The following alert is circulated by the Justice and Peace office of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM).
People of faith across the country will engage in constant prayer, fasting and expansive action for 40 days starting when Congress returns from recess on September 9 and lasting until October 18.
The faith community finds itself at a pivotal moment in the movement for immigration reform.
How do we raise the level of concern, engage our communities, and grow in the virtues of solidarity and hospitality? We are at a point where we have to escalate our efforts, expose the injustice, and engage the heart of our country. We are convinced that what we really need now is a "compassion surge."
As people of faith, we believe that we must engage our communities in prayerful action in solidarity with those whose lives are directly impacted by our unjust immigration policies, and who will be impacted by both just and unjust reforms being considered by policy makers.
Our prayer and fasting will come from our hearts, stemming from personal stories and relationships with those who have been directly impacted by our broken immigration system. Together, we will pray and fast for:
- A change of hearts and attitudes, that our communities will grow to be more welcoming
- Moral courage of our elected leaders, that they might enact immigration reform that attends to the urgent and human needs of all people by creating a path to citizenship and prioritizing family unity
- Faith communities, that we might rise to the challenge of prophetic witness and action in advocating for, preparing our communities for, and implementing immigration reform
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition invites you to join in the prayer, fasting, and advocacy for immigration reform. Please join us as an individual, family, congregation, or study group. See more details and sign up here so we can track this for congressional visits.
Consider participating in non-cooperation and civil disobedience
Fasting, prayer, and advocacy in solidarity with immigrants is a way of cooperating in God's love and withdrawing cooperation from those things in our society that draw us away from compassion and justice with those in urgent need. Your journey may compel you to ask "what are the 'sources of power' that are benefiting from and upholding this unjust system of immigration?"
- Explore divesting from the major detention center corporations: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO, and the Management and Training Corporation (MTC) and making a public statement about your considerations or intention. For details click here.
- Explore divesting from other major corporations benefitting from de-humanizing and militarizing the border: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, General Atomics, Remington Arms, Chenega, Accenture, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, and making a public statement about your considerations or intention. For details on these companies and immigration click here or here.
- Dramatize the injustice by risking arrest with a sit-in/pray-in at your Congressperson's office, detention center or any of the above companies' offices. If needed, contact the local National Lawyers Guild for assistance. Collaborate with those in the affected community.
- For more examples of "non-cooperation" click here. (Please note: Any methods chosen should clearly attend to human dignity and the principle of non-humiliation. A few on this list may not fit that criteria)
More resources on civil disobedience: