The immigration forum that was held in April this year helped allay many concerns that immigrant families have. The speakers encouraged the attendants to ask questions that might be in their mind and not hesitate. The forum was attended by Anna Caballero, the Assemblywoman, who came by to alleviate the fears and reservations of people at the center. She assured the listeners that she would fight for their issues. There were representatives of schools like the principal of San Benito and other authority figures like Krystal Lomanto who stated that steps would be taken to ensure that immigrant students felt protected in the schools.
There had been a similar forum that was held in February at the Hollister Community Center. Here there were educators, local law enforcement officers and elected politicians who came to the immigration forum organized by the San Benito County League of United Latin American Citizens jointly with Jimmy Panetta, the Congressman. The meeting in February was held when news came by that the ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement have relocated certain resources from San Jose to Morgan Hill. This was as per the immigration policies set forth by the Trump administration.
The policies that have been set forth by the president’s office has spread fear among individuals who are undocumented in different parts of the country. However, Panetta addressed the group and stated that, though there is a lot of confusion in DC and Hollister about addressing the immigrant issues, he felt that the community needs to do what is best for the people who are living in their immediate vicinities. The police chief and sheriff were also present at the forum. They stated that their departments were committed to protecting citizens. Irrespective of their status of immigration, they would get the protection that every legal citizen deserves. No matter what action is decided for immigration policies, the law would be followed which would not be impacted by an executive order. Hence, people and their properties would be protected. Immigration status would not affect the way municipal laws are implemented.
There was talk about how students and parents need to feel protected on the campus grounds. Anna Caballero spoke to the audience in Spanish and assured them that they would be protected and they should not have any concerns. LULAC would continue to get support from the local officials as well.