Congressman Cresent Hardy at Hispanic-Heritage Summit

Congressman Cresent Hardy

Congressman Cresent Hardy

By Ariel T. Rodriguez

College of Southern Nevada’s annual Hispanic-Heritage Summit was hosted by Republican Congressman Cresent Hardy.

The summit’s purpose was to commemorate Hispanic-Heritage Month by promoting education and raising awareness of opportunity and success for students.

“My hope is that everyone here finds something of use to strengthen their lives,” said Hardy, Nevada’s 4th District representative. “Each of you will have the opportunity to choose the information sessions based on your education, how to effectively navigate the immigration system and how to put your tax dollars to work by exploiting what government services are available.”

Workshops were placed throughout the lobby at Cheyenne campus on Oct. 10, 2015.

Parents and students attended different workshops including the following: U.S. citizenship and immigration services, U.S. Census Bureau resource information, college readiness and applying for FAFSA, and ESL and GED.

Vendors including University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada State College, Latin Chamber of Commerce and North Las Vegas Police Department, among others, hosted booths and workshops.

The highlight of the Summit was the presence of Congressman Hardy.

“I am honored to serve this community in Washington D.C. but I must tell you it is a privilege to be back home,” Hardy said. “Events like this remind me of why I got in to public service.”

Mariachi band that performed at Summit

Mariachi band that performed at Summit

Hardy emphasized his concern for education; he did not complete college. “I never finished college, only one year,” Hardy said. “I come from the fields myself.” He shared that he also worked in construction for many years.

President of Hispanics in Politics Fernando Romero and Consul of Mexico Julian Adem joined the congressman on stage.

“There are topics here that affect everybody,” Romero said. “I have a senior looking into FAFSA and relatives concerned about immigration.”

The 10-month-serving congressman also spoke about the difficulties of navigating the U.S. immigration system.

Hardy said, “I know a number of employers that find it difficult to navigate this system today, to be able to get their employees here and get that green card. That needs to be changed.”

Although Hardy spoke in favor of immigrants, he criticized President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order DACA, which gave undocumented students working permits. He referred to the executive order as something effective today that could be gone tomorrow based on what Congress legislates.

Adem emphasized the importance of immigration in the Hispanic community.

“In these situations we want to bring solutions to our people and events like this Summit where we have presence of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services are very important,” said Adem, to the audience. “Heritage month is more than just an opportunity to celebrate with Mariachis and parades, but rather an opportunity for the community and institutions to come together and facilitate opportunities for our people.”

Right before his speech, Congressman Hardy approached and greeted two spectators who sat at the very back. George Gonzalez and his son got the chance to speak with him.

“We talked about GPA and what opportunities were available out there,” Gonzalez said. “He asked how my son was doing in school. He seems like a nice guy.”

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