Dreamers and immigration advocates gathered at the Capitol this morning for the Dreamer Prayer Rally, kicking off a week of planned civil disobedience actions as part of the Camino de Sueños/ Path of Dreams virtual pilgrimage coordinated by Christian Community Development Association. Faith leaders urged Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act and provide a permanent legislative fix to protect DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients from deportation and provide a path to citizenship. DACA is set to expire on March 7, 2018 making deportations a real threat the 800,000 DACA recipients.

“The issue over how to treat the Dreamers has become much more than politics. It has become a matter of biblical obedience for many of us in the faith community. How we welcome the stranger, the immigrant, is how we treat Christ himself, and is a test of obedience to the God of the Bible who instructs us on how to treat the “others.” Obedience now requires resistance.” Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners, said.

Several faith leaders were paired with individual DREAMERS to offer prayers. Sojourners’ Jim Wallis, prayed for Liz Vamudio, from Arizona, who arrived from Mexico at the age of five. She shared her dreams and previous anxieties of living in the shadows with the crowd and urged “do not forget the original DREAMERS—our parents. We need prayers and actions to get safety for everyone.”

National partners for the prayer rally included: Bread for the World, Sojourners, Evangelicals for Social Action, Urban Strategies, Red Letter Christians, World Relief, Freedom Road, & the Matthew 25 Coalition.