Immigration refers to the travel of people from their native land to a foreign land, often for the purposes of employment opportunities, environmental factors, educational purposes, or to escape a violent conflict. Here in the United States, we all are descendants of immigrants.
Let’s look at the first immigrant family of the New Testament. Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt when Jesus was quite young, escaping persecution at the hands of King Herod. Their journey was over 400 miles, comparable to a journey from Omaha to Chicago. Yet they likely walked, or may have ridden on a donkey or a horse and cart. They didn’t require a passport or a Visa or a Green Card. Yet it’s doubtful they documented their stay in Egypt, while the death intended for their young and holy child was being inflicted on innocent children in Joseph’s homeland. I wonder, did the natives of Egypt welcome them with open arms?
Later in the New Testament we learn that the Son of Man will come in his glory and separate the sheep from the goats, and tell the goats to depart from him, “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” (Matthew 25:42-43).
His answer to the confused people who had not seen him hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison – “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:45)
Our Lord and Savior was an immigrant. In a nation of immigrants, what will you do for the least of these?