Immigration

When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:33-34

In a world becoming increasingly globalized, more people are leaving their homelands to seek better lives and opportunities in new countries. Their reasons for leaving are diverse and complex: economic necessity, war, or persecution. The U.S. has long been a nation of immigrants and we have consistently been conflicted about this. We gratefully welcome immigrants and their contributions, and we exclude them, discriminate against them and, at times, inflict grave harm upon them.

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. We will learn how to respond to these new sisters and brothers residing among us.

Immigration Updates

10/9/13 - UCC Revs. Wayne Laws, Nancy Niero, Anne Dunlap, and Nancy Rosas came out to support the "Not One More - The Time is Now for Immigration Reform!" rally held in downtown Denver.

Immigrant Rights Sunday
The first Sunday in May, May 4th, has been designated Immigrant Rights Sunday within the United Church of Christ. We urge congregations to lift up immigrants on this day: to learn about their concerns, honor their contributions to our country and communities, hear their pain, pray for their well-being, and listen to hear where God is leading us regarding issues of immigration.

UCC advocates fight for immigrant rights during week-long action against deportations
April 8, 2014
UCC members and congregations are calling for an end to deportations during the National Week of Action to End Deportations.

Immigration reform bus tour makes a stop at Colorado church
March 11, 2014
The Fast for Families Across America bus tour will stop in Aurora on March 12 for a press conference at Mountain View United Church UCC followed by a community meeting at the immigrant-rights organization Rights for All People later that evening.

UCC pastor works to create immigrant-welcoming communities throughout Arizona
February 20, 2014
Arizona's Pima County covers 9,188 square miles and is home to the largest stretch of land that runs along the United States-Mexico border. Now, thanks to the work of UCC pastor the Rev. Randy Mayer, immigrants can feel a little more at home there.

Commentary: Why I fasted in front of the U.S. Capitol for immigration reform
December 6, 2013
On Dec. 5, the Rev. Linda Jaramillo flew to Washington, D.C., to join the Fast for Families, where she fasted for 24 hours in solidarity with the core fasters, who had gone 22 days with no food, just water, spending their days in a tent in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

Faith leaders at General Synod 29 march in Long Beach, CA for immigration reform.

UCC director arrested standing with undocumented women in D.C.
September 12, 2013
Sandy Sorensen of the United Church of Christ joined about 100 women – 20 of whom are undocumented immigrants – outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday morning, Sept. 12, blockading the intersection outside the House of Representatives as a public protest to the House’s inaction on comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform that treats women and children fairly.

Why I Got Arrested Today With 20 Undocumented Women
September 12, 2013
Commentary: A few minutes ago, I got arrested on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. I joined more than one hundred other women -- including 20 undocumented women -- to bring attention to our nation's horrendously unjust immigration system.

UCC immigration advocates continue fight for reform despite House delays
July 16, 2013
As the U.S. House of Representatives stalls the progress of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, UCC immigrant rights advocates continue to make their voices heard. Various grassroots efforts will take place this week to keep the momentum behind the movement alive, despite Republican Speaker John Boehner's pledge not to call a House version of the immigration bill to a vote without majority support of his party, and the growing belief that the reform effort is dwindling.

United Church of Christ marches for comprehensive immigration reform
July 1, 2013
In a visible witness for compassionate comprehensive immigration reform, advocates from the United Church of Christ took to the streets of Long Beach, Calif., on Monday as the General Synod voted to adopt a resolution supporting immigration reform and the protection of the human rights of immigrants.

Immigration Coalition Recommendations to Congress: an inter-faith coalition made of 35 organizations, released recommendations for the 113th Congress to reform our immigration system. Download report.

Resources

Our work on this issue is rooted in policy voted on by our UCC General Synod. You can find General Synod Resolutions on immigration from GS XXVIIII (2013) GS XXVI (2007), GS XIII (2001), and GS XXII (1999).

Become an immigrant welcoming congregation. The Journey toward becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation involves multiple study and reflection sessions. Download this wonderful toolkit created by our UCC Southwest Conference.

Love Has No Borders - Essays and stories of how faith leaders resisted Alabama's Anti-Immigrant Law edited by UCC Pastor Rev. Angie Wright. Get your copy here.

No Longer Strangers: The Practice of Radical Hospitality, a book by UCC pastor Rev. Wendy J. Taylor, explores the lonely and difficult lives of migrant farm workers in Northern California and follows one woman’s compassionate response to their plight.

Behind the Wall
Video by Rev. Art Cribbs. Made possible through a grant by Neighbors in Need.

We are America Stories - stories of immigrants

Deportation 101
A Community Resource on Anti-Deportation Education and Organizing  - revised May 2010 is a curriculum prepared by the Detention Watch Network, Families for Freedom, the Immigrant Defense Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

Understanding the DREAM Act
The education of immigrant children is not only a smart investment; as an expression of the call to love our neighbors ad ourselves, it is also a moral imperative.  The issues of immigration and immigration enforcement affect the children in immigrant families and the public schools that serve those children.

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Maria E. Castellanos
Policy Advocate and Writer
100 Maryland Avenue, NE
Room #330
Washington,District of Columbia 20002
202-543-1517
castellm@ucc.org