Parishioners Advocate for Immigration Reform

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va.-- Some parishioners at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church advocated for immigration reform on Sunday.

After the Spanish mass, they signed postcards and dropped them off at Rep. Bob Goodlatte's office. The initiative was lead by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as part of the Justice for Immigrants campaign.

Organizer Roxana Bendezu said she wants to remind congress the importance of solving this issue.

"We are hoping this issue is talked about and it is not forgotten and the representative takes leadership, because in this community where he is representative of there are a lot of people who are unfortunately undocumented," said Bendezu.

She said the most pressing issue with immigration reform is a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Even before securing the U.S. borders.

"Then first priority should be the human being and therefore the people that are here in their situations should be addressed as a priority," said Bendezu.

She said it is also vital for the reform to preserve family unity.

"They are already part of our community except for this document, this piece of paper," said Bendezu.

Luis Avalos Contreras said he knows how it feels to be in the country illegally. According to Contreras, he was undocumented and later became a citizen.

"I have experienced first hand discrimination and being far away from my wife, children and parents," he said.

Other requests include "restoring the due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies" and "addressing root causes of migration."

This is part of the Virginia Pilgrimage for Immigration Reform, a four-day tour visiting five cities.


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