The message below went out to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. Sign-up for these emails here.
At this very moment a daughter is fearful that her hard-working immigrant mother might not come home from work. Our immigrant neighbors have citizen children and spouses, they own businesses and homes, and have deep roots in their communities yet face deportation every day.
For thirty years I have worked with immigrant families as an activist in the sanctuary movement of the 1980s, as an expert witness in asylum and deportation, and also as an educator working with immigrant students and their families. I know from personal experience that immigrant families are paying too high of a price for an immigration system that is inefficient, ineffective, incoherent, and inhumane.
My congregation is not going to stand by and do nothing. On March 21st, some of us will travel to rally in D.C., and others of us will worship at an Interfaith Service on immigration here in Long Beach.
The good news is that there is a light visible in the distance.
Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez has introduced comprehensive immigration reform (H.R. 4321) that addresses all three dimensions of a pragmatic and humane immigration policy reform: enforcement, legalization, and future flows of immigrants into the country.
This is the best piece of legislation advocating comprehensive immigration reform that I have seen in a long time and we need to move fast. An historic coalition of immigrant groups, labor unions, religious groups and more have come together to support this bill. But Congress is up for reelection in November and the closer we get to Election Day, the less likely any major reforms will pass.
Norma Stoltz Chinchilla
Coordinator, Long Beach Immigrants Rights Coalition
Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Member, Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach
P.S. If you are near Washington, D.C., the biggest Immigration Rally of the year will be on the National Mall on March 21st. If you can go, please register on StandingontheSideofLove.org.