Ultimas Noticias/ ‘Todos somos mexicanos.”/ “We are all Mexicans.”

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im Smith/El HiSPANO Philadelphia — “We are all Mexicans.” This was the prevailing message at Mexican Independence Day festivities, Sunday, as some seven to eight thousand Mexican families received a welcoming message from Mayor Michael Nutter and a host of other state and city officials. A little more than a week since the photograph of a three-year-old Syrian refugee whose body had washed ashore had moved all of Europe to open its doors, the colorful images of Mexican families gathered at Penn’s Landing, Sunday, evoked a sense of camaraderie from officials whose own families had come here from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Italy, Korea and elsewhere. Decrying the much publicized remarks of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Philadelphia Mayor Nutter asserted that such “people who may not have lived a diverse life,” are clearly “not qualified to lead the United States under any circumstances.” “You have friends here in Philadelphia, you have friends here in Pennsylvania,” added the Mr. Nutter. “Do not let anyone put you down. You should be proud of who you are. We stand with you.” A parade of city and state officials voiced similar sentiments, including Pennsylvania State Secretary Pedro Cortes, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera; Special Asst. to the Lt. Governor, Juvencio Gonzalez; Councilman David Oh, Councilman Squilla and Mayoral Candidate Jim Kenney. City Councilman Mark Squilla lauded the Mexican Independence day as an “amazing event.” Noting the “well-behaved” mixture of families, older adults and children all having “a good time,’ Councilman Squilla enthused, “This is what Philadelphia is all about and you make great.” “Always hold on to your culture, hold on to your language and hold on to your values,” added the South Philadelphia Councilman. After recalling his own immigrant ancestors from Ireland who had either ‘starved” or fled a blight that hit their potato crops before the U.S. Civil War, Mayoral candidate Jim Kenney said, “They told us to go back where we came from.” “They didn’t want to hire us.” So signs of “No Irish Need Apply” appeared in business windows. “They burned down two of our churches and tried to burn down a third,” added Kenney. “But we fought back.” “They didn’t want us here, the same way they don’t want you here,” continued Kenney. “But guess what? We want you here. We’re not going to turn our back on you.” Echoing Councilman Squilla, Kenney recalled that his ancestors had their “Gallic” language “beaten” out of them, and urged the new arrivals from Mexico, “not to lose your language and don’t lose your culture.” “I’m so happy you’ve chose Philadelphia as your home,” said Kenney. Since 2010, Elaine Cheung, Esq. has represented hundreds of Spanish and Chinese-speaking clients on a variety of immigration and deportation issues. Of the comments of The Donald on Mexicans coming to the United States, she said: “He is really out of touch with who immigrants are and who is actually coming to the shores of America and airports of the United States.” “Before it was starving Irish people and later it was Jews fleeing Nazi occupied Europe or Italians. And of the people who are coming from Central America and Mexico, Ms. Cheung saw similar motivations: “They are coming to make a better life for their children and families, and for economic reasons.” “A lot from Central America are escaping violence and danger, and whatever perilous journeys they are embarking on is less dangerous than what they have left at home.” “So when he says the people coming across the Mexican border are criminals and rapists, he is out of touch with reality,’ she is referring to Trump, and he obviously doesn’t have experience working with immigrants and I don’t think he can win without the Latino vote.” “The people who come as immigrants are the people who are more courageous and more entrepreneurial in nature, and they are not satisfied with the status quo.”

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