This Lenten season marks five years since my family was established. Five years since my husband, Yader, and I made the journey from Nicaragua to St. Louis for the first time together, and five years since US Homeland Security became an intimate member of our family.
Like any family, we have experienced joy and sorrow; but unlike many, ours has been intricately tied to the United States Immigration System. A system which has the power to determine whether a mother will raise her children alone or with her husband; whether a child will live with full access to healthcare and education, or will be raised by an ailing grandparent; or whether a father will only ever know arc of his daughter’s smile through the grainy screen of Skype.
Not all families have experienced the immigration system to these extremes, but one family torn apart due to archaic policy is too many. This Lenten Season, in solidarity with those families who are separated and in recognition of my own family’s beginning, I will be fasting each Wednesday as part of a larger national campaign, Fast for Families. Fast for Families seeks to highlight the suffering caused by a broken immigration system and compel others to action. Comprehensive immigration reform is stagnant in the House, while each day families continue to be broken apart. Each day thousands of parents will be unable to reach for their children as they cry, and unable to offer an answer to the heartbreaking question, “When will I see you again, Mommy?”
Please consider fasting for Lent in solidarity with Fast for Families and thousands of families across the country. Whether it is a meal, a day, a week, or a prayer, join us as we call for immigration reform. Our families cannot wait one more day.
Sarah Caldera Wimmer
Class of 2006 Alumna
College of Arts and Sciences
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