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Beyond the News

The following is a collection of resources related to immigration, some of which are mentioned elsewhere on this site.  They are categorized according to use—general information, services for immigrants, teaching resources, human interest, and congregational and worship resources.” 

Resources for worship and congregational life

Missio Dei Vol. 19 Immigration and the Bible 
Where can those who claim to follow Jesus Christ find counsel for engaging the immigrant phenomenon? Missio Dei 19 states that Christians should respond self-consciously as Christians to immigration, and that the Bible should be their fundamental resource. Also available in Spanish.

See Peace and Justice Support Network for a variety of resources on immigration, including articles, books and website links.

Immigration Statement from Mennonite Church USA - Strangers No More

Welcoming the Stranger,” is an information packet from MCC on service and advocacy on immigration issues.  “Immigration Information Packet,” available in Spanish and English, contains basic information on legalities and life in the US for immigrants and those who serve them.  

Organizations that provide services and advocacy for immigrants

MCC Washington:  Seeing immigration as a justice issue, Mennonites have been active through Mennonite Central Committe to advocate and provide services for immigrants.” Their website includes Biblical reflections on the issue and an opportunity to sign up for email updates on immigration-related news.  

The Catholic Church in the U.S. does significant work in information, advocacy, and service to immigrants. Their website is a good source for general information on immigrant issues as well as finding legal or other help for immigrants in your area.”  

Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service.  Works in refugee resettlement, immigrant services, and advocacy. Front page has a good list of advocacy channels—what are the current issues, how to make your voice heard, and where to get more information.  

Interfaith Worker Justice is a network of people of faith that calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize and mobilize the religious community in the United States on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits and conditions for workers, and give voice to workers, especially low-wage workers.

Teaching resources

Loving Strangers as Ourselves: Biblical Reflections
This booklet reflects on God's view of the strangers in the biblical text.  Seven lessons written by seven different Anabaptist authors address biblical texts in which God reminds his people about how to treat the strangers who live among us. Each lesson has an introduction to the topic, exploration of the biblical text, exploration of the topic, a life application and discussion questions. This timely resource could be used in Sunday school or for small group discussion.

“Test your knowledge.  Take this quiz on immigration to see if your perceptions square with reality.”

“Who makes the trip?  Find out interesting facts on the demographics of the U.S. Foreign-born population: numbers, age, area settled, country of origin, income, and much more.  A summary of information from the census bureau: choose the most recent report available.”

Policy Debate: Does U.S. Immigration Policy Harm Domestic Workers?

Immigration information and “think tank”organizations

National Immigration Forum   Information about current legislation.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services   The official government site for immigration services and information.

Visit the site of the National Council of La Raza, an organization devoted to improving the situation of Hispanics, especially in the United States.  See how they work to secure political participation for people who are often isolated from it.”

UN High Commission on Refugees.  Information on refugees around the world and how to help.”

Services and information (primarily legal)

NILC (National Immigrant Law Center). This organization networks with and provides information to lawyers, organizations, and government agencies providing services to immigrants.  Their vision is to serve low-income immigrant families.  

American Immigration Law Association is the professional association for immigration lawyers.  Find qualified immigration lawyers in your area and current news on legislation and other topics affecting immigration.  

American Immigration Council is a hybrid organization that works in policy research, advocacy, education of the public on immigration issues, and providing legal services.

Immigration human interest

Undocumented genius
    In April 2005, four high school students from Phoenix competed in a national collegiate robotics contest—and won!  
    Cristian, Lorenzo, Oscar, and Luis were all born in Mexico.  They came to the US as children, hidden in the back seat of cars and crawling through tunnels.  Attending a mediocre high school in a low-income area of West Phoenix, they were motivated by the intrigue of engineering and science.  On a budget of $800, with hardware-store parts, they built an underwater robot which took first place in a national college-level competition.
    America has always treasured the dream that anyone can succeed through diligence, character, and honest hard work.  For these four from Phoenix, this dream has come true—up to the last day of high school.  
    For in spite of their talent and accomplishment, immigration legalities may keep them out of college.  As with thousands of other undocumented high school students, financial aid and even in-state rates are closed to them because they are technically non-residents... ...Read this story of incredible accomplishment—and the incredible challenge faced by undocumented students.
Based on “La Vida Robot,” by Joshua Davis,

“Crossing the line: Human rights abuses on the US-Mexico border”  Amnesty International article

Your story.  “If you are one of the more than 40% of Americans with a relative who emigrated through Ellis Island, you can now find free information online about their arrival: Age at arrival, last residence, ship of travel, and who they traveled with.  You can often even view a copy of the original ship's manifest!”   

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