Immigrant rights liturgy

Immigrant rights liturgy

Responsive reading based on the DECLARATION OF IMMIGRANT RIGHTS from Annunciation House, El Paso, TX
Also see the full text of the document about immigrant rights in English and Spanish


L:      We are a nation of immigrants. We come together from the four corners of the earth.

R:      We come from Mexico and the Philippines, from Central America, Ireland, Ethiopia and Iraq. We come to escape poverty and violence, fear, war, discrimination, political suppression and economic hardship.

L:      We leave behind parents and children and the skies of our homelands. We bring with us languages, photographs, telephone numbers, backpacks, stories, and hopes.

R:      We have walked day and night through the desert to cross the frontera. We have waited on the far side for papers to go through. We have hopped trains, seen companions fall, have put our trust in and been abandoned by coyotes—human smugglers. We are the ones who have arrived.

L:      We have been called illegals, mojados, aliens and terrorists. We are rounded up at work, leaving our children stranded. We are imprisoned and deported from the cities where we have lived for decades.

R:      We are math teachers and dishwashers, carpenters, translators, painters of portraits and of houses. We pick the apples in Yakima, Washington. We wash your dishes in restaurants in Minnesota. We rebuild houses in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We pay taxes out of our salaries.

L:      We send our children to school, wanting them to learn and succeed and to be safe. Neither do we forget the family members we have left in our birth countries: we work hard to support them as well. In some places we are invisible. But look for us—we are here. We are twelve million strong.

R:      We contribute our labor, our children, the rich textures of our cultures, and a chance for each of us—we and you—to learn compassion and wisdom through encountering the stranger. But we must be strangers no longer.

All:     We are your grandparents and your sons- and daughters-in-law, your past and your future. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we affirm our humanity, dignity, and value. As children of one God, as heirs of one earth, we assert our rights.