Opportunities to Respond to Immigration Issues
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew, 25:35c)
Our Scriptures are very clear about our call to welcome the stranger among us: “When an 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” (Lev 19:33-34). In Matthew, Jesus tells a parable to his followers emphasizing specific classes of people who should serve as if Christ himself. Immigrants are one of those groups. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35c). In fact, the call to care for immigrants is reiterated thirty-seven times throughout the Bible.
The Presbyterians Church (USA) advocates for the “establishment by law of a comprehensive legalization program for undocumented persons already living and working in the United States.” PCUSA also calls for “reform of current immigration policies and procedures to ensure a more timely and humane process, with special attend to family reunification and to those persons who have been waiting for their immigrant visas and for naturalization” (Resolution calling for a Comprehensive Legalization Program, 2004).
The Office of Public Witness (OPW) with the Presbyterian Mission Agency is actively engaging in social movements led by undocumented leaders and affected people to win just immigration policy. In addition, part of the Presbyterian Disaster Agency mandate is to provide relief to refugees and asylum seekers.
How Can I take Action?
At Village Presbyterian Church, you have a number of opportunities to engage in the conversation on immigration reform. Below are a few suggestions:
- Visit: You are invited to join Village Church on their fall border trip. More * information is available at villagepres.org/border
- Invite: Become part of the conversation and ask others to join you as we seek justice for our vulnerable neighbors. A Christian perspective on immigration challenges us above all to love immigrants and to seek to be reconciled with them in a new and transformed community.
- Learn: To understand more about the reality of immigration detention, check out the short documentary film Locked in a Box: Immigration Detention, pda.pcusa.org/pda/resource/video-immigration-detention/ or you can attend a free Village University class. Check out our course catalogue online at villagepres.org/village-u-community-classes.
- Advocate: Email members of Congress through Unicef (unicefusa.org/help/advocate/keep-families-together-act) or check out PCUSA’s Office of Public Witness website at capwiz.com/pcusa/issues/ regarding communication on a variety of immigration issues.
- Donate: You can contribute to Village Presbyterian Church’s fund to help those who are in immigration detention centers and their families find relief through bond scholarships, calls from detention centers, transportation costs as well as general support that may be needed by families. You can donate on-line at villagepres.org/giving or pay by check to “Village Presbyterian Church” and note the “Detained Immigrant Fund” on your check.