And in other somewhat surprising news, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Senate campaign is going nowhere.
Seems the Dominicans are doing OK in Hazleton - bullshit on that - I am calling Barletta to get them thowed the fuck out
HAZLETON — The consulate general from the Dominican Republic barely had time to accept a certificate after congratulating the city’s Dominican House on its 13th anniversary before people started asking for his help.
A man waived a passport that he lacked money to renew.
A mother asked about a scholarship for her daughter.
A man sought funds for sports programs, while a woman said Dominican children need rides to after-school programs in the city.
For Carlos Castillo, the consulate general, trying to meet their needs is the essence of his job.
“We have been going all over, everywhere there is a Dominican presence, to offer all the services we do in the consulate,” he said.
Based in New York City, Castillo has responsibilities for Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York.
Most weekends, he travels in those states to meet with groups like the Dominican House, or Casa Dominicana, that formed 13 years ago.
The gathering drew at least 80 people downtown to the atrium of Lackawanna College, where helpers kept carrying in chairs but many of the late-arrivals stood for the program.
Just as the crowd grew, so is the city’s Dominican community and job market.
“It’s economic growth over here. They’re seeing movement, especially to Hazleton,” Castillo said in an interview in English after speaking to the crowd in Spanish.
State Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Twp., mentioned that Castillo had been a senator so they both have a legislative experience.
“I’m glad to hear you come from that background have a have heart for people,” Toohil said.
“Hazleton,” she said, “is a growing. We have so much to offer.”
On behalf of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, his assistant Colleen Eagen Gerrity read a letter commending the Dominican House for meeting needs and the Dominican community for making Northeast Pennsylvania more inclusive.
City Police Chief Jerry Speziale previously worked with Castillo and Victor Perez of the Dominican House while serving in law enforcement roles in New Jersey.
“It’s all about building trust with the community. That’s what he’s concerned with,” Speziale said of Castillo.
Castillo heard from Glenys Vasquez, whose daughter, Amy Marcalle, was the first Latina to speak at commencement at Luzerne County Community College, where she graduated with honors, but could use a scholarship to obtain a four-year degree at Penn State University, where she is a junior.
After Ivelisse Eufracio explained the difficulty that working parents have of taking their children to after-school activities, Castillo and Toohil, who is seeking funding for a public swimming pool in Hazleton, both offered their thoughts.
Castillo also belongs to a coalition of consular officials from 18 Latin American nations that have been monitoring changes in United States immigration, including the separation of families seeking asylum earlier this year. They met children brought from the border to facilities in New York City.
Castillo said the officials are set to meet in Washington, D.C., with representatives of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We have to prevent the abuse of human rights of the Dominican and Latin American community,” he said.