Why I stand with immigrant families
Last Friday Carolina Kawarik, a Member of Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Chandler, Arizona, was arrested while protesting Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070. When Carolina was asked why she committed civil disobedience, this was her response:
I have been asked why I committed civil disobedience recently.
Being a UU calls me to many things, but most of all to respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people. I believe that it matters deeply how we treat one another – how we honor our community; whether it’s our faith community, our local community, or our human community. SB 1070 violates the very ideas, ideals, and principles I hold dear.
By the sheer fortune of the location of my birth, I immigrated to this country easily, had permanent resident status for most of my life, and was able to get my citizenship within a year and a half of applying. Many others wait 20 years or more. Why?
Our immigration policy is dysfunctional and has led to a situation where AZ and other states feel the need to pass immoral legislation to “manage” the challenges that come with a large undocumented population. SB1070, however, will lead to more fear, undue suspicion, increased polarization, and escalating conflict within our communities – it already has – and it isn’t even in effect yet.
As Carlos Garcia of Puente said: “We have done four marches now in the last year, nothing has changed, the administration hasn’t acted, the state has gotten worse…
… the courts aren’t listening to us, the federal government’s not listening to us…
… we’re hoping change comes soon”.
We had one week left before this law put its stranglehold on our state – and there came a point where I felt obligated no longer to simply stand with the immigrant community here – but to stand out for them. I chose to take a risk that day for those who cannot do so – to join the the increasing number of voices for those whose voices go unheard. Listen…
SB1070 must be repealed or struck down.
We need realistic, humane, and comprehensive immigration reform.
We need to address and eliminate the systemic racism and discrimination that permeate our nation and our world.
There is no “us”. There is no “them”.
There is only “We – all – together”
We’re hoping change comes soon.
July 23, 2010