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Religious activism around immigration reform continues to build, many are expressing the same curiosity as Kimelman-Block’s cellmate: where exactly did this groundswell of faith-based support for immigration reform come from? And, will the efforts of religious Americans be enough to convince Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform?
In recent months, there has been discussion about this coming in the form of new partnerships between organizations and a new Jewish-Latino Congressional caucus. As Jews we believe it is essential to value every person and to ensure that all people are treated with respect and dignity. Naturally, we feel compelled to speak out against a broken immigration system that tears apart families and forces 11 million people to live in hiding. Jews have been there. We know how it feels to be on the outside looking in. Our own difficult history compels us to help lift others out of similar situations.
Bend the Arc dedicated to creating economic opportunity and promoting social justice have applauded today’s victory for marriage equality in New Jersey.
I never thought I’d go to jail. In fact, my family experience has led me to try to stay as far away as possible from spending time in jail. My grandfather was a prisoner of war and a victim of torture in World War I. My father had a career as a parole officer and an administrator in the New York State prison system.
Eight Democratic members of Congress joined with activists on Tuesday to block a street in view of the Capitol, an attempt to reignite immigration reform efforts that have stalled out in the House. But others were acting in civil disobedience for the first time. Jason Kimelman-Block, the rabbi-in-residence for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, said he'd never done anything like the protest before, but that it was important to him to join in this time.