It's time to unlearn that immigrants are a burden.
Scripture, our own experiences, and truths about the economy
and our communities teach us immigrants are a blessing.
While the church watches millennials walk out the front door, it seems that immigrants are walking in the back door, largely unnoticed. It’s time to change the conversation in congregations: the church is growing, because God has brought the vibrant faith of immigrant Christians to our churches.
40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. For every one immigrant, as many as five jobs are created for American-born workers. If we deported undocumented immigrants, 2.8 million Americans would also see their jobs disappear, and our economy would shrink by $550 billion.
Up to 70 percent of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants. 70 percent of our pie ingredients, 70 percent of our pizza toppings, even 70 percent of our communion elements are all available thanks to undocumented immigrant workers. They and their employers would be happy to work within the law, but the broken immigration system makes that mostly impossible.
Immigrants, whether they are documented or undocumented, are major contributors to the economic well-being of major safety net programs. They are pumping more money into the system and taking fewer benefits out. When it comes to Medicare, for example, immigrants are contributing $62 more per person than a U.S.-born person, and they claim $172 less in benefits. Specific to refugees, studies show that over first 20 years in the U.S., the average adult refugee ends up paying more in taxes than they receive in government benefits.
Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people who were born in the U.S. Neighborhoods with a high number of immigrant families have lower crime rates, and immigration status alone often means decreased crime rates in a neighborhood.
Refugees go through a robust vetting process--the most rigorous of all immigrants entering the U.S.. Simply put, they do not pose a threat to the safety of U.S. citizens. Since the Refugee Act of 1980 established the vetting process in use today, no one admitted as a refugee has committed a terror attack in the U.S.; the chance of an American dying in a terrorist attack by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion per year.
Many DACA recipients have bought their first homes, most have purchased their first car since getting DACA. Fortune 500 companies—including Walmart, Apple, General Motors, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, and Wells Fargo, among others—have hired DACA recipients. Ending DACA, without a legislative replacement, like the Dream Act, would cost our country $460.3 billion in the next decade.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” -- Hebrews 13:2
Scripture teaches, over and over, that God can send strangers as a gift. Angels can be disguised as strangers, or a stranger could be the very presence of Christ (Matthew 25).
Click here to share how immigrants have blessed your life!
Visit the Office of Social Justice Immigration pages to learn more.