John Lewis, the civil rights leader and Georgia Congressional representative who died in July, believed the fight for immigrant rights was a continuation of the civil rights movement, the next chapter.
In 2013 Lewis was arrested for civil disobedience during a rally to support comprehensive immigration support. In the next two years he continued to show up for immigrant communities, protesting at the Atlanta Airport when the Muslin travel ban went into effect and at the Atlanta Detention Center when the U.S. government separated immigrant parents from their children.
In the months before his death, Lewis encouraged a group of young people, saying, “We need someone who will stand up and speak up and speak out for the people who need help, for people who are being discriminated against. And it doesn’t matter whether they are black, Latino, Asian, Native American, whether they are straight or gay, Muslim, Christian, or Jews. . . .”
“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone – any person or any force – dampen, dim, or diminish your light.”