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PRAYING FOR A PATH: Prayer vigil for Dreamers to be held at Capitol on Sunday

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OKLAHOMA CITY— Jace Kirk is the Assistant Director of Faith Works of the Inner City and a member of El Camino, a coalition of churches and community leaders in Oklahoma City who, according to their mission statement, “are committed to loving immigrants and responding to our immigration crisis in a way that displays the justice and compassion of Jesus.”

El Camino was organized last spring in response to various church parishioners expressing fears about their future once Trump took office. With a goal to educate and then to rally the church specifically behind what they believe is not just a political, but a moral issue, all done with the hope that through conversation, mercy and prayer, Congress takes action to support the Dream Act, drawing up legislation that provides protection for these children.

It’s a fight that, for years, Kirk has been on the frontlines of but, with Trump’s recent decision to end DACA, the fight has come right into his very home and is threatening to tear his own family apart.

“I have an adopted son that is a Dreamer,” Kirk said. “Dreamers like my son were brought here not understanding they were crossing the border. So many people across the country say “Why don’t they just do it the right way?” as if they could just go down to the local DMV and pay a fee and take a test to become a citizen. When people say that, I ask them to tell me what that looks like. If I could take $10,000 and submit to every kind of background check known to man, tell me where to sign up. We’ll sell our car, we’ll sell our house, whatever, we’ll do it.”

With a message that God “values and loves immigrants,” El Camino is hosting a prayer vigil for Dreamers at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 10th at the Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., done in the hopes that “God will turn the hearts of our elected officials to support legislation to protect these individuals.”

“We hope the community sees that in Oklahoma, where the voter base is largely comprised of white evangelicals, they have a moral imperative to support the Dreamers and, in turn, we hope that Dreamers see that the faith community supports them, and that they’ll be encouraged through that,” Kirk said. “What I believe is that most Oklahomans are really good people with kind and generous hearts, and if they understood this issue, then I think they would be there with us.”

Noting that the Bible is “full of scripture” that gives us directions on how to treat immigrants and foreigners, Kirk adamantly wants people to know these Dreamers are “our neighbors, our parishioners, our employees and our co-workers,” many of who contribute positively to not only their communities but the world at large by being true examples of what people all over believe to be the so-called American Dream.

“These Dreamers are people who have known no other place in their lives other than Oklahoma,” Kirk added. “And when they find out at 15 years old they’re not going to be able to get a driver’s license, life becomes different for them. To that point, they’ve lived life like every other average kid, so, for their sakes, I think we have a moral obligation to at least educate ourselves on this issue. If Oklahomans are truly people with kind and generous heart, then I think we have the ability to support these young people looking for their own pathway to citizenship.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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