Love Thy Neighbor: The promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

September 27, 2017
Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World

By Dulce Gamboa

Every day, social, economic, and political pressures force people around the globe to leave their homes in search of a better life.

Parents take their children on risky journeys to escape extreme poverty, hunger, or violence. They are responsible parents who want to provide for their families, like any other parent would do. The reality is that people facing hunger and poverty around the world cannot always count on economic opportunities and relief when they need it. If we want to address the immigration influx to the United States, we cannot ignore its root causes: hunger, poverty, and violence.

Political inaction has dominated the immigration debate for far too many years. Congress needs to overhaul an immigration system that no longer reflects the reality of the U.S. economy. We are a nation with a dynamic economy powered by immigrants, whether its agriculture, construction, or creation of new businesses.

Faith communities have been involved in the immigration debate both because many undocumented people are part of our religious communities, and because it is what Jesus taught us, to treat everyone with dignity. After all, we are all children of God. We are all made in the image of God, living in the world of God, and following the mission of God.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus becomes a refugee himself when He and his family flee persecution and decided to migrate into Egypt. Certainly, migrants who cross the deserts, rivers, and borders in search for a better, dignified life, can see themselves in the story of Jesus. A story of hope in the midst of challenging situations.

We believe that the immigration system should respond to the immigration crisis based on our call of loving our neighbor as ourselves and ensuring that the immigration reform delivers the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. In Pope Francis words, “The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies.”

Part of loving our immigrant brothers and sisters as ourselves requires advocating for their well-being and dignity. Are we responding to the higher call of loving our immigrant neighbors?  Are we willing to open our hearts to immigrants that have been our neighbors, friends, and colleagues for so long? Let’s follow Jesus’ example by extending God’s love to undocumented immigrants wherever they are. At the end of the day, we all are part of the body of Christ, regardless of immigration status.

Dulce Gamboa is associate for Latino relations at Bread for the World.

Political inaction has dominated the immigration debate for far too many years. 

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


April 10, 2018

The Jobs Challenge

From the Blog