WLOS hosts 'Your Voice, Your Future: The Immigration Impact' Town Hall

Town Hall panelists from left to right: Dr. George Pappas, Marisol Jimenez, Bryan Cox & Dr. Dan Eichenbaum. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

It was a packed room at the Virginia Boone Building at the WNC Ag Center on Wednesday evening. More than 100 people came for the News 13 "Your Voice, Your Future: The Immigration Impact" Town Hall.

*Note: Due to inclement weather, part of the video was lost*

Moderated by Mark Hyman, audience members asked about what can be done to make the path to citizenship easier, migrant labor, laws and a host of other topics.

They were answered by the four panelists: Bryan D. Cox - Southern Region Communications Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Marisol Jimenez – board member with Nuestro Centro & CIMA; Dr. Dan Eichenbaum - Founder Dr. Dan's Freedom Forum & Chairman of Cherokee Co. Board of Commissioners; Dr. George D. Pappas, ESQ PC – Executive Director, The International Center for Legal Studies.

News 13's Frank Fraboni also monitored viewer questions on social media via the Digital Desk.

A lot of the talk was on farming and other jobs often filled by immigrants.

One of the panelists said farmers in North Carolina sometimes have thousands of seasonal spots to fill and only hundreds of Americans willing to fill them.

The people on the panel seemed to agree there needed to be a better solution for immigrants, one that ensures laws aren't broken.

"Yes, I want people to come here. We've always been a melting pot, I'm not against that," Barbara Soyars said. "But, at the same time, we need to do it correctly. They need to recognize the laws of the United States."

In the meantime, thousands of illegal immigrants continue to get deported every few months just from our region.

"It would be good if, you know, something would come in with a good law for the undocumented people because they're not here just for welfare or food stamps, because a lot of people don't need that," said Veronica Mendoza, who attended the Town Hall.

According to the federal government, from late January to late April of this year, there were nearly 3,500 deportations.

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