A community forum for immigrant families will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square.
Workshops will cover topics such as immigration reform, how to become a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process, how to obtain visas and other government permits, and how to obtain help with English classes and other living needs.
More than 25 nonprofit agencies, including American Gateways, the Mexican Consulate, Manos de Cristo and Foundation Communities, will provide information about their services.
Organizers said the forum can help immigrant families who regularly confront an array of regulations that affect their lives and their children’s educational opportunities.
“We want to make sure the community has reliable information,” said Montserrat Garibay, vice president for certified employees with Education Austin, a teachers’ and employees’ union in the Austin school district, which is co-sponsoring the forum through a grant from the National Education Association union. Garibay said Education Austin is a member of the NEA and American Federation of Teachers; all support immigration reform.
The forum will also cover what community members can do to advocate for immigration reform, which Congress is considering, Garibay said.
“In Texas, immigration reform is very important because we have families with mixed status,” Garibay said. “You might have a parent with legal status, another parent without. And their children are U.S. citizens. If one family member gets deported, that hurts the family overall.”