Kansas City Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. File photo

Kansas City Public Library event to welcome immigrants, refugees

With anxiety in the air over immigrant status and refugees, the Kansas City Public Library is offering support and encouragement.

The Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., is organizing a letter-writing event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at which patrons can write letters, create drawings or take selfies to welcome immigrants and refugees to the Kansas City area. The messages will be delivered through Jewish Vocational Services, a nonprofit organization that provides immigration services.

“Imagine leaving family, friends, belongings behind and going to a new country where you know no one,” Julie Robinson, the library’s Refugee and Immigrant Services Outreach director, said in announcing the #toimmigrantswithlove event. “The feelings of loneliness, isolation and disorientation can be overwhelming. These letters of support are a way to smile at someone new to Kansas City. A simple way to welcome them and make them feel wanted by their neighbors.”

The event will be in the Helzberg Auditorium on the fifth floor. The library will provide materials and a selfie station where participants may share messages on social media. Parking is free in the Central Library garage.

Story time sessions for children will be at 10 a.m. and noon on the second floor.

President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to crack down on criminal immigrants.

An executive order temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country was suspended last week by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Last week the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency conducted enforcement actions in other cities, prompting fear among immigrants of a crackdown Sunday in Kansas City. But an ICE official said the agency does not engage in indiscriminate enforcement, and there were no enforcement operations Sunday in Kansas City.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC