Activists for immigrants lashed out at Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones and state Rep. Courtney Combs on Thursday, saying the duo's push to get an anti-immigration law passed in Ohio fuels hatred and crimes against Hispanics.
Officials with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Ohio said "it is not a coincidence" that five Hispanic men were robbed and beaten – one of them fatally – in Hamilton, Fairfield and Cincinnati's Lower Price Hill in the last three weeks as Arizona's anti-immigration law was due to take effect.
Key parts of the law have since been blocked by a federal judge.
At the same time, Jones, who has become a national figure in his support of shutting down the Mexican border and for supporting the Arizona law, has made rounds at local and national talk shows to discuss the issue.
Combs said Thursday that he hopes in the next two weeks to introduce a bill in Ohio that is similar to Arizona's law that gives police powers to ask for identification and immigration status and to detain a person for deportation by federal immigration agents.
LULAC officials, joined by the Council on American Islamic Relations in Cincinnati, called a press conference in Hamilton – home to the area's largest Hispanic community, the county seat, and Jones and Combs – to make their point. (More)