Written by: Sister Pat
June 12, 2013
Our evening session
was held in Phoenix in the auditorium at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. It was
announced in the beginning that the venue was changed because of the number of
responses. The auditorium held 200 people and every seat was filled.
of Mercy, Gaye Moorhead and Margaret Mary McBride, were the chairs of the
event. Margaret did the welcome in the name of the West Midwest Community. Gaye
introduced the Lutheran Bishop who gave the invocation and she also introduced
Sr. Simone Campbell. Gaye was one of a lawyers’ group who critiqued Simone’s
speech before the Democratic National Convention.
Sister Simone gave a
brief history of the trip to date. She then introduced four of the “Nuns on the
Bus” who were there to give their impressions and feelings as they listened to
our immigrant sisters and brothers.
Young, the newest member, told her reason for coming on the trip. Gail works
for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is working very hard for comprehensive
immigration reform. She came on the bus to meet the people telling their
stories. Gail had each storyteller sign a t-shirt, which she is taking back to
LA to pray for those who signed and to remember them each day.
Clark spoke of the evening we spent outside of Tucson with the Pascua Yaqui
Nation. What impressed her most was the fact that the nation is split because
of the wall. Some of the members live on one side of the fence and some live on
the other. Families are separated and they are no longer one Yaqui Nation.
Bettencourt spoke of her experience in Nogales this morning. Speakers who
addressed us talked about the realities of the wall and its impact on families,
the economy, and the fear that exists. One man desperate to feed his family was
approached three times by a man trying to sell him food stamps. On the fourth
time, he accepted the offer and bought food stamps from the man, who was
undercover police. The man was arrested and deported.
Persch was the last speaker. She said that through her work in Chicago with
people in detention, people being deported, the DREAMers who live in fear, the
families torn apart – the pain is a palpable pain. On this trip she realized
that pain is a reality throughout our country. In her visit to Senator Flake
she met two young people who have DACA. One has a mother in deportation and the
other’s mother was deported. We need reform NOW.
Simone then told other stories. She reinforced the idea that it’s the 100% -
immigration affects all of us. Simone then introduced the actions – filling out
the cards, talking to family and friends, and texting to get information about
calling your Senator. She said with much emphasis, “If we want to reclaim our
country, we must begin talking to each other.” This is a crucial time – we live
in a time of urgency. Call and write your Senators. NOW – the single most
economically sound law would be to pass comprehensive immigration reform.