Our community will benefit when we look after each other.


To the editor:

I would like to share my views on the Immigrant Welcome Center. This was a hotly contested issue at the city council meeting this Monday. I am passionate about this as I previously was a volunteer and board member with Southern Indiana Hispanic Services(SIHS). I feel the services offered by SIHS, Su Casa and what would have been offered at the Immigrant Welcome Center are necessary for our community.

Seymour’s Latino population and those struggling to speak English are not a new thing. I remember being asked to help a fellow classmate in 2004 to understand our lessons. While the population and percentage of Latinos has grown our services need to grow to help fill the gaps. The proposed Immigrant Welcome Center, in name may have given people pause and understandably so, with the border crisis. A better name should have been chosen.

When I read the document outlining the Immigrant Welcome Center I was shocked that people were speaking out against it specifically. In my view, a couple local leaders had misled their own constituents by tying it to the border crisis and illegal immigration. The document outlines Su Casa, the Jackson County United Way, the Community Foundation of Jackson County and local pastors to lead the project, not government. It was to be funded by various grants, not taxes. For nearly 20 years SIHS and Su Casa have helped inform, guide and support those who struggle with the language barrier. The Immigrant Welcome Center would have increased those services.

As a Christian I am led to look out and help my fellow man, no matter who he is. Jesus asked us to be like the Good Samaritan, who helped the stranger on the road. This is our neighbor, and I encourage anyone who reads this to pray for our neighbors. Please don’t stop there, help them as well. Our community will benefit when we look after each other.

David W. Rust, Seymour

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