When I sit down with my family for our traditional Christmas Day dinner, it will be with an empty plate. Beginning just after our Solstice Service on December 22 I will be starting a 72 hour Solidarity Fast for Immigration Reform. This effort is taking place all over the nation. Some are fasting for a single day. Some for many more. All are adding their effort to a group Fasting in Washington, DC. The DC fast began in November with 17 fasters and continues today with groups and individuals lending their support. The original group said they do not fast out of hate or anger but have hope that change is within reach. They noted frustration that there has been little action and the organizers at Fast For Families say “This fast is our way to highlight the moral crisis that this nation faces with this badly broken immigration system. “ The DC group has drawn attention from many politicians and leaders and included a visit from President and Michelle Obama.
I thought long and hard about the timing. There was never a question that I would lend my support. For me, this is the civil rights issue of our time. It’s not about border control. It’s not about US citizens losing jobs. It’s not about undocumented people draining our system. Each one of those myths continue to be used to manipulate public opinion. The money issue is the most egregious. It’s sinful how much money, our money by the way, is being pocketed by big business incarcerating people for as long as they can get away with it and disallowing any contact. Families are being broken up. Children put at risk. And they aren’t Canadian. That we are participating in such blatant human rights violations is unconscionable. If more people knew what the facts were, how racism is at work and how the primary victims are women and children, it would stop. Given that this is a time of year that so many of us honor the birth of a child and the hope of a different tomorrow, it seemed fitting to time my fast to include Christmas.
For those wishing to join in the effort, please consider a donation to MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition) at https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/
o/50862/p/salsa/donation/ common/public/?donate_page_ KEY=9403/or Centro Presente(member-driven Massachusetts Latin American org) at http://www.cpresente.org/donate or by using the donate button on this page.