At the Crossroads of Immigration

1 decade 3 years 2 months ago Friday, November 10 2006 Nov 10, 2006 Friday, November 10, 2006 12:43:12 PM CST November 10, 2006 in News

"When I first moved here, it was hard. People [were] talking around me. I don't know what they're saying I'm looking around saying, 'Okay,'" recalled Ceasar Moyda, who came to California six years ago to work at the Cargill Turkey Plant.

"It's better than Mexico, it's bad there," he said.

It's been said Hispanics will take jobs no one else wants.

"Hispanics have always been known as hard workers," Moyda added. "We do the job."

Hispanics who have come to mid-Missouri are looking for a better way of life, a way to make more money. They said they're not looking for a handout, but perhaps a hand up which often comes from the Catholic Church, such as child birth classes.

"We try to walk with the folks, giving them the respect they deserve as human beings," explained Sister Margaret of El Puente. "We don't pay attention to life's circumstances as far as the documents because we really don't need to know that."

Sister Margaret said the church tries to fill gaps that government agencies don't cover. That's why many Hispanics come to El Puente, which means "the bridge."

"The government doesn't provide these services because it doesn't want to, or can't afford it," said Sister Margaret. "Social services are really staples, whether for Hispanics or others."

Hispanics live on both sides of the tracks in California.

"Five years ago, we panicked," remembered Mayor Norris Gerhart. "The panic has slowed, everyone has stepped up to the plate."

Integration wasn't any easier in California, Mo., than in the state of California.

"All of a sudden, there's a large group of people from a different ethnic group," said Sister Peggy of El Puente, "and it can present a threat to people who have lived in the area a long time, the establishment."

The mayor said it's about understanding each other.

"There's give and take in everything in an ever-changing world," Gerhart added.

California definitely changed on Sept. 16, 2000, when five Hispanic children and one adult died in a local house fire. Chief Allen Smith said the tragedy raised awareness.

"They want to have a good job. They want to raise a family. They want them to go to school," he said. "They want what we want, a good type of life, and that's what they're here for."

After that fatal fire, the town started to require smoke detectors in all rental properties.

A billboard greets you as you enter California.

"We had an interpreter here. I don't feel we need one at this point," he said.

But the Missouri State Highway Patrol offers the driver's test in Spanish.

"We have to provide our services the same way, without bias wherever that person is from, we still have to provide that service," explained Capt. Tim Hull. "A driver's license examination is just one of them."

However, Moyda won't take the test in Spanish or English because he's afraid to drive and he also fears racial profiling. However, life is good for him. Moyda doesn't work for Cargill anymore; he fixes roofs.

But, Moyda wishes his fellow Americans would understand that he's not an immigrant. He was born in San Antonio, Texas.

"Some people look at your color [and say], 'What are you doing here? Get back to your country,'" he said.

Ceasar said California is doing a better job of welcoming Hispanics, despite a continuing divide in the community.

KOMU continues its series, Immigration In-Depth, on Friday night when you'll meet two men who don't know each other, although they both have a vision of making immigration work. We'll also show you a state judge who says she's for anything that helps the process.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A hearing has been set for Joseph Elledge on Feb. 3 at 3:00 p.m. at the Boone County... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 8:02:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE – With the closing of Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, it will likely take longer for emergency officials to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE (AP) - Missouri is planning to cut more than 1,700 beds at prisons across the state. Department of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 6:47:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
GUTHRIE TOWNSHIP - Deputies have one suspect in custody in a murder investigation. The Callaway County Sheriff's Office said there... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:41:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Students avoided slick roads after the University of Missouri closed campus on Friday. The school alerted students... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 2:07:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After a heavy snow fall Thursday night, Susan Stephenson received notifications that Columbia Public Schools would not be... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 1:28:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia Public Works Street Division will start plowing and treating all city streets at 1... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 12:08:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Electric Cooperative is reporting outages affecting nearly 5,000 customers Friday morning. The outages are reported across... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 10:22:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Officials with University of Missouri announced campus is closed Friday due to weather. The university earlier announced a... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:29:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BELLE - The Maries County Sheriff addressed concerned Belle residents Thursday after the town closed its police department earlier this... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:19:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system continues in central Missouri, eventually coming to an end this evening with snow accumulation... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than a year and a half of sitting empty, and with holes throughout, a Jefferson... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 6:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Winter weather brings more than just frosty temperatures. It brings the unexpected. Especially when parents and grandparents are... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - This winter has brought above-average levels of snow and ice to mid-Missouri, and now, crews across the... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:18:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - Construction on Route 54 south of Jefferson City will begin on Monday, January 27. The project is... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of assault. The... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
A replat of property at the northwest corner of Cherry and Hitt streets to accommodate plans for a six-story... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Jim Lehrer, the retired PBS anchorman and a graduate of the MU School of Journalism, died Thursday... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
6pm 37°
7pm 36°
8pm 34°
9pm 33°