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Immigrant Defense & Support: Volunteer Needs

We’ve been engaged in a number of immigrant defense and support activities. We need more volunteer help.

Or you can donate to the Immigrant Defense Fund to support immigrant detainees across northern Ohio and their families. Donate at 

at or



A. Safe Hotels Campaign

B. Rapid Response Team

C. Bond Packets to Release Immigrants from Detention

D. Court Monitoring

E. Bus Reception

F. Public Actions

G. Sponsor Families

H. Help for ICE Raid Victims and Detainees

I. Prayer Support



A. Safe Hotels Campaign

We are asking hotels (chains and their local franchises) to commit to not doing business with ICE. No temporary detention beds. No workplace raids.

We need volunteers to coordinate visits to local hotel managers in NE Ohio (and coordinate those visits with any union workers at the hotels).  Read about the #NoHotelsForICE campaign here and sign the petition here.

Pledged:  Choice (Comfort Inn, EconLodge, Quality Inn), Hilton (DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Homewood Suites, HomeStead Suites, Waldorf Astoria), Marriott (Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, TownePlace Suites, Westin)

Not pledged: Best Western (Executive Residency, Sadie, Sure Stay), Drury, Extended Stay America, G6 (Motel 6, Studio 6), Hyatt, IHG (Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental), Radisson, Red Lion (America’s Best Value, Guest House, Knights Inn, Lexington, Signature Inn), Red Roof (HomeTowne Studios), Wyndham (AmericaInn, Baymont, Days Inn, Hawthorne Suites, Howard Johnson, La Quinta Inn, MicroTel Inn, Ramada, Super 8, TraveLodge)

If you would like to be part of the Safe Hotels Campaign in NE Ohio, please email


B. Rapid Response Team

You read about the raids in Mississippi on August 7 that led to the apprehension of 680 poultry workers, ripping them from the families. It was the largest single state raid in US history!

We need to get ready here and now. We have a team of people preparing to respond to ICE raids here in northern Ohio. There are many areas of response: getting people to turn out at the raid site, show up at the ICE office and detention centers, collect and deliver material aid to families left behind, provide counseling for children and spouses, hold fundraisers for the families…more.

The coordinating team for Rapid Response has several working sub-teams that meet every two weeks:

-community education/outreach/networking

-volunteer training

-family needs

-spiritual + mental health support


-legal services


If you would like to be an emergency response volunteer,  or if you would like to join one of the working sub-teams,  please email


C. Bond Packets-Release from Detention 

Hundreds of immigrants are detained across northern Ohio: in Tiffin (Seneca County Jail), in Chardon (Geauga County Jail), in Youngstown (NE Ohio Correctional Center, a for-profit prison). The only way they can get out is to request a “redetermination of custody” hearing at which the immigration judge can set a bond (usually $7500-$15,000). Volunteers are working with lawyers and the families of the detainees to gather documents and organize them into packets for the bond hearings. Lawyers say that judges almost always grant bonds to immigrants who present well-organized packets illustrating their ties to the community and commitment from a sponsor (friend or relative).

D. Court Monitoring

Ohio is one of 29 states with a US immigration court, and Cleveland is the site of that court. People drive from as far as Cincinnati and neighboring states to present their cases. Several judges hear the cases, including the cases of those detained across the state (via closed-circuit TV). Lawyers tell us that having volunteer monitors in the courtroom helps temper the judges. They encourage us to keep people monitors in the courtroom.

If you can volunteer half a day (once a month) and would like to be trained to become a court room monitor, please email

E. Bus Reception

We are part of a network of groups across the country who are welcoming migrants at bus stations (e.g., Greyhound) and providing them with food, backpacks, and other needed supplies. Most times they are just passing through; some have recently been released from immigration detention.  We need volunteers who can respond within an hour or two. We receive last minute notices from volunteers in other towns that a bus carrying some migrants will be passing through Cleveland, asking if we can go meet them.

If you can volunteer to be part of the Bus Reception program , please email


F. Public Actions

The public continues to be outraged by the harsh immigration enforcement practices going on across the country. We continue to keep the issue in the forefront: vigils, marches, rallies, street theatre.

If you would like to be part of the Public Actions team to help plan and carry out future actions, please email

G. Sponsor Families

Some immigrant detainees have nowhere to go if/when they are bonded out of detention (assuming they can raise the money).  We are developing a network of sponsor families to host them for a few months once they are released from detention.

If you would like us to speak to your congregation or community group about the sponsor family program, please email


H. Help for Mississippi Raid Victims and Immigrant Detainees in Ohio

The Southeast Immigrant Rights Network is coordinating assistance for families impacted by the Aug 7 raids in Mississippi.  See how you can help:

The Immigration Working Group CLE has a defense fund for detained immigrants:

Donate at or


I. Prayer Support

Immigrants, especially the undocumented, are extremely vulnerable at this time. This takes an incredible toll—emotional, psychological, economic—on them and their families. Please keep them in your prayers.