Family Separation at the Border: Its Impact on Pittsburgh, a “Welcoming City”
Saturday, May 4 @ 1:30 pmFree
This program addresses the important role immigrants have played and continue to play in our nation’s history, culture, and work force. Historically, diverse immigrants from around the world provided the backbone of what our nation is today. This program will focus on the current U.S. immigration policy that makes it difficult for Central American immigrants to seek asylum in the U.S. Like other immigrants before them, today’s immigrants are searching for a better life, freedom from violence, and economic security. Although immigrants in the past were often encouraged to enter the U.S. legally and then become productive citizens, today many seeking this objective face insurmountable obstacles at the southern border. New questionable strict and constraining immigration rules (remember Zero Tolerance?) have built immense physical and emotional barriers. The result has forced many immigrants to be unwittingly detained, imprisoned, and deported. Meanwhile, without due process, approximately 5,000 children have been cruelly separated from their families, some perhaps permanently.
Addressing this immigration problem which has plagued our country and impacted Pittsburgh, a “Welcoming City,” will be Monica Ruiz, Executive Director of the Casa San Jose Center in Pittsburgh, and a powerful advocate for Latinos on legal, housing, development, and educational issues. and Guillermo Perez, labor educator at the United Steelworkers and founder of Pittsburgh Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
Mr. Perez will speak about Pittsburgh immigration history and will focus on the present day issues of how labor is supporting migrants in adjusting to seeking asylum here in Pittsburgh. Ms. Ruiz will discuss how her organization aids immigrants in Western Pennsylvania and will address the challenges immigrants from Central America are faced when they cross the border and settle in Pittsburgh. She will focus on how her organization supports the Pittsburgh Latino community by providing social services, advocacy for Latino rights, protecting Latinos at risk of deportation and provides programs and special events.
Both will offer opportunities and a call to action for those interested in supporting them and want to pursue a more active role in immigration concerns here in Pittsburgh.