No More Deportations: Immigration Pray-In
On President’s Day, Feb. 17, 2014, United Methodists joined with undocumented immigrants in front of the White House to bring attention to nearly two million deportations during President Obama’s administration. Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Julius Trimble were among those arrested by U.S. park police because they did not move after receiving three warnings.
Bishop Julius Trimble, co-chair of United Methodist Immigration Task Force: “Lord we ask that you would bless us this day and let our civil disobedience be a witness to the love that you have for all of God’s children.”
Crowd: “Not one more! Deportation! Not one more! Deportation!”
Harriett Olson, United Methodist Women: “We’re clear that the legal system right now does not work for people in the United States and in order to make it work for businesses, people transgress and avoid it. So, the only way it works is for people who break the law. However, the only people who are sanctioned for breaking the law are the most vulnerable.”
The Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ): “Never have there been anywhere near the number of people deported, as is the case now unfortunately under the Obama administration – 400,000 per year. Soon, probably in the next three weeks, to reach the number of 2 million deportations. That’s far too many.”
Bishop Minerva Carcaño: “We’re here to demand justice. We’re here to say that not one more deportation should be occurring in this country. Two million people have been deported. Hard working men and women, immigrant men and women. Their families have been affected. Their children have been impacted. Our communities and even our communities of faith have also felt the burden of that deportation process.”
Herminia Gallego Lopez, Immigration advocate: (in Spanish)
(Salvador Sarmiento, Translator) “There is half a dozen of us that have been on a hunger strike to call for the stopping of these deportations, and I have come all the way from Phoenix, Arizona, to send this message to the president. And it’s very difficult to talk about this, to talk about the separation of our families.”
Ana Bonilla,Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center: “For a really long time, I myself questioned why was God letting this happen to my family, because I am undocumented and my family was undocumented. My father passed away when I was seven, forcing my mom to make the decision to come here. That was something that we couldn’t change, but this unjust system is something that we can change. Something that we can work together so that we can grow as a nation, grow as a community, grow in faith in the Lord.”
Pilar Molina, Wife of Immigrant in Detention: “The reason I’m here is because my husband, Israel Resendiz-Hernandez, got detained by immigration on Jan. 27. He’s being held in Pike County and he’s doing a hunger strike right now. I’m trying to get help with the media, I’m trying to get him out. We have two US citizen kids that are asking me every day where their father is. We have our own business, and I need him because it’s hard for me to be Mom and Dad at the same time.”
Melissa Bowe, Justice For Our Neighbors: “It was incredible to stand with the group I was standing with. To sing, and to have a crowd in the distance sing back. It felt incredibly powerful.”
Bishop Julius Trimble: “This was a day that needed to happen. This was a day we will not forget.”
For more information, you may contact Kathy Gilbert, United Methodist News Service at 615.742.5471.
Learn more at www.umc.org/immigration.