(The following media release is courtesy of the American Friends Service Committee: Newark Office)
On Thursday May 3, 2018, Faith leaders, clergy, advocates, immigrants and other community members will participate in a Jericho Walk in front of the Peter Rodino Federal Building in Newark, where immigrants appear on a daily basis before the Immigration Court and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Jericho Walk is a silent interfaith prayer and act of solidarity. The walk draws inspiration from the Battle of Jericho, in which the community marched around the city of Jericho seven times, causing the city walls to fall. The Jericho Walk of today is a silent, peaceful, and prayerful walk to bring down the walls of our unjust immigration system and is open to people of all or no faiths.
Leading this walk will be Cardinal Joseph. W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Catholic Archbishop of Newark, who will be joined by a group of Christian, Unitarian Universalists, Muslim and Jewish clergy and lay persons.
Together participants call for an end to the detentions and deportations that shatter immigrant lives and families and disrupts immigrant and citizen communities, enshrine the shared values of justice, compassion and kindness, and give immigrants the right to remain with their families, with their communities, in their places of worship.
“Throughout my life as a priest and bishop in the United States,” Cardinal Tobin has said, “I have lived and worked in communities that were enriched by people of many nationalities, languages and faiths. Those communities were strong, hard-working, law-abiding and filled with affection for this nation and its people -- a nation that has a long and rich history of welcoming and offering immigrants a better, safer life for themselves and their children in America.”
Thousands of immigrants in NJ have experienced and continue to live through this immigration nightmare. “When I think about how I can be deported at any moment, I think first of my children. It is like a death sentence to me,” said Pauline Nzie, immigrant resident from Newark. “Being sent back to a country I left almost 30 years ago will destroy my family. I can’t imagine how my children will survive without me. With the current government, the possibility of being deported is very much real.”
“AFSC has been representing immigrants and immigrant detainees for over 20 years and we have seen firsthand how our cruel immigration system tears families and communities apart. Today and every day, we stand in solidarity with the millions of individuals who have been impacted by detention and deportation,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director of the American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program. “We call on our elected officials to enact just and humane immigration laws that uphold the dignity and rights of all immigrants and put an end to this ugly and shameful system of mass detention and deportation once and for all.”
When: Thursday May 3, 2018 at 2pm
Where: Federal Building at 970 Broad Street, Newark