Friday, September 27, 2019
SHOCK!!! MATTIE RHODES CENTER ICE INVITATION SPARKS CONTROVERSY AMID KANSAS CITY IMMIGRATION CRISIS!!!
A Kansas City non-profit community center conversation sparks controversy and social media outcry from local immigration advocates critical of a controversial government agency.
TKC Blog Community denizens following this crisis get first word and share their hot take on the hot mess:
"Facts: John Fiero invites Chief Smith and ICE Agents to Mattie Rhodes. Unbeknownst to the Latino Community who were shocked and stunded that their trust had been compromised and double crossed! John Fiero was Vice Chair of the Audit Committee for the Jackson County Jail and voted for new jail expansion. John Fiero is Executive Director of Mattie Rhodes and NOT A COMMUNITY LEADER!!!"
Accordingly . . .
BOTH LATINO AND PROGRESSIVE LA MIGRA CRITICS DENOUNCE MATTIE RHODES FOR INVITING ICE TO COMMUNITY MEETINGS AND CITE 'SAFETY' CONCERNS!!!
Their complaints aren't totally out of bounds after an outpouring of negative public reaction following a recent Kansas City ICE arrest of an immigration fugitive which included a broken window of a car with youngsters inside . . .
Here's the word from the otherwise celebrated community center with the relevant passage highlighted:
"Mattie Rhodes Center has been firmly rooted in the Kansas City community for more than a century, and has always supported and protected immigrants and refugees throughout our community.
"Recently, Mattie Rhodes Center hosted a meeting with several Latino community leaders. The intent of the meeting was to discuss policy and safety within the community, however it became apparent following this exchange that the presence of ICE created a scenario where some of our staff, community partners and possibly participants feel unsafe. We are committed to learning from this and want to assure those affected that this was never the intent of the meeting and we are working to make it right.
"Our board of directors and staff are dedicated to providing essential education to and advocacy on behalf of the undocumented community as it relates to changing immigration policy.
"Through the delivery of direct services, advocacy, and community collaboration we aim to promote the views and rights as well as highlight the concerns of immigrant and refugee community members. By walking along side each other and amplifying the voices of all, we will continue to promote positive change and inspire hope for every individual in the future."
However, as we noted previously, tempers are flaring over this community faux pas and the Prez & CEO of Mattie Rhodes was forced to respond . . .
"In my attempt to increase my own understanding of the policies and procedures upheld by ICE, and as a means to better educate the immigrant community against arrests by them, I sought the participation of ICE’s regional spokesperson at a recent meeting held at one of Mattie Rhodes Center’s sites. This individual's presence along with a representative of the Kansas City Field office, unbeknownst to guests attending the meeting, has resulted in hurt feelings. I recognize my actions while well intended, were hurtful to some of my staff and community members, for this I take full responsibility and apologize.
To those I have upset with my actions, I ask for your understanding of my attempt to be an advocate on behalf of our immigrant community. I look forward to learning from this experience and collaborating with my staff, each of you and community organizations in a culturally competent way to protect the human rights of our community.
Accordingly, as the immigration debate ramps up again to mobilize 2020 voters . . .
THIS MATTIE RHODES COMMUNITY CENTER IMMIGRATION BEEF REPRESENTS RISING PUSH BACK AGAINST ICE ACROSS URBAN CORE KANSAS CITY!!! IS MR. FIERRO WRONG FOR REACHING OUT TO AUTHORITIES OR CORRECT IN WANTING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT RAPIDLY EVOLVING LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICY?!?
You decide . . .