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Panelist says immigration laws are needed but with more flexibility

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Education, on both sides, is the key to eliminating immigration discord in America, panelists said Thursday as they discussed integration and deportation issues.

“The next step is to create more pathways for education and create more bridges for immigrants to be a part of their community,” said the Rev. Hery Salamanca, Hispanic outreach pastor at the First Christian Church in Salem.

From another perspective, immigrants have to be respectful and work hard to be a part of the community, said the Rev. Mr. Salamanca, speaking Thursday at the Youngstown YWCA’s panel discussion on “Life After Deportation.”

Other panel members were Lina Adi, daughter of downtown Youngstown business owner Al Adi who was deported in early 2018; and former state senator Joe Schiavoni.

The event was moderated by Alicia Prieto Langarica, associate professor of mathematics and statistics at Youngstown State University, and cosponsored by Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past and the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services at YSU.

After the August 2018 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on the FreshMark plant in Salem, Mr. Salamanca worked with families and their children to help them integrate into the community.

He was effusive in his praise of the Salem community, particularly its school system, which has placed computers in homes with Hispanic children, several dozen of which he has taken under his wing and calls “his kids.”

“That doesn’t happen everywhere,” Mr. Salamanca said of the help and compassion of the school district.

read MORE in Friday's VINDICATOR.