VIDEO: OH Family Drives to MS to Help Families Impacted by Immigration Raids
16 year-old Natalia Alonso started “Losninosdecorsos” to help OH children in 2018
(Cross-posted from Ohio Immigrant Alliance)
Fremont, OH – Ohio teenager Natalia Alonso is the subject of a compelling new documentary video by AJ+, which follows her and her family on the road to Mississippi. Natalia and her family --parents Margarito and Monica, and three younger children--drove twelve hours from Fremont, OH to Forest, MS to give basic necessities to families impacted by the recent immigration raid.
The short video, “A Journey to Help Families Divided by an ICE Raid,” has been viewed 112,000 times on Facebook, nearly 44,000 times on Twitter, and 33,000 times on Instagram. Donations to assist families harmed by the Mississippi immigration raids can be made through this link.
In the video, while passing out beans and diapers in Mississippi, Natalia is approached by a woman who says “I can’t pay you, but God will give you an opportunity to study” in return.
Reflecting on the trip and the people she met in Mississippi, Natalia Alonso said: “I may not be a lawyer or a politician, but I do know the difference between right and wrong.”
In June 2018 a series of large worksite immigration raids were carried out, military-style, on Corso’s Flower and Garden Center and Fresh Mark hog processors in Ohio. Hundreds of workers were arrested. Children were stranded at schools and daycares until a relative, friend, or church could take them in; the days and weeks that followed were a nightmare for these families, from which they have not recovered.
When Natalia first heard of the raids at Corso’s, she decided she needed to do something. That “something” became #LosninosdeCorsos (“the children of Corso’s”), a massive donation drive organized and carried out by Natalia and her peers, with major help from her parents, grandparents, family friends, and new friends across Ohio.
Natalia is a U.S. citizen and did not have any family members arrested in the Corso’s raid. But she, too, has felt the pain of being separated from a parent due to immigration problems. Her father is back in the U.S. with his status resolved, but Natalia’s heart still breaks for the children impacted by deportation and the fear of losing a parent.
The experience of community engagement has been life-changing for the entire Alonso family. Mom Monica Alonso is now running for an At Large seat on the Fremont City Council. She had this to say in response to their trip to Mississippi: “I would like to say that my husband Margarito is the backbone of our family. It's with his support we keep moving forward. He might not speak too much, but we are blessed to have such positive encouragement from him. He is all about family and helping and that is what we are teaching our children, together.”
Follow the Ohio Immigrant Alliance on Twitter @tramontela