Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network

The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network (GCISN) was founded in 2003 and immediately began reaching out to Greater Cleveland’s Islamic and Arab-American community. Immigrant detention cases were discovered and the GCISN began making jail visits to detainees, contacting family members, attorneys, government officials, and the media. Separations of families became a central issue. Unfortunately, the new federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was unrelenting. Mothers and fathers were either incarcerated or eventually deported, leaving children with single or no parents, or their extended family. The GCISN provided some comfort to the families by aiding jail visitation, contacting child advocates and social services when needed, raising money for family and/or legal expenses, and sponsoring public events, press conferences and meetings to give case updates and advise immigrants of their rights.