Editor’s note: Members of AZ2DC recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to share their stories with our Congressmen and to pray for them. This post originally appeared on AZ2DC’s blog. Permission was given by the moderator to repost.
Around this time of year in the Latino community, posadas–songs and prayers that tell the story of Mary and Joseph as they go on a journey to find refuge somewhere that would allow Mary to give birth to Jesus–are celebrated. The significance of the posadas to our community, other than tradition, is a representation of the journey many families take into the U.S. to find refuge from poverty, violence, and many other oppressing factors in their countries. This nation is that place of refuge and hope for our families.
We visited Congressional Members Paul Ryan, Raul Labrador, and McCarthy with the traditional carols and prayers of the posadas to ask for an opportunity for our families; to give us that hope that Joseph and Mary got from the barn they were welcomed into. We didn’t get to meet with the Congressman, but we met with their staff. We were able to share what posadas are all about, and how they symbolize our efforts to pass immigration reform. Through stories and prayer, we shared the urgency of reforming the broken immigration system in the life of Guadalupe Arreola, the undocumented mother of DREAMer and well-known organizer Erika Andiola. Indira Alvarado, a DREAMer and a youth leader at Neighborhood Ministries, shared her mom’s story with staff members as well, a story of despair and a cry out for help from these leaders.
I’m extremely blessed to carry on this tradition in this way in our nation’s Capitol with spiritual warriors in this fight. These songs and stories were planted in the steps and hallways of that Capitol, and we are hopeful that soon we will see the birth of a new immigration system that treats humans with dignity and respect, keeps families together, and brings hope to our future generations–all of the things that Jesus brought to us with his birth in that barn that gave posada to Mary and Joseph.
Ricardo Zamudio is a DREAMer and a student at Arizona State University where he majors in social work. He works at Neighborhood Ministries as a Deputy Youth Programs Director, and as an Organizer for their civic engagement and advocacy efforts on immigration reform at Neighborhood Ministries. He is also a member of the AZ2DC core team.
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