Yesterday, I went to my first immigration march. Hundreds of people. We could not be broken in our solidarity for the immigration reform movement.
And that’s key – our cause is a movement. On Capitol Hill, where so many details about amendments, committee meetings, and votes bog down the momentum of change, we processed onward – moving towards progress.
In that moment, I felt the power of each individual in America’s political system. In other countries, such expressions of political opinion can start violent riots or get people arrested and silenced. But on Capitol Hill we stood as a mass so large that it felt like every lawmaker heard!
People in the streets stopped what they were doing to watch. Staffers of Congressional offices ran to the window to make out what was going on. In a week of intense negotiation and scrutiny over the reform bill, I could only hear the voices around me, chanting in unison for a change that is long overdue. United, we were – and are – unstoppable.
It was extremely hot and humid yesterday, and most people on the street were just wanted to get into air conditioned rooms as soon as possible. But 300 immigrant families marched the opposite way – to the open air where they could be heard by all at the Capitol, urging the Senate and the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
I saw immigrant families there as diverse as the movement itself: Latino, Asian, and African American; I energetic youth and grandmothers shouting for reform together, faith leaders who gave powerful speeches. I was extremely moved. Many of them didn’t speak English as a first language, and all of us struggled in the hot weather. But they still showed their passion, and their determination of how much they want to keep their families together.