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Latino Groups to Host Immigration Forum Monday

Members of New Jersey’s immigrant community are paying close attention to the progress of a federal immigration reform measure making its way through Capitol Hill.

This Monday, the Latino Coalition, Casa Freehold and the Latino Action Network are hosting an immigration forum in Freehold and have invited shore Congressman Frank Pallone to be the keynote speaker, providing Spanish translation for his comments.

Latino Coalition Director Frank Argote Freyre says “Congressman Frank Pallone will be there to give us an overview of where it (the Immigration Reform Bill) stands and you know, how it’s progressing? What he thinks might pass and so forth.” However, Argote Freyre says even though the comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 744) received bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate for passage last month, he’s not optimistic the measure will pass in the House of Representatives.

“We just can’t seem to get past the right balance between border security and finding what to do with the 11 (M) million undocumented immigrants. It just still seems to be a lot of polarization.”

Casa Freehold President Rita Dentino says they’re opposed to the emphasis on more militarization of the border and are calling for better treatment of immigrant day laborers.

Argote Freyre says everyone’s welcome to come to the forum, including those opposed to the measure. “You know, we don’t shy away from discussion and debate. So no, I don’t think that there will be an issue with people who are unhappy. You know, I mean the Congressman is there to provide people with information.”

He also says he expects members of the undocumented community to attend. “There will be a number of members from the immigrant community there who of course this bill is very, very important for because they want to find out you know, will there be a potential legal status for them.”

The forum takes place on Monday July 15th at 7 p.m. at 191 Throckmorton Street in Freehold.

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