Yesterday I attended an event in Anchorage sponsored by the nonprofit group Reform Immigration for America. Molly Haigh, their Alaska director, met with me last week to tell me about this bi-partisan effort to enact humane immigration laws.
At the event at St. Mary's Episcopal Church I met Maria, a Filipino woman whose family has been in Anchorage 7 years. Due to the economic downturn her husband's company was quitting business. It was his business that provided the visas for their family to be here. Through tears she shared that they have been told that they will be deported.
There were many people who have similar stories, stories of separation and fear. I was asked to speak and offer a prayer. Because we United Methodists have already declared a position on this issue in our Social Principles I was able to stand up and speak for our church. What a marvelous gift to witness moments when the desires of Church and society come together in a common purpose.
Everyone is saying that our immigration system is broken. With health care reform accomplished many are hoping that the nation's attention will focus on immigration reform. The time has come. As people of faith we can raise this banner as we join to give those who live in the shadows a chance to come into the light.
Grace and peace,