Making America Great Again -- One Voice At A Time

Osman Aroche Enriquez with his son
Osman Aroche Enriquez with his son

One voice

One voice combined with another voice.

And another.

That’s how this whole process we call democracy works. No matter how jaundiced we are. Disillusioned. Heartbroken.

That’s how it works.

And yesterday it worked. One voice at a time.

Great Reversal

Yesterday, I received this email message from Church World Service.

On Monday, December 11th, immigration enforcement detained a dreamer and devoted father, Osman Aroche Enriquez, tearing him away from his family and his community. After the U.S. Post Office delayed Osman’s DACA renewal application, he was detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday morning after a traffic stop by state police. Osman was pulled over for an expired registration in Lancaster, PA after which ICE was called. Osman is now separated from his 1-year-old infant son and his fiance, a permanent U.S. resident. A post office delay and routine traffic stop have now caused deportation proceedings to begin for this father and community member.

The email contained a petition to sign. I did. Then I emailed a few people, put notice on Facebook a few times, and tweeted a bit. (Those who know me know how little I enjoy social media. Some things are worth the distaste.)

Then, this morning, I started work. My wife Priscilla, at the other end of our kitchen table, gasped. It was one of those, “Uh oh. Is this good or bad?” gasps.

Another email from Church World Service.

Yesterday, I told you about how on Monday, December 11th, immigration enforcement detained a dreamer and devoted father, Osman Aroche Enriquez, tearing him away from his family and his community. After the U.S. Post Office delayed Osman’s DACA renewal application, he was detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday morning after a traffic stop by state police. Osman was pulled over for an expired registration in Lancaster, PA after which ICE was called. Because you made your voice heard, Osman was released and is now reunited with his 1-year-old infant son and his fiance, a permanent U.S. resident - just in time for his son's birthday on Saturday! Thank you for taking action - it made a difference! CWS's press release is copied below my signature. While we celebrate this win - and are so thankful for everyone's support - Osman should have never been detained in the first place. And there are so many dreamers like him who are facing uncertain futures because of Congress's inaction. We will continue to lift up Osman's story as an example of why a clean Dream Act is so desperately needed by the end of this month!

Priscilla’s gasp this time was about good news. Disbelief, even.

One voice.

One voice combined with another voice.

And another.

Joy Comes in the Morning

Ancient writers understood injustice. An ancient poet penned this line in Psalm 30:

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Yesterday, I walked around in a fog. I did my work. Wrote the requisite paragraphs demanded by my writing schedule. Bought chicken soup at the store for our under-the-weather daughter. But I did it all in a fog of bitterness at such an altogether avoidable injustice.

Then the news this morning. Joy comes in the morning—sometimes. This time, at least.

What to Do

We can make this happen time and again. We can make joy happen! One voice. One voice combined with another. And another. Here’s what Church World Service says to do.

1) Call your Members of Congress: Click here to receive a phone call and be patched through to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative.
2) Amplify #DreamActNow on Social Media: For more information, here is a holiday special social media toolkit with graphics and sample content.
3) Share a story about why you support passing a #DreamActNow for the Dreamactron today: Get your story displayed on the United We Dream Dreamactron facing Capitol Hill. Click here to learn how to participate and appear on the screen.
4) Meet with your Senators and Representatives: Click here for resources and guidance on how to meet with your Members of Congress when they're at home from December 15th-January 2rd and urge them to pass a clean Dream Act now.

Dream Cheap

I’m not high browed when it comes to movies. One of my favorites is Finding Neverland, with Kate Winslett, Johnny Depp, and Dustin Hoffman.

At one point, during the rehearsal for Peter Pan, young Peter notices that the swords are fake. They’re made of wood. He mentions this to playwright James Barrie (played by Johnny Depp), who retorts, “Well, we dream on a budget, don’t we?”

Dreams aren’t in high supply these days, so we dream on a budget, don’t we?

But we dream nonetheless.

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