Monday, September 2, 2013

285 Mile Pilgrimage for Immigration Reform

From Pico National Network:

Yesterday I walked the last step in a 285-mile pilgrimage from Sacramento to Bakersfield calling on my Member of Congress and others to vote for a path to citizenship. While I’m a US citizen, my parents and siblings are undocumented. Every day I carry the weight of knowing that I have opportunities that my brother and sister are denied, and I’ve felt helpless to do anything about it. Yet with each step of this 21-day journey I’ve reclaimed my power and my voice.

As a voting constituent in House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s district, I walked these 21 days to show him that my family and my community need him to act now to bring an earned pathway to citizenship to a vote in the House of Representatives.

If a vote happens, we can win – we know that enough Congresspeople on both sides of the aisle are in favor of creating an earned pathway to citizenship. But people like Kevin McCarthy and Speaker of the House John Boehner are standing in the way.

On Wednesday, we are joining with others to deliver over 600,000 petitions to Speaker Boehner in his Ohio district to call on him to hold a vote for citizenship.

It’s not too late to add your signature. Tell Speaker Boehner that as a voter and person of faith you want him to allow a vote on immigration reform that includes an earned path to citizenship.

I know that each one of the 11 million aspiring Americans is created in the image of God. As a person of faith, for me this fight is about human dignity – the dignity for parents to raise a family in America without the fear that they will be torn from their children, the dignity for students that their opportunities will be equal to their effort, not to the status of their documents. And for those like me who are citizens, this is about my dignity too, because in each of the 11 million, the face of my God is revealed.

Walking this 285 miles was not easy – I have blisters on my blisters. But I know that I will do this 100 times more if that is what it takes to make a difference – if that’s what it takes to help others like me find their voice and find their power. There is so much force of will not just in me, but in this movement. There is no sacrifice too great to keep our families together.

This is a struggle that will be won from our streets, from our pews, from our phones, from the dusty agricultural roads that I just walked… And, today, a piece can be won as thousands of us challenge Speaker Boehner to do the right thing for our families.

Don’t miss the opportunity - add your name to the petition to Speak Boehner now.

It was so good to be reunited with my family today after 21 days of walking. I missed them so much. Join with me in working to ensure that our families are not needlessly separated because our Representatives will not let a vote come to the House floor.

Together we can do this!

Josth Stenner
Pilgrim on the Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship
Bakersfield, California


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