Fridays at Long Beach!

8 Oct

Our fellows kicked off October’s Fridays at Long Beach Public Library with two forums on Immigration in America: How Do We Fix a System in Crisis? on the 5th.  Both forums were host to lively discussions on the topic, with a diverse group of immigrants, children of immigrants, and even those with family members seeking citizenship joining the conversation.  

Much common ground was found over the economic contributions many immigrants make when working in the United States. More specifically, most participants favored granting green cards to foreign students seeking work in the U.S. post graduation from an American college or university, particularly those in the STEM fields.  They felt that it would not only boost our economy, but revitalize the competitive American spirit in the workplace and classroom.  Participants seemed less worried about where someone was from, and more concerned with the quality of the  work produced if she/he is to be employed in the United States. 

There was less agreement on the topic of quotas and many were surprised to learn about the vast differences in years one needs to legally wait to get a green card depending in large part to their country of origin.  Below is an infograph found in the NIF issue guide we used for the discussion.

Most participants left the discussion eager to return next Friday to discuss A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills? on October 12th at 2:00.  If you would like to join, please email lblibrary@yahoo.com or call 516-432-7201 to register! 

Reflections from some participants:

“It was very interesting to hear different point of views, especially those that I don’t agree with because it’s always informative to hear about the different side of the story.”

“By everybody sharing, it helped solidify the feelings I didn’t even know I had until we talked about it.”

“It occurs to me that we see the problem very differently than those who live in border states…this process helped me see that.”

“Too often we are too simplistic and don’t see the problem as complex as it really is…  I really liked how we all were trying to find a better solution together, some who are immigrants, some who are not.”

“This forum was very interesting because we can always benefit from a discussion.”

“I think that with forums such as these, we are making great strides in this country.” 

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