Immigration Stories: Mattawa: 15-indra-38

Immigrants crowd into the Our Lady of the Desert Catholic Church, overflowing onto the porch at a standing-room-only Spanish-language Mass on a Thursday night in Mattawa, Washington August 22, 2013.Many immigrants shy away from civic duties in a town that has not always been welcoming. City Hall did not hire interpreters until 2007, when the Department of Justice investigated Mattawa for failing to provide translators in a community where most people only speak Spanish. Instead, the town’s social hub is the Catholic church.

Immigrants crowd into the Our Lady of the Desert Catholic Church, overflowing onto the porch at a standing-room-only Spanish-language Mass on a Thursday night in Mattawa, Washington August 22, 2013.

Many immigrants shy away from civic duties in a town that has not always been welcoming. City Hall did not hire interpreters until 2007, when the Department of Justice investigated Mattawa for failing to provide translators in a community where most people only speak Spanish. Instead, the town’s social hub is the Catholic church.