Presidents Day, February 14th 2014, was a quiet news making day while a group of United Methodists were protesting outside the White House calling on President Obama to use his authority to stop the deportations of illegal immigrants. They were chanting the slogan of “Not one more.”
During this protest 32 persons from the protest party were arrested. Included in the arrests were Bishop Minerva Carcano of the Los Angeles Episcopal Area, Bishop Julius Trimble of the Iowa Episcopal Area, and Harriet Jane Olson the General Secretary of the United Methodist Women.
Bishop Carcano shared in an article posted yesterday in the Huffington Post her reasons and passions behind the protest in “Principled Leadership on President’s Day”.
Principled leadership does not receive the hard labor of men and women and then ignore their contributions, detain and deport them, to make a political point. It is wrong and unprincipled to negotiate away the lives of human beings for political power or expediency. These are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, whose backs and hearts break to feed their families and prove they are worthy of respect and a chance to live a better life.
Last March, I had the great privilege of joining 13 other religious leaders in a meeting with our President to discuss the need for immigration reform. I shared a story with him about a little girl whose mother is an immigrant and lives in daily fear of deportation. This mother was speaking in one of our churches about the difficulties of being a mother and an undocumented immigrant. In giving her testimony she was overcome by the despair of her life and began to cry, causing all of us to cry with her. But it was her little girl who stepped up and wrapped herself around her mother’s legs, trying to comfort her, convicting those of us who were present to do something about the injustices faced by immigrants like this mother and her child. Out of conviction I say today what I said to President Obama then: Why should children bear the burden of our broken immigration system and the fear of deportation?
Bishop Julius Trimble and Carcano are both interviewed in this video by United Methodist Communications explaining some of the reasoning behind the protests as well as scenes from the protest itself.
You can find out more from the #Not1More deportation efforts at their website. Follow many conversations over Twitter by the search hashtag #not1more. You can also view United Methodist News Service photos on their Flickr set.