I had an intense reaction to Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate (InterVarsity Press) because my great-grandfather, born in England, may not have informed the U.S. government that he had arrived on American soil. He traveled by Conestoga wagon to Texas and became a successful rancher. And some years later, my dad assigned me to work alongside Mexican illegals on a farm crew.
So how could I not love this book from Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang, who are involved in immigration work through World Relief? They advocate a generous, biblically based invitation to all immigrants to take part in America. Most evangelicals are leery of doing anything to encourage immigration lawbreakers. This book will not persuade all Christians to support liberalized immigration laws, but even the skeptical should find the authors' approach useful.
The book asks, who are "undocumented immigrants"? Don't let the politically correct term undocumented put you off. The personal profiles of different types of unregistered immigrants offer readers a helpful baseline of understanding.
Christians who want tougher limits on immigration prefer to use the term illegal immigrant to emphasize lawbreaking. But the authors point out that the overwhelming majority of "illegal" immigrants are otherwise law-abiding. Others prefer the term unregistered to acknowledge that the immigrants have broken civil, not criminal, statutes.
Welcoming the Stranger also examines the immigration narrative of God's own people: Abraham, an immigrant; Joseph, a slave, then an immigrant success story; Moses, the emigration advocate; Jesus, the immigrant from heaven and refugee to Egypt; and the migrating apostles, traveling at will and getting ...1