Since launching CCDA’s Camino de Sueños in Detroit on October 5th, 2017, I have been amazed at how powerfully I have sensed feelings of kinship and connectedness with others who are committed to walking with Dreamers until a new, clean Dream Act is passed by Congress.
In November, 2017 I traveled to over a dozen cities to attend & participate in Camino de Sueños events. I have been overwhelmed by the courage of Dreamers who have been willing to share their stories of pain, frustration and hope. Their wisdom has been amazing. Their faith has been inspiring. Their stories will not soon be forgotten by all of the family members and allies who have attended these sacred gatherings.
In Kentucky, one of the first Dreamers who shared her story said, “my parents were the original Dreamers. They are the ones that followed their dreams at great cost to bring us to this country.”
The reality is, that while we are working together as CCDA leaders from around the country to advocate for Dreamers, we are being given an opportunity to ignite our own dreams for the kind of world that God created us to experience.
When we began to plan these events, I knew we would be doing many in churches and in our ministry centers. Honestly, I never imagined that Camino de Sueños events would also be organized in colleges and in public high schools.
In New Orleans, Lisa Maria Rhodes organized an event at her high school in the Ninth Ward. As a social worker, she has the opportunity to interact with hundreds of kids and help them through issues that they and their families are experiencing, impacting their ability to learn. In a school of almost a thousand students, hundreds of immigrant students are trying to find a way to integrate their lives in their new country. Lisa made it possible for the students to be released from class to create art and to share their stories among their peers sharing their dreams for one another.
In Brooklyn, New York, Jeremy Del Rio organized an event for three schools that all meet in one building. When he shared the vision of the Camino with the principals of the schools, they not only agreed to allow all of their students participate in Camino-themed assemblies, but they took the curriculum that Dallhana Garcia developed for this campaign and made the content a school assignment for every student. The writing portion of their work was to write a dream for themselves or other Dreamers. It was an amazing day to speak to thousands of young people advocating for their peers and other Dreamers around our nation.
The dream that Jesus articulated to his disciples, that they would learn to love God with all of their being and to love their neighbor as themselves, is at the core of the Camino de Sueños. When we put our love into action to seek the wellbeing of our neighbors who may not look like us, we are on the narrow Camino that Jesus invites us to walk on: a Camino of love, forgiveness, grace and solidarity with others.
What has been most powerful in my time, city after city, has been seeing young people activated to put their faith into action on behalf of others. And, when we tell them that the green and yellow cards they are filling out describing the dreams they have for those that are on the verge of losing their DACA status are going to Washington DC to be delivered to Congress, you can see their eyes light up and their tears flow with gratitude and excitement that they are participating in the work of justice on behalf of others.
I wish all of you could personally attend one of these events in your city. I wish all of you could have joined us in Washington DC on December 4th and 5th, 2017. You can continue to stand with our Dreamers by filling out a dream card electronically at this link.
I am certain that one day we will look back at the years and years of heartfelt effort on the part of many to reform or nation’s immigration laws, and we will recognize that God hears the cries of the oppressed and the suffering. One day, we will celebrate that not only did we pass immigration reform for Dreamers and their families, but that our celestial immigration status to enter heaven legally has been paid for and stamped by God Himself.
By grace, we can live as full citizens in the Kingdom of God, and that is Good News!