Hispanic community holds forum to discuss immigration concerns - WNEM TV 5

Hispanic community holds forum to discuss immigration concerns

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The Department of Homeland Security released new guidelines on how it will enforce President Donald Trump's orders on border security and immigration.

The guidelines call for the immediate return of Mexican immigrants captured at the border. That means hiring 10,000 more ICE agents and 5,000 more border patrol agents.

The guidelines also call for the prosecution of parents who pay smugglers to bring their children into the country illegally.

A local organization hosted a free public forum Tuesday night on the heels of the announcements.

The event was scheduled to address the current political climate and the transition to a new presidential administration.

"This very much reminds me of the time in Germany when Hitler took over and when people had to hide the Jews," said Maria Linsalata, Saginaw resident.

Linsalata is just one of the residents who chose to speak to law enforcement, elected officials and members of the Hispanic community on Tuesday to ask them to come together to fight President Trump's new immigration orders.

"When I came I was so shocked to hear that Trump is implementing these new rules and laws," Linsalata said.

Dalia Smith, president of the Saginaw chapter of Latino Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy and Development, said the meeting was scheduled before the president's newest round of orders were sent out.

"We've had adults come to us that are afraid to talk about the way they feel at work. They feel that there's not really a safe place to talk about things like that. They fear what their coworkers beliefs and values are," Smith said.

Smith said the conversation always includes deportation and profiling the Hispanic community.

Saginaw Police Chief Bob Ruth said in his city they can rest easy because the Saginaw Police Department is not on the hunt for immigrants.

"They don't have any worries. If they don't commit a crime they've got no worries in the world," Ruth said.

He said he doesn't know of any law enforcement agency in Saginaw that will be looking for undocumented immigrants.

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