On days like Saturday, the whole nation feels alive with energy for justice. From Boston to Birmingham, Los Angeles to Atlanta, in 40 states and more than 150 cities and towns people rallied with a passion for common sense and comprehensive immigration reform for millions among us who labor in shadows of our own making.
Saturday’s demonstrations began an autumn that follows a summer of events all across the nation calling attention to the urgent need for a fundamental change in our relationship to people who are a life-giving part of our national fabric.
And if Saturday was a broad expression of the fervor for change, than yesterday's action was a concentrated and intense eruption of support for comprehensive immigration reform as tens of thousands of supporters descended upon D.C. to say:
“¡Se se Puede!” “Yes we can!”
Now is the time, this is the moment to do what is right and just, what the God of all people requires of us a nation and as people of faith. At this very moment the work is waking up and shaking up Congress to act, to vote, to legislate. Yet a small cadre of selfish and reactionary party activists and John Boehner, the House Majority leader, are standing in the way of what a majority of the nation wants: a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people who are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters.
Congress needs to follow the lead of California and pass legislation that gives rights to immigrants and protects them from unethical employers and law enforcement personnel following policies rooted in racism that do not address any needs in the community at large. We need an immigration policy that allows our immigrant brothers and sisters to live, with their families, in the sunshine of our democracy, not the shadow of our injustice.