Liberty State Park in front of the footbridge to Ellis Island
Rev. Gene Squeo (English) 201-207-0112
Br. John Skrodinsky (English & Spanish) 973-896-0444
Faith Community Begins Lenten Campaign “Lamenting” Treatment of Immigrants with 12 Mile Pilgrimage
Day of Action to Highlight Issue of Immigration Detention
JERSEY CITY, NJ—Over 100 People of faith and immigrant rights advocates from over 30 different organizations across the state of New Jersey and New York are expected to gather at Liberty State Park in front of the foot bridge to Ellis Island on the Christian feast day of Ash Wednesday, March 9th at 9:30 AM. for a press conference and interfaith prayer service before walking 12 miles to the Elizabeth Detention Center to draw attention to the suffering that is inflicted on immigrants their families, and the communities in which they live by the U.S.’s current immigration and detention policies.
This day of action is the second annual event of its kind, and is intended to highlight the differences between our nation’s history of welcoming immigrants, symbolized by Ellis Island, and today’s harsh realities for immigrants. “Ellis Island was once referred to as the ‘Golden Door’. It is a far cry from the barbed wire fences at the gates of the Elizabeth Detention Center,” said Margaret White of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ.
The pilgrimage is the opening event of a statewide Lenten Campaign to “Recognize the Human Value of Immigrants” called “Lament, Compassion, Solidarity & Conversion”. As a coordinated part of the event, people of all faith traditions are being asked to gather at their local house of worship or elsewhere in their home community throughout the six weeks of Lent to Lament our country’s current immigration policy, show Compassion for the suffering of immigrants, act in Solidarity with immigrants and pray for a Conversion of hearts so that comprehensive, humane immigration reform can be enacted. The campaign will culminate in a Migrants Way of the Cross in Newark on April 22nd (Good Friday).
WHAT: Press conference, interfaith prayer service, pilgrimage walk to Elizabeth Detention Center, vigil
WHEN: March 9th 9:30 a.m. (press conference and interfaith prayer service); walk ends at the Elizabeth -Detention Center at IRATE & First Friends 13th annual Ash Wednesday prayer vigil at 6:00 p.m.