CANTON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Hispanic community in Canton is rapidly increasing, but accommodations an translators for migrants are sparse.
Immigrants, who have traveled from south of the border, have come to the United States with hopes of finding better opportunities for themselves and their families, but the journey to a foreign land is only half their battle. The other half is adjusting to the customs of American Society.
“We come to this country. We do not come to kill, do nothing bad, rob or nothing. We just come, and everybody is trying to make it to survival,” said Gomez.
Gomez has lived in the United States for 20 years. For 17 years, he’s lived in Canton and shared the challenges of becoming a legal citizen.
“If you got kids like me, I got kids. I got four kids in Mexico. I got to put them in school, feed them; your rent, your bills, a car, you can never have money, and immigration is asking for like $10,000,” he explained.
The financial hardships don’t end there. Some undocumented immigrants have been victimized because of their lack of resources.
“It’s unfortunate because we don’t have bank accounts. It’s just really sad because we work hard, and those targeting us know we don’t have anywhere to save our money,” said Manuela, who is a community health worker in Canton.
Manuela dedicates her time to informing and assisting the growing Hispanic population.
“It’s important to work because our community is growing in the 17 years that I’ve been the Hispanic community has grown rapidly. About 40 to 50 percent of Canton’s population is Hispanic. We have necessities, but they are not being met we authorities to recognize these necessities,” she said.
As the Hispanic community continues to grow in Canton, they hope Mayor William Truly continues working on bridging the language and equity in the city. In June 2020, the mayor formed a Hispanic Task Force in efforts to meet the needs of the Hispanic population.
“A lot of times, the members of the Hispanic community might be a little timid about speaking up and speaking out, and we need to let them know that they can share their heart and share their feelings and let us know what it is that they want,” said Truly.
The Hispanic community has been calling for basic needs, such as translators and police support.
“We have provided cameras in the area in the area to make them feel better, safe in their homes or when they’re out in the community,” said Police Chief Otha Brown.
Leaders said the Hispanic community also needs more access to vaccines and accurate information about COVID-19.