On Migrants and Immigration: What Are We Afraid Of?

 In Telling a Better Story

By Christy Staats

In the last six months, I have been to Cuba and have seen up close why people are leaving, I met asylum seekers in DC and El Paso who had come through the border from Nicaragua and spent a few days in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez with my friend Matthew Soerens from World Relief, and leaders in the Church Ambassadors Network. As a former missionary who loves to dig into Scripture, I keep thinking about how important it is for us to know the big picture of why people are leaving the countries they come from, what our asylum laws are for, and most importantly, to be shaped by Scripture, particularly the call to “only fear the Lord” and the reminder we hear over and over to, “not to be afraid.”

Below is a preview of a piece published on The Better Samaritan blog, hosted by Christianity Today. You can read the full piece here

In December, soon after President Biden’s visit to the border, I stood in the same spot with Christian leaders from the Church Ambassadors Network, World Relief, and Abara Frontiers. However, while our location may have been the same, our conclusions were much different.

In President Biden’s news conference after his visit, he mentioned increasing humanitarian parole for Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians (a good thing) but also rejecting anyone who has crossed the border from those countries seeking asylum.

Why would we prevent people from accessing legal asylum for any other reason other than politics? Americans don’t understand US immigration policy, so how could people fleeing terrible things from other countries understand?

And I keep asking myself a more unsettling question this evening: What are we afraid of?

Continue reading this article here

Christy Staats is from Stow, Ohio, and went to Miami University. She worked as a missionary with Cru for 15 years, 11 of which were in the UK and is now affiliate staff. She helped create Crossings, a refugee ministry for her church in 2015 and Cru’s IIR (int’l, immigrant and refugee) initiative simultaneously. It was in training churches in northeast Ohio in cross cultural ministry to help them get involved in welcoming refugees that she discovered our broken our immigration system. She now does advocacy work that includes mobilizing churches, encouraging distinctly biblical responses to the challenges and opportunities of immigration in the U.S. She is finishing her Masters in Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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