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Standing on the Side of Love & Dreams with Immigrant Families

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Jan 19, 2010

Arpaio RallyBy Bill Lace, Immigration Task Force Chair, Unitarian Universalist Church of Phoenix AZ

It seemed like a mid-January alignment of planets occurred in Phoenix, Arizona with immigration reform events, a human rights march protesting Sheriff Arpaio, and the “Dream Act” play coalescing over a period of a few days surrounding the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.

On January 16th, thousands of people, including immigrants and immigrant rights organizations, church groups, advocates and anarchists, filled the streets outside Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail for the March for Human Rights. The march focused attention on stopping human rights violations, racial profiling and use of a controversial 287(g) agreement by Sheriff Arpaio. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, Unitarian Unitarian Church of Phoenix (UUCP), spoke at the rally calling for all to “stand on the side of love with immigrant families.” Terry Torrey took these
photos of the rally.

On January 15th and 17th, the Social Action Committee of UUCP and First Congregational United Church of Christ in Phoenix commissioned New Carpa Theater Company, a Phoenix company focusing on Latino and multicultural theater works, to present the “Dream Act.”

“Dream Act,” written by James E. Garcia, tells the story of an undocumented student, Victoria Nava, and her dreams of practicing medicine. In the face of anti-immigrant sentiment, she feels her dreams may be slipping away. The play is based on a National Public Radio interview of an undocumented student in Southern California and brings to life the plight faced by the 65,000 undocumented immigrants who graduate from high school each year.Arpaio Rally2

The play was well attended by church members, school administrators, teachers, and students from several schools attended by undocumented immigrants. Immigration reform activist groups CADENA – DREAM Act Arizona and Reform Immigration for America (RIFA) handed out information at booths. Each performance was followed by an interactive discussion session led by Mr. Garcia with experts on the proposed DREAM Act legislation and members of the cast.

I feel proud to have stood up with my faith and interfaith community in partnership with immigrant organizations for justice. Si Se Puede!

Join us by signing an immigration postcard today and stand on the side of love with immigrant families! (Link)

The Washington Post, Thousands protest sheriff’s immigration efforts

One Response to “Standing on the Side of Love & Dreams with Immigrant Families”

  1. Paula says:

    It is important that we get our voices out to the voting public and turn the trend towards love and diginity for all residence of this state. Help families stay together by voicing your outrage over the current trends to move all undocumeted immigrants out of this country.Lets work for a pathway to citizenship, the Dream Act and compassionate immigration reform at the state and federal levels.

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