Today, more than 50 immigration reform advocates–including children and DREAMers–arrived on Capitol Hill from Phoenix, Arizona to pray for Speaker Boehner and push him to have the courage to move forward on immigration reform. Though the advocates stood, prayed, and waited outside Boehner’s office all day, the only word from Boehner’s staff was that the Speaker was busy and could not meet with them.
Today’s efforts are the beginning of a week-long engagement with Speaker Boehner, in which the Phoenix advocates–who drove more than 40 hours to make it to DC–are seeking to highlight the destruction caused to their families by continued deportations and the ongoing delay of immigration reform legislation. The week will continue with “sustained prayerful direct action” calling on Speaker Boehner to do the right thing for immigrant families and for the country.
Some of the advocates participating today are:
- Jose Patino, a DREAMer and ASU graduate who majored in engineering and leads the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition
- Mario and Reyna Montoya, father and daughter. Reyna is a DREAMer, an ASU graduate and a leader with the Arizona Dream Act Coalition. Her father, Mario, was detained for 8 months last year and almost deported.
- Jesus Magana, military veteran who was with the Air Force for four years. As he was serving his country, his younger sister was put in deportation proceedings.
The Phoenix action also coincides with a call to escalation by United We DREAM, whose leaders and family members will be participating in 30 days of sustained action to pressure Congress to take action on immigration reform. The group is planning vigils, marches, and takeovers of Congressional offices in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, New York, Virginia, and other states, demanding that Members of Congress like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) co-sponsor H.R. 15 and help deliver immigration reform.
View the photos below for inspiring pictures from today’s action on Speaker Boehner’s office: