By Alexandra Alvarado, Rain Chamberlin and Hannah Ellsworth—Aug. 3, 2021 Earlier this year, Fresnoland revealed…
A Central Valley delegation from Faith in the Valley recently traveled to Washington, D.C., joining faith and community leaders from across the nation for the #WeAreEssential Week of Action, to continue calling on Congress and the White House to provide a pathway to citizenship for essential workers, Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders and farmworkers, many of whom sustained our economy and communities during the worst of the pandemic.
As a result of this sustained spotlight, which built on a three-week #WeAreEssential Fast for Freedom held earlier this summer, and the voices from organizations and individuals across the nation, our leaders, clergy and partners celebrated that a pathway to citizenship was included in the Senate version of the jobs and infrastructure reconciliation budget package.
During the Week of Action, participants held virtual and impromptu in-person visits with Senators and staff on Capitol Hill as well as an 11-hour prayer vigil. This push followed the Fast for Freedom in Washington, DC, earlier this summer. Silvia Romano, a resident of McFarland and a lay leader with Faith in the Valley, journeyed to D.C. and fasted for over five days, and spoke out as a powerful advocate for immigrant families.
In solidarity with the national fast, we held a candlelight vigil in Merced at Congressman Jim Costa’s office, sharing stories and emphasizing the importance of Central Valley voices to this moral call. This event was part of a series of echo events across the nation. At the vigil, clergy leader Deacon Marilee Muncey from St. Francis Episcopal Church in Turlock, shared a prayerful faith reflection, “see the love that is here for dreamers, for farmworkers, for those who are TPS, for those who are essential. Essential! Recognize that we do not walk alone. We do not walk alone for our food, for our shelter, for our love. There is no way we stand apart from one another. Let us stand for the truth that we are loved together.”
Faith leaders across California are preparing a statewide action to see this campaign to completion—when the 11 million undocumented among us can finally belong and see a path forward to a dignified life.
For real time updates on the push for a pathway to citizenship, follow LA RED on Twitter.
To get involved with immigration organizing in the Central Valley, contact Alex Gonzalez, Community Organizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.