Bay Area faith leaders gather to call for immigration reform

Faith leaders will gather at the Mission Dolores Basilica tonight to push for immigration reform.
Courtesy San Francisco Organizing Project


By Rebecca Bowe

An event will be held this evening (2/18) at the Mission Dolores Basilica to urge Sens. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein to push for nationwide immigration reform. The gathering of people from the immigrant community and faith-based organizations, which is being put together by the San Francisco Organizing Project, will be held in conjunction with the national Reform Immigration for America campaign.

Pat Bregant of SFOP told the Guardian that a turnout of around 1,000 is expected. Several families whose lives have been turned upside down by deportations will share their stories.

More than 35 clergy members from throughout the Bay Area will attend, including Bishop William Justice, Archdiocese of San Francisco. Others who are expected include Jim Molinari, state director for the office of Sen. Diane Feinstein, and San Francisco Supervisors David Chiu and David Campos.

Myrna Godinez, who came to the United States from war-torn El Salvador 26 years ago, said immigrants face steep challenges such as accessing health care and obtaining education. “They come here to work,” she said, “and to live in peace.” She said she faced many challenges trying to build a life here, but in her case, coming to the United States also meant being able “to go outside without being afraid of getting killed.”
The Mission Dolores Basilica is located at 3321 16th Street in San Francisco.

The event will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.