Updated: Feb 16
Author: Jim Brigham
Published: August 15, 2018
I opened the Half Moon Bay Review on Aug. 8 hoping to read an account of the public presentation on Aug. 4, at the Ted Adcock Community Center, sponsored by ALAS, the city of Half Moon Bay, the Immigration Action Group and Estamos Contigo Border Task Force. Since there was no article in the paper I would like to take this opportunity to summarize my experience.
This was a speaker panel led by Half Moon Bay resident Belinda Arriaga, the director of the local nonprofit ALAS. Other speakers were counselors and psychology clinicians who had journeyed with her as a group to McAllen, Texas, to work with Catholic Charities in assisting asylum-granted families who were being reunited and sent to their respective sponsors in various parts of the United States.
The speakers’ descriptions of the deplorable conditions in which these families were detained by ICE as a result of the “criminalization” of immigration were heart wrenching. At the same time, it was uplifting and inspiring to hear the descriptions of how the loving presence and the actions of the volunteers were often able to transform a terrible situation.
May we all seek to find ways to bring to our corner of the world grace and goodwill.
Editor’s note: The Review published a story on Arriaga’s trip to Texas in the Aug. 1 edition, prior to the gathering at the Ted Adcock Community Center.