On Thursday I am going to be interviewed by an ESL (English as a Second Language) class so the women in it can practice their English. I imagine it will be fun for me and difficult for them as they try to keep up with my motor mouth. I do know that having strong English skills can help immigrants acclimate more quickly to American life and get jobs where needed. So I’m willing to help as I can.
Immigration is a huge deal across the country these days. Last week I found an old issue of PRISM magazine, the magazine from Evangelicals for Social Action, that was all about immigration. It challenged me to think about the issue rather than avoid it. It gave me some Biblical background on how much God supports the stranger in the land. And it provided a list of practical ways to help immigrants. That article—”Taking Up the Case of the Stranger,” by Luis Cortes Jr. and Meredith Rapkin—is available online, and I encourage you to read it.
I know there is a lot of debate among Christians on how and if we should support immigrants who came to this country illegally. I realize I don’t live on the southern border where this is a daily, very real issue. But I did find this chart from reason.org, which was reprinted in PRISM, to be eye-opening. Check it out and then tell me how much you actually knew about the process.
Think all illegal immigrants should go home and get back in line to come the the U.S. legally? How much do you know about that line? Check out the chart, and then ask yourself what you would do if you were in their shoes. How would Jesus respond to the strangers in our midst?
I believe, at the very least, he would engage them in conversation rather than demonize them.