The international boundary that separates the United States and Mexico runs for nearly two thousand miles, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. It is a place of contrast that traverses a geography of beauty and violence, wealth and poverty, hope and despair. For generations, it has been among the most frequently crossed borders in the world. In recent years, in an effort to stem the tide of border crossings, the U.S.-Mexico border has also become among the most militarized borders in the world, with nearly seven hundred miles of steel fencing and high-tech monitoring systems, and thousands of armed federal agents patrolling the border.
As Christians join the broader American conversation about immigration, it is important for us to understand how immigration and a concern for the well-being of migrants--"aliens" and "strangers"--is deeply embedded in the history of the Christian Church, and woven into the very fabric of Scripture.
In session one, participants will consider the legal, ethical, and moral considerations that come into play with respect to the international boundary separating Mexico and the United States. They will also explore the impact of the ambiguous way the border was established and examine the role of racism and xenophobia and its influence in our past and present immigration history.
In session two, participants will explore biblical stories of migration and how the Bible can be read as a tapestry of immigration stories and immigration-related themes. They will also learn how being Christian can affect their response to immigration.