The breadth and depth of activity people of faith have taken to advocate for immigration reform in 2010 is too extensive to summarize in a blog post, much less a single word. But if we had to pick one, it would be “tireless.” How else would you describe a movement that treats a month of action featuring 100 events across the country as a warm-up for bringing thousands of people to Washington, D.C. for a central presence at the March for America?
Fed up with Congress and frustrated with President Barack Obama’s brief mention of immigration reform in the State of the Union address, immigrant rights supporters are now organizing around the clock to push legislators to move on reform in 2010. It will not be an easy feat.
This week I was struck all over again by the power and courage of a very simple act: four young people who decided to take matters into their own hands and make an epic journey from Florida to Washington DC, on foot. Their goal? To raise awareness about the Dream Act and show the urgency of real immigration reform for youth who were brought to the U.S. at a young age.
On Sunday March, 21st tens of thousands of people will flood the National Mall in our nation’s capitol, demanding immigration reform now. From the We March FOR America site:
Our vision of reform includes immigrants and native-born U.S. citizens working shoulder to shoulder to achieve better wages, working conditions, and labor protections.
As activists, organizers and communities ramp up efforts leading up to the march, I want to make sure we highlight the great work happening at the local and state levels too.
The Spanish-language press continues to anticipate the march for immigration reform planned for March 21st in Washington. Notimex quotes Margarita Ramon of Inquilinos y Trabajadores (Tenants and Workers) saying: “We will demonstrate the power and the collective importance of this discontented community.”
As we mentioned briefly yesterday, Columbian-Lebanese pop superstar Shakira (Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) is the latest public figure to call on President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation with a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Which is pretty significant, considering Shakira got the full Oval Office treatment yesterday. “White House officials told Shakira that they hope to reach an agreement this year with the Republican Party to legalize undocumented immigrants, her representative said.”
In Pittsford NY yesterday a strong and hearty contingent of the Raging Grannies joined us in the snow to lift our spirits with a tune they penned themselves in support of immigration reform. Their tune is followed by words from Gary Pudup director of NYCLU’s Gennesee Valley chapter. We went straight from this song to meet with Representatives Lee and Massa! Thanks for the warm-up ladies!
“On Saturday, nearly 1,000 advocates gathered in Van Nuys, CA to march for immigration reform! The marchers left the Van Nuys City Hall and marched 1.2 miles to the Church on the Way, where they attended a panel discussion of experts and advocates.” Saturday’s event follows several weeks of major grassroots momentum (including rallies, protests, faith vigils, and more) to push for real immigration reform in the year ahead, despite the cynical political forecasts. Via the Reform Immigration FOR America Blog: “Reports are still coming in from all across the country about the amazing events held last week. From Alaska to Florida, from California to New Jersey, from Virginia to Colorado, people everywhere are uniting to show the world that immigration reform can’t wait. Here are some of the highlights.”