Community gathering aims to separate immigration myth from fact

Piece by Gabriel Acosta

Mount Mercy University will host a day-long series of events titled “Our Immigrant Stories” which will reveal many personal narratives on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Betty Cherry Heritage Hall on Mount Mercy’s main campus.

The day will include personal narrative and artwork from student-artist Gabriel Acosta, additional student works, a student panel, a faculty-staff panel, and community group presentations.

Acosta, who moved to Iowa from Mexico with his mother in March 2001, expects the day will be informational and hopes his presentation will separate truth from myth.

“Immigrants who are standing up aren't standing up for gang members, but for those who work the fields for endless hours a day just to make $35,” Acosta said. “I want the community to embrace immigrants in this nation and see that we help create a strong nation. I want them to understand that we are here to get a job, education and a chance to have a life.”

Acosta also wants community members to take away and understand the issues involved with immigration and the people who are affected by it. He will tell his side of the story at the event to, as he put it, help stand up for himself and the others “who are too afraid to stand up.”

Immigrant community members are invited to share their own experiences during the 4 p.m. open mic portion of the event.

This event is part of the 2016 Fall Faculty Series – Building Walls, Building Bridges: The U.S. as an Immigrant Nation. Through multiple presentations, performances and stories we will explore what immigration has meant to our history as well as what immigration means to us now.

Find a full schedule of the day’s events here. For more information, contact Joe Sheller at

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