In a joint letter to members of Congress, Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders pleaded for "common sense fixes to our immigration policies" by passing legislation this year.
Catholic parishes are called to build communion with immigrants and newcomers so people unite in faith rather than solely because of their cultural backgrounds, said the bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., who has worked for 38 years to improve immigrant relations.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, former executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told a conference Monday on the integration of immigrants into the Catholic church that in U.S. parishes, immigrants and longtime members can learn from each other if they are open to doing so.
From the interfaith clergy to the civil rights heroes, from the union activists and community organizers to one of the youngest members of Congress, those involved in an event Tuesday spanned the wide range of people working to keep Washington's attention on comprehensive immigration reform.
Marking the 22nd day of the Fast for Families, a prayer-and-fasting activity being observed around the country as well, four people who had consumed only water for 22 days broke their fast and symbolically handed over the role to others.
As an icy wind whipped the sides of a packed tent, five activists committed themselves Tuesday to fast from food and drink and to camp in front of the U.S. Capitol until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform.
"I know that there are going to be difficult days ahead of me," said Eliseo Medina from the Service Employees International Union. "I know that going without food will not be easy and I know that I will suffer physical hunger.