Paul Burgarino of the Contra Costa Times put out an interesting, as well as fair, article this morning which discusses how legal help is now available in East County for immigrants. Towards the bottom of the article, in a way, it pays tribute to how welcoming Oakley is and how accepting our community has become to the immigrant population.
According to the article:
The International Institute of the Bay Area opened its doors in Antioch late last year in hopes of helping the growing number of immigrants, particularly Latinos, settling in the East Bay suburbs. The Antioch location is the first new one since 1974 for the 94-year-old organization, which also has offices in Oakland, San Francisco and Redwood City.
The surging Latino population in Concord and East Contra Costa County triggered the nonprofit group’s expansion, said Sebastian Zavala, a program director with the organization.
The article stated the group was looking to locate in Oakley, but couldn’t find space. So they chose Antioch instead. Just by looking for a location in Oakley first, acknowledges the atmosphere the city staff and council has created for the city over the last few years.
We are a community that welcomes all and will help all no matter ones immigration status. Programs like You, Me, We = Oakley and La Clinica represent what Oakley is all about—we are a community that cares. This type of welcoming behavior makes our community stronger and more tight-knit.
I can appreciate Mr. Burgarino raising awareness for a program such as the International Institute of the Bay Area has brought to East County and what an asset it is to have it local.
Not everyone can be so lucky to be born in such a wonderful country that we have—sometimes people just need a little assistance and extra push in the right direction to gain citizenship the appropriate way and become productive members of the community.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a better life for oneself and their family by following the rules. What are we going to do, kick them all out?
The solution is much more complex than that.
Full CC Times Article