I often hear a lot of anti-immigration rhetoric coming from what appears to be the religious right. I thought that meant that those ideas represented God and most Christian denominations attitude towards immigrants but that just isn’t the case. I encourage everyone to contemplate our stance on immigration in a country made of immigrants, and let us reflect on what the Bible says:
Exodus 22:21 NLT “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
Leviticus 19:34 NIV “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 10:19 ESV “Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
3 John 1:5 NIV “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.”
Additionally, the United Methodist Church released a call for comprehensive immigration reform from their 2008 General Conference. It asserted that “immigrants are children of God made in God’s image…that immigrant children deserve to be educated and provided with basic social services… the General Conference urge all the local congregations to oppose unjust local and state ordinances that seek to deprive undocumented persons of basic social services including the access to adequate housing and protection under the law… join with M.A.R.C.H.A. (Methodists Associated to Represent the Cause of Hispanic/Latino Americans) and urge the United States Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that makes family unity… and a reasonable path towards citizenship a priority.”
To add one more Christian group, I’ll mention the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who bulletized what’s needed in “Elements Necessary for a Just Immigration Reform Proposal.” The six elements include: Future Flow Worker Program, Family-based Immigration Reform, Restoration of Due Process Protections, Addressing Root Causes of Migration and Inclusion of the DREAM Act and AgJOBS.