In these waning days of 2013, when the outlook for winning comprehensive immigration reform looks rather bleak in the short term, many of you have been asking me: what can we do?
While the pace of progress on immigration reform has been appallingly slow, we need to keep speaking up and taking action to show elected officials that this movement isn’t going away. I will be participating in the North Carolina Fast for Immigrant Families on December 17.
Here is a detailed invitation by our friends at FaithAction International House:
Dear Friends of FaithAction,
The time is now for immigration reform – too many of our immigrant neighbors and friends are unnecessarily suffering from a broken immigration system, keeping many in the shadows and separated from the families they love….we care too much to remain silent.
FaithAction International House, along with Church World Service Greensboro, American Friends Service Committee – Office of the Carolinas, New Arrivals Institute, Working America, the Immigration Law Office of McKinney, Perry, and Coalter, and hundreds of people of faith across Greensboro, will come together for a day-long, water only fast on December 17th in solidarity with immigrant families and other fast for families movements across the United States.
Will you fast for one day with us – loving our neighbors as ourselves?
We also invite you to attend a brief prayer vigil at Rep. Coble’s office (2102 N. Elm St.) at 2:30pm on 12/17. The program will include brief prayers from religious leaders, stories from immigrant families, and opportunities for several individuals to briefly share why they are fasting for families. Eight representatives from our group will meet with the Congressman after the program to discuss our hopes for change.
This collaborative effort is not meant to be an act of civil disobedience, but rather an act of love of neighbor. We want Rep. Coble to know that Greensboro is a better city for our tremendous diversity, and that we embrace the gifts of our newest neighbors. Prioritizing fair and humane reform will help build a stronger and more united city/country – a positive vote could be an important and lasting part of his legacy.
Please view and share our event poster below, and respond to this email if you are able to join us in the fast.
You can also show your support and join the fast on our Facebook event page – Fast for Immigrant Families Greensboro! We also encourage you to take a picture with a sign or an empty plate noting why you are fasting for families – like this one from the FaithAction staff.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Rev. David Fraccaro
This local fast is a reflection of the fast that has been happening just beyond the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Rev. Jim Wallis recently wrote movingly in the Huffington Post about his own involvement in the fast:
Personally, this was an invitation to go deeper. This is a prayerful, spiritual fast. The Fast for Families has kept the national conversation on immigration reform alive, gaining national momentum and demonstrating real moral authority. It is not a hunger strike nor a threat, but a witness to the urgency of immigration reform and offering aspiring Americans a way to earn citizenship.
Faith leaders and young Dreamers are joining this historic fast on behalf of immigrant families who suffer because our leaders refuse to address a glaring problem with obvious, common sense solutions. It is politics, and politics only, that stands in the way of progress.
This spiritual fast reveals a spiritual movement around families and children who are suffering. This is about people, not politics. But this fast and the prayer that comes with it could change our politics. So many people — 11 million immigrants — their families, their friends, their neighbors are stuck in an untenable situation. And our broken political system can’t fix it. Our politics are stuck.
But the broad movement in support of immigration reform has already won the public debate. Two of three Americans support comprehensive and common sense change — including a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents, uniting business leaders, law enforcement officials, and galvanizing the faith community across all theological and political boundaries. We have organized, mobilized, repeatedly visited our representatives, senators, and the White House, written letters to the editor and opinion pieces in our local newspapers, marched, run ads on radio and television, protested, and even been arrested!
But politics is still stuck. And stuck politics hurts people. So in the tent near the Capitol where I now sit, we pray and fast for them.
Again, I invite you to join me and hundreds more across North Carolina as we fast, pray and act for humane immigration reform.