Exiles all: Going “all in” on immigration reform

Bearings Online
10 August 2017

You know the headlines: Globalization. Jobs lost, jobs gained. Immigrants. Muslims. Nationalist resurgence both in the United States and other countries. Calls to “build that wall.” Charges of xenophobia. Outsourcing that hurts “us” and sweatshops that hurt “them.” The internet, creating both links between people and echo chambers for the like-minded. America first.

For Christians to respond to this numbingly complex set of interconnected set of issues – no, to even locate themselves within it – we need to go all in on immigration reform. By that I do not simply mean work really really hard to change policies and craft laws to normalize the status of the 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., or to address the refugee flow into Europe. We should do these things, of course, drawing on our deepest Christian practices of hospitality and best experiences as multiethnic communities. But I mean something else.

To go “all in” on immigration reform, Christians should re-form our very sense of citizenship, loyalty, and solidarity. We should recognize that the people called Church are, by definition, ones that live in diaspora as a transnational nation that crosses borders and resides among many peoples and nations.

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