Prayer Rally for Immigrants Draws Crowd from All Walks of Life
SAN ANGELO, TX-- People from all walks of life descended on the footsteps of the Tom Green County Courthouse on Monday with one common thing in mind: praying for the immigrants at the southern border of the US.
“For me, as a Christian believer, we always have to fall back on prayer,” said Bishop Michael Sis, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Angelo. “In this situation, we’re faced with a fluid development that changes every day as the government continues to try to deal with a very complex situation with these migrants. We, as Christian believers, care what happens to people.”
Bishop Sis noted that believers and non-believers alike attended this gathering, which was meant to pray for those detained along the United States’ southern border and their families.
The prayer rally was held hours after the decision to house immigrants at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, and San Angelo’s Goodfellow Air Force Base.
Chair of the Tom Green Democratic Party David Currie organized the event, spoke and offered prayer first at the gathering.
“I wanted to have [the rally] because I think what happened on the border goes against everything I understand America to be,” Currie said. “We’re supposed to be the shining example of human rights. We’re supposed to be the example of morality to the rest of the world.”
Recently, the American government has taken more than a load of criticism for the practice of placing illegal immigrants in cages and allegedly separating families who crossed the border looking for asylum and a better life.
“When you lose sight that every individual is created in the image of God and treat them like they’re virtually animals [by] separating families, putting them in cages, that’s not what Americans do,” Currie added.
Currie wanted the community to come together to hopefully get back to the point where Americans, regardless of political or socioeconomic differences, worked together.
“Now, there seems to be an effort [not to work together]. And some people say that it’s both sides, but it’s not,” Currie said. “It’s one side trying to define this country.”
Currie would go on to mention that his side isn’t for open borders, contrary to how he says the other side paints his to seem.
“You have a right, when you’re in danger of being killed in your country, to seek asylum in this country,” Currie added. “For all I know, my ancestors did the same thing when they came from Scotland or Ireland or wherever it was.”
Currie, who has a PhD from Seminary School, also quoted Galatians 5 before adding he felt the US had reached a level of meanness that is “unhealthy longterm to who we are as a country,” which he feels is why the country is losing respect around the world.
“We’re the ones violating human rights, for God’s sakes. We’re the ones that call everybody else to live up to human rights, or at least we used to,” Currie stressed. “So let’s get back to what really makes America great, which is our ethics, our morals, our compassion, our kindness to one another...That’s what makes this a great county. We operated on a level of respect and dignity and human rights. When we lose that, we’ve lost our soul.”
During the rally, a man showed up with a sign which read “Thank you President Trump” on one side and “Dear Mr. President, build that wall!” on the other. But he was respectful despite admittedly different views from those in attendance. During the two prayers he was present for, he removed his ballcap, bowed his head, and joined the group in prayer. He was met with the same respect by those in attendance with firm handshakes following the rally.
“I wanted him to know he was welcome,” Currie said. “He was exercising his first amendment right as an American to state his opinion.”
The man told Currie he opposed open immigration.
“I bet most of us aren’t for open immigration,” Currie chuckled. “That’s always the misconception that happens. My old Bible professor always said, ‘If you’re going to argue with me, argue my preset positions.’ Most people think democrats just want open borders. That’s not true. We do want, when human beings come here fleeing violence and poverty, them to be treated with respect because the scriptures tell us to.”
Currie, also a rancher in the area, knows the importance of immigrants to the agricultural landscape of America and feels the industry could be dealt a crushing blow if immigration reform isn’t tackled by the government.
“I guarantee you that farmers and ranchers need some immigration,” Currie emphasized. “We’ve counted on that through the years.
Fort Bliss and Goodfellow AFB will reportedly house immigrants in secure structures which will resemble a “tent city”.