Fourth of July ‘Un-Barbecue’ protests Philly’s immigration policies

immigration reform new sanctuary movement of philadelphia
Members of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia are calling on city officials to stop the collaboration between Philly police and ICE.
Credit: Facebook/New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia

Americans traditionally treat Independence Day as an observance of the country’s hard-won freedom and liberties.

But activists point out that for undocumented immigrants in the U.S., there’s nothing to celebrate this Fourth of July.

Members of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, an interfaith immigrants rights coalition, will on Wednesday host an “un-barbecue” at the Liberty Bell, with empty grills, plates and picnic baskets symbolizing the lack of freedom faced by the city’s immigrants.

Seventy-five people representing 13 faith communities on June 22 kicked off a 40-day campaign of fasting and prayer, calling for an end to local deportation policies and for federal movement on humane immigration reform.

Members of the U.S. Senate last week voted 68-32 to pass a bipartisan immigration bill increasing border security and cracking down on employers who hire undocumented workers while providing a pathway to legal citizenship for some immigrants who came to America as children.

Still, the New Sanctuary movement estimates 5.5 million undocumented immigrants won’t be eligible for citizenship under the bill.

Furthermore, advocates contend the proposed $46 billion increase in border security will increase the number of migrants who are killed as they try to enter the country.

Activists further want the Philadelphia Police Department to cease working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a partnership they say results in thousands of families being torn apart by unjust deportation.

The rally is set for noon Wednesday in front of the Liberty Bell at 526 Market St.


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