Faith & Community Leaders Join Edith Espinal in Responding to Trump Administration’s Immoral Fine of Nearly Half a Million Dollars


July 3, 2019



Michelle Nealy,, (202) 735-7123

Dan Clark,, (614) 648-3663

Carrie Vereide,, (614) 787-9191

Faith & Community Leaders Join Edith Espinal in Responding to Trump Administration’s Immoral Fine of Nearly Half a Million Dollars


Columbus, Ohio -- Today faith and community leaders stood in solidarity with Edith Espinal, an immigrant mother of three living in sanctuary since October 2017, as they denounced the Trump administration’s immoral fine of nearly half a million dollars against her.


Like many others, Espinal received a letter this week informing her that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is charging her with a violation of Section 274d of the Immigration and Nationality Act and ordering her to pay a fine in the amount of $497,777. 


Espinal has been publicly living in sanctuary longer than anyone in Ohio.


Edith Espinal, immigrant mother of three living in sanctuary:

“This letter is a challenge for all of us here in Columbus. I think this made us stronger to keep fighting.”


Liliana Baiman, Central Ohio Worker Center:

“All immigrants deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We cannot tolerate extraordinary and unprecedented fines, scare tactics and threats to individuals like Edith and families across our communities. That’s why I call on our community members and community leaders to take charge in Edith’s fight. Together, we can stand up and make a change. Get involved with your local immigrants rights organization. We all need you now more than ever.”


Whitney Flaherty, Solidarity With Edith Espinal:

“As you know, Edith has received a letter from ICE that is unprecedented. These fines assessed to Edith amount to almost half a million dollars. We have an opportunity to respond as individuals by giving time and money and support. We have an opportunity to respond as a community by standing up for what we believe is right and working together with a common goal of getting Edith home with her family. Columbus has an opportunity to respond as a city. We can lead the way in showing what it looks like to support a Columbus mother who is suffering at the hands of our broken immigration system.”


Carrie Vereide, Columbus Mennonite Church:

“This letter is unprecedented and shows just how far this administration is willing to go to separate families, not just at the border but also here in our community. Hospitality to immigrants is a core conviction of our faith. Edith and her family are our neighbors and friends, and the church will continue to stand with them.”


Rev. Dan Clark, Faith in Public Life Ohio:

“I call on elected officials on both sides of the aisle to declare a year of Jubilee and forgive the debts of the failed policies that divide us and brutalize families. I call for our public servants to instead serve the public and heal the soul of America by investing in our shared future. Start by letting Edith stay here at home in Columbus with her family.”




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