Tens of thousands of immigrants moved into Capitol Hill last week. With labor and civil rights organizations standing beside them, they called for humane reform of immigration laws and a path for citizenship for 11 million residents who are undocumented. New York activist Katherine Tabares urged the crowd:

I want you to look around to all the people who is surrounding you. We’re all here fighting for our immigrant justice and all of the rights we have. You know, as you stand here, I also want you to think about your mother, your father, your cousins, your uncles, all your family members, and think about their dreams and all the sacrifices they’ve made to keep us here together in this country. We are here because of them. We are here because of all of us. This is a movement and vamos a pasar una reforma migratoria.

We have reached a turning point in the debate over immigration reform. In contrast with other recent political movements, the Rally for Citizenship came to Washington with buoyancy and with joy. It declared that the tide will be restrained no longer. Immigrants are here, they are human and they are many. They are all of us. We locate hope not in statistics or political frames but in life, in art and in the space in between. We locate hope in the willingness of those undocumented to emerge from the shadows.

The music of La Santa Cecilia, an LA band formed five years ago and named for the patron saint of musicians, bathes this movement in light. The band’s recent single “El Hielo” (above) brings into focus the reality facing immigrants that our popular culture conveniently refuses to see. Film Director Alex Rivera crafted a powerful video to accompany the song. Its cast is composed almost exclusively of undocumented immigrants. Rivera explains this choice to The Washington Post:

We’re so unafraid of this machine that we can re-create it and talk about it in our own terms. And that notion of being unafraid, I think, has been the core of the undocumented movement.

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