More His­pan­ics en­joy­ing Down­town

La Semana - - PORTADA -

ENGLISH

Ever since the pas­sage of Ok­la­homa’s notorious an­ti­im­mi­grant law HB 1804 in 2007, His­pan­ics were seen in fewer num­bers in ar­eas where they had to travel a long dis­tance away from home or where there was a per­cep­tion of a large law en­force­ment pres­ence. The law, com­bined with the Tulsa County Sher­iff’s Of­fice’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 287(g) im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment pro­gram, made many who might have a fam­ily mem­ber with an im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus is­sue wary of ven­tur­ing more than a short dis­tance from East Tulsa for fear that a fun day out­doors could turn into a night­mare of fam­ily separation.

Luck­ily, the worst of such fears seem to have abated in the last cou­ple of years, de­spite the on­go­ing anti-im­mi­grant rhetoric em­a­nat­ing from Wash­ing­ton, DC. Tulsa, along with sev­eral other ma­jor cities across the coun­try, has been mak­ing a vis­i­ble ef­fort to make the im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion feel safe and wel­come in all pub­lic spa­ces, an ac­knowl­edge­ment that this city be­longs to all who live here.

In ad­di­tion to ef­forts by city lead­ers to make Tulsa a more in­clu­sive place for all res­i­dents, var­i­ous groups have been mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to put on events that specif­i­cally ap­peal to the city’s Latin pop­u­la­tion, no­tably the an­nual Fes­ti­val Amer­i­cas celebration – also held at the Guthrie Green – and Liv­ing Arts’ Day of the Dead fes­ti­val.

Tulsa Roots Mu­sic has also tai­lored sev­eral of its Guthrie Green free con­certs to Latin mu­sic fans, host­ing such acts as Los Lo­bos, Felix y Los Gatos, and oth­ers.

And it isn’t just down­town that is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a resur­gence in His­panic event at­ten­dance – Tulsa’s Cinco de Mayo celebration has seen greater num­bers each year the event has taken place at River West Fes­ti­val Park.

With the open­ing of the Gath­er­ing Place on River­side just around the cor­ner, it’s good to know that as Tulsa of­fers more op­por­tu­ni­ties for fam­i­lies to en­joy them­selves out­doors that ev­ery­one will feel wel­come and safe, re­gard­less of what they look like or where they came from. (La Se­m­ana)

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