U.S. Immigration visits terrifying, advocate tells Y'town crowd


As painful and upsetting as Amer “Al” Adi Othman’s odyssey through the country’s deportation process has been for his loved ones and others, it also highlights and exposes the many disturbing, inhumane ways the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency operates, an immigrant-rights advocate contends.

“People go in there shaking, trembling and crying, and it’s terrifying,” Veronica I. Dahlberg said about checking in at ICE’s Cleveland office. “They go in and don’t come out, or they come out with an ankle monitor.”

Dahlberg, executive director of the Painesville-based HOLA Ohio organization, spoke during a 90-minute meeting Saturday afternoon at Flambeau’s restaurant, 2308 Market St., to several dozen activists, family members and others who are outraged by the plight of Adi, 57, a beloved, longtime businessman known locally as Al Adi.

HOLA Ohio is a grass-roots organization that focuses on advocacy, community organizing, civic engagement and outreach for the Latino community, with emphases on immigrants’ rights, voter registration and immigration reform, its website says.

Dahlberg announced HOLABlitz for Dreamers & Immigration Reform, a campaign that is to run this week in which people across Ohio are urged to stop by their local congressional offices to demand Congress pass a DREAM Act and humane immigration policies. To register, go to holablitz.youcanbook.me.

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