Ana Mallen was shocked when a neighbor confided that she was wondering whether her hired household help was documented.

Having recently moved to Mason from New York City, Mallen said she’s noticed that immigration is often viewed negatively here.

Antagonism about local immigration was among the topics at a community forum on immigration Wednesday at Miami University’s Hamilton campus. Mallen was one of about 30 people in the audience. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center sponsored the forum.

Greg Landsman, Freedom Center director of special projects, asked participants whether they had seen negative political ads about immigration in the past day.

Nearly everyone raised their hands.

Immigrants are portrayed as stealing jobs and evading taxes, said forum panelist Isidro Carrero, co-pastor of Princeton Pike West Church. “Immigration is actually a humanitarian issue, but politicians have made it a political issue, trying to gain votes and move their bases.”

The consequences, said panelist Karen Dabdoub of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, are that racism is being perpetuated while the government remains largely inactive in addressing the problems.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.