.- âOur society does not see Hispanic immigration as a problem, but rather as a blessing,â a prominent local government official in Spain said last week. Esteban Gonzalez Pons of the provincial government of Valencia, said Spain should not zero in erroneously on this issue as happens âin many European countries.â During the opening of the First Hispanic Education and Immigration Day at the St. Vincent Martyr Catholic University of Valencia, Pons explained that tolerance is âthe best toolâ for combating the ghettoes and the social breaches that can exist between immigrants and the society that receives them.
Pons underscored the necessity of ânot neglecting the ability of the media to influence,â noting that sometimes the media conveys âdifferent valuesâ from the ones that are taught in schools.
He added that the risk of âexclusion, separation or segregationâ exists for those who come from Hispanic countries if the phenomenon of immigration is not properly understood. Pons indicated that new programs exist, not only in schools, but also in other channels of communication and from parents as well.
For his part, Jose Alfredo Peris, rector of the Catholic University of Valencia, expressed his hope that âthese days might by the beginning of collaboration between this university and Hispanic immigration, which for us is to welcome our brothers and sisters from the other side of the ocean.â