HERMISTON, Ore. -- The Hermiston City Council met Monday night, and decided through a 7 to 1 vote to write a letter to the city's federally elected officials to request for "fair and sensible" immigration reform.
The letter specifically would "request that you (Federal elected officials) make fair and sensible immigration reform laws a priority and work to make fair and sensible laws allowing for the legalization of worthy un-documented immigrants." The vote came after many comments from a crowd of nearly 100 people supporting the request.
Councilor John Kirwan was the only "nay" vote. " But Hermiston's new Mayor, David Drotzmann is in favor of change. "For those kids and wives of undocumented workers, they worry about not knowing if their spouse is going to come home that night...so its an opportunity for us a community to send a letter to our federal elected officials saying, make it a priority, " he said.
Hermiston officially became the largest city in eastern Oregon after the 2010 U.S. Census, due largely to the growth of a young Hispanic population. The student population in the Hermiston School District now stands at about 43% in the 2012-13 school year, while the overall population of Hermiston has changed from 24% Hispanic in 2000 to 35% Hispanic in 2010.
At a meeting in December, the Hispanic Advisory Committee unanimously approved a motion that, "the Hispanic Advisory Committee of the City of Hermiston respectfully requests that the Hermiston City Council and the Mayor of the City of Hermiston formally ask the President of the United States, United States Representative Greg Walden, United States Senator Ron Wyden, and United States Senator Jeff Merkley to make fair and sensible immigration reform laws and to make fair and sensible laws allowing the legalization of worthy undocumented immigrants.
The Chair of the organization, Eddie De La Cruz was glad for the support at the meeting, which was packed with more than 100 people. "We had people from the Anglo side supporting us on this issue. 62% of the population of the United States want this to happen," said De La Cruz.