City of Port Arthur works to calm Hispanic immigration fears

City of Port Arthur works to calm Hispanic immigration fears

PORT ARTHUR - Port Arthur leaders gathered today to help find relief for the fear among the Hispanic community.

The forum discussed city relations with the community, the definition of "Sanctuary City", and U.S. citizenship.

It was a room full of Port Arthur residents at the Port Arthur Public Library, that’s where many people voiced their fears and concerns to elected officials.

It's a discussion tackling terror, their goal, to find a remedy to face the fears among the Hispanic community.

“We wanted to squash some of the fears the Hispanic community has today, to see if we have a solution or answer to some of their questions,” says Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman.

An anxiety that hits close to home for those like Melinda Cibrian.

“The fear the Hispanic community has is that I.C.E. [Immigration] is going to beat them up and deport them, and keep them away from their families,” says Cibrian, from Port Arthur.

A terror of separating mothers and fathers from their children is a fear the Port Arthur Police Department wants to diminish.

“When you call the police we want you to not be afraid, we are here to protect and serve you,” says Port Arthur Chief of Police Patrick Melvin.

"The police department affirmed that they are not here to call immigration on you,” says Cibrian.

And with a packed room, the message was quickly spread through Facebook live to those that who weren't present.

A wave of relief those like Cibrian are sure to be taking home.

“At my house, the police would have been the last people for me to call, but after this meeting, I know they can protect me now,” Cibrian explains.

The Port Arthur Police Association will be having another forum at Our Lady of Guadalupe church on March 19th and St. Joseph Catholic Church on March the 26th.

Here's a closer look at PAPD's immigration policy,



 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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