On December 3, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired Archbishop of Washington D.C., joined immigrant families fasting for immigration reform at their tent site on the National Mall, to offer words of gratitude for their witness as they concluded 22 days of fasting for comprehensive immigration reform. The full text of his remarks follow:
“Some years ago, when we were beginning to reform a horrible situation of immigration in our country, I was interviewed by the media. At the end, one journalist asked me, Monsenor, “But this is a dream, not a reality.” I said, “Yes, but we have to dream!” That was a moment in the past to dream. Today is the moment to act.
“That’s why we are here. Some of us are suffering cold, hunger, thirst, and inconvenience. These good people have told me it’s worth it. So I am honored to be here with you, even if to share a few words with all of you: faith leaders, advocates, supporters, fasters.
“Today we end one fast and begin another to draw attention to the importance of immigration reform. I want to commend the courage and witness of those who are ending their fast today. We owe them very much. We thank them for their witness. You have kept the nation’s focus on this vital issue because of your sacrifice. You have put your faith into action. It has not been easy.
“But you have shown the nation through your sacrifice, not just dreams but deeds, that we can no longer wait for immigration reform legislation, and that the dreams we have had all these years, this year has to come to reality.
“We can no longer tolerate the separation of families, the exploitation of workers, and the deaths of migrants in the American desert.
“I also want to express gratitude to those who are willing to continue the fast into the holiday season, which is marked always by new beginnings and great hope. It’s my prayer that the commitment and the love of those fasters and their fellow human beings will change the hearts and minds of members of Congress and inspire them to pass immigration reform legislation as soon as possible.
“Thank you again for your leadership and witness.”