TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Two days after 114 landscaping workers were arrested by federal agents in Erie County, a large group of Lucas county officials and workers' rights groups held a rally in Toledo.
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee or FLOC, and the Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, or ABLE, spoke out Thursday on the ramifications of the large scale raid earlier this week of presumably more than 100 illegal workers.
The main spokesperson was Baldemar Valasquez, president of FLOC.
He says the roundup earlier this week in Sandusky and Castalia was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Valasquez says when these large group arrests take place, it is impossible for each individual to be processed properly, some legal workers could even slip through the cracks and end up incarcerated or deported.
He also says the crime of having a fake id is a misdemeanor, not a felony.
"Get across to our elected officials that they need to look at this immigration debate from a position of good governance, governing people within the borders of our country," said Valasquez. "Separate the people who are really contributing to the economy, and those people who are criminals."
Another speaker from ABLE says his group is working to connect with any family members of those detained, to let them now what their legal rights are at this point.
In all, the group here today wants the NW Ohio community to try to be a little more empathetic to these people, who were in this country to work.