blur our vision? I also keep hearing, in an anonymous chorus, that immigration reform is not going to pass. No one will touch it, they say. On the ground, beyond the calculated inaction of
politicians, unleashed and escalating enforcement and policing has reached terrorizing proportions. We have completed one year of witnessing with our families and sensitizing people here in NY -putting a human face to the issue and connecting with communities, many of whom are nonimmigrant. There are some fundamental lessons. First, a great deal is happening to demonize and persecute our immigrant - mostly Black and Brown - brothers and sisters. Secondly, if we are going to be faithful as a movement to our vision of changing the terms of
the debate, we need to refocus our religious cultures. Our traditions speak about the dignity of
the person based not so much on the country of origin but on the reality that one is created by
God. This is fundamental to our is an insult to his or her dignity. The underlying reality is that
one's identity derives from where one has his or her divine genesis. That liberating knowledge echoes the tradition and witness of the prophets, who announced the truth and decried the lies and systems that exploited and reduced human beings to objects or commodities. Our families in Sanctuary keep encouraging us to resist, to organize and challenge the hypocritical veneer of our supposedly "immigrant friendly" City. The facts point to the systematic and increasingly militarized tactics of the Departments of Corrections and Probation, which identify about three hundred people weekly for deportation, even before they are found guilty or innocent. The City agencies violate due process. Worse yet, they are orphaning our children. All in all, one of the weaknesses of the movement is that we usually focus on the effects. The causes of displacement are often overlooked.
The task before us is to intimately connect our lives to the communities that are being directly affected, the same way that our partnership with families seeking sanctuary has blazed the way. The second phase lies ahead of us: our politicians and those in power need to be kept in check
and challenged. Our beliefs and our history point to an inescapable fact: in the face of evil, nonviolent resistance is necessary. Let us discern reality from the distracting lights whose images are ultimately phony.