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South Bend immigrants learn about their rights

Groups in South Bend are providing resources and education to immigrant families amid fear and confusion.

As concerns grow in the city’s Hispanic community, different organizations are working together in order to keep families together.

La Casa de Amistad held a “Know Your Rights” panel event at Harrison Primary School after residents in the community have been raising concerns about their families’ futures for weeks.

Hundreds showed up hoping for peace of mind.

“There’s a lot of rumor mill a lot of I heard this or I read this on the internet and it’s important for folks to come and hear from qualified local attorneys who can tell them what’s going on,” said Sam Centellas, executive director of La Casa de Amistad.

The false rumor spread this week was about an immigration raid along Western Avenue just a few blocks away from the school.

“That doesn’t help but at least telling them what we do know, is important for them to be able to have that information,” said Centellas.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke during the event, hoping to quell concerns and send a message that the city is on their side.

“The people who are living in our community, sending their kids to a school like Harrison, they’re not the problem, they’re our neighbors,” said the mayor.

Students from John Adams High School volunteered to watch the children of the parents attending the event.

“I, myself and from the Hispanic community and so I feel the tension and I know how parents worry so much about their children,” said Rebekah Maya, a junior at John Adams High School. “And so for them to come here and to see the community coming together take care of their kids and provide fun things for them to do, I know relieves the tension they must feel at home.”

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