National and Central Valley efforts are underway to give undocumented immigrants a voice and now religious leaders have joined other immigration reform supporters in asking Congress to offer them a path to citizenship. A number of those religious leaders staged a prayer and rally at Fresno State on Sunday afternoon.
Church leaders in the Valley say that 11 million people are living in daily fear of being deported and that the reality is that the existing law tears families apart. Everyone that took part in the event on Sunday shared the common belief that immigration reform is vital; and they are just one of a number of national groups that think the same thing. Dozens gathered on the campus to pray, sing and stand united for their cause.
Irma Moreno was one of those standing with the group. Moreno and her family came to the United States decades ago with no legal difficulties, but she now has close immigrant friends whose story is very different. Many came to the country illegally and live in daily fear of deportation: “These people are contributing to our system, they’re paying taxes, and they’re working,” Moreno pointed out.
The group that organized Sunday’s event is connected to the one responsible for the Washington DC hunger strike, staged in a bid to demonstrate their commitment to reform and to put pressure on lawmakers into changing the existing laws. Faith leaders have appealed to the House of Representatives to stop delaying a vote on the emotive issue.