The Theology of Migration

11134b6d-5a9b-470d-92e5-7c7163390a4f.mp3

Rev. Jim Wallis talks with theologian and immigrant advocate Karen González about the lessons of immigration in the Bible. The metrics of the COVID-19 pandemic show how disproportionately affected our immigrant and refugee neighbors have been.

González says, "The story of the Bible isn't just a story of moving from being lost to being saved, but it's one of being a foreigner and moving toward being part of the family of God to belonging. And that's a trajectory we can see throughout the scriptures from the very beginning when we meet Abraham — God is asking him to migrate, and we see he and Sarah's vulnerability in Egypt. Over and over again the scripture restates some 83 times ... that we're to treat the immigrant as ourselves, we're to love the immigrant as ourselves, we're to do justice for the immigrant. And there's judgment. There's a whole book of the Bible, Obadiah. And it's judgment for those who did not treat the refugee and immigrant well, for those who did not do justice for the immigrant."

Full transcript below:

Jim Wallis:

Hello, this is Jim Wallis and you're listening to a special edition of The Soul of the Nation, a podcast about how our faith should shape our politics and not the other way around. You can find The Soul of the Nation on iTunes, Google Play, and on sojo.net. For more news, resources, and reflections about our current public health crisis visit sojo.net/coronavirus. Today I'm speaking with Karen González about the role of people of faith in advocating for just immigration policies and practices amid our global pandemic. Now, Karen González is a speaker. She's a writer. She's a theologian, an immigrant advocate, and frequent contributor to Sojourners. We're grateful for that, Karen. She currently works for World Relief in Baltimore. Her latest book is The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong. Welcome to The Soul of the Nation. Karen, we are so excited to have you.

Karen González:

Thank you. It's great to be here, Jim.

Jim Wallis:

So, Karen, let's start with this. Just how is your spirit these days? How's your spirit Karen?

Karen González:

You know, it's a challenging season. I remember a long time ago a spiritual teacher telling me that yes, prayer changes things, but more importantly, prayer changes us. And really my prayers for my immigrant community, for the world, for this country and its policies are really, I'm not seeing them answered. And my prayers are mostly for the sake of keeping my own heart tendered toward God and not descending into despair and cynicism. It's a really difficult time to remain hopeful. It's really a time to pray and to trust that God is at work in things that we can't see or understand because it's really hard for me to see God right now.

Jim Wallis:

It's hard when you can't predict, control, but even predict the things you care about. And prayer changes us, but we don't know what that means sometimes. That's a phrase we often hear but don't know really what it often means.

Karen González:

Yeah, exactly. There's a lot of mystery involved. And you know, I work for an organization that works with people in vulnerable situations. And I see just upfront how COVID-19 and the way that our president in our country has handled this crisis has harmed people who are the poorest, who are most vulnerable, not just here in the U.S. but around the world. And it's hard to, it's hard to live in this reality and remain very hopeful. And so mostly my prayers are for these people that I care about and for me to see God at work, for me to see God at God's own advocacy and answering on behalf of or because these are his preferred people. That's what the scripture says that, and so yeah, it's a difficult time.

Jim Wallis:

Tell our listeners a bit about that work that you're doing up there, which I think God is at work in work like that. So tell us a little bit about that.

Karen González:

So, I work for World Relief and it's an organization that has domestic and international work. So here in the U.S., the work of World Relief is with the foreign born. So it's refugees and other immigrants strictly. We also work with foreign born survivors of human trafficking as well as undocumented immigrants. Anyone who's foreign born we provide services for. So you can probably tell from that that our work has taken quite a hit under this presidential administration. You know, Donald Trump launched his campaign insulting immigrants and particularly those from Latin America. So our work has become really difficult. When we started 2016, we had 25 offices across the U.S. providing these services. And now we're down to 16 offices because the refugee resettlement program has just been decimated under this administration. And so that's the U.S. work of World Relief.

And then we also do work internationally, mostly that's in humanitarian relief and it's around things like peacebuilding, public health, maternal [and] child health, fragile contexts, so where there's countries that are at war, where there's ongoing conflict, refugee camps internationally. So this is the whole work of World Relief. And along with that, of course, we do a lot of advocacy for these communities in Washington, D.C. And so that's been the work of World Relief. And during this pandemic, we have seen particularly how immigrants in our country have suffered in ways that, I mean, all of us are struggling to some degree, but there are people like me and you who can work remotely and our economic situation remains unchanged. We can continue to be healthy because we're working at home and we have protective equipment if we need to go outside. But the immigrants that we work with, in particular undocumented immigrants, they didn't receive stimulus checks even though we know they pay taxes, even though the IRS acknowledges they pay taxes, they didn't receive the stimulus. We have seen also how refugees are suffering because they are working in areas, as well as other immigrants, that are at particular risk right now for contracting COVID-19. So, we've seen a lot of our clients get sick, a lot of refugees, a lot of immigrants working in meat packing plants, working in other areas like grocery stores, doing agricultural work. I mean, America literally runs on the labor of immigrants right now. There are so many immigrants working in the medical field. You know, 50 percent of medical scientists are foreign born people. Twenty-five percent of nursing assistants and health care workers and nursing homes are immigrants and refugees. And so, all of these people are at a higher risk, and we're seeing how much our clients are suffering under this climate. And so that's been very, very difficult.

Our offices have continued to provide services. We moved from employment services for example, toward helping people with unemployment, toward applying for that if they're eligible, if they have the legal right to work in the U.S., and providing services for people who don't because we work with all immigrants regardless of status. So that's been a particularly difficult thing to see because not only are they already suffering even before this pandemic hit, but this made them even more vulnerable. And then we have an administration who is capitalizing on this pandemic to inflict more harm on immigrants and refugees to close borders. Just today, an article came out in the Washington Post that two people have been admitted through the border since this pandemic started. So, it's being used now, weaponized, for that anti-immigrant agenda that Donald Trump promised. That's what he's always run on. And so that's been very difficult to see. What's been very hopeful to see is how our staff, our offices, volunteers, all the people that continue to care about immigrants, that see loving the immigrant as themselves, part of the call of God, part of the commands of Jesus, really mobilizing to do that work, to provide. And food pantries to provide help with work and unemployment and in any service they might need, driving to doctors and hospitals. It's been very encouraging, very heartening to me.

Jim Wallis:

As you just described so eloquently to us, immigration has obviously become a great political controversy in the United States and has underscored the deep xenophobia and racism that exists in our society. But your bio says you're an immigrant advocate, which you just described. It also says you're a theologian. So let's go deeper than the political here. Just to start, how would you describe your theology of migration?

Karen González:

You know, Jim as a woman who's an immigrant, I have been in the church since I was 19 years old. I was a nominal Catholic even before that, since I was a little girl. And I have seldom heard in church anything about migration other than the Romans 13, about obeying the law and that God has put all leaders and authority. I just haven't heard that. And it's really as an adult that I formed this theology of migration that I finally had the eyes to see what's in the scriptures. And that's that the story of the Bible isn't just a story of moving from being lost to being saved, but it's one of being a foreigner and moving toward being part of the family of God to belonging. And that's a trajectory we can see throughout the scriptures from the very beginning when we meet Abraham, God is asking him to migrate and we see he and Sarah's vulnerability in Egypt and over and over again.

The scripture restates some 83 times in the Hebrew scriptures that we're to treat the immigrant as ourselves, we're to love the immigrant as ourselves, we're to do justice for the immigrant. And there's judgment. There's a whole book of the Bible, Obadiah. And it's judgment for those who did not treat the refugee and immigrant well, for those who did not do justice for the immigrant. And I find it so tragic that this isn't taught, that I had to seek this out as an adult, this idea of a theology of migration that in fact there is one and exists and people have been writing about this, but it isn't getting into our churches like it needs to. And I think there's a divide. There's a sense in which many pastors feel almost like if they talk about this, and I know because I worked with churches in the Baltimore area and many pastors would tell me, look, I am fully on board with you. I just don't know how my congregation will receive this. And that's because they really haven't been discipled into seeing the way that God speaks about the foreigner and the immigrant.

And so, for me, my theology of migration is we're to love the immigrant as ourselves. And it's really that simple. Now, I'm not saying that that's easy cause we obviously don't see that in our churches and we don't, we're not seeing it in our country at all right now. And I find that, I find it very sad, but at the same time I do have hope because I know there are so many people now advocating, there are so many people now organizing, particularly through things like social media where I've encountered a lot of immigrant advocates as well. People who care deeply about these issues and want to see justice done in this area. And so, yes, there is a lot of xenophobia in our churches too. And this is why it's a failure of discipleship that we're not teaching a theology of migration.

Jim Wallis:

It's interesting you raised the issue of discipleship, which I think is very a burden here ... you've written for Sojourners. And we're writing about these things. I remember at the beginning, I was struck by how many people demonstrated what you just said. I remember a meeting on immigration with a number of evangelical leaders and one of the leading people in the room who runs a very strong, powerful national evangelical organization. He got up and said, you know, I never saw this in the Bible before. In all his years, he pastored a megachurch. I never saw this in the Bible before, but it's as clear as Jesus saying literally the way you treat the stranger, and the word there in the text is immigrant, migrant, is the way you treat me. It couldn't be more simple and clear. And you mentioned judgment. Judgment is in that text. Those who don't welcome the strange are not just misinformed there, Jesus says you'll be judged for the way you treat this stranger. And yet key evangelical leaders, key white Christian leaders of all kinds, just never saw that in the Bible before. But you aren't doing everything you do just as a political activist. There's a theology underneath all of that.

Karen González:

Absolutely. And you know, was really interesting is that I first encountered a theology of migration, reading rabbis, reading their interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures. And they introduced me to Abraham as a migrant. They introduced me to Ruth and Naomi as immigrants. And that their whole story is a story of migration, of leaving, of returning, of entering a community. I think the story of Ruth is a beautiful picture of what the world could be like or what our country could be like if we welcomed immigrants. Because there you see, not judgment, but you see a community that actually obeys the commands of God. They welcome Ruth who is a Moabite, who is despised, you know, outside of their country because she comes from these people that descend from Lot. And, and this is just a lot of bad history between the Moabites and the Judahites. But Boaz welcomes her. The community of Bethlehem welcomes her. And not only do they welcome her, but they provide her a safe way to earn a living doing the work that everyone does in their community. So it's not like in our country where immigrants do the work that citizens aren't willing to do. No, Ruth does the work that everyone else does. And Boaz says, don't harass her. Don't mistreat her, don't abuse her. And he welcomes her to his table and he protects her and he's not saving her. She advocates for herself. She asks for things. She listens to her cultural insider mother-in-law. She brings her gifts. She brings her own love and her loyalty, her hard work. And there's this mutuality of blessing that you see in the Book of Ruth because things are done as Yahweh commanded. You see this Shalom, this flourishing for everyone involved. People don't just survive, they thrive. And this is a picture of what it could be like if we would listen, if we would obey, if our churches actually were living into that kind of discipleship, a discipleship that's costly for sure.

Jim Wallis:

Right? So you've already lifted up Sarah and Ruth and Naomi. So in writing for Sojourners and your personal blogs to your latest book, you write a lot about the powerful and prophetic leadership from women across the world in the Bible, and across the world. It goes without saying how that moves us forward. Now, it's interesting that some of the recent news coverage correlated with a country's success in combating COVID-19 is whether or not a woman was leading the country.

Karen González:

Yes. And I find that so fascinating and so telling, we don't have enough, I think women in leadership, but you see that in the scriptures as well, that there are ways that women lead in the scriptures and patriarchal cultures for sure, but leading from the bottom up and becoming models of love, of hospitality, of kindness, and we're seeing that in some countries around the world that some of the best responses and several countries have been where women are leaders. And I think this is a, a real gap for us and not having enough gender equity balance, not just in our country, but in our churches. We're not seeing that either.

Jim Wallis:

It seems like in the biblical stories of crisis, those stories of crisis always tend to lead us back to the strength and vision of female leadership again and again, often in crisis situations.

Karen González:

Yeah, it's true. I think of like the story of Hagar. You know, I took the title of my book from the story of Hagar because here is the God who sees a person who would have been invisible in her culture, a woman, a foreigner, someone very young, and probably who looked very different. And yet this is the person that God sees. And this is a person, the only person in the Bible who names God and who God promises a future, who God promises a destiny. And these are the people in our communities. You know, after I wrote my book, a friend of mine said, you know, I read that chapter on Hagar. I was walking around Baltimore city and I saw these immigrant men who were working construction. And I thought about how they've been there all week, and I haven't seen them at all. But now I saw them because they're human beings. They have the same dreams and aspirations. They're flesh and blood just like us. And yet, yeah, there's a divide in our country in which we don't value people equally. We don't see them equally. And sadly, that exists in the church too. There's a, there's a real sense that some people are more valuable than others, even though we would probably never say it. It's a lived reality.

Jim Wallis:

So, we're approaching, I believe, the one-year anniversary of releasing your most recent book, The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong. How has this year and the pandemic in particular changed the way you read and understand even your own book now your own writing going forward?

Karen González:

You know, it's interesting when I wrote my book, I wrote it for people who are perhaps faithful, who are Christians, they care about the Bible, right? They value the Bible, but they don't know what to think about immigration maybe. So I wasn't writing for the 20 percent that you know, are on Fox News or anything like that. I was writing for sort of the people in the middle, cause there's 20 percent who are always with you, right? And 20 percent against you and 60 percent in the middle who don't know what to think, who are trying to live as faithfully as they can, but haven't really been discipled into thinking about an issue like immigration for example. That's why I really wrote the book. I wanted people to see, no, the Bible speaks to this. There are not many things that I would say the Bible says clearly because I hate that phrase, it's been abused. However, this is one of those things that the Bible speaks to that God is, is clear on how we are to treat the immigrant among us. And so initially that's what I wanted people to see. God speaks to this. Here's what God says, here are some immigrants in the Bible. You may have never seen with those eyes. You may have never recognized that they were migrants. They were people who left their land and went to another land. And really that was my goal to invite people into this vision. But now I think the more that I have as I've, you know, spoken a lot about this book and uh, gone to a lot of places and churches and universities to talk about it, I've realized that we also need this message of mutuality that often the conversation seems to end with hospitality.

So, you know, a lot of what we hear is like, welcome the stranger, right? Even from very well intentioned Christians. But welcome implies that I have ownership of something. If I welcome you to my house, it's because it's my house and I'm welcoming you in, right? But the fact is the Bible says that the land belongs to God. The world belongs to God. God has given us stewardship, but it belongs to God. And so is it mine to say, well Jim, welcome? Or do you have the right as a human being to migrate if you need to, to migrate, because it's a force for dignity in the world? You have the choice to save yourself and your family by migrating. And so, I think I would, if I were writing this book today and I am working on another book, I think I would emphasize more the mutuality in welcoming immigration policies that in fact we are not just generously giving, but we're receiving. There's mutual blessing involved. We're welcoming Ruth into our lives. You know, that's what Jesus says in Matthew 25 right, that I was a stranger and you welcomed me, that it's Jesus we welcome, right. And think about the way Jesus enters our lives, doesn't take from us. In fact, Jesus gives more to us. And so I would emphasize that and just really how much immigrants have to teach the church. Often when I talk to people, they'll tell me, Oh, I've just learned, you know, how people can live with so little. I've just learned how much I can live without, you know, from immigrants and refugees. But that's not really the end of the story. Yes, you can learn that as well. But really there's a resilience in the immigrant community. There's a lot of strength. There's a lot of faith, you know, immigrants, my family came to this country and basically gave their children over.

You know, we're now Americans, you know, and our parents are Guatemalan. They lost their children to this new culture, new language. I don't speak Spanish as well as my dad speaks Spanish. You know, this was a sacrifice on behalf of my parents. And this is what happens, right? This is what we see with the Dreamers and DACA. They were brought here as children and they've given the best of who they are to this country. So I think in the conversation, there needs to be more discussion around that. And the fact that immigrants also live in liminality. We live in the in-between space. So we don't belong here nor there. I went to Guatemala for Christmas. I can tell you, everyone's like, Oh, you're American. But here I'm clearly, you know, a foreigner to people. But isn't that what it is to be a Christian?

You're supposed to live in this empire, but you're not supposed to belong to it. Your values are supposed to be aligned with Christ's values, not the values of this empire. You're supposed to live in liminal space too. And that's a gift that immigrants bring to the church. The problem is we don't usually learn at their feet. You know, we think about ways that we can evangelize them or make them look, make their faith, look more like American faith or make a church faith instead of really learning at their feet, what have they to offer the church. Because it's a lot. It's more than just a love for simplicity.

Jim Wallis:

Plus, they're the only ones growing the church in all our denominations, numbers are growing in part from the immigrants who are coming. You wrote about your story, your family story, in a piece for us. How your family came in the late seventies and eighties, I think. You came as a child and your grandmother, you talked about as a housekeeper, a number of people in your family were housekeepers and, and you said that she didn't mind her line of work because she understood that all work has meaning and all work has dignity.

Karen González:

That's right. She used to say, in Spanish, vergüenza es robar, like it's shameful to steal. It's not shameful to work hard at whatever you do. And so she did not at all feel bad about her work. And yeah, she was a housekeeper. My mom worked as a housekeeper for a long time. My aunts did as well. And these are women who'd been nurses and teachers in Guatemala and suddenly they're in a new country, new language, and they can't do that kind of work anymore. But I learned so much about faith from my grandmother and she would have been someone the world didn't see, but she was the spiritual mother of our family. And again, she was resilient. She was so strong and she didn't even have words for giving up. It was a faith that propelled her forward always. And yes, I don't, you know, I wrote about that and you know, there was some controversy in my family about them not wanting me to write about the fact that she was a housekeeper. But I said, well, I know how she felt about her work and so I'm going to honor her own words about this. And she did not feel ashamed of her work. And so yes, I wrote about that cause I feel like she even taught me so much about the dignity of work. Cause I, it's something I struggled to understand the idea that all work has meaning no matter how menial the task.

Jim Wallis:

You mentioned that construction worker in Baltimore who was easily, often unseen. It's interesting how this pandemic, how it could change us. It's laying there so many things and this whole notion of work, your grandmother and that construction worker now might be called essential workers. So we're calling such workers now essential, but we're not treating them with such things as living wages or hazard pay or even protective gear. And the dignity of work perhaps is becoming even more clear in who we haven't seen or paid attention to or listened to for a long time. Now all of this reopening, the whole disproportionate nature of this plague, 3:1 African Americans, Hispanics dying to whites and catching the disease. And now this new reopening will depend so much on what they call frontline workers. So your grandmother and those who have her job, they got to go back to work now, while a lot of other folks, as you said a while ago are just a lot of us are, are sheltering and staying home. And so this whole notion of work and essential and who's seen and not seen the pandemic is shining a light on all of that. Seems to me.

Karen González:

Yes. And you know, one of the things that I think is a, just a profound hypocrisy of our government is on the one hand calling the many immigrants fulfilling these essential jobs, you know, essential workers and there's even, you know, signs. Thank you postal workers. Thank you grocery store workers. Thank you nurses. People are excited and clapping outside their windows for them. So on the one hand there's this response and on the other hand, our government is still working to deport ... the only flights coming into Guatemala city and to Nicaragua into any country in central America, are deportation flights from the United States. So there's this duplicitous response that we have that on the one hand they're essential, but on the other hand get out of our country. And yes, they're essential. And I think, you know, now that we finally see our postal workers, I see people in the grocery store thanking the people working behind the cashier, the people who bag the groceries. I see people all of a sudden seeing people that were unseen and recognizing how much we need their work, their labor. You know, in our organization, we've allowed people to do, of course, remote work. We have allowed people to do flexible hours because many people are caring for their children while trying to work as well. So work off hours, do what you need to do. We provided an updated sick leave policy, so that people have more hours and in the event that they should contract COVID-19 can have protection. But all of the people in these essential jobs, as we read in the news daily, don't have these protections. People working for UPS, you know, delivering packages, people working in Amazon warehouses, people working in our grocery stores, they're not working with these kinds of protections and flexibility.

Some of them aren't even given the right personal protective equipment that they need for the work. And so I think we're seeing now more awareness of them, but now there needs to be more advocacy on their behalf. For them to be paid a living wage. Because if it's essential work, it's work that all of us recognize as valuable. They should be paid fairly, but also they should receive the same benefits. They should be able to have things like paid maternity leave. They should be able to have adequate sick days. They should be able to have what they need to rest as well. You know, I think one of the interesting things to me about the scriptures is that when God gives the command for Sabbath, it's also for the immigrant. It's even for the animals that you have for the servants, for the women in your household. Everyone is called to rest. God secures rest for people who can't secure it for themselves. And yet we don't have that in our own society.

Jim Wallis:

So, if we're seeing people who maybe weren't seen as much before, if it's making us more aware, as you just described, how can we begin to imagine a post-COVID world? I don't mean just post the vaccination. That's the easy part. They'll come at some point. But women have become, women are being revealed as frontline workers, as we've said, political leaders and countries doing best with this community organizers. How can this crisis maybe change women leaders in the way we see them going forward?

Karen González:

That's a great question. Well, I think for one, seeing how women leaders around the world in several countries have handled this pandemic, took it very seriously from the beginning. You know, in our country we lost like two and a half months, right? Where there was really no plan. Nothing was taken very seriously. Experts weren't listened to. But we see that that didn't happen in these several countries where women were leaders. And so the hope would be that now we would listen better. We would not just listen to women, but I feel like part of the failure of COVID-19 has been a failure of listening to experts. People who know what this is. And what we saw in those countries was women really listening to experts. Oh, you're an infectious disease expert and you're telling me this is a scary disease because of how easily contagious it is. Okay. These are the measures that we're going to put in place. And so, you know, I've often wondered, had we had a different leader, could we have had a different response? But we've seen in different countries around the world that had similar responses to ours, that leadership really matters. It really does. And so now that we've seen that women can do the job, will we listen? Will we really learn from that and change going forward our posture toward women leaders?

Jim Wallis:

It's been very, very visible how many of those medical experts, those ER room doctors are women who are speaking up and clarifying what our situation is and all the doctors talk about the nurses being the real heroes who are making everything work often around the beds and women, women and men, but overwhelming women around the beds, helping people when they die alone. There's going to be stories that come out after this that I think are going to be amazing to us about medical people around the beds of people who are dying, playing that role as priest, pastor, chaplain, even across faith lines and lines with no faith at all. And I'm wondering, the advocacy you call for is going to be critical. We need to put together almost a platform, a platform from the nonprofit sector calling for yes, universal health care. If we've ever seen why we need universal healthcare, it's now. Freddie Haynes paraphrasing Dr. King said, you know, an infection anywhere is an infection everywhere. Quoting King's powerful words about injustice. And yet, there's a way that we can advocate for the right things and have to, that's got to be our agenda, our platform, education, healthcare, living wages, so much else. But back to maybe ending with you're an advocate, you're an activist, but you're also a theologian. How could this pandemic help us to reimagine our theology differently, to inform and shape a different kind of future among us?

Karen González:

You know, I think, I think this pandemic is an excellent pattern interrupter. I see a lot of people on social media sort of longing for when is this going to be over? When can we go back to the way it used to be? But we don't want to go back to the way it used to be. The way, I mean the pandemic has highlighted the inequality, the injustices, the people who are left out, the way that undocumented immigrants pay taxes but aren't able to receive a stimulus check. The way that essential workers aren't paid a living wage. Why would we want to go back to the way that things used to be? I think what we've seen, you know, what I've seen during this pandemic has been the government stepping in and saying, okay, we have to give funds to people. Okay, we have to provide extended family medical leave to people. We have to mandate sick days to people. We have to provide unemployment that's actually livable, where people could actually live on it while they're looking for work or till the country opens up a little bit more and more jobs are available. We're seeing that many things are possible that weren't happening because there was no will for them to happen. But we know that it's possible. And that's the world we need to reimagine. How can we create a more just world rather than go back to the world that was. And that's what I want to see us live into. How can we reimagine, you know. I work in this humanitarian relief organization and sometimes I'll ponder what would it be like if my organization weren't needed in the world because there was no poverty. What would that be like? What would it look like? What would have to happen for that to be realized for us to be out of a job because there was no marginalization of the immigrant in the U.S. And there was no suffering for a person living in a rural area in sub-Saharan Africa? What if all those problems were solved? And I think that's what we need to do. We need to imagine the world we want and the policies that we want to see enacted, rather than just longing for pre-COVID life.

Jim Wallis:

So, change really doesn't happen until often a new generation decides that what we have accepted for so long is no longer tolerable, no longer acceptable. And that what we thought could never change, we decide is possible to change and you know, we're going to do it. So that kind of reimagining, the way you're speaking of that, that can maybe give you some of that kind of hope that hope you were looking for at the beginning of this conversation.

Karen González:

Yeah, and I realized that hope is a privilege right now. You know, I'm in relationships with people who are undocumented immigrants and I see hope as a luxury for them. It's just the struggle of daily life to survive. But I think we know now what we're capable of. Why can't we imagine a new reality and enact policies along those lines. So that's what I would like to see.

Jim Wallis:

Karen Gonzalez, thank you for joining us today. Thank you very much. To hear more from Karen, follow her on Twitter at @_karenjgonzalez and check out her latest book, The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong. For more The Soul of the Nation updates, don't forget to subscribe, rate and review and follow me on Twitter @jimwallis if you'd like to do that. Blessings to all of you for the soul of the nation.