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Nina Strehl

You cannot have one without the other.

Being a Catholic and studying political science is a weird combination. I often get questions on why and how I choose to mix these two very different subjects, but I have come to realize that you cannot have faith without politics. Living in this world is enough to make you a part of the conflicts within it, and as Christians we are called to bring Christ’s peace to the world. How can we do that while completely ignoring politics and conflict? Is bringing peace into our own lives enough? I firmly believe that Jesus calls us to take action and fight for others in the world, and one area where I feel He is calling me to fight is immigration reform and politics.

Mundo Citizen

One immigration activist who I have been following for a while is Nancy Landa, who runs the blog Mundo Citizen. You can read more about her story on her blog, but in order to get you caught-up I will fill you in a little bit. Nancy is what she calls a “forgotten dreamer” meaning that she was brought to the United States as a young child but was not able to be a part of President Obama’s Deferred Action program because she was deported before the program was created, at the age of 20. Nancy now lives in Mexico and is waiting out a 10-year entry ban from the United States, but she is making the most out of her time.

Her story is so inspiring because after her deportation, Nancy went on to attend school in London and is now fighting from Mexico for immigration/border reform, as well as justice for those who are currently facing the struggles of living post-deportation. Upon reaching out to Nancy to ask if I could share some of her content, she pointed me in the direction of a podcast series she is doing with her friend Azul, who is in a similar situation. Below you can find a link to Episode 2 of the podcast, which mentions Azul’s faith and how she feels about God and immigration.

“Home and Away: All American Always, Mexican” Episode 2

“I’ve always felt like Jesus did it for the little guy, you know? Like, that’s the kind of Jesus I know.” – Azul

If you listen to the first half of the podcast, the link is the title above, you will hear about Azul’s Mormon faith and how she sees her situation because of it. On a personal level, she talks about how it was very difficult for her to see God in her situation and to keep the faith, yet at the same time her church was the one familiar thing that she had going to Mexico. It is really moving that something like worshiping God in the same way as always keeps her feeling connected, even a little bit! The part that I wish to focus though is Nancy and Azul’s discussion of the way that Christians are talking about immigration.

“Even Christ’s story is a story of migration… Christ’s family literally left an unjust government for the safety of their family. If that’s not literally the immigrant story, then I don’t know what is.” – Azul

Azul mentions multiple times that the Jesus she knows would support immigrants. She makes the point that Jesus himself was an immigrant, as his parents had to move to avoid having their son killed. Not only that, but Jesus preached loving your neighbor as yourself and fighting for the “little guy” or the oppressed. Nancy and Azul both agree that the rhetoric surrounding immigration does not do either of these things. They point out that Christians feel a need to value the law, but that they focus on this so much that they forget to look at the humans behind the law. They claim that the laws “are not being criticized and evaluated for what they are” (Nancy) which means that there are Christians supporting unjust laws.

Together Without Borders

In the podcast you will hear Azul talking about a movement started through the Mormon church, Together Without Borders. I hope you take up their call to action and show your support by posting a selfie with a sign about why YOU think immigration is moral! (Do not forget the hashtag #togetherwithoutborders in your post!) Comment, send, or tag me in your posts for the chance to be in my next post!

What do you think?

This post is meant to familiarize you with the podcast and the ideas that Nancy and Azul share, and in part two I will talk about my thoughts on immigration and faith. After you listen to the podcast or even just read the points that I am highlighting, I would love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave a comment or email me with your thoughts and opinions, which I will read and respond to in my next post. Some things to consider in your response:
-What do you think is the biblical way to handle immigration reform?
-Do you see the hate in the dialogues about immigration? What do you think this does to the debate?
-Is there any organizations which support immigrants that you would like to see featured in my post?

2 Replies to “Immigration and Faith (Part One)”

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