FRIDAY | NOVEMBER 28, 2014

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Using Cakes and Caravans to Keep Immigration in Spotlight

Filed under: Community Briefs,Immigration,National
Gamaliel
 

 

With Congress on recess until early September, thousands of people spent the week of Aug. 12 delivering partial cakes and driving in a caravan to lawmakers’ district offices. Their message: Immigration reform remains important and all aspects need to be addressed.

Parents, kids and pastors delivered their message through face-to-face conversations and songs. They also talked about deportations, families and what they say is the need for better policy. 

About 350 people of all ages carried partial cakes, balloons and signs on Thursday to lawmakers’ offices in nearly a dozen cities throughout the country, Chicago-based Gamaliel, a network of nonpartisan faith groups, reported.

The partial cakes marked the one-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, which allows thousands of people who were brought to the United States as children to apply for citizenship. There is concern, Gamaliel said, about families being separated, given that the parents of DACA children could be deported.

Participants sang “Happy Birthday” in English and Spanish at about 18 field offices for federal lawmakers in California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to Gamaliel, which helped organize the event.

On Aug. 15, 2012, the federal government began accepting applications from people who qualify under DACA.

People affiliated with Gamaliel, a Chicago-based network of faith groups, visited the district offices of federal lawmakers on Thursday to talk about the importance of immigration reform. Photo courtesy of Gamaliel.

People affiliated with Gamaliel, a Chicago-based network of faith groups, visited the district offices of federal lawmakers on Thursday to talk about the importance of immigration reform. Photo courtesy of Gamaliel.

The day before, an estimated 3,000 people from California cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Napa, joined in a caravan in the central part of the state to support citizenship for the undocumented, according to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, an event organizer.

Labor groups joined the caravan, as did members from the Central American Resource Center Los Angeles, Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas en Norte América and Pacific Institute for Community Organizations California.

Despite recent legislative action on immigration policy, the topic remains stalled and controversial for many people in the country.

Attention is focused on the U.S. House of Representatives, which reportedly has plans to consider immigration reform but through individual bills, most likely starting with security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In June, the Senate approved a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the country, as part of its comprehensive bill.

Leaders and members of grassroots groups from throughout the country were arrested in early August outside Congress, as they blocked a street to bring attention to immigration. One poll released in January shows support for a pathway to citizenship.

There are community groups and residents, though, who oppose eventual citizenship for people who entered the country without documents.

Gamaliel, which started in 1968, is a nonpartisan network of faith-based groups in 17 U.S. states. Members rely on their values and faith to pursue equal opportunity and help build stronger communities.

 


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