The United States is a nation of immigrants, continually reshaped by new groups of people bringing diverse cultures, perspectives, and resources. Yet, in Wisconsin, as in the nation as a whole, immigration has become one of the most emotionally charged and polarizing social and political issues.
Immigration is also a core issue for faith communities. The biblical story continually shows God’s concern for the migrant and the outcast. The early Hebrews were “strangers in the land of Egypt” and were asked to remember this heritage by protecting the strangers among them in the Promised Land. Throughout the New Testament, Christians are called to care for the outcast and the stranger. Christians have been in the forefront of those calling for hospitality, solidarity, and justice for the more recently-arrived members of their communities. They have worked to replace prejudice and hostility with understanding and reconciliation.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches is engaged in a collaborative effort to address this issue, focused on education, advocacy, and building understanding between older and newer immigrant communities.
For updates on policy developments at the federal level, see:
- Interfaith Immigration Coalition
- National Immigration Law Center
- Immigration Policy Center
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
Becoming Welcoming Communities Study Guide
A Becoming Welcoming Communities Study Guide for congregational leaders is now available for downloading, along with pertinent handouts for each study session.
Correction to p. 5: The second Bible passage should be Genesis 12:10-20
Update to p. 11: See revised handouts and instructions below for Session 3: Immigration in Wisconsin: Recent and Projected
Download Session Handouts (PDF)
- #1 20th Century Immigration
- #2 True or False
- #3 One Girl’s Story
- #4 Background article: “Hospitality, A Practice and a Way of Life” by Christine Pohl.
- Revised Instructions for “Immigration in Wisconsin: Recent and Projected” Handouts #1A and #1B
- #2 Profiles *
- The Applied Population Lab at UW-Madison and Applied Population Lab data at: www.getfacts.wisc.edu
- United Migrant Opportunity Servives (UMOS) in Wisconsin.
- Assisting Immigrants and Refugees from Church World Service
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: see
- Wisconsin Council on Children and Families: Wisconsin Children in Immigrant Families
- New Americans Wisconsin