Last summer, a group called the “Nuns on the Bus” traveled nearly 3,000 miles through nine states to protest Republican budget plans, and this year they’re back—fighting in support of immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.
This week in New York, with the Statue of Liberty in the background, the nuns kicked off a faith-based push to draw attention to the need for immigration reform. The bus will travel 6,500 miles over three weeks, stopping in 15 states (including Latino-heavy states like Florida, Texas, and California) before concluding in mid-June on San Francisco’s Angel Island.
As Sister Simone Campbell, head of the social justice lobby Network, which organized the tour, said this week:
We have got to make this an urgent message of now. The next six to eight weeks is going to determine what we can accomplish. The time is now for immigration reform.
Seven nuns are traveling on the first leg and two dozen will join at various points. The nuns’ tour is the latest example of a multi-group, faith-based effort to champion immigration reform. This week, a group of evangelical leaders announced a $250,000 ad buy on the issue and launched a 92-day “Pray for Reform” campaign, where small groups of Christians in at least 20 states will be praying for immigrants in their communities. Earlier this year, the evangelical community announced the “Welcome the Stranger” project, in which faith leaders explained in a video why Christians should love, welcome, and seek justice for their immigrant neighbors.