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

In my classroom, there is a little boy from Honduras. He speaks Spanish — that is the language of his heart — but he is learning English and tries with all his heart to learn new words and strange phrases that will allow him to live in his new world here.
Paddington asks us to consider if our fears are legitimate or whether we are frightened of a cuddly bear who will open our shut-up hearts and change our lives for the better. We may never know which it is. But not because we can’t know – because we don’t want to know.
More than 100 Roman Catholic leaders are using this week’s annual march against legal abortion to press anti-abortion House members to pass immigration reform, saying they should see it as another “pro-life” issue.
Obama is not offering people citizenship, but his address reflected on the meaning of community belonging. “These people” often act like citizens, he seemed to be saying, because they “came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America's success.” To those of us who are citizens legally, Obama also had a message: Become better Americans.
While Republican leaders blast President Obama for taking executive action on immigration reform, some prominent evangelical leaders are welcoming the president’s plans to keep about 5 million undocumented immigrants from being deported. Evangelicals are a key voting bloc for the GOP, but on immigration some are taking a pragmatic step away from the party. They include Hispanic leaders such as the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez who say the time has come to manage what has become a “de facto humanitarian crisis” for millions of immigrants. “This merciful action takes place because for years our government, under the leadership of both parties, failed miserably as it pertains to immigration,” said Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Rodriguez planned to be with Obama on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas, where the President hopes to rally for his new steps.