How You Can Work for Immigration Reform
Church and Local Community
The first and most important thing that you can do as a church is to educate yourselves. Research the dynamics of the immigration system, and what the Bible has to say about foreigners living among us. Find out what the face of immigration looks like in your community. Hold a dialogue within your church to decide in what way you can get involved. Here are a few suggestions:
- Hold Bible studies and workshops within your church and community on the topic of immigration.
- Consider creating a dialogue or partnership between your church and the local immigrant faith community. The obvious example is to host an immigrant church in your building, but this relationship can be as formal or as informal as you want. Most importantly, it should arise from the needs and dynamics of both your church and the congregation you seek to partner with.
- As a church, consider joining an organization that supports immigrants’ rights. Groups such as the New Sanctuary Movement or Interfaith Worker Justice can connect your church to the struggles of immigrants within your community and on a national level.
- Exercise a prophetic voice within your own denomination. While many have already signed onto agreements such as Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, others have yet to take a stand on this issue. As national denominations, churches can often exercise a greater voice than they can on the local level.
- Most importantly, pray. Make a list of what your church sees as the most important challenges faced by immigrants in your community, and lift them up to God, who will restore justice in a way that we can not even imagine.
- Contact your elected officials. Whenever bills are put on the table which have the potential to impact the immigrant community, call to let them know that you support a welcoming, hospitable, Christian approach to reform. Policymakers get bombarded with phone calls and emails from a passionate and vocal anti-immigrant minority. Take the time to show them that supporters of comprehensive immigration reform can be just as passionate and much more well-informed.
- Get involved in an organization that does public advocacy for immigration reform. Organizations such as DreamActivist will connect you to existing efforts within your own community.
- Write down your position in an editorial or newsletter. Share your voice on this issue with those in your community.