Chief decides to stop detaining anyone based on their immigration status
LORAIN -- Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera held a concert to benefit undocumented immigrants in his community Friday night at Lorain High School.
The concert comes after Rivera changed police policy on enforcing federal immigration law.
Rivera decided to stop detaining or arresting anyone based on their immigration status after hearing stories like Anabel Barron's.
Barron came to the United States when she was 16 years old. She got married and had her children in the United States, but faced deportation after going home to Mexico for her mother's funeral.
In 2013, police pulled Barron over during a routine traffic stop and discovered that she was undocumented. That's when she was detained and nearly was deported.
However, the organization HOLA was able to remove her after only 5 hours.
"I knew girls there…they were staying in the detention center," Barron reports. "For me it was only 5 hours… but that was the worst 5 hours of my life not knowing if I'm able to return to my kids."
Rivera told Channel 3's Hilary Golston he became emotional after hearing stories like Barron's.
"They almost brought me to tears….listening to some of the women and the children crying as they talked," Rivera said… "The courage it took and the sacrifice to even get here."
Film maker and singer-songwriter Andres Useche flew 13 hours from Columbia to arrive at the concert and raise awareness and money.
"You gotta do what you can… mobilize and speak up and sing about it," Useche says. "These are people who are seriously hurt by what's going on. You should try to do something about it."
Organizers estimate about 250 people showed up at the event. All of the proceeds will go to the Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain.
The Catholic Church has a fund to assist Hispanics.