Hundreds turn out for immigration forum


GREENFIELD — Over 200 residents of Greenfield participated in the Immigration Forum hosted by the Catholic churches, San Jose Mexican Council, superintendents from the high school and the Greenfield Union School District on March 29.

Mayor Jesus OlveraGarcia spoke to the residents about knowing their rights and that even immigrants have rights.

“This came as a conversation on the table with Catholic Charities from the Diocese of Monterey,” Father Enrique Herrera said. “The Mayor and the Chief of Police came together to plan this immigration forum a week before to set up the details of the whole presentation.”

The leaders of the Immigration Forum came together to address concerns about students kept home from school by their parents because of the information they are getting from news and media outlets.

Blanca Zaragua, an immigration lawyer from Salinas spoke about her parents who were undocumented immigrants from Mexico and shared her own story.

The Mexican Consulate from San Jose was invited to attend and gave a presentation to the residents who are from Mexico on their rights and how the Consulate can help the Mexican people here in California.

Ten days later, the Mexican Consulate returned to Greenfield to give passports out to residents who wanted to have dual United States and Mexican citizenship at the Civil Center on April 8.

The Consulate also spoke about finding a lawyer or someone to represent them.

Under the American Constitution, foreigners do not have right to enter the United States, but once they are here, they are protected from discrimination based on race and national origin and from arbitrary treatment by the government, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.