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Interview with Karen Gonzalez

Melissa Stek interviewed Karen Gonzalez about her book The God Who Sees. Read their conversation below!

How do you hope that people of faith will grow as a result of reading your book?

My desire is that people of faith would see that there are immigrants in the Bible and that the Bible speaks to immigration and how we treat the immigrant in our midst. There’s a specific command to love immigrants as ourselves and to welcome them, regardless of our fears or economic interest.  For a variety of reasons, people aren’t taught to see the Scriptures through this lens. I hope that God would transform their imagination and that they’d be able to see immigrants as God sees them.

We want churches to read your book as part of the educational efforts of our "Blessing Not Burden" campaign. How can the Church be a part of spreading the truth that immigrants are blessings, not burdens?

The most important thing the church can do is to remind Christians that we have a shared humanity with immigrants—they are made in the image of God, too. And when the image of God is disparaged in one of us, it’s disparaged in all of us. And when it’s honored in one of us, it’s honored in all of us. Because immigrants bear God’s image they don’t just bring needs for refuge and economic opportunity but their gifts, their faith, their skills and talents, their hard work, their family (which fully integrates into the US). There is a mutuality of blessing in welcoming immigrants—they’re blessed to find refuge and we’re blessed by their God-given gifts and talents.

How is truth-telling about immigrants an important part of advocacy towards immigration reform?

There are so many myths and misinformation floating around the immigration conversation that it’s essential to tell the truth so that people don’t settle for what they’ve heard or what their friends or family believe but are informed by the facts revealed by actual data as well as what their faith actually says about their responsibility to immigrants. Until we have a significant number convinced by the truth and putting pressure on our legislatures to make changes, we won’t see the immigration policy reform we so desperately need. 

Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash

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