Speech of Reverend Jane Bearden - Immigrant Rally- Haverhill, 2016
Good afternoon, my name is Jane Bearden and I have two answers to the question… Why are we here.
There is a common thread that runs through these three stories that we just heard. Whether we are first generation immigrants or our forefathers came here 500 years ago. We all came here looking for a place to live that was free from violence and hardship.
A place where we had the privilege and the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Europeans, Asians, Africans, Jews, and Latino all came here because we wanted to share in making a great country, a great city - better. And with each wave of immigrants that is what happened.
This country, this state, this city - they are all better off because of each group of people who decided to call it home. So my first answer to the question is because we all want to live full, rich, and productive lives.
Then why are we standing in this park today? We are standing here today because that dream of a place of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not a reality for everyone. We stand here today to say to those who are not allowed to share in the American dream that they do not stand alone.
We walk with our brothers and sisters of faith to let all who see and hear us know that we care that they do not have the right to drive to work or to the grocery and we stand here today to send a message to our government officials that it is time to change this injustice.
It is time to create equity in our laws. It is time to recognize that immigrants are not the problem with this country, they are the solution just as they have been for all of our country’s and our city’s history. And we stand here today to remind ourselves that God cares for each and everyone one of us.
And so we stand as people of faith to offer God’s blessing and our compassion for those who have come to this country but who have not received the welcome they deserve.Thank you for coming today. Thank you for standing together. Thank you for your prayers and your persistence in getting this inequity corrected.