Immigration reform will frame my Lenten journey

Adam DeRose |

As Christians begin our Lenten journey this year, I was touched by a Homily I heard yesterday at a small Catholic parish in D.C.

During this season we are asked to strip away the excesses obstructing our connection to God, and to intentionally build our relationship with the Spirit. Micah 6:8 tells us exactly how to do this.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

It’s so simple and yet so daunting in the world where we live, especially considering why I was in D.C.

This week, IWJ organizers and affiliates joined workers and advocates for immigrant justice from across the country for a convening of the United Workers Congress.

Together with organizations like Jobs with Justice, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Guestworker Alliance and National People's Action, we met workers and organizers and worked on national strategy to push lawmakers for fair reform.

Click here to learn more about IWJ's campaign for immigration reform.

During the two day convening, we shared stories and struggles in our broken immigration system.

Stories like the four undocumented workers from a warehouse in New Jersey who were misclassified as independent contractors and forced to clean their bosses’ homes on the weekends without overtime pay or lose their weekday job. One worker couldn’t clean on a Saturday, and the workers were unjustly fired. While the Department of Labor was able to recover nearly $40,000 in back pay, they did not proceed with the workers’ retaliation claim because of their immigration status.

We’re fighting for inclusion, as NDLON’s executive director Pablo Alvarado said at the convening. It’s a core part of worker and civil rights. The abuse of the most vulnerable workers is a crisis people of faith need to support fixing.

Let us use this Lenten season to renew our push for comprehensive immigration reform that raises the standards for all workers in America, paves the way to citizenship and stops the breaking up of families.

Join Interfaith Worker Justice and call for justice for the immigrant, mercy for those who are abused and exploited because of their immigration status and walk humbly with your God.

Click here to sign up to join IWJ's immigration action team.