cover image Beyond Welcome: Centering Immigrants in Our Christian Response to Immigration

Beyond Welcome: Centering Immigrants in Our Christian Response to Immigration

Karen González. Brazos, $18.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-58743-560-7

González (The God Who Sees), a Guatemalan-American immigrant advocate, urges Christians to welcome immigrants in this incisive appeal. “Jesus does not ask me or anyone to assimilate but to be fully ourselves,” González contends, encouraging Christians to follow Jesus’s exhortations to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” She unpacks immigrant stories in the Bible, noting that Joseph was a displaced migrant whose assimilation into the Egyptian system of oppression illustrates the moral compromises assimilation often demands of outsiders. Candidly reflecting on how internalized racism shaped her youth in Florida, the author recounts how white beauty standards made her feel inadequate and confesses that she mostly dated white men “because I was raised to prefer and believe in the superiority of whiteness.” González rejects the notion that immigrants should have to act above reproach because no human is perfect, and God’s incarnation in Jesus demonstrates the Christian imperative to “fully and unreservedly embrace our own and each other’s humanity.” The author’s biblical analysis achieves the difficult task of drawing fresh conclusions from familiar stories and finding wisdom in those less discussed, and her keen attention to how language, race, wealth, ability, and sexuality intersect with immigration is compassionate and inclusive. The result is a top-notch Christian look at immigration, humane and full of heart. (Oct.)