The Asylum Seekers Fasting at the Border as Those to the North Forget

My good friend told me the other day that in the camp at Matamoros, they are having a time of intense prayer and fasting so that the new Biden Administration will actually allow them to enter the country and be re-united with their families. It was the type of pleading to God that they have been doing since they came to the camp, throughout the last presidency, during the election, and now…pleading their cause before the one who said that the poor would be blessed, who identified with them as a refugee in Egypt, and who always seemed to side with the immigrant over the insider in his earthly ministry.

This is done while those to the North largely have overlooked and forgotten about their plight. To be honest, there has not been a whole lot of real nation concern on that front since the Trump administration started the Remain in Mexico Policy. The fear is that under the Biden Administration, especially if they are forced to remain in Mexico due to COVID, even more people will forget.

Perhaps, even more tragically there are many in our nation, particularly among those who would claim to be part of the same faith, who do not want them here, are afraid of them, and have times have led that fear even turn into hatred. They look for Jesus in their megachurches, prosperity preachers, and privileged lives, but they miss him altogether as he is there at the border.

They might state like the goats in Matthew 25, but Lord we didn’t see you at the border. We just wanted to believe that you were dangerous and unworthy. We were too busy taking our country “back for you,” that we forgot what you looked like.

Today I was talking to my students about Thomas Jefferson who as a slaveowner admitted that if the slaves rebelled, God would not be on his side. It was a stunning admission to make. I have to wonder if the same is true for us. Perhaps God cares far less about our “national sovereignty, secure borders, and manageable immigration policy.” I wonder if he is standing on the side of the oppressed at our Southern border. If the Gospels are any clue, the answer is pretty obvious.

I am an education professor in South Carolina with an emphasis in immigrant rights and peace education