The Road from Phoenix Leads Now to Washington, DC
I am so moved by the commitment of our faith community to keep on pressing for justice, standing on the side of love with immigrant families and children. Four years ago, we converged in Phoenix to stop the infamous SB1070 anti-immigrant law. On Thursday, July 31st, thirty-five Unitarian Universalist clergy and faith leaders from 20 states will commit civil disobedience in front of the White House, along with over 120 pastors, rabbis, ministers, faith leaders and immigrant rights leaders from around the country. They will be joined by hundreds of others, including dozens of UUs, there to support the Pray for Relief—Not One More Family Separated Summit on July 31st – August 2nd urging President Obama to take executive action to stop the deportations. Standing on the Side of Love will be putting love into action!
We know that not everyone can come to Washington, DC, commit civil disobedience, or organize or attend a vigil. One way we hope that many of you will help is through contributing to our fund to raise bail money for those being arrested who cannot afford the $50 fine and to support Standing on the Side of Love’s continued immigrant justice campaign.
This action is incredibly timely. Last month, President Obama announced that with the failure of Congress to pass immigration reform he would consider what kind of administrative relief he can provide. At the same time, reports of the children at the border fleeing violence in Central America became widely known. Nativist demonstrations against housing the children organized by elected local officials and talk radio hosts have been met by people, many of them wearing yellow Love shirts, calling for compassion and welcome.
Standing on the Side of love is sharing photographs and reports from California, Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Washington, DC and around the country from those seeking to counter fear with love. We have an opportunity to let President Obama know that we and the interfaith community support relief and to send a message to our nation that we are still a country that welcomes our neighbors and provides refuge for those fleeing oppression.
We will be sending out updates of the action, including live streaming, and are providing you with an opportunity to call the White House in support of the faith leaders being arrested out front. And we will continue to report on the many actions and vigils in support of the refugee youth at the border.
Your voice is needed in Washington, DC. Please call 1-866-961-4293 and follow the instructions to be connected to the White House comment line!
Here’s a sample script:
“I’m from City, State, Congregation/Community and as a person of faith, I urge President Obama to stop the pain and family separation caused by deportations. The President has the authority to allow our undocumented community members to stay here in the United States without fear of deportation. Congressional inaction cannot be an excuse to avoid doing what is right. I urge the President to renew DACA status for those who have it, to extend the application timeline, and to implement a similar process of affirmative relief for all undocumented immigrants.”
Together we can continue to build and sustain our movement for justice, but we can’t do that without supporting those who are out on the ‘front lines’ as well as our Standing on the Side of Love campaign that keeps our movement connected. Please contribute what you can today. Every dollar you contribute is a missive for love.
UUA Congregational Advocacy & Witness Director
P.S. One of the ways we are developing strong leaders for immigrant justice is by teaming up with the UU College of Social Justice for a border tour in October. Please consider joining UUA President Rev. Peter Morales and other faith leaders for a life-changing experience that will ground your activism with a deep understanding of what is happening on the border and empower your voice when you return home. We need a corps of leaders who can testify faithfully and authentically to the injustices that must be stopped. We need you. Registration closes on August 8th—see details here.