Statement on the Rights of Immigrants & Refugees
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) stands with other nonprofit and legal services organizations, community groups, and concerned residents during this time of great concern for immigrants and refugees living in northwest and west central Ohio. Resources for legal services to low-income refugees and immigrants are nearly nonexistent in our 32-county service area. ABLE is the only provider of these services in northwest and west central Ohio. As lawyers and advocates who serve in the public interest, we remain committed to providing legal representation and legal counseling to vulnerable refugees and immigrants, working to protect their rights under our Constitution and laws.
During this time of uncertainty, it is important that ABLE stand together with our clients and fellow community members who are fearful for the future of their families. Family unity and stability is a basic human right. We strongly believe that discriminating against and banning individuals from the United States based on country of origin or religion is contrary to our legacy as a nation of immigrants. We need solutions to our country’s broken immigration system and policies that will strengthen us, not divide us. Neither the wall on our southern U.S. border nor the ban targeting individuals from Muslim-majority countries advances these important initiatives.
We commend the Lucas County Commissioners and Welcome Toledo-Lucas County for their support of ABLE's work in northwest Ohio and their commitment to reaffirming the county as a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for all residents including diverse community members. Additional support from individuals and groups would be welcome and would allow for ABLE to put in place a multifaceted advocacy strategy to protect families and defend the rights of all citizens in our service area.