On Thursday afternoon, November 10th, at 4pm we watched the last hour of 2021 Ohio Latino Affairs Virtual Summit which was devoted to discussing vulnerable Latino populations with an emphasis on undocumented people who have immigrated to the United States.
The virtual summit (which earlier in the day had explored other issues pertaining to business, health care and education) was presented by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs and Cuyahoga Community College.
At this time, the subject matter concerned struggles that undocumented people continuously face regarding such difficulties as lack of pathways to asylum or permanent residency; restricted access to jobs/careers and higher education; and polarized public perceptions.
The participants in the forum, which was moderated by Ms. Carly McCain, Public Policy Officer from the Commission, were Ms. Laura Barrera, Director of a new immigration law clinic at Ohio State University, and Ms. Lidia Garcia, Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellow, and both were quite qualified due to academic accomplishments and hands-on experiences.
(for more information about these impressive young women please see https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/2021/06/27/new-ohio-state-law-clinic-help-immigrants-navigate-legal-system/77745280002/ and https://wgss.osu.edu/news/wgss-alum-lidia-garcia-receives-2021-distinguished-diversity-enhancement-award/)
During the discussion, we learned how there is often a lack of clarity, at least in Ohio, about admissions to public institutions, obtaining a form of identification, and protocols pertaining to banking.
We also had our views reinforced about how undocumented people often perform thankless and/or dangerous tasks as essential workers particularly during the pandemic and how they must increasingly turn to state/local services for help due to lack of progress at the federal level.