America's Voice En Español »
By guest blogger, Yvette Schock, of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.
People of faith around the country and the world marked the holy feasts of Passover and Easter this month.
They gathered to hear again sacred stories that tell of both slavery and the struggle for freedom. Stories of sojourners traveling in strange lands, of suffering and death, and of the hope and promise for new life. These stories are not told as mere rehearsal of past events or in anticipation of events to come, but to remind listeners of the call in every time to show compassion and care for neighbors, sustain hope in the face of struggle, and seek justice.
Hearing the call to care for their neighbors and seek justice, many people around the country marked their holy feasts this year by meeting with their representatives in Congress to tell them of their concern for their immigrant neighbors, and to ask what they will do to work for humane, compassionate, and comprehensive immigration reform.
One group of youth leaders from Neighborhood Ministries in Phoenix, Arizona met with Rep. Ed Pastor (D, AZ-04). They had been especially moved by what they learned about the experiences of immigrant youth and decided to focus their advocacy on the DREAM Act, proposed federal legislation that would allow immigrant students to pursue higher education:
After a year-long journey deeper into our poor immigrant community, into their struggles, pain, and strength, as a group of young people, we decided the DREAM Act was the most appropriate policy we should focus on. High school and a few college students led the entire meeting. We presented our findings, told our stories and asked Pastor how he could, with us, help lead.