Saturday, August 1st … 11 am- 12 pm
West County Detention Center
5555 Giant Highway, Richmond
This month this vigil will be led by St. John’s Mission and Justice folks and Pastor Max. There will be introductions, a litany, music, testimony, prayer, as well as a Moment of Noise!
We invite you to join us as we gather to pray and bear witness to the pain, suffering, and separation of immigrant detainees, and to call for real and immediate immigration reform We invite you to join us to pray, sing and act for just immigration solutions. Please bring a noisemaker for our sacred Moment of Noise when we let the detainees know that we have not forgotten them. For more directions, download the PDF.
Why do we vigil at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond?
We do this to stand in solidarity with the 150-300 people being held here plus the thousands held in 250 detention centers across the country. We know that many have not been convicted of any “crime”, but are charged with a civil immigration offense. We know that often the chief breadwinner is taken away putting families in economic jeopardy. We know that ICE’s implementation of our immigration laws makes communities less secure. THEREFORE…
We do this to call attention to our government’s deportation 865 people every day this past year. We seek to stop this system and call on ICE to change its policies. We know that all the deportees held here have families, that many come not just for a better life, but to survive and support families. Many have fled violence and now face another form of oppression. And now, the children have come, many to reunite with families already here…and even they face expedited deportation processes. SOO….
We do this to give moral and spiritual support to the families whose loved ones are being held here. We know their trauma can be deep and their lives filled with fear. We seek to give practical advice and counsel on legal, medical, food and housing issues and to be a friendly face. And we also do this to provide opportunity for people directly impacted by ICE to share their truth – to give their testimony that they know they are not alone. SO today…
We pray together for a just and fair immigration policy closer to what our Statue of Liberty proclaims
“Mother of Exiles … Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
We also know that all our faith traditions call upon us to welcome strangers and aliens for they are our sisters brothers and our families, like theirs, were once strangers and aliens in this land.