In this season of preparation, many of us are focused on the journey that Joseph and Mary undertook two thousand years ago to reach Bethlehem. Knowing that she would soon give birth to her son, Mary journeyed toward a hopeful future as a mother.
But we forget that her journey is not unique — women, children and men are journeying towards hope everyday. Just as Mary and Joseph searched for welcome in an unknown city, so too do many who migrate to the U.S. Migrants, many coming from South and Central America, come to escape violence, to avoid persecution, and to find livelihoods and opportunities for their children in the U.S.
Yet these migrants are routinely treated with disrespect. Their personal stories and their dignities are often subsumed and they are dehumanized.
This drawing from artist Everett Patterson illustrates this innate dignity of every person, in this case a young migrant couple looking with hope for a place to build a life with their child. If we can see holiness in the lives of the Holy Family — Joseph, Mary and Jesus — can we not also see holiness in the lives of many others who are looking for a warm bed and a safe place to sleep?
The work of one of our Community Partners, Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, is responding to the call to serve vulnerable migrants. The Project is a team of staff, interns, and volunteers who work together to advance the rights of vulnerable immigrants through education, representation, and advocacy. They educate immigrant communities about their legal rights, legally represent youth in immigration removal proceedings, and increase access to pro bono legal services for immigrants in the Los Angeles area.
Get involved this holiday season. Give time, give resources or give expertise to support vulnerable immigrants.
OneLife LA partners with Community Partners just like Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project all year long to support human dignity in all walks of life. Join us on January 19th, 2019 for our fifth annual event in support of human dignity. Register here.