Reflections on the Rally for Citizenship for 11 Million

Teresa Vyhanek, Migration and Human Trafficking Intern
April 22, 2013

Wed. April 10th was my first rally ever!  What an experience!  I’ve been in large crowds before for youth conferences and concerts, but a rally has a much deeper resonance.  Coming with faith perspective, it’s fascinating to see religious groups join their voices together under one declaration: citizenship for the undocumented.  One sign that stands out to me as a reminder of this interfaith solidarity read “What would Moses do? #Jews4CIR.”   The unity I witnessed at the rally, even apart from religious groups, was empowering.  While, yes, many people at the rally were presumably from Latin America, they were certainly not the only ones there.   How often to you see Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Unitarians, Protestants, Latinos, Mexicans, Africans, Asians, Europeans, Americans, etc. all agree on one thing and actually show up to the be together?  This, for me, was a first and certainly a memorable experience.

Aside from the cultural and religious diversity, though, another thing that struck me was the age diversity.  I stood joyfully and yelled “The time is now!” and “Sí se puede” next to middle schoolers, adults who could have been my grandparents, and even got to admire infants and toddlers clinging to their parents.  What a great witness these people were to the fact that immigration affects people of all ages, not just young or middle-aged workers.  Any immigration reform truly affects the connectivity of the family and community network.  Schools, churches, unions, families, and entire communities have been and will be affected by immigration reform.  That is the reason why so many people have gathered to show Congress why Comprehensive Immigration Reform and especially citizenship for the undocumented is important.  We recognize the vital and life-giving role the immigrant plays in our communities, and this recognition must be matched by our coming legislation.

All you disciples, who traveled the world to spread the good news,

Pray for us.