by Dominic Aliano, Concord

Recently, our community, the City of Concord, received troubling news. We were informed that the United States Navy has plans to house migrants on Navy bases around the country. One of those Navy bases includes the Concord Naval Weapons Station. According to an internal document, the Navy plans to spend $233 million to construct these camps around the country and would house 47,000 migrants here in Concord.

As an American and as a grandson to immigrants, I truly find these camps troubling. My grandparents left their homeland because they knew that the United States of America would offer them far more opportunities for success and safety then their homeland could ever offer. This country was founded by men, women, and children who traveled many miles and battled many hardships to capture the freedom they were looking for. I definitely believe that people from other countries have the right to capture the American Dream even though individuals might have a different idea or definition of what the American Dream might mean to them.

My family would not be what is today if it was not for my grandparents dreaming big. Heritage and lineage are important for me and understanding my family’s history is what makes me better understand who we are. I can learn from our past and proceed into the future with a better understanding of what to do and what not to do. Essentially, what I am trying to say, is that this country was created and built by people that descended from other countries. We should not forget who we are as a country.   I feel that the leadership within the White House has forgotten. Obviously, the immigration system in our country is flawed but it should not resort to camps and the separation of families.

I am proud of the City of Concord’s response to the community about the Navy’s plans at the Concord Naval Weapons Station:

The City of Concord is very concerned to learn of news reports that the Navy may be planning a detention center at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The Navy has not communicated information to the City about any such plans, although we have reached out to them upon hearing these reports. While the City of Concord is currently negotiating to acquire and eventually develop the Naval Weapons Station, we do not have jurisdiction or control over that federally-owned property.

Last September, the City of Concord passed a resolution affirming Concord’s commitment to being a welcoming, inclusive, tolerant and supportive community for all. We do not feel that a detention center within city limits represents those values. We are working with Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, and through him, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, to gather additional information in order to address this issue.

Yes, the City of Concord is a welcoming, inclusive, tolerant and a supportive community for all and I am proud to call myself not only a Concord resident but a native. We as a city will only grow positively if we continue to support our hard-working families.