|Betraying the Age|
Samantha...in her own words
(w/ special appeal)
|Dear NY Faith & Justice Friends and Family,|
Meet Samantha...In Her Own Words
Samantha McLane Alejos is an immigrant from Mexico. She has been in the United States for three years. For the past year he has worked in the New York office of Bread for the World, an organization that advocates for hungry people. Bread is also organizational partner with NY Faith & Justice.
I met Samantha at the July 2009 Bread for the World National Gathering in Washington DC. After I spoke on Hunger and Biblical Peace, Samantha came up to let me know she was moved and wanted to know how she could get involved with NYFJ back in NYC.
Samantha started as a volunteer in our Food Justice work, but within months transitioned into the leader of our Immigration Reform initiatives.
Lisa: After months of working with NYFJ on food justice, you approached me and asked to work on Immigration Reform. What motivated you to focus on Immigration, in particular?
Samantha: I am an immigrant. So, I am directly affected by the issue. I am here legally, but I know people who are suffering under the current broken system. I came here with my husband to seek opportunity. There are others who do not have the same opportunity as me and it is not right. They are not fairly judged. They are not fairly treated.
Immigration is just part of people's development. Some people decide to migrate. Some people decide not to.
America exports its culture to Mexico through products and media, but then when we want to come, they say, "Oh, no." People don't choose the level of opportunities they have. Systems do that for them. In Mexico, we don't have the same options and I don't think that's fair. You need to provide for yourself and your family a job, a house, an education, food. If you can not do that in your own place, you are free and able to move to a different city, state, or to a different country. When you can not feed your children, there is no decision there. You just have to move. It is necessity. So, when people choose to migrate it is to seek better opportunities.
But if an immigration system is not well constructed, you are cutting off the ability of people to use their skills, knowledge, and talents. When we move here, we contribute in many ways; by working, paying taxes, and developing the region. Everyone is affected by this.
I know a couple who has been here for 8 years. They learned English and are working contributors to the U.S. economy, but they have not seen their family in Mexico for 8 years because they are afraid they will be deported or not allowed back in the country. This is complicated by the fact that they have two children now.
Lisa: What do you say to people who would say, "Yeah, but they broke the law. Law-breakers should be afraid. They should be fearful of being deported at any minute because they are hereillegally." What do you say to that?
Samantha: Sometimes laws do not correspond with reality or morality. It's not like they broke the law because they wanted to. It is because it is the only thing to do when you are running from poverty, when you are running from hunger. So, when the law denies an opportunity to eat, to have an education, to have a job, then it is an immoral law. If they say that, I would say, "What kind of laws are we making?"
March 2010 was NY Faith & Justice Immigration Reform Month. Samantha's House Party Tool-kits were downloaded and used by communities across NYC and across the country. Recently, there has been a storm of activity in the Immigration Reform debate. We've updated the kits to address the situation as it is right now.
Join us. There are lots of ways you can do one small act today:
Finally, there's one more important way you can help betray the lies of our age. Become a member, renew your membership, or a become a financial partner with NY Faith & Justice.
NY Faith & Justice only has two weeks left to raise $25,000 in new and renewed individual financial partnerships to helpmake our work possible.
Recently, we were presented with the opportunity to secure NYC office space in our own name, and all it would take is $6000 for the year! Your generous contribution would help provide a base from which to grow the movement for years to come. Please contribute now.
Plus, anyone who gives $50 or more in the course of a year is a member. If you haven't renewed your membership, now is the time. If you've been waiting to give, right now is the time!
Betray the age and contribute just $50, $100, $300, $500, $1000 or more to the work of NY Faith & Justice.
***All who give just $10/mth or more through automatic electronic payments will receive a complimentary NY Faith & Justice T-Shirt! Don't forget to use the "Designation" box on the online giving page to indicate your size and let us know if you want a male or female cut.
NOTE: If you prefer not to give online you can send checks made payable to "FCNY/NY Faith & Justice" to:
NY Faith & Justice
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500
New York, NY 10115
Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership and don't forget to follow us on , , the nyfj blog or the nyfj calendar for up to the minute action alerts, program changes, and details.
Lisa Sharon Harper
Co-founder and Executive Director
New York Faith & Justice