A bill proposing to halve legal immigration and preference English speakers sparked outrage this week—nothing new for an issue that has long been a hot topic in the United States. (The current president made building a wall a key campaign promise.)

As our country continues to debate immigration, millions of relative newcomers continue to build their lives here. Here’s how our recent story, “Immigrants Are Reshaping American Missions” sees it:

To some experts, these immigrant-led efforts look like the future of missions. They are informal and highly relational, operating outside legacy missions structures. They are, to a degree, an extreme version of mainstream evangelical mission projects.

While these efforts are altering how we understand missions in this country, they’re also challenging perceptions that natives have about immigrants.

“There’s a prevalent narrative in the United States that the immigrant community is perpetually in need of help or legislative protection. There’s certainly truth to that but there’s another part of the story,” said Andy Olsen, the author of the story and CT’s print managing editor.

“Immigrant Christians in many of these communities are doing some amazing things, and there is robust ministry happening,” he said. “In some ways, if there’s a case to be made for supporting these communities, it might not be because we need to protect them as victims. It might be because God is doing some pretty transformative things through them and as the church this may be something that we should be paying attention to.”

Olsen joined assistant editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to explain the conditions that have made this transformation possible, how the United States’ political decisions about immigration affect ministry, and what legacy missions organizations can learn from these efforts.

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