Friends and members of Faith Lutheran Church formed Immigration Justice Group in 2012. We have eight core members with the strong backing and participation of our congregation. We started working within our congregation to educate ourselves as to the important role immigrants have in our community and the difficulties they face in their everyday life. Some of the activities we included in this learning process have been forums held with immigrant speakers, immigrant lawyers and orchardists. We have read and discussed as a group, "Welcoming the Stranger" by Soerens & Hwang which has been a wonderful source of learning and inspiration. Our members have attended workshops put on by NWIRP (Northwest Immigration Rights Project). We will be touring the Detention Center in Tacoma this month and have a Q&A session with NWIRP following. Last fall we joined the "New Sanctuary Movement" which advocates a support system through legal advice, hospitality, material support, and worker justice for all immigrants.
Direct support in our community is an important part of our group as well. We have a lively group who meets once a week for ESL/Citizenship classes/tutoring at P-D Elementary. This year culminates with the Bicultural Fest in Leavenworth on July 5. Our members will be volunteering in this event which will highlight a Naturalization Ceremony and workshop with the author of the Regional Read- Luis Urrea.
The work being done in Congress right now on Bill S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act is so very important and has such a direct impact on all of us. In our faith journey, we pray that our country can move toward justice and unity of family for those who come here seeking a better life.