Non-profit

Ohio Immigrant Alliance

Website:

ohioimmigrant.org

Location:

Cleveland Heights, OH

Founder/Director:

Lynn Tramonte

Ohio Immigrant Alliance (OIA) is a volunteer immigration reform project based in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. It is run by Lynn Tramonte, a former deputy director of America’s Voice, a DC-based left-leaning immigration reform group. [1] OIA’s primary goal is to prevent deportation of illegal immigrants in Ohio. [2]

OIA makes heavy use of traditional and social media to criticize the immigration policies of the Trump administration and the Detroit office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to gain sympathy for illegal immigrants who face arrest and deportation. [3] OIA is also a frequent signer of letters and petitions sent by other left-of-center immigration advocacy organizations to members of Congress and government agencies pushing for radically expansionist immigration reform.

Background

Ohio Immigrant Alliance (OIA) is an immigrant-advocacy project aimed at preventing deportation of illegal immigrants in Ohio. [4] OIA is a volunteer project started in 2007 by Lynn Tramonte, a former deputy director of America’s Voice, a DC-based left-leaning immigration reform group. [5]

Lynn Tramonte, director of America’s Voice Ohio, founded OIA. [6] OIA has no discernable public organizational records, tax records, articles of incorporation, or physical office that indicates its status as a stand-alone entity. The “donate” page of its website describes it as a volunteer-run organization which needs donations to fund the website, contact management database, and other expenses. [7] Prospective donors are redirected to a PayPal account for Anacaona, LLC., a for-profit consulting business launched by Tramonte in October 2018. [8]

Agenda

Ohio Immigrant Alliance works to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants present in Ohio through three primary types of public campaigns: direct criticism of elected officials and immigration-enforcement agencies, media campaigns to create sympathy for illegal immigrants who live in Ohio, and adding Ohio Immigrant Alliance as a signatory in the letter writing campaigns of left-leaning organizations to call out elected officials and government agents who support policies that aim to curb illegal immigration.

OIA’s activities have been carried out by the project’s founder and director, Lynn Tramonte in a volunteer capacity since she moved from D.C. to Northeast Ohio in 2007. [9] In an October 2018 episode of the Heartland Woman podcast, Tramonte explained her approach to immigration advocacy grew from her college degree in creative writing and her work for the National Immigration Forum which taught her the value of creating stories with protagonist and “villain” characters to explain overzealous, allegedly racist, and failed immigration policies to entice the media to pay attention. [10]

Tactics

Government Criticism

Since moving to Ohio in 2007, Ohio Immigrant Alliance “continues to ‘make noise’” about what Tramonte considers failures of the Detroit regional office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by writing columns and helping to shape stories in the Ohio and Michigan newspapers. [11]

In media interviews and news releases, Tramonte calls Ohio a hotbed for aggressive immigration enforcement in large part because of the Detroit ICE field office and its leader, Rebecca Adducci. [12] Tramonte created a report about Adduci in June 2019 which accused Adducci of being behind some of the most extraordinarily cruel immigration enforcement actions in the U.S. in decades. [13] Tramonte has also called for cuts to Detroit ICE’s budget.” [14]

Media Sympathy

Tramonte says she brought her college creative writing major into immigration work by creating characters and different points of view, asking, “What kind of protagonist, villain do I need?” to tell a story. [15] She uses her storytelling model to pitch personal stories of illegal immigrant to media outlets and to shape media coverage of other immigration-related news stories.

When federal agents raided a meat processing plant in Salem, Ohio, in June 2018 and arrested 146 illegal immigrants, Tramonte made the following comments to Univision:

“These are working men and women who are doing a difficult job so we can all eat that meat” and “Over the past two weeks, hundreds of federal agents with weapons have come by surprise at a garden and meat plant center in our state, to arrest humble workers in an aggressive and military style.” [16]

Advocacy for Mauritanians

President Trump’s stepped-up enforcement of illegal immigration laws prompted a public crusade by the Ohio Immigrant Alliance to prevent the removal of mostly black and Muslim migrants from Mauritania, a country in northwest Africa where they have faced repression. Mauritanian refugees did not receive asylum in the United States but were allowed to remain while undocumented under a deferral program. [17]

OIA consistently draws media attention to Ohio’s largest-in-the-country population of undocumented Mauritanians; emotional personal stories of ICE arrests; and dramatic speculation that Mauritanians’ lack of citizenship status in their home country would lead to imprisonment, death, torture, or slavery upon deportation. [18]

Letter Writing Campaigns

OIA frequently signs letters and petitions sent by other left-wing immigration advocacy groups to members of Congress and government agencies pushing for radical immigration reform.

For example, OIA was among more than 200 signers of a letter from the National Immigrant Justice Center dated November 14, 2018 calling on Congress “to reject any funding deal that will allow a corrupted and abusive Department of Homeland Security to further militarize the border and harm immigrant communities.” [19]

It also joined the list of 115 signees to a September 26, 2019 letter to the Department of Homeland Security calling for Bahamians displaced by Hurricane Dorian be “immediately designated for the Temporary Protect Status (TPS) humanitarian program.” [20]

People

Lynn Tramonte is a progressive immigration advocate who is the founder and director of Ohio Immigrant Alliance. [21] Prior to starting OIA, Tramonte was the deputy director for the left-leaning immigration reform group America’s Voice. Tramonte was a consultant for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1998. [22]

References

  1. Sweigart, Josh, and Mark Gokavi. “Englewood Mom Gets 30-Day Deportation Reprieve.” daytondailynews, November 27, 2017. https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/englewood-mom-gets-day-deportation-reprieve/Xsd2pnbBX3qutSgYwg8p9K/. ^
  2. Harrington, Michael. “Politics Divide, Delay Immigration Reform.” Sandusky Register, July 16, 2019. http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201907120010. ^
  3. “09 It’s a Moral Choice.” Heartland Woman, October 30, 2018. https://heartlandwoman.com/09-its-a-moral-choice/. ^
  4. Pyle, Encarnacion. “The Columbus Dispatch.” News – The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH. The Columbus Dispatch, March 20, 2016. https://www.dispatch.com/article/20160319/news/303199913?template=ampart. ^
  5. Sweigart, Josh, and Mark Gokavi. “Englewood Mom Gets 30-Day Deportation Reprieve.” daytondailynews, November 27, 2017. https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/englewood-mom-gets-day-deportation-reprieve/Xsd2pnbBX3qutSgYwg8p9K/. ^
  6. Sweigart, Josh, and Mark Gokavi. “Englewood Mom Gets 30-Day Deportation Reprieve.” daytondailynews, November 27, 2017. https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/englewood-mom-gets-day-deportation-reprieve/Xsd2pnbBX3qutSgYwg8p9K/. ^
  7. Donate. Accessed November 26, 2019. https://ohioimmigrant.org/fundraising-donate/. ^
  8. “Bio & CV.” LA Tramonte. Accessed November 26, 2019. https://www.latramonte.com/bio. ^
  9. Allard, Sam. “Lynn Tramonte.” Cleveland Scene, September 11, 2019. https://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/lynn-tramonte/Content?oid=31315089. ^
  10. “09 It’s a Moral Choice.” Heartland Woman, October 30, 2018. https://heartlandwoman.com/09-its-a-moral-choice/. ^
  11. Longo, Claudia. “Lynn Tramonte, Otra Voz Para Los Inmigrantes.” La Mega Nota, August 26, 2019. http://lajornadalatina.com/ljl/2019/08/26/lynn-tramonte-otra-voz-para-los-inmigrantes/. ^
  12. Allard, Sam. “Lynn Tramonte.” Cleveland Scene, September 11, 2019. https://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/lynn-tramonte/Content?oid=31315089. ^
  13. Tramonte, Lynn. “PDF,” June 12, 2019. “Rebecca Adducci’s Detroit ICE vs. MI and OH Families: Cruel, Incompetent, Dangerous.” https://ohioimmigrant.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2019/06/Rebecca-Adducci%E2%80%99s-Detroit-ICE-vs.-MI-and-OH-Families-Cruel-Incompetent-Dangerous-FINAL.pdf ^
  14. Tramonte, Lynn. “Cut Detroit ICE’s Budget So That Director Rebecca Adducci Is Forced to Focus on Real Priorities.” Medium. Medium, September 12, 2018. https://medium.com/@tramontela/cut-detroit-ices-budget-so-that-director-rebecca-adducci-is-forced-to-focus-on-real-priorities-1d214c74a72c. ^
  15. “09 It’s a Moral Choice.” Heartland Woman, October 30, 2018. https://heartlandwoman.com/09-its-a-moral-choice/. ^
  16. Univision. “Arrestan a 146 Inmigrantes Indocumentados En Una Redada Masiva En Procesadora De Carne En Ohio.” Univision, June 20, 2018. https://www.univision.com/noticias/redadas/arrestan-a-146-inmigrantes-indocumentados-en-una-redada-masiva-en-procesadora-de-carne-en-ohio. ^
  17. Curnutte, Mark. “Does Slavery Await Father of 5 from Lockland Fighting Deportation Back to Mauritania?” Cincinnati.com. Cincinnati Enquirer, January 7, 2019. https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/10/08/does-slavery-await-father-five-fighting-us-deportation-mauritania/1523244002/. ^
  18. Gomez, Alan. “Trump Increases Deportations to Mauritania, Where Slavery Dominates Culture.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, October 17, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/10/16/trump-boosts-deportations-mauritania-where-slavery-culture-remains/1649202002/. ^
  19. “200 Organizations Call on Congress to Reject Funding Increases for Immigration Enforcement During Lame Duck, Cut Funding in 2019.” National Immigrant Justice Center, November 14, 2018. https://www.immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/200-organizations-call-congress-reject-funding-increases-immigration-enforcement. ^
  20. “Request for Temporary Protected Status on Behalf of Bahamian Nationals.” WOLA, October 18, 2019. https://www.wola.org/2019/09/request-temporary-protected-status-on-bahama/. ^
  21. Harrington, Michael. “Politics Divide, Delay Immigration Reform.” Sandusky Register, July 16, 2019. http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201907120010. ^
  22. Anderson, Megan. “Newcomers to the U.S; Challenges & Benefits.” WISH Cleveland, February 8, 2019. https://wishcleveland.com/event/newcomers-to-the-u-s-challenges-benefits/. ^
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Ohio Immigrant Alliance


Cleveland Heights, OH