Immigration Activists Take a Stand in Iowa

A community in Iowa is fighting toward immigration equality in a big way. The group of community and church leaders in Orange City, Iowa, hope their voices will create a more welcoming community where the Latinos in the neighborhood can feel at home while the state rages on with immigration reform discussions.

The individuals are part of a campaign called Helping Our Iowa Neighbors, which began in April with the idea of constituting a “suitable environment” for all families. Since the group’s formation, the campaign has already impacted more than 700 people in northwestern Iowa who have already signed a petition they introduced.

The petition is sponsored by the Sioux County 100 committee, which states that Iowa’s laws regarding immigration are “dysfunctional” and that there needs to be less separation of families. The petition also states that law enforcement officials in the area need to handle immigration situations better. According to Fox News, one of the last issues highlighted within the document says that the state needs to implement “smart immigration law enforcement initiatives consistent with maintaining human dignity and respect that includes fostering positive relationships with all local residents while deterring and punishing criminal activity.”

In addition, one of the issues the group is speaking out about is the fact that many people working in the country without U.S. citizenship are hard workers, have no criminal record and are responsible for paying their taxes. The group is asking that those who fit the responsible resident identity be given the ability to have their status regularized. Sioux County 100 also wish to assist in the progress of hiring immigrant workers for agricultural jobs.

Since the Arizona immigration law was signed, there have been many immigrant advocate groups coming forward. Many are upset with the “show me your papers” law, while others are working toward the economy or making sure undocumented immigrants get a fair chance when applying for a U.S. green card or citizenship.