If they cannot be us,
Huddled together on the tarmac,
Led to a detention center
Landing in the home of the free
And the brave
If they cannot be us
And welcomed –
As we once were
-Immigrant to this land-
If they cannot become “we”
Then the shelter of our democracy is
Torn shingles, leaky with the fractures of the
“we the people”
rust stains running down the sanctity of constitution
If we cannot be brave
To make a them into us
If we cannot protest at the bars of our narrow-sighted fears
Then none will be free;
Then the ferocity of possibility in these times
Will die with the people.
We share the rage and the shock that humans promised safe passage and warm welcome were greeted with guards and locked doors because of the recent executive orders from the new administration. As we sang last Sunday in Ella’s Song, “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.” Many of you are wondering: what can we do?
First, thank you for staying awake and conscious to ask such a question. We offer four things you can do in the next few days and week to stand up for immigrant rights, and the foundation of our constitution so aptly symbolized in the Lady Liberty extending her light across the shores. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider.” We must make good on the promises of safe passage made to immigrants, knowing that to send them back is a death sentence.
In the coming week you can:
• Connect with NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice. Get up-to-date reports on rallies, petitions and concrete actions. See http://www.njimmigrantjustice.org
• Donate to the ACLU. It was the ACLU that argued the case that the executive order violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. A stay was granted yesterday at 9:00 pm. Connect with the NJ-ACLU here https://www.aclu-nj.org
• Rev. Robin has been working for the last two weeks on a Refugee Response Ministry. The draft of this proposal will go to the Social Justice Team on February 7th at 7:30 pm at UCS. Join us for our meeting to consider this proposal and let us know what you might be able to commit to in a comprehensive refugee ministry. The proposal currently includes a rapid response network for deportations, direct support for immigrants facing deportation, joining the sanctuary movement, as well as continuing our support of the International Rescue Committee and Madre.
• Donate to the International Rescue Committee next week during and after services. It is vital to support immigrant rescue and resettlement organizations. Can’t make it to service? Donate here.
Thank you for raising your voice. We know this is a marathon in which we now find ourselves. May we journey together with boldness, integrity and faith.
Yours in the struggle,
Rev. Emilie Boggis
Rev. Robin Tanner