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City Council Hears Request for Support of Fair Immigration Reform

November 13, 2013

  11/14/13 Monday evening members of the Plymouth Common Council heard a request for support of the fair immigration bill that passed in the Senate.  Michelle Livinghouse and Kelliey Chavez with Friends of Marshall County for Immigration Reform addressed the Common Council seeking their support of the Senate Bill through a resolution.

Chavez spoke about the rally that was held in early October.  From that event the crowd sent 150 postcards to Congressman Jackie Walorski asking for her to consider a fair immigration reform bill.  She also noted that currently there is a letter writing campaign and a petition drive for signatures.

Livinghouse said, “Many constituents are concerned about immigration reform.”  With the Hispanic population in Plymouth at 20% she has heard of all kinds of situations where a parent or both are undocumented but the children have been born here and are citizens.  Many times the family members have been here for decades but came illegally. She said, “They want to start the process without fear of deportation.”   

When asked how many of the 20% are here illegally Livinghouse had no idea.  She did indicate that most citizens of Plymouth can trace their roots back to immigrants who crossed the oceans before all the documentation was required.  She said, “I have a Hispanic grandson who’s roots in the United States and longer than my Romanian family’s. 

Councilman Don Ecker said he had concerns noting, “Many come through the proper channels.  I struggle with those who don’t follow the proper channels. Laws and rules have been established and my need to be tweaked but we still need to follow them.” 

Councilman Wayne Smith has done some investigation on the immigration reform bill that was passed by the Senate.  He noted that the application fee is $595.00 and that applicants must be able to read, write and speak English and take a 100 question test. 

Councilman Mike Delp said he didn’t feel he could every support a resolution  on immigration because he doesn’t know how the citizens feel on immigration and more importantly on the Senate bill for immigration reform.  He commented, “I’m not sure we were elected to do that.”  He also said his company has three Hispanic workers one which they sent to school, one who is in training now and one that will go next year.  They have followed the laws set out by our government.  Delp explained that their family had an exchange student from Bolivia for a year.  He came back to the USA graduated from IU became a citizen and now works for the family’s company.  He indicated that if becoming a citizen of the US is important enough it is attainable with effort and work. 

Livinghouse explained that the Senate bill passed with bipartisanship and they are hoping to encourage Congressman Walorski to consider the bill in the House.  She said if the City of Plymouth and other towns in Walorski’s district would approve resolutions saying they support fair immigration reform that the Congresswoman might take a harder look at the bill. 

Councilman Ecker said he would not vote in favor of the resolution without the opportunity to review the Senate Bill that was approved in the Senate.

The City Council took no action on the request.   

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6 Responses to “ City Council Hears Request for Support of Fair Immigration Reform ”

  1. Thor on November 14, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Also, the Senate bill is a misguided 1,300 page disaster. I encourage Congresswoman Walorski to oppose it in all its forms.

    And despite Mikes slander I have never seen her show distain towards anyone, except Nancy Pelosi.

  2. Thor on November 14, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Well said Andrew,

    We have examples of both extremes in our history. From Eisenhower’s Operation Wetback, where he arrested and deported 80,000 and 700,000 voluntarily self deported the first year, FDR’s internment camp for Japanese (legal citizens mind you) to misguided amnesty that did nothing to solve the problem.

    A guest worker program, well enforced, would help. And any minor citizen to illegal parents could be allowed back in when they reach the age of majority, but not with their illegal parents.

    You have hit the nail on the melting pot head though with failure to integrate, even demanding not to and demanding concessions from everyone else because of it. If you really liked “pick your country” then go back there and be happy, don’t bring your unhappiness here.

    And you “Brothers” of Islam out there…goes double for you.

  3. Andrew on November 14, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Hats off to the city council for showing some sense for wanting to look before they support!

    America is built on immigration and unless one is a native American, then one comes from immigrant stock. That being said there was for over 250 years a form to doing this. You legally enter the country, you adapt to the customs and you learn the language. Now it seems that none of these are the case any longer.

    Rather than take the approach of saying “throw them all back”, a more practical approach might be in order. Let them register for conditional citizenship — then they are documented. This would start a clock that would run for say five years. At the conclusion of that they would have to demonstrate a functional use of the English language and have committed no major crime–otherwise they would need to return.

    Second of all having thing bi-lingual doesn’t aid in the process of integration — rather it splits them away. When I moved abroad I knew without question that nobody was going to support me with English so I learned the language of the land. In the normal passage of time, you develop associations between what one uses daily and what it is called in a foreign tongue. Dealing with the government also was an exercise, but there was always willing people to explain things in their language that helped me grasp and understand. That is the nature of charity we should be showing, willingness to help people understand things in English and in the American cultural context.

    Immigration shouldn’t be about vote stuffing or brainless sentimentality. Speaking from experience, the only way one can immigrant is to “INTEGRATE”, which means they need to adapt to the culture that is in place. Certainly all immigrants bring with them their own color, which only enhances a society, but they need to realize that its a two way street, the will certainly be respected and accepted if they also take steps to bring themselves into the culture they are adopting (again spoken from experience).

    Let us hope that at some point the voice of reason creeps into this discussion rather than what has been going on so far.

  4. MikeB on November 14, 2013 at 12:43 am

    But the demographic trends don’t lie: within 2 generations (+/- a few years ), white, non-Hispanics will be in the minority here, and everywhere. We must prepare for the future, while respecting our past.

  5. MikeB on November 14, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Having said that, I am concerned about our Congresswoman’s apparent disdain toward our growing Hispanic population.

  6. MikeB on November 14, 2013 at 12:06 am

    As a non-city resident, I applaud the council’s decision to stay out of this federal matter.