Mayor Ravi Bhasker made proclamation at the June 6 council meeting to coincide with Immigrant Heritage Month, a national program to bring awareness and improve advocacy for the impact of immigrants on the history of the U.S. After reading the proclamation to the chamber, Bhasker made it clear that this program focuses on legal immigrants, not “the problems at the border.”

However, Councilor Anton Salome took exception to the phrasing of one particular paragraph, saying that it “falls short.”

That passage states “the role of immigrants in building and enriching our nation has frequently been overlooked and undervalued throughout our history….”

In his comments, Salome said, “People vote, people elect, people run for these offices…. we’re here to try to solve problems, not just announce and proclaim this and sweep it under the rug.”

Salome said, “Who’s undervaluing the contributions of immigrants? …. We need to know who is doing that…. maybe we can work on resolving that issue rather than proclaiming the problem and then moving on to the next item.”

Salome suggested that, after study and discussion with the authors of the proclamation, a motion or another proclamation might be made that proposes solutions.

Bhasker responded that he was making the proclamation on behalf of the City Council because of his personal investment in the issue. “I would be more than happy to ask them to come and have a dialogue with us.”

Councilor Peter Romero also volunteered to be part of that discussion, and Bhasker said he would definitely follow up in the future.

The full proclamation reads:

“Whereas, generations of immigrants from every corner of the globe have built our country’s economy and created the unique character of our nation; and

“Whereas, immigrants continue to grow businesses, innovate, strengthen our economy, and create American jobs in Socorro, NM; and

“Whereas, immigrants have provided the United States with unique social and cultural influence, fundamentally enriching the extraordinary character of our nation; and

“Whereas, immigrants have been tireless leaders not only in securing their own rights and access to equal opportunity, but have also campaigned to create a fairer and more just society for all Americans; and

“Whereas, despite these countless contributions, the role of immigrants in building and enriching our nation has frequently been overlooked and undervalued throughout our history and continuing to the present day;

“Now, therefore, be it resolved by the City of Socorro City Council and Mayor Ravi Bhasker assembled, that June 2023 is designated as “Immigrant Heritage Month.”

For more information about Immigrant Heritage Month, visit iamanimmigrant.com.