A group of 100 women who marched 100 miles from an immigration detention facility in York, Pennsylvania to Washington D.C. to greet the Pope arrived at the White House today. OSI-Baltimore had the honor of hosting the women, organized by We Belong Together, for dinner during their stop in Baltimore. After the meal at First Unitarian Church in Mount Vernon, the women moved to Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church to hear speakers, including several of the walkers, many of them immigrants themselves, as well as Makayla Gilliam-Price of CitiBloc, Sirine Shebaya of the ACLU, and OSI-Baltimore’s director of communications Evan Serpick, who made the connection between OSI-Baltimore’s work to reduce mass incarceration with the struggle for immigrant rights.
“The fight for comprehensive immigration reform is a fight against laws and policies that criminalize the quest for freedom and equality and feed America’s prisons and detention centers,” Serpick said. “By the same token, every bit of progress we make to dismantle the systems that perpetuate mass incarceration forces Congress to create an immigration system that prioritizes freedom and opportunity.”