immigration

La Conexion asks Latta to stand up against family separations at border

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News A group of citizens wants U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, to take a stand against family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. Latta has stated that the separation of families coming into the U.S. is “not necessary.” But that falls far short of calling out the practice as “a crime against humanity,” said Beatriz Maya, director of La Conexion of Wood County. “There was an intentionality in separating children from parents as a way to stop immigration,” Maya said during a meeting Thursday between La Conexion members and David Wirt, district director for Latta. “There was never an intention of returning these kids to their parents,” Maya said, noting the federal government’s admission that an insufficient record system now means that many children are still separated from their parents. Maya and others presented Wirt with a letter for Latta, asking that he support the termination of the family separations, the immediate reunification of children and parents, and allocations for more agents to process asylum claims. Wirt pointed out that Latta has stated that the separations are not necessary. That isn’t enough, Maya said. “The point is, what are we going to do about it,” she asked. The members of La Conexion asked for a face-to-face meeting with Latta about their concerns. Wirt said he would pass on that request to Latta’s office in Washington, D.C., where all the scheduling is handled. Amanda Schackow talks about family separations as Nicholas Eckhart listens. Most of the families separated at the border were not sneaking into the country, but openly seeking asylum – which is their right under international law, said La Conexion member Amanda Schackow. However, they were torn apart prior to any hearings held. “It’s pretty clear this was meant as a deterrent,” despite the U.S. experiencing a 20-year low in the number of asylum seekers, she said. Without their parents, many of the children had to represent themselves at asylum hearings – which determined if they would be deported, adopted or put in foster care. Many of the children were classified as “unaccompanied minors,” which was only because the U.S. government had separated them. “Those parents have a right to know where their kids are,” Schackow said. “That…


Immigrants reflect on their journeys to citizenship

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Maite Yoselin Hall taking the citizenship oath was a relief. Now she’s a citizen of this country. She’s no longer subject to possible changes in regulations that would separate her from her husband. It’s easier to visit her mother in Venezuela. And she can plan to bring her mother to the United States. Hall was one of 48 people, from 26 countries, who became U.S. citizens Tuesday at the Naturalization Ceremony held in the Grand Ballroom of Bowling Green State University. United States District Court Judge James R. Knepp presided. Hall works as the coordinator of international students at BGSU. When she raised her hand to take the oath, she was flanked by new American citizens who’d immigrated from Thailand, Romania, Mexico, India, Jordan, Cuba, Egypt, and Iraq. In the row in front of her stood her parents, Alcira and Franklin Barrios. Hall said it was happenstance that they took the oath of citizenship at the same ceremony. They’d gone through the process separately. Hall first arrived in the United States as a teenager when her father took a managerial job at Owens-Illinois in Perrysburg. He’d worked as a manager for O-I in their native Venezuela. Her mother, Hall said, had encouraged her to come to the United States with her father and has encouraged her to stay.  The family lived in Toledo, and Hall went to Springfield schools. Those early years were difficult, she said in an interview. She didn’t speak any English. “I have to say those are days I do not wish to go back to. I guess they got me here.” She attended Owens Community College in business and transferred to Tiffin University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in higher education administration. It took her eight years to go through the naturalization process after getting her green card. Her husband, Rodcliffe Hall, is a naturalized citizen from Jamaica. He was her sponsor. The process is not cheap. The application for citizenship is about $800, and the cost total about $5,000. Her half-siblings are also going through the naturalization process. During Tuesday’s ceremony, Magdy AbouZied, associate director of BGSU Dining Services, reflected on his own journey to become…


Local residents rally to support immigrant families

About 250 people participated in a Justice for Immigrant Families rally this morning (June 30, 2018) on immigration policies that have separated immigrant families at the U.S. border, at workplaces, and in the local community. Among the speakers were psychologist Bill Donnelly who spoke to the mental and physical health problems coming from the trauma of children being separated from their families. Also addressing the crowd were City Councilors Bruce Jeffers and John Zanfardino, ministers Mary Jane Saunders and Deb Conklin, and Beatriz Maya, of La Conexion, which has been assisting families of undocumented immigrants detained by ICE. The rally was one of a series of protests being held across the country. A story on the rally will appear later today on BG Independent News.


BG women protest separation of children and parents seeking asylum

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Bowling Green women piled into an SUV Thursday afternoon and headed for Detroit to be part of a national protest against a U.S. policy they called inhumane. The numbers aren’t exact, but it’s been estimated that nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico in the last six weeks. The Trump administration has said it is simply following the law. But opponents say there is no law requiring that children be taken from parents who are seeking asylum in the U.S. “This is immoral,” said Janet Parks as the Bowling Green women headed up Interstate 75 in Tom Baer’s BG Airport Shuttle. Parks was joined by Joan Callecod, Beatriz Maya, Debra Nicholson, Sandy Rowland and Amanda Schackow – a retired educator, accountant, realtor, retail manager, writer and community advocate. “I’m ashamed of what our country is doing by separating families,” Rowland said. For some, the protest was personal. “I know several people who came here as asylum cases,” Schackow said. “Thinking about their children being taken away is really horrific.” As the SUV continued north, the women talked about tango classes, knitting, travels and food. But the conversation kept circling back to the injustice of children being separated from their parents. “I keep thinking about the trauma the children are going through,” Callecod said. “These are people. These are not animals,” Nicholson said. Maya, originally from Argentina, finds it hard to fathom the harm caused by the separations. “It is unbelievable that somebody can do this. It’s the most horrific thing,” Maya said. These families seeking asylum in the U.S. have made great sacrifices getting here – many trying to escape life-threatening situations, she said. “I went through a dictatorship in Argentina. It is already frightening to be an immigrant,” Maya said. “Do you know what it is to lose your kids to foster care and never know what happened to them?” The Bowling Green women joined about 300 other protesters outside the gates of the immigration detention center in Detroit. As they lined Jefferson Street and encouraged vehicles to honk, the protestors held signs saying things like: Immigrant rights are human rights. No more families torn apart. Hate…


BGSU’s Bruce Collet has advice on how to help immigrants assimilate

By ROBIN STANTON GERROW for  BGSU Office of  Marketing & Communications As the Western world sees a new influx of immigrants, many with strong religious affiliations, countries are grappling with how to help them acculturate into their new societies. Dr. Bruce Collet, associate professor in the Bowling Green State University School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy and coordinator of the Master of Arts in Cross-Cultural and International Education program in the College of Education and Human Development, sees the important role public schools have in this process. In his new book, “Migration, Religion, and Schooling in Liberal Democratic States” (Routledge, 2018) he lays out recommendations on how these institutions can help facilitate immigrants’ integration. Drawing from political philosophy, the sociology of migration and the philosophy of education, Collet argues that public schools in liberal democratic states can best facilitate the pluralistic integration of religious migrant students through adopting policies of recognition and accommodation that are not only reasonable in light of liberal democratic principles, but also informed by what we understand regarding the natural role religion often plays in acculturation. Collet posits the question of how public schools in liberal democratic states — those that place a high value on freedom and autonomy — can help immigrants and refugees create a “sense of belongingness” to their new homes. “It really is about how educational policymakers and teachers can better understand the connection between religion and acculturation,” he said. Collet’s interest in this issue stems from a combination of scholarly work and personal experience. “My parents were emblematic of the 1960s,” he said. “They wanted to throw off the constraints of the ’50s. We moved to Madison, Wisconsin, when I was 7, and the journey for them was spiritual in a way not available to them when they were growing up. At a very early age, I saw the connection between migration and faith, as my mother, who was involved in the Quaker movement, worked with Central American refugees. Later, for my dissertation, I worked with Somali immigrants in the Toronto area on the relationship between the migration experience and perception of a national identity. Working with the Somalians, generally a religious lot, I found that religion surfaced as an important element of the diaspora and it piqued my…


Local residents persist – return to march for rights

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Andrea Killy-Knight would rather not have to march again next January. “I hope I don’t have to put on my ‘Nasty Woman’ shirt and wave my same signs next year,” Killy-Knight said after this year’s Unity March in Toledo on Sunday. But if she has to march, Killy-Knight and many other Bowling Green residents will put on their pink hats and their walking shoes. “I’ll do it again next year. But I hope the circumstances are different,” she said. Sunday’s march was the second for many local residents who peacefully protested everything from women’s rights to immigration wrongs. For Killy-Knight, who marched in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last year, that meant re-enlisting her sign from a previous rally that read “Your silence will not protect you.” “It was funny, in a disgusting way,” that the signs from last year were still applicable for this march, she said. Sandy Rowland was also in Ann Arbor last year and Toledo this year. “There’s still a big need to let government know that we have a voice, and we have needs that need to be filled,” she said. Armed with her sign that said, “Hate has no home here,” Rowland said this year’s march may not have been as thrilling as last year – but it was a clear sign of unity and strength. “It was very rejuvenating,” she said. “Women have their place. They have their rights.” Joining in the march were also many men and families with children – numbering close to 1,000. “It was a great unified voice,” Rowland said. Maria Simon made up for missing last year’s march by joining in the event on Sunday. “I was at a conference in Atlanta last year,” she said. “It was hard to not be in solidarity with everyone. That’s one of the reasons I really didn’t want to miss this one.” Simon donned her pink hat, and carried her sign stating, “Make America Proud Again,” and “Power to the Polls.” Her favorite sign at the march read “Also, everything else.” “That sign says it all,” Simon said. “The list of grievances goes on and on. There were a variety of people and a variety of issues.” For many marchers,…


KKK history in Wood County unmasked by BGSU prof

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When the Ku Klux Klan took root in Wood County in the early 1920s, the members wore the traditional white robes and hoods, but there was little secrecy about their activities. There was no need to conceal their hatred since the membership roster included many local politicians, businessmen and ministers. Every Ohio county in the 1920s had an active Klan group, according to Michael E. Brooks, author of the book, “The Ku Klux Klan in Wood County, Ohio.” “Wood County is not particularly unique in having a history of the KKK,” said Brooks, a historian who teaches at BGSU. “What is unique is that the records survived.” Included in those records is a membership ledger that was reportedly rescued from a burn pile in 1976. The ledger, which is included in Brooks’ book, reads like a “Who’s Who” of Wood County, with familiar surnames recorded from every community. Brooks explains that economic uncertainty in the 1920s was one of the most significant factors in the rise of the reborn KKK in Ohio. Newspapers told of historically high unemployment rates, declining farm incomes and sluggish postwar economic growth. Membership records in the Center for Archival Collections at BGSU show that nearly 1,400 members paid dues to the Wood County KKK in 1924 and 1925. Once accepted into the Klan, the new members would be fitted for robes and hoods. Measurements would be taken at the local KKK office, and the information would be submitted to the national Klan headquarters for tailoring. No women or children were allowed. A 1927 phone book lists the KKK as having an address at 182½ S. Main St. in Bowling Green. “They didn’t have to sneak around at night. They could parade around in their robes,” Brooks said. “It was fashionable to be in the Klan.” The Klan was welcomed into many local churches during Sunday morning services. Many of the local ministers were members of the organization, like Rev. Rush A. Powell of the United Brethren Church in Bowling Green. Powell, a charter member of the Klan, told his congregation that he stood for the same principles as those held by his hooded guests – against criminal activity, undesirable immigrants and a…


Citizens ask Latta to stop deportation of ‘dreamers’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two months ago, Beatriz Maya sat in U.S. Rep. Bob Latta’s office waiting for answers on where the congressman stands on deporting “dreamers.” She is still waiting. Maya, executive director of La Conexion, was back in Latta’s Bowling Green office on Monday, this time asking to show the congressman the economic and human side of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.) She and eight others delivered a letter encouraging Latta to talk to local employers who can’t find enough workers to fill jobs, and to families who are at risk of being torn apart. “If he hears their personal stories, we are confident that he will get a different story than what he is hearing in Washington,” she said. Maya wants Latta to meet the local young man who grew up in Wood County, learned carpentry at Penta Career Center, and now works for Rudolph-Libbe. He has no criminal record, yet he is at risk of being deported. “There is nothing you can find in him that would warrant deportation,” she said. Earlier this fall, President Donald Trump announced he would end the DACA program in six months if Congress doesn’t find a more permanent solution. Since it was enacted under President Barack Obama, about 800,000 immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally have received protections from the program. DACA allows young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study and obtain driver’s licenses. Many of the “dreamers” have been here since they were babies, and America is the only country they know. Those signing up for DACA must show that they have clean criminal records. Their status is renewable every two years. Bowling Green’s city administration has voiced its support of DACA, and has proclaimed the city as a welcoming place for immigrants. But when asked about his stance in September, the local citizens were told that Latta was waiting to make a decision until Speaker Paul Ryan’s task force had studied the issue. When the question was repeated on Monday, Latta’s aide Tim Bosserman said he had not discussed it with the congressman. “But nothing has…


BG gets tips on how to become ‘welcoming community’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green has declared itself a “welcoming community.” But what does that really mean? And how exactly can it be accomplished? Earlier this year at the urging of the city’s Human Relations Commission, Bowling Green City Council adopted a resolution stating the city was welcoming. “All communities say they are welcoming,” said Rev. Mary Jane Saunders, co-chair of the Human Relations Commission. “We always know any community can be better.” The commission wants Bowling Green and its residents to view immigrants as a benefit – not a detriment to the community – and to realize the economics of immigration. Several cities in the “rust belt” have started looking at immigrants in a different light than some areas of the nation. In many Midwest cities, immigrants are now seen as a solution to critical labor shortages and as ways to strengthen the local economy Several manufacturers in Bowling Green have expressed concerns recently about the labor force being too small to fill their needs. So last week, Bowling Green welcomed home Steve Tobocman, whose great-grandfather immigrated to this community in the beginning of the 20th century after fleeing the persecution of Jews in Russia. Tobocman is executive director of Global Detroit, which works to leverage international talent to fill businesses’ unmet needs, help immigrant entrepreneurs, revitalize neighborhoods, and build an inclusive region. Tobocman, an attorney and former Michigan state legislator, complimented Bowling Green for taking the first step to becoming a truly welcoming community. “I congratulate your group for what you have done already,” he said – stressing that it is a big step for a community like Bowling Green, which is made up of just 2 percent “newcomers.” “To say that’s pretty profound,” Tobocman said of the city’s resolution. The current political climate has stirred a lot of discussion about what it means to be an American, Tobocman said. “Immigrant welcoming works best when it’s rooted in the national character,” he said. Immigrants and refugees “will be here beyond this temporary debate.” But smart communities are talking about the “economics of welcoming.” Tobocman works with several such cities in Michigan and Ohio. “These are all communities that on their own have decided it is in their own…


Path to U.S. citizenship nearly impossible for most

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   To those who wonder why undocumented immigrants don’t just wait their turn to get into the U.S., Eugenio Mollo Jr. has an answer. It can take 20 years of waiting – and that’s for the lucky ones. “It’s not that easy,” Mollo said Thursday evening during a program on immigration sponsored by LaConexion’s Immigrant Solidarity Committee. The U.S. is operating under immigration law that was adopted in 1952. Prior to then, the law was updated every seven to 12 years. “Now we’ve gone 65 years without any comprehensive immigration reform,” said Mollo, an attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. Meanwhile, the U.S. now has up to 12 million undocumented immigrants. The nation allows 226,000 Visas to be issued a year, based on family connections, employers who need particular expertise, or due to humanitarian issues. The antiquated system, Mollo said, permits no more than 7 percent of those Visas to go to immigrants of a particular nation. That is a problem for India, China, Mexico and the Philippines, he said. To explain the current system, Mollo used the example of a U.S. citizen having two siblings who wanted a Visa. The sibling from Uganda would have to wait 13 years from when they first applied. The sibling from Mexico would wait at least 19 years. The wait time is likely much longer now. “So many people have applied,” Mollo said. “My job is to help these people climb this immigration ladder,” he said. But the climb is difficult, especially with the federal government toughening standards and considering ending some options for refugees. Adding to the fear and frustration for those seeking to immigrate to the U.S. and those already here, are the rapidly changing rules being pushed by the President Donald Trump administration. There are plans for a border wall, more deportations, the proposed travel ban and now the possible end to the DACA program. Since Trump became president, the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers has more than doubled and the scope on deportations has expanded. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, deportations focused on undocumented immigrants who posed a risk to national security and public safety. But now all undocumented immigrants are subject to…


Citizens gather on Wooster Green to defend DACA

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Yvette Llanas, a lifelong Bowling Green resident and American citizen, never dreamed the threat of deportation would touch her family. Llanas found out last week she was wrong. “I never thought this would affect me,” Llanas said in an impromptu speech on the Wooster Green Sunday evening during a rally opposing President Donald Trump’s action to end DACA. “My daughter-in-law happens to be undocumented,” Llanas said. “The decision made this week just crushed my soul.” Her daughter-in-law came to America as a small child. “This is the only home she knows,” Llanas said. “She is part of our country,” as are her two children. “We are all immigrants here, somehow, some way,” Llanas said. About 60 local residents gathered in the Wooster Green to express their opposition to Trump’s announcement last week that he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months if Congress doesn’t find a more permanent solution. Since it was enacted under President Barack Obama, about 800,000 immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally have received protections from the program. DACA allows young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study and obtain driver’s licenses. Those signing up for DACA must show that they have clean criminal records. Their status is renewable every two years. “This is really targeting kids who were brought by their parents at a very early age,” said Beatriz Maya, of the La Conexion organization. “They don’t know any other life. It makes no sense for them to be deported. It’s very wrong. They cannot be blamed for anything.” Those attending the rally were asked to contact their congress members about the DACA issue. “The Dreamers don’t want citizenship just for themselves,” Maya said. “They want comprehensive immigration reform for 11 million undocumented immigrants, who have been contributing to the nation for many, many years.” Jorge Chavez, president of the La Conexion organization, presented his comments in Spanish and English. “I am blessed and lucky because I don’t have to be afraid,” said Chavez, who is a BGSU professor, a father and a husband. The DACA program…


BG says ‘welcome’ in many different languages

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   On the day that “Dreamers” saw their American status slipping away, Bowling Green residents stood before City Council Tuesday and recited the city’s “welcoming and safe community” resolution in their native languages. “In April, we brought a resolution to City Council about Bowling Green being a welcoming community for immigrants,” said Rev. Mary Jane Saunders, head of the city’s human relations commission, working with La Conexion. The resolution proclaims “Bowling Green as a welcoming and safe community for immigrants and condemning any discrimination, harassment or unjustified deportation of immigrant residents of Bowling Green.” To show the significance of the resolution, one by one, a group of city residents read a portion of the resolution in Vietnamese, Indian, Hindi, German, Chinese, Italian, Spanish and English. The group also presented council with a “welcoming” poster designed by Ethan Jordan. Beatriz Maya, of La Conexion, said other translations will be added to the city’s website as they become available. “This is a work in progress,” she said. Mayor Dick Edwards praised the translations shared at the meeting. “What a special way of touching all of our hearts,” he said. When City Council adopted the welcoming resolution earlier this year, council member Daniel Gordon pushed for the effort. “I’m very happy with the language that we have here,” Gordon said. Though the issue of illegal immigrant deportations is national, the city wants to take a stand, he said. “Council does not support seeing their families ripped apart.” Gordon said the resolution was written specifically with the immigrant population in mind. The city had recently passed an anti-Islamaphobia resolution, and already protected the LGBT community under a city ordinance. Though undocumented immigration is a national issue, council member John Zanfardino said the city needs to take a stand locally. “People are living with a new level of fear in Bowling Green and everywhere,” Zanfardino said earlier this year. “It’s a national nightmare.” On Tuesday evening, Gordon asked council to take a stand to defend DACA. “These people stand to be torn away from any home they have known,” he said. Gordon suggested that council send letters to U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. “This is…


Program on U.S. immigration system planned for Sept. 14

A program called “Immigration Misunderstood, Illegal or Undocumentable?” will be held Sept. 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., in the atrium of the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The program will be the first in a series of panel discussions on the U.S. immigration system. The program will focus on how the immigration system works, how it doesn’t, and how to make it work better. Speaking will be Eugenio Mollo Jr., managing attorney of immigration rights at ABLE. The speaker will be followed by local voices addressing how these policies impact lives, even for people who aren’t immigrants. People will be able to ask questions. Opening remarks will be given by Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards. The program is hosted by the Immigrant Solidarity Committee of La Conexion. Anyone wanting additional information may call 419-308-2328 or email laconexionwc@gmail.com.


Solidarity committee supports undocumented immigrants

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Between the words “illegal” and “undocumented” sits a gulf of misunderstanding. Reading stories on the concern and fear in the immigrant community, a number of people write: “They’re illegal.” For them that settles the matter. For those who work with and advocate for immigrants who lack the proper paperwork to continue living in a place that has become their home, that response neglects their history and day-to-day fears. Those fears are real, according to Beatriz Maya of La Conexion de Wood County. When La Conexion hosted a session with legal experts from Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Toledo, some undocumented immigrants were unwilling to show up for fear of being identified. The meeting, though, was well attended by those who want to stand in provide the voice for their undocumented neighbors and want to work on their behalf. That Immigrant Solidarity Committee will hold an ice cream social including a silent auction Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 126 S. Church St., in Bowling Green. The event will spread awareness, discuss future plans, and raise money to help with expenses undocumented residents may have because of sudden deportations. “They are really afraid,” Maya said. “If they were afraid before, now it was just terror. They didn’t want to go to rally. We need people who can do solidarity work and be the voice of the immigrant community.” Margaret Weinberger, of Bowling Green, was one of those who attended the March session. The stories she heard about what is happening as close as Lucas County were chilling, she said. Immigration and Customs Enforcement followed a man who was bringing his daughter to school. They waited for him to drop her off – they are ill-equipped to handle children – and then apprehended the father, Weinberger said. He didn’t get a telephone call. Undocumented immigrants have no rights. His wife had no idea where he was. An ABLE lawyer, Maya said, spelled out what under the law someone stopped can do. He encouraged people to videotape their encounters. But someone in attendance said he’d be concerned that doing that would influence his treatment later. Maya said the lawyer was blunt: “I can only tell you…


Activists describe the heartbreak, terror of undocumented immigrants today

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   The immigration debate is about more than walls. It’s about families trapped by laws and borders that separate them. Eugenio Mollo, Jr., managing attorney with ABLE has those difficult conversations. A father of three, here without documents, telling him his mother is dying in Mexico. If he goes to see her, he’s at risk of not be able to return to his wife and American-born children. What can he do? Mollo can explain the law, but he has no good answer to give him. The client loves his family in America and yet the law poses the choice of being separated from them or comforting his mother in her dying days. He asks: What kind of heartless system is this? This is the system we have, and it is a system that has become more unforgiving since Donald Trump has moved into the White House, Mollo said. Mollo and Beatrix Maya, director general of La Conexion de Wood County, took part on a panel Developing Strategies to Mobilize Our Communities as part of STRELLA: 7th Annual Conference of Student Research on Latino/A/X and Latin American Studies. “The current climate has created an environment of fear and alarm in the community,” Maya said. “The greatest challenge we are facing in organizing the community is the fact that the community is absolutely terrified.” The Trump Administration plans to add 10,000 new border agents, and to double to 80,000 the number of people it incarcerates for immigration problems. Work place raids have increased, she said. None have occurred in Wood County, though a raid in Montpelier staged to find an individual netted eight people. People are apprehended after traffic stops. La Conexion’s efforts to get members of the immigrant community more engaged in public life are no dormant, since people wish to stay under the radar. Instead, she said, the group is working with people to plan for the possibility that a family member, maybe a parent with children, is deported. Of those considered undocumented, 66 percent have been here for 10 or more years. They have homes and children, Maya said. La Conexion is organizing an Immigration Solidarity Committee. “We think that people who are non-immigrants are now in a…