We celebrate a great moment of relief and respite from what has been a season defined by grief, anxiety, pain and a lot of hard work. We know that this Deferred Action is the result of great effort and work demanding justice for our families and communities. This work has been led by DREAMers themselves demonstrating the courage and vision for an alternative future that always defines historic movements for social justice. Those of us who have taken part in this historic work feel a renewed sense of hope and joy knowing how important our work is and what it has produced in our neighborhoods.
CCDA has been at the forefront of a faith-led movement for justice for immigrants. CCDA also knows that what was achieved is indeed the result of an active God in the world who cares most about those who get left out, those who are forgotten and called ‘illegal’ by the world. God himself is active in our deliverance. We hear God say: “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey…” Exodus 3:7-8
Raymond Jose from Rockville, Maryland just filled out his application and describes that he will “have the means to overcome this obstacle [of being undocumented].” He plans to help his parents and his community by pursuing an education in the nursing profession.
Undocumented students have for the first time ever in their entire lives, an opportunity to live without fear and to participate in the only country they have every known. For this we rejoice with them. Notario fraud is a real threat to our families. We must spread the word about the facts and how to avoid scams. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is great place to look for local events in your area, to search for a qualified attorney or to report any suspicious activity. Also, United We Dream, a network of DREAM Act organizations and leaders across the country, has great information on their Facebook page.
As we celebrate this important moment, we also take the joy we feel to keep moving towards permanent, serious and comprehensive immigration reform. This is ultimately a temporary solution for students and neither does it deal with the other long-standing and beloved undocumented members of our neighborhoods. For them we continue to struggle, mobilize, organize, all the while praying for God to deliver us.
Ian works for Neighborhood Ministries as a youth pastor, community organizer, and is a CCDA cohort member.