September 26, 2022

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A visit to Perry brings house why we’d like immigration reform

A visit to Perry brings house why we’d like immigration reform

I went to Perry, Iowa (inhabitants 7,836) on Friday to assist practice a brand new information man at Raccoon Valley Radio. Perry is about an hour and a half lengthy drive away from house. I had deliberate to reach mid-morning, however at about 5:30 a.m., a intestine feeling informed me to go away quickly. So I did.

I arrived on the radio station in Perry at about 7:30 a.m. and was informed the brand new man was going to begin his day at a Perry Chamber of Commerce ribbon reducing at High quality Marble and Tile. I figured I might meet him there and arrived about fifteen minutes early. Like several good small-town information individual, I launched myself and began chatting with individuals, nosing round for information. I wished to be taught who was who and who had tales to inform to assist the brand new man get a superb begin.

As 8:00 a.m. approached, I questioned the place my new man was. When the Chamber of Commerce Director began talking at 8:02, and the brand new man nonetheless wasn’t there, I knew it was good that I had trusted my intestine to return to Perry early. In any other case, we might have missed the ribbon reducing.

We gathered in a circle in entrance of the High quality Marble and Tile fabrication store, the place they make stone cupboard tops and extra. Their showroom is in Grimes. Earlier than the ribbon was minimize, the chamber director requested these assembled if they’d any updates to share. Most did. It was a goldmine for potential information tales, and I handed out my enterprise playing cards like I used to be tossing confetti.

And my information man? He confirmed up at 8:18, when a lot of the dialogue was over.


A visit to Perry brings house why we’d like immigration reform
Standing exterior High quality Marble and Tile in Perry are, from left, Niho Kahrimanovic, Dina Kahrimanovic, Samira Kahrimanovic, and Hajro Kahrimanovic. The enterprise additionally has a location in Grimes. (Picture by Robert Leonard)

Dina Kahrimanovic, the younger girl center-left within the photograph to the left, did an interview with me concerning the enterprise. To her proper is her Uncle Niho. To her left are her mom, Samira, and her father Hajro.

When the Kahrimanovic household fled Bosnia throughout the 1992-1995 conflict, Dina was a woman. They first went to Germany after which to the US to seek out their house in Iowa. In our interview, she informed me about their firm and their journey. For the reason that store was noisy, we stepped exterior and into the shade. Please hearken to Dina.


She says the household began the enterprise in Des Moines in 2001, moved to Grimes round 2010, after which moved the fabrication store to Perry in 2018.

Hajro Kahrimanovic speaks about stonecutting with depth, love, and pleasure. (Picture by Robert Leonard)
A stone-cutting desk at High quality Marble and Tile in Perry, Iowa. (Picture by Robert Leonard)
The Kahrimanovic household in entrance of a marble desk of their Perry store. (Picture by Robert Leonard)

I wished to take a photograph of the household in entrance of that desk (Dina’s mom was busy with different duties). Hajro insisted that the desk be tilted so the granite could possibly be seen behind them. He’s very happy with the standard of stone they’ve and their craftsmanship.

The Kahrimanovic household are immigrants. They arrived with a imaginative and prescient, began with nothing, and constructed a profitable enterprise. We’re fortunate they selected us; we’re all higher off as a result of they did.

Meals photographer got here from Brazil

As we had been doing introductions on the ribbon-cutting, a younger girl informed us she was a meals photographer. Her title is Nath Rocha, and the photograph of the strawberry on the high of this submit is hers. Nath got here to the studio for an interview.

Please pay attention. Let her communicate to you. Hear her vital voice.

Nath Rocha, a meals photographer from Brazil, information an interview at Raccoon Valley Radio. (Picture by Robert Leonard)


Nath is from Brazil, arriving in the US in 2016. She fell in love with a younger man whose father lives in Perry, and so they married. They spend the summer season and fall in Perry and winter and spring in Phoenix. In case you go to only one web site right this moment, select hers. Click on right here! You gained’t remorse it.

Nath is an immigrant. She selected us. We’re fortunate to have her. She has created a profitable enterprise in Iowa and Arizona and makes use of her artwork to develop native companies and our financial system.

Nath tells me she likes to {photograph} meals as a result of meals brings us collectively, regardless of our tradition. Right here is her stunning work on Instagram. She, and her work, are a present.

After an “fascinating” day with the brand new man, and as I used to be about to go house, some breaking native information got here in. The Perry Excessive College Homecoming Court docket was named!

Perry Excessive College’s Homecoming Court docket: Again row, from left: Jefry Gonzalez, Jonathan Chavez, Anthony Chavez, Fithawi Andemichael, Kyle Hernandez. Entrance row: Sarai Ramos, Lydia Olejniczak, Yamilet Ortega, Cloe Nance. Not pictured: Taylor Atwell. (Picture by Robert Leonard)

As you may see from their names, many of those college students are probably from latest immigrant households. We’re fortunate that their households selected to dwell in Iowa.

Iowa wants immigrants

As of this writing, Iowa has 83,681 jobs open. I do know enterprise leaders need immigration reform. One native producer informed me she may put 100 individuals to work tomorrow.

Within the first months of 2022, greater than 100 million people had been displaced worldwide because of persecution, battle, violence, or human rights violations.

Immigrants have confirmed, time and time once more, how a lot they’ve to supply, and it’s clear we’d like them to assist remedy our labor disaster. Congress must act now.

I’ve written extra about how a lot rural America wants immigrants in The New York Occasions, TIME, and why immigration reform isn’t taking place on this substack if you’re .

I’m going again to Perry tomorrow to assist the brand new man. I hope he’s on time…