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Editorial: An unfortunate lack of representation

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opinion Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

On Friday evening, the premiere of the immigration documentary “Abrazos” was attended by numerous family and friends of people of Guatemalan ancestry who appeared in the film — not to mention plenty of other Worthington residents.

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Then, the following morning, about 35 people gathered for a public forum on immigration on the Worthington campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Among the participants was Hugo Hun, counsel general of the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago, who made the trip to our community to see the documentary and participate in the subsequent discussion.

It’s not every day that folks with titles like Hun’s pay visits to our city. It’s also noteworthy that a forum such as the one hosted Saturday took place at the same time that the issue of immigration continued to make major news across the U.S., as the problem of children crossing America’s border in recent weeks has grown.

Yet, despite Hun’s presence in Worthington, and despite the clear significance of Saturday’s forum, the Rev. Jim Callahan was disappointed — and rightfully so. He pointed out during the forum, as the Daily Globe reported Monday, “that no local officials or representatives were on hand for either the film premiere or Saturday morning’s discussion.”

We agree with the point of Callahan’s comment. Shouldn’t Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh have been present, or a delegated city council member or two, or perhaps representatives of city staff? What about Nobles County commissioners? What about state officials, like Rep. Rod Hamilton and Sen. Bill Weber? Were the proceedings not significant enough to warrant their attendance?

The word “Abrazos” means “embrace” in Spanish. It’s a shame this past weekend’s events weren’t embraced by so many key leaders.

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