On Dec. 12, members of the Washington, D.C., community gathered at St. Peter’s Catholic Church for a Mass celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas. Bishop Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez used the homily to remind the congregation of the legacy of Our Lady, and also that Christ calls Christians to be the voice for the voiceless and the face to the faceless. And that in this current climate, that means standing with our immigrant sisters and brothers, and fighting for their safety and rights. He urged the U.S. to protect Dreamers and pass a Clean Dream Act before the end of 2017.
Following the Mass, there was a Dream Act procession to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. The group was led by people carrying a large banner, drumming on drums, and carrying 122 bright red roses, a symbol associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Marichel Mejia, who was one of the organizers of the procession and works with United Farm Workers Foundation, said the group processed with the roses to “represent the 122 Dreamers who are losing their DACA status every day that Congress fails to act and pass the Dream Act.”
Jason Miller, Director of Campaigns and Development for the Franciscan Action Network, reinforced that for many Dreamers, the U.S. is the only country they know.
“And we owe it to them, before the end of the year to pass a Clean Dream Act, which is something that we have talked about for years in Congress,” Miller said. “Rather than keep kicking the can down the road and keep making empty promises, it’s time for Paul Ryan and it’s time for Mitch McConnell to act.”
Speakers at the event are hopeful a Clean Dream Act will be passed by the end of the year, but are all committed to standing with Dreamers however long it takes.
“No matter what happens, we are with them, we are together, and we’ll keep fighting for our families and our young people,” Dae Joong Yoon, co-directors at NAKASEC, said.