The Wind of the Spirit
By Clara Nunez
Since beginning in 2000, Wind of the Spirit has been working for a new immigration policy based on justice and dignity. This community organization of immigrants is organizing the immigrant community in Morris County and around New Jersey to educate and mobilize themselves to advance immigrant labor and civil rights as well as to involve their members in the decision making process on issues concerning their future, particularly immigration policies at the local, state, and national level.
Members of Wind of the Spirit and other immigrants around New Jersey benefit from their work. The plan is to have a nationwide effect on the issue by promoting humane policy change. One of the current campaigns is the “Not One More Deportation” campaign, which is calling for action by President Obama to provide relief to undocumented families.
Rev. Johnnie Monroe, Chairperson of the SDOP Northeast Task Force made the following reflection during the last Task Force’s meeting. “When we pray the Lord's Prayer, we say, "Thy will be done." The question we must wrestle with is; Do we really mean what we say or are we simply uttering words. We must raise the question with ourselves and within the Church. Do we say what we mean and do we mean what we say? We must raise that same question when it comes to doing mission. Do we mean what we say and do we say what we mean through our actions?”
It felt to all the people present at the meeting that Rev. Monroe’s statement perfectly related to the current immigration issues and how government and individuals are handling the situation.
As I was writing this article, I see the importance of the support and collaboration of organizations such as Wind of the Spirit and local authorities is vital for those needing information given by a friendly hand. That’s what happened back in May, when Wind of the Spirit participated together with Senator Robert Menendez's Mobile Office at the Morristown Library, offering immigration, social security, and other services to immigrants.
Wind of the Spirit is fighting the deportations of individual community members who are being unjustly targeted. Last month, Wind of the Spirit supported Lourdes, a woman from Dover, who led the fight against her husband's deportation and they were successful. “Thank God, he is home now with his family. Rafael was lucky because we were able to put enough pressure on, and to work with his lawyer to reverse the deportation order. Not everyone facing deportation in our community is able to fight it, which is why we are doing everything we can to educate our community about their legal and civil rights, so people know how to prevent deportation orders in the first place.” says Ilana Rossoff from the Wind of the Spirit.
On July 9, Wind of the Spirit and 25 immigrant youth went to Washington D.C. to speak with members of Congress about detention and deportation of their families. Some of the youth were undocumented, most have family members who have been affected by detention and/or deportation. In partnership with other organizations there were over 100 children participating in this event.
“It was a very powerful day of youth standing up against the injustices that oppress their families!” said Ilana.
If you would like to share in changing people’s life, please
(Are you a member of a group of low-income persons working on issues of importance to you and your community, will working on these issues result in long-term positive change? Are you in need of financial assistance? Contact SDOP at (502)-569-5782, (www.pcusa.org/sdop) we would welcome talking with you and possibly hosting a community workshop in your area).