our immigrant and refugee families are doing this – you’re absolutely a member of our community.”
The Rapid Response Network will focus on four specific areas in order to protect immigrant and refugee families, including those who have immigrated illegally, according to Cincinnati.com.
- Legal response, including screening for possible immigration relief, representation in bond hearings, and representation in immigration cases.
- Know your rights training for the broader community, including but not limited to immigrants, employers, City officials and departments.
- Family preparedness plans relative to what happens to children, property, etc., in the event that parents are detained.
- Immediate needs assistance to families affected by detentions, as it is often the breadwinner that is detained while the rest of the family is left with no income and afraid to leave their homes.