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.
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.
Join Rev. Jaramillo in Fasting for Immigrant Families
Together UCC advocates have been advocating for just and compassionate immigration reform that will create a pathway to citizenship and prioritize family unity. Many UCC leaders are demonstrating their commitment on this important issue this week by supporting the Fast4Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship.
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.
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.
Faith leaders at General Synod 29 march in Long Beach, CA for immigration reform.
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.
UCC immigration advocates see pros and cons of immigration reform bill April 17, 2013 While the legislation is not ideal and will likely prompt further debate in the coming months, United Church of Christ immigration advocates say it is a positive step toward fixing the country's broken immigration system and creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
UCC National Officers applaud President Obama's plan for immigration reform January 29, 2013 The Collegium of Officers released a statement in support of immigration reform efforts led by President Obama and four democrats and four republicans who drafted the framework during five meetings since the November election. They urge government representatives to act now, and stress the importance of the faith community's voice in this national debate.
"We applaud the renewed efforts by President Obama and a bipartisan committee of senators to bring proposals for comprehensive immigration reform legislation to the Congress that will move our country beyond the strategy of simply securing our borders. The United Church of Christ has long supported compassionate reform in our country's approach to immigration and we will look to see that the recommendations being proposed will protect the human rights and dignity of our brothers and sisters. We are encouraged by proposals to establish a pathway to citizenship for those who quality, for students and children brought into this country, for family reunification, and for equal rights for bi-national same-sex couples.
The issue of immigration reform has been stalled for too long. Now is the time to insure a humane, sound and workable immigration policy, one that is realistic, just and fair. The voice of the religious community is essential in this national debate. We call upon members of our churches to connect with local, state and national coalitions and initiatives engaged in supporting comprehensive immigration reform consistent with the measures advocated by the UCC and our interfaith and ecumenical partners. Advocacy opportunities will be forthcoming from the public policy office of the UCC as comprehensive immigration reform moves along."
The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, the Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, the Rev J. Bennett Guess, the Rev. James Moos, W. Mark Clark - The UCC Collegium of Officers
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).
Behind the Wall Video by Rev. Art Cribbs. Made possible through a grant by Neighbors in Need.
Migration and Poverty in Rural Mexico by Bread for the World. This video features some Mexican farmers who have migrated North before but with some participation from NGO's have found a way to make their land productive again to help them make a living in Mexico.
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.
The immigration debate in the US largely overlooks the root causes of unauthorized migration, specifically poverty and inequality in Latin America. The U.S. responds to unauthorized migration by placing an emphasis on enforcement - internally, at the border and through its foreign assistance to migrant sending countries. This study looks at development with awareness of the link to its impact on migration.
The Bible and Immigration Reform by Lourdino A. Yuzon, a presentation prepared for the 19th National Convocation of the Pacific Islander and Asian American Ministries (PAAM), UCC, Dallas, TX, August 2010
Host a film showing: Faith and Immigration, a campaign of Sojourners, has produced a guide to four films about immigration with discussion questions and theological reflection for small groups. Also included is a longer film guide summarizing other popular immigration films
Resources for Worship and Bible StudySermons and reflections, prayers, and other worship elements; a comprehensive listing of all Bible references to immigrants and refugees, and a theological exploration of immigration and overview of the UCC General Synod’s thinking on this issue.
Centro Romero Centro Romero is a UCC immersion center located on the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego, CA. The Center facilitates educational, transformational immersion experiences focused on globalization, economic policy, immigration, environmental concerns, and community empowerment.
In addition to three to seven day cross-border experiences, the Center also offers a 10-day Travel-Study Experience. Through these more extensive experiences, the Romero Center provides participants with the opportunity of learning about Mexico, Mexican Protestantism, migration issues, culture and popular religion with the objective of better contextualizing the immigration issues that are commonly discussed in the United States and to look at them from a “globalize” point of view. Trips are designed with the objective of engaging community members, community leaders as well as religious and political leaders in Mexico so participants can learn as much as they can about Mexico and its problems and responses and how they understand the immigration concerns that are affecting the U.S. today.