Immigration is an asset to the country

Immigrants are a real asset to our community of Marshalltown. Whether the immigrants are Hispanic, Sudanese, Burmese or of another nationality or group of people they bring many God-given gifts to us. The different customs and language do present challenges to communication and to education. We have been enriched by their presence as they open businesses, pay taxes and spend their salaries in our community. Their children will be a major part of our future leaders in city, state and national affairs.

Recently Carlos Portes, born in Cuba, was named Volunteer of the Year in Iowa. When you treat immigrants with the respect and care that all human beings deserve you give them the opportunity to develop and share their gifts for the good of our whole community.

I am indeed saddened and frustrated that an immigration reform bill has not been passed by Congress that would provide a way for deserving immigrants to be permanent residents with the possibility to become a citizen if they have not committed any serious crime. This would give hope to some of the young immigrants and some children born here to undocumented parents.

Immigrants want to pay their way. They want to be appreciated. They want to be able to work under their own name and without fear of deportation if they are stopped by the police. Do not forget that we are all immigrants unless we are an American Indian. We are all brothers and sisters in God’s family.