At sunset on February 12th, Juntos gathered at the Aquí y Alllá mural in South Philly to create a visual statement on the destructive impact of current immigration policies on our families. The vigil was planned to coincide with President Obama’s State of the Union Address, two days ahead of Valentine’s Day, when he confirmed that immigration reform will be a priority in his second term. Of course, this political momentum has grown out of the tireless work, the demonstration of power, la lucha of our community.After cleaning up the area, our youth began lighting candles and tying “broken” hearts to the fence surrounding the mural; hearts filled with the names of loved ones in the community, who have recently been deported. Against this stunning backdrop, with huge red hearts beating against the fence, Juntos leaders spoke emotionally and powerfully about the need for an immigration reform that is both just and humane. Padre Orlando led us through a prayer and community leader Maria Serna spoke about the pain of separation as a wound that never heals, reminding us that no community should experience such suffering. Gisela Hernandez asked both the President and the public to think about the families behind the stories, and for those most affected by immigration policies to be part of the conversation about reform. After speaking boldly about how communities are exploited and kept in constant fear under the threat of deportation, Jackie Gomez asked the crowd if they would join her to continue fighting for a more inclusive immigration reform, and was met with a resounding “Si!”. Speakers called for an immediate moratorium on deportations and a reform that does not divide us; a reform that respects the dignity and contributions of all immigrants, and acknowledges the root causes of migration. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the Juntos community is organized and ready for this fight.
Thank you to all who came out in support last night! A diverse crowd of around 60 people – including Juntos community members, neighborhood residents, and other allies and supporters – were present at the event. We were treated to delicious atole and ponche, a real treat on this chilly February night, supplied by Blue Corn Alianza and Los Taquitos de Puebla.
In honor of Valentines Day, we are asking that you our show support and love to Juntos BY DONATING as we continue to fight for our community and for a fair and just immigration reform. On April 10 we will be mobilizing buses from Philadelphia and Norristown to Washington DC to make our voices heard along with thousand of other communites across the nation to demand that our community be at the forefront of the immigration reform conversation.
$20 pays for one seat on a bus
$100 pays for water for one of the buses
$250 pays for lunch and snacks for one bus
$1,000 covers the cost of one bus rental
We hope you can support us however you can and we look forward to updating you on how immigration shapes our for our community.