Part 2: The Jericho Walk


By Kate McGreevy & Yasmine Sanchez

PART 2: THE Jericho Walk

The Jericho Walk is a movement of support led by the New York Sanctuary Coalition that takes place in front of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan. The walk developed from the Bible story in which a group of Israelites circled the walls of Jericho until the walls collapsed, defeating the Canaan army in the Battle of Jericho. The story of Jericho illustrates how the power of the people uniting helps others as much as humanly possible, and the rest must be left to the higher power. The New York Sanctuary Coalition hosts the Jericho Walk to display open support for those checking-in as well as their families forced to wait outside. Undocumented immigrants who have been registered by the government must attend court appearances where they are questioned on their current status and their reasons for migration. These immigrants enter this building unknowing if they will return to their families or be detained and deported without any form of trial. For this reason, the process of checking-in can be terrifying for immigrants who know little about representing themselves in these court appearances. The walk begins at the entrance of the Federal Plaza building. The group walks silently around the entire building seven times. Each time around, the group stops to recite a prayer in silence then, on the seventh circle, the group ends by chanting the prayer out loud in front of the building entrance. The walk represents the support of all those against the unjust immigration policies in the United States, uniting an immigrant community of millions and calling on a higher power to rescue those at risk. The New York Sanctuary Coalition has been hosting this movement once a week for the past four years.