• Gainesville's Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice was formally organized July 28, 2010 in a community meeting at the Mennonite Meeting House.  This statement by Kimberly Hunter was part of the original call.  It was also the first  item postedon our Facebook page.

    What does the Bible say about immigrant justice?

    What does the Bible say about immigrant justice?

    IAIJ believes that people of faith who claim to be religious have a moral duty to demonstrate their faith through actions and lifestyles that are just and compassionate:

    (James 2:14-17)
    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

    IAIJ believes that people of faith are obligated to obey a spiritual/moral Law before a political one and that this Law requires them to not only love God but to also love their neighbors as themselves:

    (Luke 10:25-37)
    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.
    "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?"
    He replied. "How do you read it?"
    He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
    "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" …
    [the parable of the good Samaritan]…
    "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
    The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
    Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

    IAIJ also believes that Jesus’ calls his followers to be strategic and intelligent—rather than foolish and simple-minded—as they work for justice and love their neighbors:

    (Matthew 10:16) Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

    In summary, IAIJ believes people of faith should actively and intelligently demonstrate their faith by working for justice and loving their neighbors, and we believe that not only are “immigrant workers” included in the term “neighbors,” but they are also specifically mentioned in numerous contexts throughout the Bible:

    (Exodus 22:21) You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

    (Leviticus 19:33-34) When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

    (Deuteronomy 27:19) Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’

    (Malachi 3:5) Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

    (Matthew 25:35) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…
    28 July 2010 at 17:51

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