Black Immigrants & Refugees Sanctuary Congregations Stories



A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship

Fr. Hector Rodriguez and Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea

Washington, D.C. (December 20, 2013 ) — National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM) board members Fr. Hector Rodriguez (Episcopal Church) and Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea (Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) visited the National Mall in Washington D.C., to show their support for those fasting for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform & Citizenship participants were fasting from November 12 to December 12 to call attention to this issue.

Fr. Rodriguez and Rev. Stanley-Rea also visited legislative offices to demand swift passage of an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship. For more information about NFWM.

Fast for Families on the National Mall

Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2013) — More than 27 days have passed since the Fast for Families launched in front of the U.S. Capitol to send a clear and visible message to Congress about the moral crisis caused by our country’s broken immigration system and its impact on millions of families.

Thank you for your commitment and support, which helped spark a nationwide movement including more than 10,000 solidarity fasters from coast to coast and millions committed to act. Now, we need you more than ever for a community gathering on December 12th to announce the next phase of our campaign for immigration reform. Read moreSpanish.

The President & First Lady Visit Those Fasting for Immigration Reform

Washington, D.C. (December 9, 2013) — The President and the First Lady visited the brave individuals who are fasting in the shadow of the Capitol, sacrificing their health in an effort to get Congress to act swiftly on commonsense immigration reform. The President and the First Lady gave their support for their fight for family unity during the Thanksgiving weekend, as families across the country come together to spend time with loved ones. Read more.

Fasting for immigration reform: Strikers go hungry in push for change

By Miranda Leitsinger, Staff Writer, NBC News

Lenka Mendoza, 42, from Peru, joined the “Fast for Families” on the National Mall to compel congressional action on immigration reform legislation. Photo by Pete Marovich / for NBC News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December, 9, 2013) – When the hunger headaches get strong, Lenka Mendoza focuses on why she is fasting and dreams of what she would do if she won the right to legally live and work in the U.S.: She would return to her home country, Peru, to hug her cancer-stricken mom.

Mendoza, an undocumented mother of three who works as a motel housekeeper, is one of about a dozen activists fasting on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. The fasters want the House of Representatives to vote on legislation that would grant some 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. The bill was approved earlier this year by the Senate but has met stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled House. Read more.


Immigration reform fast ends with Fresno vigil

December 9, 2013 — About 100 people gathered Sunday at Fresno State’s Peace Garden to sing, pray and hold a candlelight vigil, marking the end of a nationwide monthlong fast in support of immigration reform.

Nearly a dozen, including local clergy, fasted and prayed for three weeks as part of the “Fast 4 Families” campaign, in support of a quicker path to U.S. citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the country.

Pastor Natalie Chamberlain with the United Christian Church of Fresno said she gave up one meal a day in support for the campaign. She said she didn’t do a full fast because of her health. Read more 

National Day to Fast, Act and Pray for Immigration Reform

Fast4FamiliesObamaDecember 2, 2013

Dear friends and allies of the Fast for Families,

We find ourselves in a critical moment as the fasters’ bodies grow weaker, but their resolve remains.  As Congress returns from their break, join us for the National Day to Act, Fast, and Pray when the Fasters will hold an important press conference and announcement at the tents on the National Mall this Tuesday, December 3, at 11:30 A.M.

We hope clergy and lay leaders can attend wearing stoles and collars when possible to show the support of the faith community.

More than 20 days have passed since SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, NAKASEC’s Dae Joong Yoon, DREAMer, Mi Familia Vota’s Cristian Avila, and Sojourner’s Lisa Sharon Harper have courageously fasted in the shadows of the Capitol to highlight the need for immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans who suffer in the shadows everyday. The personal sacrifice of the Fasters has been an act of love, emblematic of the sacrifices that too many families have endured.

Join with the Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries and others around the country to fast on the special day. Disciples will also lead the service at the fasting tent on Tuesday night.

Join the fast for 24-hour for National Days of Fasting Dec. 3- Sign up at Sponsor Fast4Families here Share local actions as solidarity actions with Fast4Families here