Updated: 11:52 a.m. Thursday, July 31, 2014 | Posted: 10:22 a.m. Thursday, July 31, 2014

Group protests Sheriff Jones’ remarks

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Sheriff asks students to fight heroin epidemic photo
Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones addresses student representatives from several Butler County high schools attending the 8th Annual Prom and Graduation Town Meeting held at Johnston Hall on the campus of Miami University Middletown, Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014. Jones pleaded to high school students to help law enforcement fight the heroin epidemic in the county. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Group protests Sheriff Jones’ remarks photo
Protesters including Maria Ortiz and Jasmin Ibarra wave signs in front of the Butler County Jail, Thursday, July 31, in reaction to recent comments by Sheriff Richard Jones regarding his stance on immigration laws. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Group protests Sheriff Jones’ remarks photo
Protesters including Heather Aleshire, Katie Picon, and Megan Beasley make a statement in front of the Butler County Jail, Thursday, July 31, in reaction to recent comments by Sheriff Richard Jones regarding his stance on immigration laws. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

By Vivienne Machi

Staff Report

HAMILTON —

A group protested today against Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones at the county jail for his stance and comments regarding the border crisis.

About 20 adults stood with their children outside the Butler County Sheriff’s Office starting at 11 a.m. holding signs saying “the American dream” and “against family separation” and chanting “Si, se puede” — Spanish for “Yes, it is possible” or “Yes, it can be done.”

Protesters came from Cincinnati to address Jones’ recent comments. Several of the protesters are women whose children are separated from their fathers due to being arrested and subsequently deported for driving without licenses.

“He (Sheriff Jones) shouldn’t be taking this into his own hands,” said Heather Aleshire, of Cincinnati, who said the father of her 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, was deported to Honduras in 2008 for driving without a license.

Hamilton residents who were brought to the United States as young children also showed up to voice their disapproval of the sheriff’s comments.

“I was brought here when I was 10 months old, I was raised here. It would suck for them to take me back somewhere I barely know,” said 19-year-old Geraldine Reyes, of Hamilton, whose family came from Mexico in 1994.

When asked about a distinction between illegal adults coming to Butler County and children who are raised here from a young age, Reyes said, “If you come over here illegally, it’s illegal. The best thing we can do for the children that are coming over is keeping them in their own countries.”

The protest was in the process of dispersing as of 12:50 p.m. Sheriff Jones never came out to speak to the protesters, who said they want to organize another protest.

The gathering got its start via a Facebook page — Protest Against Sheriff Jones And Racism — which prior to the event had 117 people saying they would show up and protest the sheriff and remarks he’s made on conservative talk shows in the days following an announcement by Cincinnati officials who said they want the city to be known as the most immigrant-friendly city in the country.

Jones has talked on local radio and national television about his thoughts on illegal immigration — which the Cincinnati announcement last week did not reference — and how he has sent a bill to the Mexican president for housing his country’s residents.

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