Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ICE Cold Hearts...Melted!

Yesterday, February 13th, 2012 at the Aurora Immigrant Detention Center, 525 handmade Valentines were delivered to 450 people unjustly interned by the state. Today, Valentine's Day, an additional 75 cards were gifted to day laborers in Denver and Aurora... Thanks to you!

Yesterday, the waiting room was full of people waiting to visit thier loved ones and they each took a handmade valentine presented by Maureen and Sister Alicia. Today, each of the day laborers among sheepish grins and chuckles accepted a homemade Valentine of their own. Many people seperated from thier families accepted your loving valentines.

The Valentines you made touched hearts and shared strength. We are all made more whole knowing these stories of fierce love and unforgettable power.

Many people have told us that this Valentine project provided them with an opportunity to not only be creative, but also to be self reflective. To set aside feelings of frustration about political posturing and to put what LOVE they could into a simple beautiful card. To take just an hour or so to think about the experiences of immigrants in this country and to focus on the reasons we struggle for immigrant justice day in and day out.

A special thank you to all of the Valentine Artists, including but not limited to Coloradans For Immigrant Rights, Regis University Social Justice Students, Harriet Mullaney’s English classes at Bruce Randolph Community Learning Center, Wendy Kaas & Sarah Levin, Betty & Anne, Boulder Unitarian Universalists, Stephen Von Merz's DU Class, the Bridge Project, St. Mary's Academy, Fort Collins Holy Family Church Adult Reflection Group and Sister Mary Garcia, Julie Gonzales, Maureen, Rainbow Alley Youth Drop In Center, Wayne's friends, Malcolm & Mariah, Nadine Swahburg, Maggie Gomez, Shannon Masden, Aunnastasia Pacheco, Kenia Morales, Jenny Santos, Ire & Yvette Sauceda-Lindsey, Karla, EJ Becker, Judith Marquez, Greg Ferrari, Che Rise Tren, Nadya Waziri, Lisa Knoblach, Connor McFarland, Melissa Nix, Tom Kowal, Robert McGoey and many others!

On February 6th, 2012, over 200 people gathered at the Aurora Detention Center to make their voices heard. The February monthly vigil was planned by Coloradans For Immigrant Rights, a project of AFSC and Regis University Students.
We invited Stephanie Tanny, a spoken word artist, and Alejandro Jimenez to share their challenging and inspiring poems. We sang some love songs and chanted to the people interned inside. And we decorated the wall that separated us from the center with a huge streamer heart and balloons. We carried signs with our message including a large broken heart symbolizing how our broken immigration system keeps the United States apart from the rest of the world and the broken hearts of those families separated by borders and walls.

Some of the Valentine’s read like this:

Dear Valentine, You are not alone. I hold you in my heart, thoughts and prayers. Love knows no borders or walls and together we can share each other’s strength and courage. I am with you in spirit on this Valentine’s Day. No estas sol@. Est@s presente en mi corazón, mis pensamientos y mis oraciones. El amor no reconoce fronteras ni muros. Juntos podemos compartir nuestr@ fuerza y valor. Mi espíritu está contigo en este Día de San.

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