Immigration reform is seeing a rejuvenated push. The question is, will it become a reality in 2014?
Here to keep you up-to-date on the debate and legislative progress every Monday is THE UPDATE, a weekly blog series whose panel of experts will analyze how recent events affect the prospects for real reform. The panelists will offer an insider’s view of what’s happening right now on Capitol Hill, bolstered by their decades of experience with immigration reform and the legislative process. Media representatives who wish to speak with one of the panelists, please click here. If you would like to read previous editions of THE UPDATE, please click here.
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform?
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners:
There are times when we must admit defeat: This is not one of those times. For the past couple of weeks people of faith across the country have taken to their knees in prayer, fasted by refraining from food, and met with key legislators. We have sounded the call “the time is now” for the past few years, but those words have never been more potent than they are now.
For six weeks, two buses have crossed the country on the #Fast4Families bus tour. The tour went through 30 states, 117 cities, and 96 congressional districts across the north and south. On March 29, the buses converged in Cincinnati, Ohio, where a multi-ethnic crowd of more than 100 stood in freezing rain and howling wind for more than an hour. They greeted the bus, thanked the fasters, and sent a message to their representative House Speaker John Boehner: “We are not going away!”
Last week both buses converged in Richmond, Virginia, Representative Eric Cantor’s district. As the House Majority Leader, Rep. Cantor has an outsized influence on the movement of any immigration reform legislation in the House. The core fasters launched a four-day water-only fast in Virginia, as well as a blitz of the district. Fast4Families‘ delegates met with Rep. Cantor’s office, the executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board, and a number of Rep. Cantor’s donors. Plus, each day, the fasters told their stories in local churches.
Massive prayer efforts and rallies have also taken place across the country. The push is not over. There is hope because people of faith are fueled by faith—not politics. Our hope comes from faith in the God who moves mountains and empowers the faithful to take down giants. Now, the faithful must continue to pray, continue to fast, and continue to act. We must tell our representatives what we want and when we want it: Just immigration reform now!
THE UPDATE will appear every Monday until the dust settles on the legislative battle over comprehensive immigration reform. If you wish to raise your voice for fair reform, please visit our Action Center. You can also learn more about the issues by reading two interviews with someone personally impacted by America’s broken immigration system, Jessica Colotl. Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box at the top left of this page.