Faith Leaders Wash the Feet of Undocumented Workers in Show of Support for Immigration Reform

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Sabuhi Siddique washes the feet of a woman on Maundy Thursday. Photo by Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice.

The Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice (ICEJ) in Santa Clara County held a foot washing ceremony in support of immigration reform, on Thursday, March 28, in downtown San Jose.

Foot washing is a Christian tradition, based on the belief that Jesus Christ washed his followers’ feet on Thursday, before being crucified on Friday. The practice is to show love, humility, and respect to fellow human beings, without prejudice to where they came from.

Many immigrants in this country currently endure harsh working conditions for the sake of supporting their families. The council, a program of the group Working Partnerships USA, asked the community to join them for a day of respect for those who have faced hardships because of being undocumented in the U.S. The ICEJ’s leaders wanted to keep the tradition alive by foot washing the most vulnerable workers of Santa Clara County.
Board Members of the ICEJ gathered in front of Federal Building in downtown San Jose on Maundy Thursday, holding a press conference before washing the feet of immigrants in Cesar Chavez Park. Local union members, personnel from Working Partnership USA, and faith leaders like, Father Jon Pedigo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish San Jose, Rev. Daryl Lavway of Grace Baptist Church, Father Eduardo Samaniego of Most Holy Trinity, Father Bill Leininger Diocese of San Jose, and Muslim Leader Sabuhi Siddique of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Milpitas. Siddique is also a Chair of Human Relations Commission of Santa Clara County.
The event was covered by local television and newspapers and was shown on most of the TV stations in the Bay Area. About 40 people from different labor groups were present to witness the ceremony.

 

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The Rev. Daryl Lavway of Grace Baptist Church washes the feet of a worker. Photo by the Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice.

ICEJ FW #4

Father Jon Pedigo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish giving a TV news interview. Photo by Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice.

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The Rev. Daryl Lavway of Grace Baptist Church speaks to the crowd, with other faith leaders standing around him. Photo by Interfaith Council on Economics and Injustice.

Editor’s Note: My thanks to Sabuhi Siddique for submitting this story and photos. All groups are welcome to submit a brief story and photos about recent or upcoming events. Contact me to find out more.

 

About Sabuhi Siddique

Sabuhi Siddique is the 2012-2013 Human Relations Commission-Chair for the County of Santa Clara, District 3.