Kiwanis P.M. hears from Immigrant Allies

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Kiwanis P.M. President Kenny Lamb welcomes Joa LaVille, left, and Maria Gonzalez as they bring a program on the Immigrant Allies organization and immigration to the Wednesday meeting.

The regular meeting of the Kiwanis P.M. met Wednesday at O’Hungry’s. President Kenny Lamb called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. Kenny welcomed guest Shirley Wyngarden, and Ann Kent introduced the speakers, Joa LaVille and Maria Gonzalez.

LaVille and Gonzalez were with us representing Immigrant Allies. This organization was formed about six years ago recognizing some of the flaws in the immigration system and to advocate some positive changes by working with state and national partners.

Children that were brought to this country when they were infants and raised in the U.S. know no other way of life, they reach adulthood and find themselves in a catch 22 situation. They have gotten their education, been law abiding citizens, active in their community and churches and now need to spend hundreds of dollars to become legal citizens. The process often forces them to return to the town of their birth, leaving behind a job and the friends and family they know, placing them in dangerous unfamiliar surroundings. There they wait until they receive word that they can return.

Immigrant Allies want to educate and make us aware of the events that affect the immigrant neighbors. The organization is a diverse group of residents who acknowledge the immigrant in each of us and stand up as allies for one another. On May 1, at the Orpheum the film “Papers” will be shown about the challenges undocumented youth face, a discussion will follow.

For more information about Immigrant Allies visit their website at

The meeting continued with discussion and final plans for the upcoming garage sale May 18-20. The club plans to mow the West End Park next Monday, weather permitting. The next meeting will be April 26 at O’Hungry’s, the speaker will be Laura McIntosh with Human Trafficking.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a quote “We may all have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”