Publisher of Latino Newspaper Reacts to Immigration Reform Plan - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Publisher of Latino Newspaper Reacts to Immigration Reform Plan

Publisher of Latino Newspaper Reacts to Immigration Reform Plan

At first glance, John Newton doesn't appear to be the most likely candidate for immigration reform. Born and raised in Georgia, he grew up working on a tobacco farm. So when someone says to the Caucasian middle age Southern boy that they wouldn't have necessarily picked him as a supporter of immigrants he has a comeback. "Appearances can be deceiving," he says. "Something I've learned about the people I've gotten to know in the past decade."

In 2002 Newton, who published a penny saver, says his advertisers were anxious to reach the growing Latino market in the Savannah area. Since he already had staff and the framework to print a paper, he started la Voz Latina. It began as a Spanish only circular but has now evolved into the area's largest bi-lingual publication.

And along the way, Newton says he's realized there is a lot more behind labels like illegal alien. "that's a pretty hurtful term, he dehumanizes people," he tells me. "But when you get to know people you realize there's a human element that needs to be recognized."

Over the years, Newton says becoming involved with his readers has changed his outlook on a lot of things. "I've come to understand that these people offer so much to our society that the idea they came here without proper documentation is something that can be fixed. But it should by no means keep them from becoming productive members of our society."

Newton is hopeful that immigration reform can come in steps. he knows some people will disagree with him. but he believes it's not only the right thing to do but the smart thing. "You know let's give these people a chance so they are not forever in the shadows," he says.

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