As we walked closer to our goal, more and more people asked us what we would do next. One answer is that all of us, walkers and non-walkers, have each to take the next step to welcome our sisters and brothers, although each of us must discern what that step might be for us. For we who walked, the pilgrimage changed us and opened our eyes wider to the hardships and hostility that immigrants from all over the world tell us they experience. We are still digesting the things we have experienced and heard, and trying to clarify for ourselves how we have changed.
Which is to say that the next steps are not crystal clear. We have been invited to come to churches, schools and local diversity commissions to talk about our walk, and we will do some of that. We may write articles and opinion pieces about our pilgrimage and justice for immigrants. We may do more prayer vigils, perhaps more pilgrimages for immigration reform. The one sure thing is that we will continue to work for justice until the five elements of immigration reform are made into law:
a path to permanent residency for undocumented persons;
protections for all workers, U.S. or foreign born;
reduced waiting times for family reunification (which currently can take decades);
restoration of due process protection for immigrants; and
policies that address the root causes of migration.
We continue to pray, to inform ourselves and others, and to advocate on behalf of the strangers among us as we welcome them.
posted by Nick