Ella's song was created by Bernice Johnson REagan, Sweet Honey in the Rock. We sang out this morning in church to remember that Black Lives Matter and also, Brown Lives and all those who are persecuted because of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and immigration status. Today's sermon was powerful and prophetic based on the parable from Luke 8 of the "importuning woman" who demanded justice from an unjust judge. As our preacher, Rev. Susan Shaw, reminded us, "faith looks like demands, not just forgiveness." And she added, the "call of the gospel is to disrupt the status quo!"
SIGNS OF HOPE - HOW TO BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT IN STRUGGLE FOR IMMIGRATION JUSTICE?
I am continuing my activism and speaking out to change our broken immigration system.
These actions did not occur in a vacuum. Hundreds if not thousands of people have emailed, called or written letters to both Secretary Johnson and Director Saldana demanding that the inhuman conditions at the two Texas family detention centers be removed AND that the women and children be freed. The immigrant women have conducted hunger strikes and in early June there was a major march and demonstration outside the Dilley, TX facility. This is a first step for immigrant rights activists and for the families detained in the centers. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-immigration-family-detention-20150624-story.html
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!
FRANCISCO AGUIRRE BACK IN COURT IN PORTLAND, OREGON
Francisco spent five months in Sanctuary last fall in Augustana Lutheran Church with his wife Dora and two small daughters. He was back in court this past Monday to address the charges of "illegal re-entry", the favorite way that U.S. Attorney offices nationally are prosecuting immigrants. It is a complicated case but basically, Francisco argued that in 1999 when he was originally arrested on a drug charge, he was given inaccurate information about his legal choices and thus, was deported. The U.S. federal judge is taking under advisement both sides of the case and will issue a ruling in a few weeks.
BUT there were 50 people in the court room supporting Francisco and another 30 or so outside the federal courthouse waiting to hear the outcome. Dora, Francisco's wife, thanked the crowd but said that she is still worried about the outcome. Their two girls ask their Dad, "Where are you going? Are we going back to Augustana again?" Francisco tries to describe what ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) does. His oldest daughter quipped, "Dad, why don't we send ICE to El Salvador and we can stay here?" GREAT IDEA!
ACLU is sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to end the practice of U.S. Attorney Offices to pursue "illegal entry" cases. I will post the letter in my next blog as we need to add our voices to this petition. As one speaker said at yesterday's rally, GET ICE OUT OF OREGON, We can Do Better, WE Know Better and We Demand Better!!
My life has been about crossing borders and cultures and building bridges across the boundaries that normally divide. Have you crossed any borders in your life?