Something Swell on Saturday

The 3:30 Project is a collaborative blog by three life-long friends: Maggie, Mary Margaret and Jillian. On Saturdays, Mary Margaret plans to post something from the week that made her smile.

This week had a couple of genuine, purely smile-worthy moments: Jillian’s sonogram picture from our Thursday post. The big, wet, beautiful snowflakes that were falling this morning when I woke up. But what I’m sharing today is a different kind of “Swell.” Thursday I gathered with a swell of people, including members of my church St. Peter’s Lutheran at 26 Federal Plaza, where New York immigrants, many fearing and facing the potential of deportation have to make regular check-ins. I went in support of an immigration activist named Ravi Ragbir, who was attending a check-in at 10 AM. The new administration’s orders have changed the reality for immigrants in this country- many like Ravi who are working through the process legally and “playing by the rules.” We cannot ignore the fact that Congress, the current administration, as well as the last administration, have failed to institute meaningful immigration reform, and many people live in constant fear that their family will be torn apart.  Here’s an article about the action. (you can actually see the back of my head in the picture…so play Where’s Waldo, won’t you?)

I marched with faith leaders, activists, and community supporters around the Federal Plaza building with the New Sanctuary Coalition (,)while Ravi went inside for his check-in, praying after each loop, participating in what they call a “Jericho Walk.” My prayer was for this kind of a swell: Let justice like a river roll.

Ravi was not taken into custody for deportation yesterday, but others were. That does not make me smile. What does make me smile is  hundreds of people standing together in prayer on a brisk Thursday morning, affirming the fundamental humanity of immigrants in this country.