I have had a long history of insecurity in my thoughts on immigration. My views on the issue have not always matched my otherwise liberal views on many other social issues. I have often been closed-minded and ego-centric. I have been more aligned with conservatives. (Not crazies, just more homeland centered thinking types.) Who gets to be the gatekeeper to our nation of immigrants? Who decides who gets in and who doesn’t? The course of American history is fraught with struggle over our borders and ports. This is not a new issue. Check out these resources for history on immigration in America:
I don’t see this current crisis as a political issue. I don’t see this as an immigration issue. I know this causes crazy financial hurdles for our country. But I don’t know how I (we?) can look at the faces of children who have risked their lives for safety and say, “go back.” For me, this is a humanitarian issue. These are not immigrants, undocumented, or aliens; these are humans. And for me, a person who claims to be a follower of Jesus, this is one of the moments where I can shy away or I can follow the message of the Savior.
And when it comes to kids, I don’t mess around. Kids are not and should not be responsible for caring for themselves. Kids, who put their lives into someone else’s hands to escape violence, poverty, trafficking, and death are not just seeking a better life; they are seeking LIFE.
I have read a lot of amazing responses to these in the last few weeks, these wise souls speak better words than I so I offer them to you, with grateful thanks.
Broderick Greer: Jesus is Undocumented.
Gay Clark Jennings: Christians worship a child who fled violence in his home country.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori: Crisis of Unaccompanied Children on the Border
Bishop Mariann: Why are so many children leaving Central America?
Jim Wallis: The Moral Failure of Immigration Reform
Mother Jones: Children Migrants Surge
NY Times: The Border Crisis
And this one…from a guy named Jesus…
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me” (Matthew 25.40).
Praying for wisdom. Praying for our leaders. Praying for peace and working for justice.