Better together

Immigration and law enforcement conversation set

ACE Your Community Center will be hosting a immigration and law enforcement conversation on Wednesday evening at ACE. The conversation will begin at 7 p.m.

The discussion will feature representatives from local law enforcement including Webster City Police Chief Shiloh Mork and Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Timmons, as well as Webster City City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez.

“The immigration system has been dysfunctional a very, very long time. It’s really hard to understand,” ACE Director Janet Toering said. “ACE’s perspective right now is just to educate, educate, educate.”

Part of the conversation will center around updated immigration information. Toering hopes this will educate the public and provide insight for the whole community.

“It’s a reflection of all of the immigration changes, policy and procedure changes, that have happened and the misinformation that happened in 2016, and then in preparation with all of the things that our new president and new republican legislators have in mind that affect the immigration community,” said Toering.

A newly formed organization at ACE called “Better Together” came up with the idea for a community discussion focused on getting the facts and dissolving fear and uncertainty for Hamilton County residents.

“The Better Together is a group of people from any country and the United States that want to be together to hear the facts and to create solutions in order to feel safe and secure,” Toering said. “It’s not an ACE immigration committee. We’re just being a catalyst to bring people together and help overcome barriers.”

Immigration issues and law enforcement policy is important for all Hamilton County residents to understand, according to Toering. Toering also explained new legislation could affect many Hamilton County residents.

“We have to keep in mind that whatever affects the immigration community affects us because most of their jobs are in agriculture here in Iowa and here in Hamilton County,” Toering said. “If they can’t be here then we are going to lose hundreds and hundreds of employees.”

According to Toering, ACE is recognized by US CIS and the Department of Justice as a place that is in the process of reapplying for their BIA accreditation through the new form and requirements.

“If people are renewing things or going through that process, they can come here and we can help them,” Toering said.

“There is so much to learn and everybody needs to learn it,” said Toering. So many things that we all have to learn to work together.”

For more information about the event, contact Toering at (515) 832-4153 or email ACE is located at 1440 East Second St.