Tuesday morning, approximately 80 people gathered at the Whipple Federal Building for the monthly vigil by the Interfaith Coalition on Immigration. Together, we prayed for those who are trapped in our broken immigration and detention systems.
Detainees are brought to this building for immigration court, and many of them are removed in shackles, placed in a van, and taken to the airport about 5 minutes away to be deported. The stories we continue to hear - from families who are separated from one another; from a local business owner who has been in this country for decades, but is undocumented and is now separated from his citizen children; from people of faith who are heartbroken at what is being done in our name - it is all a tragedy, and it is a bizarre and cruel substitute for a lack of a comprehensive immigration policy.
Thanks to all who were there (especially choir members who came and sang their hearts out at 7:30 in the morning, and members of our Welcome the Stranger ministry, whose leadership and witness stories are so powerful). Your presence and your prayers are a gift of solidarity in this perilous time.
We pray for all those who are suffering, and for those who stand with the immigrants, the refugee and the asylee. We pray for all who work for needed change. We pray for our leaders and for those who work in the Whipple Building, that their hearts may be softened and their humanity may prevail. We pray for our loved ones in Tierra Nueva Dos and all those around the world whose lives have been so brutalized by our nation's trade and immigration policies. And we pray for those who gathered this morning, that we will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be God's love, mercy and compassion to our weary world.