Ellis Island is Closed - Ash Wed Pilgrimage to the Elizabeth Detention Center
The idea of this event is to tie together the myth of Ellis Island that people associate as a symbol of our immigration system with the reality of the immigration detention center in Elizabeth and the other county jails and detention centers like it throughout the country.
We will do this by walking from one to the other.
Outline of the Day
§ 11:00 am Press conference & Prayer Service at Liberty State Park in-front of Ellis Island foot bridge.
§ 11:30 am begin pilgrimage with stops at houses of worship along the way
§ 6:00 pm end at Elizabeth Detention Center in time for the annual Ash Wed Vigil
§ In other parts of the state hold mid-day vigils emphasizing target congressional districts of 2, 3, 4 & 7.
§ Encourage as many people as possible to attend the vigil at the EDC in the evening.
§ Simultaneous call-in for those who cannot walk or attend a vigil.
Co-Sponsoring Organizations so far
Sister of Mercy of the Mid-Atlantic Justice Office
IRATE & First Friends
Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry – NJ
Wind of the Spirit
The Center for Community Change
Mid-day vigils throughout the state for those who cannot be in Jersey City -
Sisters of Mercy will hold vigils at noon in the 5 mother houses throughout the state. One is in Lakewood (Smith’s district), another is in Watchung (Lance’s district). These are two of NJIPN’s target districts. We should try to make sure there are mid-day vigils in the other target districts (LoBiondo and Adler).
The Center for Community Change has reserved its toll-free call-in number for this event on Feb 17. We will be able to distribute a toll-free number for people to call. They will 1st hear a recording scripted by us with talking points about supporting immigration reform and our event. They will then be directed to the Congressional switchboard so they can ask to speak to their representative.
So far 6 people have signed up to walk the 10 mile route. The target is about 12. Probably better to keep this small a larger group will become unwieldy particularly when ferrying people across Lincoln Highway.
Route – There are several proposed stops, none of which have been confirmed yet. The proposed stops include: Assumption/All Saints, Islamic Center of Jersey City, Temple Beth-El and Grace Lutheran.
From Ellis Island to Assumption/All Saints (301 Whiton St., Jersey City, NJ)
1.7 miles – 33 minutes
From Assumption/All Saints to Islamic Center of Jersey City
0.6 miles 13 minutes
From Islamic Center of Jersey City to Temple Beth El (2419 JFK Blvd, Jersey City, NJ)
0.6 miles 11 minutes
Since we will not be able to walk over the bridges on Lincoln Highway, Temple Beth-El may be a good stopping off point. It provides a safe place to load people into cars, vans or a bus. We need a similar destination on the other side of the river on or near Raymond Blvd or Ferry St. For right now I am going to use Grace Community Lutheran on 7 Wilson Ave as the unloading point. As far as I can tell below is the most pedestrian friendly way to go. (This may need to be refined so there are less turns through Newark.)
From Grace Lutheran
7 Wilson Ave, Newark to
625 Evans St.
7.4 mi – about 2 hours 25 mins
Newark, NJ 07105
December 6th St. Joe’s Social Center (old church building) 118 Division St., Elizabeth
Immediately following the Stamp Out Despair Packing Party
Plan to arrive by 2:30 or come as early as 1:30 and help pack stationery & stamps for the EDC detainees.