The Common Good
Immigration reform rally, spirit of america / Shutterstock.com

As Christians, we should stand with our immigrant neighbors and pledge our support for them as they pledge their allegiance to our nation and it’s future. In how we are to treat one another, through community and the policies our community adopt, there is a clear biblical imperative.

YouTube video of a clip featuring Pastor Barco

Sojourners has released a powerful video telling the story of Pastor Juan Luis Barco, an undocumented minister following God’s call and faithfully serving a congregation. We especially want elected officials like Rep. King and those who share his views to hear this message, so we launched the video as a TV ad running across his district.

Jim Wallis and Lisa Sharon Harper speaking at the press conference. Photo: Brand

Given the obvious benefits of, and broad public support for, immigration reform, why are many arch-conservatives in the House of Representatives refusing to address the issue in a serious way? The answer may point to an issue that we still hesitate to talk about directly: race.

Jim Wallis speaks at the #Fast4Families press conference before the fast. Brando

For people of faith this is not a political issue, but a moral one. And for Christians, how we treat 11 million undocumented people, the "strangers" among us, is how we treat Christ himself.

U.S. Capitol Building, Gary Blakeley / Shutterstock.com

by Jim Wallis
What I have heard after visiting 18 cities in six weeks is that people around the country believe that nothing can happen in Washington, D.C. They are basically right. So I am very grateful today to report the one exception.

About Sojourners Immigration

In Deuteronomy, God tells the Israelites: You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (10:19). Having experienced life as immigrants in a foreign land, God’s people were now called to offer love and welcome to the immigrants among them. Jesus reiterates this call to radical hospitality in the New Testament (Matthew 25:35).

The United States is a nation of immigrants. While we come from different backgrounds, our country’s strength is the ability to unite together around common goals. Yet, our immigration laws prevent immigrants from using their gifts to improve our communities and grow the economy. Instead of “welcoming the stranger,” the current system leaves families living in fear and prevents young people from achieving their dreams.

Sojourners believes Christians are called to change this. Through our work with groups like the Evangelical Immigration Table and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, we are articulating the biblical witness for immigration reform and encouraging our political leaders to take action. By working together, we believe the faith community has a historic opportunity to help create a road map to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.

Follow Sojourners Immigration

From the Magazine & Blog

When I turned 16, I woke up excited, ready to go to the DMV and get my driver’s license like all my friends were doing -- and then my parents told me that I was here illegally. I was undocumented. Reality sunk in. America was not a free country for me.
When I left school, my status lapsed, and I became undocumented. Three years later, my mother was killed — a victim of domestic violence. With no “home country” to go back to and no way to adjust my status, I had to adjust myself to a life in the shadows.
If my immigration status weren't an issue, I’d be traveling, graduating college, and would probably be on the path to law school. My work in advocacy and in my community would have been exponentially stronger, and I may have even started my own business.
If I am sent back to Mexico — a land I no longer know anything about, who will be there to support my family?
Earlier this week Jose Antonio Vargas, joined by ten other undocumented immigrants, announced the 1 of 11 Million campaign in Washington to urge the delay of deportations for the millions of documented immigrants in the United States.