UMW Members Rally in Support of Immigrants
April 28, 2011
By Connie Jones
CA-NV Annual Conference UMW Executive Committee
United Methodist Women from across the California-Nevada Annual Conference rallied at the California State Capitol in Sacramento April 11th, in support of comprehensive immigration reform.
The 2011 CA-NV UMW Legislative Event, "A Place To Call Home," began at First United Methodist Church of Sacramento with speakers, the Rev. Brenda Vaca, chair of the Conference Immigration Task Force; Elizabeth Sholes from the California Council of Churches; and Belinda Robinson, project director of the Bay Area Immigration Task Force and Justice for our Neighbors (JFON) legal clinic. Two undocumented workers who are UMW members also spoke, sharing their stories of hardship and their thankfulness for the witness of the Church.
Following the speakers and lunch, UMW members lined the sidewalk on 10th Street in front of the State Capitol building, holding signs and praying in support of people whose families are separated due to the harsh policies of our current immigration laws. Undocumented workers who have come to the U.S. for jobs in order to feed their families are subject to detention without civil or human rights. They can be held indefinitely, along with their children, in detention centers – many of which are private for-profit prisons.
UMW members across the country are working for immigration policies which would provide a pathway to legal residency for these workers, keep parents and children together, and provide for humane treatment of all workers.
More than 80 women attended the legislative event, and following the rally met with their state legislators to advocate on behalf of immigrants.