Hundreds of faith advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. from across the U.S. visited the offices of their elected officials on #EAD2018’s Congressional Advocacy Day, Monday, April 23. Supported by calls from remote participants around the country, these advocates raised their voices in Congress for compassion and justice for migrants, refugees and displaced people, both here and around the world. The advocacy day, which began with a public witness of support for immigrants, Dreamers, migrants and refugees, capped an inspiring #EAD2018 National Gathering in the nation’s capital, focused on the needs of these groups under the theme of “A World Uprooted.”
Unfortunately, some of the themes of #EAD2018 became more poignant when Jerome Aba, a peace advocate in the Philippines, who was scheduled to be a part of our National Gathering, was detained in San Francisco’s airport for 22 hours, strip searched several times, told he had no business in this country and was sent back to the Philippines. This was in spite of the fact that he had been granted a visa! Advocates responded to Aba’s terrible treatment with additional online, phone and social media efforts on his behalf. We ask for your continued prayers for Mr. Aba’s safety and peace work in the Philippines.
The weekend advocacy event drew together nearly 800 people, a full quarter of which were age 35 or younger, representing 23 Christian denominations and four other faith traditions. There were participants from 43 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with international participants from at least 5 countries.