Entering its fourth week on the road, the Fast for Families bus continues its journey across the country getting closer to its final destination: Washington, D.C. on April 9.
Continuing the call for fair and humane immigration reform, fasters visited Arlington, Texas last week on the southern trail, connecting with members of Congress who shared their goals for immigration reform.
“The trickiest issue is what do you do with people that are here [undocumented]?” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who is drafting his own immigration bill and hopes to introduce it in late spring or early summer. “We need to weed out the bad apples and send them back home or put them in jail. But the others whose only [unauthorized] act is coming to this country [undocumented], we sort them out and put them on a legalization path, and minors on a citizenship path.”
On the northern route, fasters stopped in Aurora, Colo., urging Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., to press Congress on immigration reform. Supporters gathered, including Mayor Steve Hogan, who also urged the representative to take action.
“I would call on Congressman Coffman. I would call on the entire Colorado delegation to do the right thing,” Hogan said.
Although some districts might seem easier to journey through than others, the truth is that the resonating message across the country is for families. Ultimately, the need for reform is urgent to keep families together. It is for the millions of personal stories of individuals who are being unfairly separated from their loved ones — for those spouses and children who have to live in fear and doubt of their family’s future. It is for those who are left scarred by our unfair immigration system.
This week, the tour made significant stops as it stepped on hallowed ground in Birmingham, Ala., where fasters visited Rep. Spencer Bachus’s office (R-Ala.) and also attended a town hall meeting with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), urging him to show leadership on the immigration.
Public witness events are diverse and have included gatherings on the steps of state capitols, most recently in Minn., where enthusiastic supporters have gathered to vocalize their support for immigration reform and share their stories.
As fasters continue with their journey, let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers and continue doing what we can in our communities to pressure our members of Congress to show leadership on this crucial issue that affects our communities, workplaces, and friends.
Check out the new video of the bus tour so far:
View pictures of “Fast for Families” stops: flickr.com/fast4families
Ivone Guillen is immigration campaign associate for Sojourners.