So far, the upcoming 2016 presidential campaign has been the most anti-immigrant in its rhetoric since the 1850s (source). Christians are not exempt from this anti-immigrant rhetoric. Nearly 50% of white evangelicals believe that immigrants are a drain or burden on the U.S. economy, and more than half of evangelicals believe that an increase in immigrants will threaten American values (source).
But we know immigrants have brought great richness to this country -- not just economically, but also culturally. Most immigrants reflect the best of American values: ingenuity, community pride, strong families, hard work, deep faith.
Even though immigrants bring a wealth of cultural and economic growth to the U.S., mainstream culture frequently describes them as a burden. We’re not seeing Christian teachings or values represented in our churches, communities, and politics when it comes to immigrants either, which is why we’re committed to changing the conversation. America is a nation of immigrants, and immigrants deserve respect.
So it’s time to unlearn that immigrants are a burden. Scripture teaches this truth: immigrants are a blessing, not a burden (Matthew 25, Hebrews 13:2). Our own experience and truths about the economy and our communities teach us that immigrants are a blessing too.
Supporters of the new Immigrants Are a Blessing Not a Burden campaign represent a community of Christians from many backgrounds committed to changing the conversation.
The Office of Social Justice invites you to join the conversation. Help share the truth about immigrants and change the conversation in three main ways:
- Sign: Sign the pledge to commit to changing the conversation about immigrants and to call on congressional representatives to enact immigration policies that reflect the reality that immigrants are a blessing, not a burden.
- Share: Share the message on social media and with those around you using the hashtag #BlessingNotBurden. Share facts and truths about how immigrants bless our churches, communities, and economy.
- Wear: Wear the campaign tote bags, t-shirts, and sticker with the message that immigrants are a blessing, not a burden.