Along with the rest of the country, the Central Coast has been grappling with how best to respond to the recent executive orders on immigration. It has been exciting to see our schools and colleges adopt resolutions in support of our undocumented students. We have also found it encouraging to hear numerous individuals in the community stand up and support immigrants.
At the same time, we have been disappointed to hear some of those who claim to support our immigrants and oppose Trump’s immigration plans make quips like “Who will pick our strawberries” or “Who will cook our food?”
While the contributions of immigrants are vital to our agricultural and service industries, immigrants are not merely a resource for our community to use; immigrants, undocumented and documented, are our community. We should respect their labor and value them for their humanity. It can be easy for some to forget this, with the severe economic and racial segregation of our neighborhoods and cities. The future of the Central Coast depends on the immigrants in our community, and together we should strive to build a community where all immigrants are welcomed, included and can live free from the threat of deportation.
Andy Specht and Adrienne Garcia-Specht, Arroyo Grande