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 often complex. Economic necessity, war, drought, and persecution are among the more common ones.
Some of these immigrants come to the U.S. Currently about 13% of our population was born outside the U.S., some 40 million people.
Ever since settlers began arriving from the eastern hemisphere, the U.S. has been a nation of immigrants. But we have also been a nation consistently conflicted about this. We have gratefully welcomed immigrants and their contributions, and we have excluded them, discriminated against them, and inflicted grave harm upon them.
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in instructing 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.
Worship and Bible Study: sermons 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’s General Synod’s thinking on this issue
General Information: numerous resources on immigration, immigrants, and immigrant rights,
Organizations with many resources online
National Immigration Law Center
Immigration Policy Center
National Lawyers Guild Immigration Project
Pew Hispanic Center
Detention Watch Network (tracking raids, etc)
The Transborder Project of Americas Program
American Immigration Law Foundation
Immigration Policy Center and its excellent electronic newsletter Immigration Impact
Immigration resources by Interfaith Worker Justice
The Illinois Mayan Ministry of members of the Illinois Conference of the UCC
Immigrants in the Workplace and Workplace Raids: information about immigrants in the workplace, workplace raids and how to prepare for and respond to raids, and an examination of immigrants and "our" jobs.
The U.S.-Mexico Border Policy Report by the Border Network for Human Rights titled Effective Border Policy: Security, Responsibility And Human Rights at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Amnesty International report on immigrant detention, Jailed without Justice
A particularly stunning 4 1/2 minute video on the border fence International League of Conservation Photographers.
The Immigratopm Dilemma, a six-week study guide to immigration from the Friends Committee on National Legislation
From Sojourners, a six-week study guide Strangers in the Land
From the UCC Illinois Conference's Illinois Maya Ministry, a four-week study guide of Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway, a powerful, true depiction of migrants crossing into the U.S.
Looking Upstream: How the WAL-MARTing of Mexico Creates the Immigration Crisis from the UCC Illinois Conference's Illinois Maya Ministry: a PowerPoint presentation with accompanying background notes to accompany each slide.
The New Sanctuary Movement
A resource from the 8th Day Center for Justice, Chicago, IL
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.
UCC Congregations' Ministries with Immigrants
General Synod Resolutions
Immigrants and Public Education View a number of resources from JWM
Immigrants and Health Care Resource from JWM