NORWALK, Conn. – About 200 Latinos attended a forum Sunday at the South Norwalk Community Center to learn about proposed legislation and hear a message: immigration reform is real.
The forum educated participants on the proposed House Bill 6037, introduced by and others, according to a press release. The bill would authorize the issuance of motor vehicle operator’s licenses to certain undocumented immigrants.
Candelaria has been visiting Connecticut cities and towns with larger Latino populations to “let them know that immigration reform is real and that Latino CT State Legislators are doing their part to make sure the Latino community is being treated properly,” the press release said.
“The Latino community needs to be present and united so that it can be well informed on the issues that matter most to our families,” the state representative is quoted as saying.
Norwalk Community Police Officer and Fair Housing Commissioner Cesar Ramirez also spoke to the crowd, about paying for false documentation. “Obtaining false driver’s licenses will only get you in more trouble, do not waste the $100,” he said, according to the release. “I would much rather see you spend that $100, or the $2,800 to register an international vehicle, on your families or go out to a nice dinner. I am here to help, I am here to answer questions and serve you but please understand that I am a police officer and I will not jeopardize my integrity or my career.”
Ramirez later promised to be an advocate for HB-6037 and testify in favor of the bill if necessary, the release said.
SNCC President/ Board Chairman and Common Council Minority Leader Warren Peña hosted the event as the first forum of many to come, the release said.
“Part of my vision for the center is to make sure that we are hosting educational events to organize and engage the Latino community in Norwalk,” he is quoted as saying. “I also want to make sure that everyone understands that the South Norwalk Community is alive and here to stay. We will be hosting a series of events starting April 11th on healthcare reform for small business owners then with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) on April 13th regarding immigration reform on the federal level.”
The center invites all interested parties to attend. For more information please call Marina Forero, SNCC’s event coordinator at [email protected] or (203) 919-9676.
The forum was collaborated with Jose Casco of the Latino Advocacy Foundation of Fairfield County along with John Lugo of La Unidad Latina en Accion, Carlos Cordova of Frente Unido de Inmigrantes Ecuatorianos, Carolina Bortelleto of Connecticut Students for a Dream, Lazaro Coro of Comite Hispano Pro Implementacio de la Reforma de Salud, Ruben Mallva de Familias en Camino, Oscar Petrutch, President de la Asociacio de Pastores Latinos de South Western CT, Padres de Estudiantes por un Sueño de Connecticut, Comunidad Inmigrante de East Haven, CRISOL ACUARELA, Arte y Cultura, Peruanos Unidos de Connecticut, Groupo Quetzal and others.