A Visit to The 2017 Home and Lifestyle Expo; Get-Together at Bourbon Street Barrel Room
In addition to the "Salaam Cleveland" gathering on Saturday night, on the weekend of March 4th-5th we attended two other events in Northeast Ohio area.
"Margaret W. Wong & Associates" had made the decision not to table at the "2017 Home and Lifestyle Expo" at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor that weekend but we decided to do a walkthrough on our own on Saturday and talk to the various vendors and let them know that our office was available to help should they encounter anyone who questioned and/or was worried about their immigration status.
We only had a short time there and we already knew many of the those tabling due to our involvement with the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce. Nevertheless, we did make some new contacts and more than a few people nodded their heads in a "I don't know anyone now but you never can tell about the future" manner and gladly accepted our business card.
Earlier in the week we were glancing through "Scene" Magazine and came across an interesting get-together that would be taking place on Sunday afternoon at the "Bourbon Street Barrel Room" on Professor Avenue which was a discussion on Immigration/Refugees as part of the "Craft Beer and Conversation" series.
We spent some time double-checking our facts which indicate that immigrants/refugees are indeed an asset to the United States and its economy and decided to take part in the discussion as did at least 30 other people.
Once we arrived we introduced ourselves to Ms. Megan Anderson, the discussion coordinator, who said said the main reason that this topic was selected was that, needless to say, it had been getting a lot of attention lately so she wanted "to get people talking."
Ms. Anderson then encouraged us to divide into small groups and choose partners who may not necessarily agree with us but were open to civil discourse.
Accordingly, we were then given questions to guide our conversation which were:
***What do you think when you hear the word "immigrant" or "refugee"?
***What should the United States' stance be regarding illegal immigration?
***What, if any, right should be afforded to an illegal immigrant residing in the United States?
***What, if anything, should be done about employers who hire illegal immigrants?
***Should refugees be allowed entrance to any country in the world? What role should the United Nations and other international organizations play? Should the United States accept refugees?
***Assess society's perception of immigrants and/or refugees.
We didn't really intend it to be this way but we wound up in a group of very congenial people with whom we generally agreed with so we welcomed a latecomer who was himself a Hungarian refugee who immigrated to the United States in the late 1950's who offered perhaps a more conservative view on the subject.
Nevertheless, all of us found common ground when we agreed that, at this time, our immigration policy was "chaotic" and reforms were sorely needed.
The day ended with all of us shaking hands and we giving out copies of Ms. Margaret W. Wong's book, "The Immigrant's Way" to several of our new friends.
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC