By Storm Boyd
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval has announced the creation of the You are Welcome Here task force to ensure that immigrants feel safe at the courthouse. This is in response to concerns from the immigrant community that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers’ recent presence in the courthouse will have a chilling effect on immigrants feeling comfortable to come to the courthouse to do their business.
Pureval said, “We will partner with community organizations that represent the Hispanic and Latinx communities, immigrant families, legal advocacy and others to ensure that everyone feels protected at the courthouse.”
Pureval said the task force will have three major focuses: (1) looking at best practices from around the country, (2) enacting short-term solutions, such as expanded translation services and education programs, and (3) codifying long-term protections through legislative and judicial action.
Organizations and leaders participating in the task force include Municipal Court Judge Janaya Trotter Bratton, Transformation CDC, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, Women Helping Women, YWCA, Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, UFCW 75, Catholic Charities Southwest Ohio, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality and League of United Latin American Citizens.
“Making sure that people have access to our courts is my top priority,’ said Pureval, “and with the help of this task force, we will do all we can to protect everyone’s rights so that our courts work not just for some of us, but for all of us.”