National Migration Week
January 8th through the 14th marks National Migration Week. It is a time to reflect on our journey as immigrants or as children of immigrants, with a focus on those who are undocumented.
2011 was a year full of hopes and struggles for the immigrant community. Immigration reform and other initiatives never came to fruition, yet our community keeps hoping. We had small victories at the local level in different states and the efforts never ceased. That’s something that still needs to be celebrated.
Now, as we begin 2012, and as we celebrate National Migration Week, we can reflect on what it means to be an immigrant in this great nation, and to think in a special way about those who lack proper documentation.
With occasion of the National Migration Week, the Hispanic/Latino Bishops of the United States wrote a letter to immigrants recognizing their contributions and the great struggles in their everyday lives:
“We are also very aware of the pain suffered by those families who have experienced the deportation of one of their members. We are conscious of the frustration of youth and young adults who have grown up in this country and whose dreams are shattered because they lack legal immigration status. We also know the anxiety of those whose application process for permanent residency is close to completion and of the anguish of those who live daily under the threat of deportation. This situation cries out to God for a worthy and humane solution.”
This message speaks to the realities of neighbors, co-workers, friends, and of our own family members. A new year always brings new hope. Let’s make 2012 a better year for immigrants around the country, be living in solidarity with each other. Let us pray and work for change.
2012 is also an election year, a year where we elect the next president of the United States. Let us work for change through action. I invite you to look for ways to contribute to the different immigration initiatives this year, be it promoting the Dream Act, registering people to vote, participating in immigration rallies or simply being an advocate of the immigrant cause.
Let’s reflect on the anxiety and pain that a broken immigration system can cause our families and resolve to work for justice and fairness for all.
We are all children of the same God and as such we all deserve for our dignity and humanity to be respected. May this be a reality for as many people as possible this year.