Nebraska City residents can help immigrants by creating an environment where people feel welcome.
That’s the message Jacob Huju of the Immigrant Legal Center left the audience at the January Hot Topics with on Wednesday morning.
Huju, a Center attorney, and paralegal Pattie Lant, discussed services the center offers to immigrants.
Huju began the discussion by having members of the audience introduce themselves and share their immigrant stories, which ranged from ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower to more-recent arrivals from countries around the world.
Lant said the ILC, which has an office at 110 N. 9th St., is part of a statewide expansion designed to offer services in smaller communities.
The center provides services for undocumented immigrants, said Huju, who are eligible for family-based visas or  those immigrants who qualify for visas because they were victims of crime or were brought here by trafficking.
 A typical day at the office, according to Huju, includes assisting clients and conducting outreach activities to let the community know the center exists.
He added that Nebraska City’s population is about 24 percent foreign-born, which was one of the reasons the Center decided to establish an office here.
The Nebraska City office helps clients from Lincoln to Cass County to the Kansas border, he said.
The presentation from Huju and Lant was preceded by a brief discussion by Laura French about adult learning classes offered by Southeast Community College.
Southeast offers an Adult Basic Education Class and an English as a Second Language class, said French.
Both classes are free, she said, and the schedules are flexible enough to allow students to join at any time.
The Adult Basic Education class meets from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and the English as a Second Language class meets from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
French said the Adult Basic Education class is hours- and test-based, and she used the mnemonic EAT (enroll, attend, test) to descibe SCC’s approach for this class.
For more information, contact French at lfrench @southeast.edu or 612-910-1102.