Group Wants to Bring Immigration Play to Hermiston

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Susan Kay, right, asked for the support from the Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee to bring a Portland theater group's play about immigration to Hermiston in April.

A Portland theater group wants to bring a play about immigration to Hermiston, but $1,500 needs to be raised and a location needs to be secured before that can happen.

Susan Kay asked the Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee for the help Monday night in bringing the play to Hermiston.

“I think this is so timely,” Kay told the committee. “They present plays to open up cultural understanding and they want the community’s support to bring the play to town.”

Kay said the Portland Milagro Reality Theater will be in the area in early April and has indicated that its members would like to present the play on April 5. The $1,500 cost would cover travel expenses and the actors’ payment.

“The main obstacle I see is funding,” Kay said. “If we set a reasonable admission price and get our community partners involved, we can do this.”

The committee offered its verbal support of Kay’s effort and suggested various community businesses and organizations that might be interested in helping fund the play.

Kay’s request came on a night in which immigration reform was a primary topic of discussion for the advisory committee. Chairman Eddie de la Cruz said a House bill may be put for a vote, but that it will likely be very different from the Senate bill passed last year. The House bill is likely to make it tougher for undocumented workers already in the United States to gain citizenship.

Committee member George Anderson said President Obama is taking executive action that he described as “very helpful.” Through an executive order, Obama has put a halt to the deportation of many illegal immigrants. The order applies to unauthorized immigrants who haven’t broken the law, those who were children when they arrived in the United States, and adults caring for children.

Congressman Greg Walden, whose 2nd Congressional District includes Umatilla and Morrow counties, has not yet come out in support of what the committee refers to as “fair and sensible” immigration reform. Committee member Virginia Garcia encouraged supporters of immigration reform to let Walden know how they feel. She said supporters should make it a point to show up to Walden events when he comes to Hermiston.

“It would be great if we show up and show him we care and that we are voters,” she said.

“I don’t think Greg Walden has been to Hermiston for a very long time,” Anderson said. “He’s been to Pendleton, but not Hermiston.”

Monday’s meeting was the first since the Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee expanded from seven to nine members. New member Alejandra Meza was present, but Clara F. Fitzgerald was not.

The next committee meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17 at Hermiston City Hall.