Immigration and Hospitality

Books:

  • Bauman, S., Soerens, M., & Smeir, I. (2016). Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
    • “What will rule our hearts: fear or compassion? We can’t ignore the refugee crisis—arguably the greatest geo-political issue of our time—but how do we even begin to respond to something so massive and complex? In Seeking Refuge, three experts from World Relief, a global organization serving refugees, offer a practical, well-rounded, well-researched guide to the issue. Who are refugees and other displaced peoples? What are the real risks and benefits of receiving them? How do we balance compassion and security? Drawing from history, public policy, psychology, many personal stories, and their own unique Christian worldview, the authors offer a nuanced and compelling portrayal of the plight of refugees and the extraordinary opportunity we have to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
  • Chan, J. (2017). No Strangers Here: Christian Hospitality and Refugee Ministry in Twenty-First-Century Hong Kong. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications.
    • “Churches are traditionally among the first to respond to the call to aid strangers in distress. In this age of globalization, one group of strangers in particular--asylum seekers and refugees--is in urgent need of welcome as they flee their homelands in search of safety. This same group, however, faces hostility and rejection in many places. What should be the church's response? This book argues that Christian hospitality offers a powerful theological and pastoral response to such vulnerable strangers in our midst. For that to happen, the church must answer two questions: "What is Christian hospitality?" and "How do we put it into practice with refugees and asylum seekers?" Part One answers the first question with a cross-disciplinary study of sacred hospitality in both ancient and modern times. Part Two tackles the second with a fascinating case study of the church's outreach to refugees and asylum seekers in an international Chinese city. As communities worldwide receive refugees and asylum seekers, this book offers Christian hospitality and the Hong Kong experience as one hopeful response to needy strangers at our doorstep. It is a welcome theological and practical resource for refugee ministry in the twenty-first century.”
  • Cruz, A. (2019). Dominicana: A Novel. New York, NY: Flatiron Books.
    • “Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay. As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family. In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.”
  • González, K. (2019).  The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press.
    • “Meet people who have fled their homelands: Hagar. Joseph. Ruth. Jesus. Here is a riveting story of seeking safety in another land. Here is a gripping journey of loss, alienation, and belonging. In The God Who Sees, immigration advocate Karen Gonzalez recounts her family’s migration from the instability of Guatemala to making a new life in Los Angeles and the suburbs of south Florida. In the midst of language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and the tremendous pressure to assimilate, Gonzalez encounters Christ through a campus ministry program and begins to follow him. Here, too, is the sweeping epic of immigrants and refugees in Scripture. Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Ruth: these intrepid heroes of the faith cross borders and seek refuge. As witnesses to God’s liberating power, they name the God they see at work, and they become grafted onto God’s family tree. Find resources for welcoming immigrants in your community and speaking out about an outdated immigration system. Find the power of Jesus, a refugee Savior who calls us to become citizens in a country not of this world.”
  • Heimburger, R. W. (2017). God and the Illegal Alien: United States Immigration Law and a Theology of Politics. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
    • “Today in the United States, millions of men, women, and children are considered 'illegal aliens' under federal law. While the presence of these migrants runs against the law, many arrive in response to US demand for cheap labor and stay to contribute to community life. This book asks where migrants stand within God's world and how authorities can govern immigration with Christian ethics. The author tracks the emergence of the concept of the illegal alien in federal US law while exploring Christian ways of understanding belonging, government, and relationships with neighbors. This is a thought-provoking book that provides a fresh response to the difficult issue of illegal immigration in the United States through the context of Christian theology.”
  • Jackson, D., & Passarelli, A. (2016). Mapping Migration, Mapping Churches’ Responses in Europe. Geneva, Switzerland: Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe & World Council of Churches Publications. Retrieved here: https://ccme.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2016-01-08-Mapping_Migration_2015_Online__lo-res___2_.pdf
  • Kaemingk, M. (2018). Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
    • “An alternative, uniquely Christian response to the growing global challenges of deep religious difference. In the last fifty years, millions of Muslims have migrated to Europe and North America. Their arrival has ignited a series of fierce public debates on both sides of the Atlantic about religious freedom and tolerance, terrorism and security, gender and race, and much more. How can Christians best respond to this situation? In this book theologian and ethicist Matthew Kaemingk offers a thought-provoking Christian perspective on the growing debates over Muslim presence in the West. Rejecting both fearful nationalism and romantic multiculturalism, Kaemingk makes the case for a third way—a Christian pluralism that is committed to both the historic Christian faith and the public rights, dignity, and freedom of Islam.”
  • Kohn Rivera, N., Vega Quiñones, N., & Garza Robinson, K. (2019). Hermanas: Deepening Our Identity and Growing Our Influence. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
    • “God calls Latinas to lives of influence. He created his Latina daughters to partner with him, live into the incredible plans he has for each of us, and walk in his grace and strength to help change this world. But many of us have heard cultural messages that make us doubt our adequacy. We have not seen many Latina women in positions of leadership, and we need more mentors and role models. Natalia Kohn, Noemi Vega Quiñones, and Kristy Garza Robinson share their own journeys as Latinas and leaders. They find mentorship in twelve inspirational women of the Bible including Esther, Rahab, Mary, and Lydia, who navigated challenges of brokenness and suffering, being bicultural, and crossing borders. As we deepen our spiritual and ethnic identities, we grow in intimacy with God and others and become better equipped to influence others for the kingdom. The insights here will help any who seek to empower Latinas in leadership. You are not alone on this journey. Join your sisters and partner with our heavenly Father as you become the Latina leader God has called you to be.”
  • R. Caroll, M. D. (2013). Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible. Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.
    • “Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. In this accessible book, an internationally recognized immigration expert helps readers think biblically about this divisive issue, offering accessible, nuanced, and sympathetic guidance for the church. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author is able to empathize with both sides of the struggle and argues that each side has much to learn. This updated and revised edition reflects changes from the past five years, responds to criticisms of the first edition, and expands sections that have raised questions for readers. It includes a foreword by Samuel Rodríguez and an afterword by Ronald Sider. This timely, clear, and compassionate resource will benefit all Christians who are thinking through the immigration issue.”
  • Shukla, N., & Suleyman, C. (2020). The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America. New York, NY: Back Bay Books.
    • “From Trump's proposed border wall and travel ban to the marching of white supremacists in Charlottesville, America is consumed by tensions over immigration and the question of which bodies are welcome. In this much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling UK edition, hailed by Zadie Smith as "lively and vital," editors Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman hand the microphone to an incredible range of writers whose humanity and right to be here is under attack. Chigozie Obioma unpacks an Igbo proverb that helped him navigate his journey to America from Nigeria. Jenny Zhang analyzes cultural appropriation in 90s fashion, recalling her own pain and confusion as a teenager trying to fit in. Fatimah Asghar describes the flood of memory and emotion triggered by an encounter with an Uber driver from Kashmir. Alexander Chee writes of a visit to Korea that changed his relationship to his heritage. These writers, and the many others in this urgent collection, share powerful personal stories of living between cultures and languages while struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong.”
  • Soerens, M., Yang, J., & Anderson, L. (2018). Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, & Truth in the Immigration Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
    • “Immigration is one of the most complicated issues of our time. Voices on all sides argue strongly for action and change. Christians find themselves torn between the desire to uphold laws and the call to minister to the vulnerable. In this book World Relief immigration experts Matthew Soerens and Jenny Yang move beyond the rhetoric to offer a Christian response to immigration. They put a human face on the issue and tell stories of immigrants' experiences in and out of the system. With careful historical understanding and thoughtful policy analysis, they debunk myths and misconceptions about immigration and show the limitations of the current immigration system. Ultimately they point toward immigration reform that is compassionate, sensible, and just as they offer concrete ways for you and your church to welcome and minister to your immigrant neighbors. This revised edition includes new material on refugees and updates in light of changes in political realities.”
  • Sweeden, N. B. (2015). Church on the Way: Hospitality and Migration. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications.
    • “The practice of Christian hospitality reaches back to the early centuries of Christian life as well as deep into Jewish history, life, and Scripture. This practice is alive today in Christian churches and in parachurch organizations within the United States, but new contextual realities--in particular twenty-first-century global migration patterns--have altered the conditions under which hospitality is practiced. The reality of migration and its effect on human lives disrupts static conceptions of hospitality and challenges ecclesial communities toward contextual appropriation of hospitality practice. This volume explores Christian hospitality practice in light of twenty-first-century U.S. Latino/a migration, and it develops the notion of a journeying hospitality of accompaniment with and among persons migrating, which fosters deeper relationships and formation. The shifting identities of persons "on the move" challenge assumptions about what it means to welcome another in hospitality and, ultimately, what it means to be church from within these new relationships. In turn, the new conceptions and expressions of hospitality offered in this book press how the nature and mission of the church will be oriented toward new ecclesial patterns and alternative forms of residing on earth.”
  • Zamora, J. (2017). Unaccompanied. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press.
    • “Javier Zamora was nine years old when he traveled unaccompanied 4,000 miles, across multiple borders, from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. This dramatic and hope-filled poetry debut humanizes the highly charged and polarizing rhetoric of border-crossing; assesses borderland politics, race, and immigration on a profoundly personal level; and simultaneously remembers and imagines a birth country that's been left behind. Through an unflinching gaze, plainspoken diction, and a combination of Spanish and English, Unaccompanied crosses rugged terrain where families are lost and reunited, coyotes lead migrants astray, and "the thin white man let us drink from a hose / while pointing his shotgun."

 

Research Articles and Editorials:

 

Media and Podcast Resources:

  • Evangelical Immigration Table | “The Stranger”: https://vimeo.com/97163476
    • “The Stranger” is a 40-minute documentary film commissioned by the Evangelical Immigration Table and produced by Emmy-award winning producer Linda Midgett. The Stranger profiles three immigrant stories and includes interviews with local and national Christian leaders. By highlighting biblical teaching related to immigrants, sharing compelling stories of immigrants who are also evangelical Christians, and addressing some common economic and political misconceptions, The Stranger seeks to mobilize evangelical Christians to respond to immigrants and to immigration policy in ways that are consistent with biblical principles.”
  • HuffingtonPost | “11 Documentaries About Immigrants Everyone Should Watch Right Now”: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/11-documentaries-about-immigrants-everyone-should-watch-right-now_n_5874fc34e4b02b5f858b20c0
  • National Immigration Forum | Only in America Podcast: https://immigrationforum.org/landing_page/podcast/
    • “Faith leaders, law enforcement officials, business owners and others speak openly about the way culture, identity and values are shaping and defining our country, and they offer a constructive way forward in the immigration debate.”
  • NPR | Coming to America: Our Best Student Podcasts about Immigration: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/03/746677793/coming-to-america-our-best-student-podcasts-about-immigration
  • PBS | “Welcome to Shelbyville”: https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/welcome-to-shelbyville/
    • “A small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.”
  • University of Notre Dame | “Dying to Live: A Migrant’s Journey”: https://vimeo.com/113296084
    • “Immigration is a complex issue that is changing the face of cultures worldwide.  In the United States, it is often controversial with many social, economic, political and even religious implications.  In the debate, what often gets lost are the human issues at stake.  Dying to Live is a profound look at the human face of the migrant.  It explores who these people are, why they leave their homes and what they face in their journey.”

 

Other Resources: