Harnessing Love’s Power
to Stop Oppression


Immigration reform is our Selma

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May 13, 2010

Unless your ancestors are native to this land, you are a foreigner. We are foreigners. We are immigrants.

It is immoral to pull up the drawbridge after we have safely crossed over to this promised land. When we fail to support a path to citizenship for immigrants, we are dishonoring our ancestors.

I do not know how to fix the very broken system of immigration. I do know that we have a moral imperative to try. We have a moral imperative to be a part of the solution. Arlington Street Church, Unitarian Universalist, is a New Sanctuary Movement congregation because we stand on the side of love. We support SOMOS because we stand on the side of love. We stand on the side of just, humane, sensible, and visionary immigration policy reform.

Friends, let’s make no mistake: Immigration reform is our Selma. Forty-three years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, said:

We must move past indecision to action…. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter – but beautiful – struggle for a new world…. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men [and women]…? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause…? The choice is ours, and … we must choose….

Join me in opposing Arizona SB 1070. Join me now in choosing to stand on the side of love.

Rev. Kim K. Crawford Harvie, minister of the Arlington Street Church in Boston, delivered these remarks at a press conference opposing Arizona SB 1070.

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