Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

A Confident Goodbye

July 30, 2013

  Michelle Villegas

Michelle Villegas

As my time in Washington, D.C. comes to a close I keep thinking about one of my favorite prayers “Fall in Love” by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ.  The prayer’s last two lines urge us to, “fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” This summer made me fall deeper in love with social justice work and with the political world. Working on immigration policy has allowed me to see the connections between politics, policy and people.

I had wonderful experiences going to briefings and legislative visits on the Hill while working towards passing comprehensive immigration reform. However, the events that I will keep closest to my heart are the rallies and marches I attended with hundreds of other people directly affected by our immigration laws. Walking alongside families fighting to stay together and listening to their stories of risking their lives to cross the border is what motivates me to continue working for this cause.

I feel blessed to have been a part of the immigration reform movement in D.C. this summer, to have learned so much about the issue, and to have met people who inspire me and who I will carry in my heart. While I am sad to leave D.C., I know that this is not a permanent goodbye. I have fallen in love here and I think I’m going to stay in love.