Catholic Charities teach Southwestern Ohio how to protect their neighbors
Immigration enforcement is ever changing, and as result, immigrant communities are experiencing heightened anxiety. In an effort to fight the fear, and at the urging of many concerned neighbors, Catholic Charities of Southeastern Ohio launched Protect Your Neighbor.
This initiative was a great opportunity to bring the community together. Many generously volunteered to staff the program and host presentations far and wide. The goal of this initiative is for nonimmigrant residents to provide support to their immigrant neighbors in the event they encounter law enforcement.
Specifically, that includes making sure that individuals know and understand their constitutional rights, are comfortable interacting with law enforcement and, lastly, have an understanding of the laws behind recording police interactions.
These efforts have also strengthened Catholic Charities’ relationship with the Cincinnati Police Department. Through their Immigrant Affairs Liaisons, they hold presentations to provide invaluable insights from law enforcement’s perspective on traffic stops, as well as encouraging individuals to assert their constitutional rights.
Allison Herre, immigration attorney and director of CCSWO Immigration Legal Services, views this initiative as an opportunity to facilitate successful integration between non-immigrant and immigrant communities. By empowering volunteers to hold their own “Protect Your Neighbor” presentations, neighborhoods are given the opportunity to build relationships and develop a sense of connectedness. It also provides non-immigrant neighbors with a new perspective on how newcomers are living their lives with dignity despite the uncertain times.
Herre has also come to find that “when equipped with knowledge, non-immigrants can be wonderful allies for vulnerable immigrants.”
CLINIC applauds Catholic Charities of Southeastern Ohio for their unique talents, experiences and knowledge, as they whole heartedly dedicate themselves to service all of their clients.
To learn more about CCSWO and their Immigrant Legal Services visit www.ccswoh.org/immigration.