Some 15 religious leaders and activists were arrested this week for an unlawful demonstration inside a United States Senate office.
The group had demanded a “clean” passage of legislation that would protect thousands of undocumented “dreamers” from deportation, also known as the Dream Act.
The group was arrested after they gathered in a circle to sing in the office building.
The arrested included:Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of refugee and immigration ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Lori Tapia, national pastor for the Disciples of Christ's Hispanic Ministries; Rev. Kate Shaner, the minister of mission at First Community Church in Columbus, Ohio; Taylor Burgoyne from the Evangelical Covenant Church in Tucson, Arizona; Reuben Eckels, a pastor affiliated with Church World Service; and Sierra Dawn Salgado Pirigyi from Urban Abbey United Methodist Church in Bacon, Nebraska.
"I am inspired by my faith that, when we dare to take risks for justice, we help create a path of fresh hope, step by step. I am committed to doing all that I can to support the passage of a clean Dream Act," Stanley-Rea said in a statement.
"And, in honor of families facing separation far too often through detention and deportation, I submit to arrest today with the prayer that I can honor my own father, who died three decades ago on All Saints Day."
The demonstration and arrests come after President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That change ended protections for some 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came in the U.S. as minors.
The Dream Act of 2017 would provide undocumented immigrants who grew up in the U.S. a legal way to earn permanent residence and eventually citizenship.
"I want members of Congress, especially those who say they are Christian, I want a biblical reason why they won't vote on the Dream Act — not a political reason, not the political base, not Donald Trump — I want a biblical reason why they won't pass a Dream Act,” said Rev. Jim Wallis, president of the social justice organization Sojourners.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/mofles
Publication date: November 3, 2017