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Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

A coyote, or smuggler, (right) uses his hands to paddle a rubber raft full of immigrants across the Rio Grande from Mexico to the U.S. side of the river in Roma, Texas. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Photo by Jay Mallin, United Methodist Board of Church and Society

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño is arrested along with other faith leaders protesting the daily deportation of 1,100 people by the Obama Administration.

Photo by Jay Mallin, UMNS

United Methodist faith leaders, other faith groups, labor leaders and immigrants face arrest after a prayer vigil at the White House in support of progress on immigration reform and an end to deportations. Washington, DC, on Feb. 17, 2014.

Photo by Andrew Jensen, UMNS

United Methodists join in "Day of Prophetic Action" in front of the White House on July 31, 2014.

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Featured Topic: Immigration

The United Methodist Church’s Social Principles include this statement: “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.”

Amid mounting frustration on all sides of the issue, the 2008 General Conference called for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. Read a backgrounder.

This section of outlines historical contextinformation, and headlines related to the topic of Immigration. We invite you to learn more about the official position of the church. Find resources and learn ways you can get involved.

If you have more questions on this topic, contact InfoServ and we will put you in touch with the appropriate church contact. 

What is the denomination's position?

(From left) Jane Bucher, Pauline Alvirez, David Alvirez, Raul Alegria, Bilha Alegria, Bishop Minerva Carcaño are a few of the attendees of the Dec. 6 awards dinner at Scarritt Bennett.

Courageous women honored at Scarritt Bennett dinner

Center began honoring social activists seven years ago. Read More

President Obama greets supporters from the doorway of Air Force One upon his arrival at Berry Field Air National Guard Base in Nashville, Tennessee. Obama spoke about his recent executive actions on immigration at Casa Azafrán, an immigrant community center.

President Obama: Faith is seeing the stranger as yourself

Obama speaks at Nashville immigrant community center about shifting priorities on deportations. Read More

Christ's Foundry United Methodist Church in Dallas held a watch party for President Obama's Thursday, Nov. 20 televised address on immigration. Before the address, volunteers took names and addresses of those attending, hoping to help with their application for legal status.

United Methodists praise president’s immigration order

President Barack Obama’s executive order offer mercy and justice but it fails to answer everyone’s prayers. Read More

One of the panels in a quilt at the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History depicts two women in a reflective pose, representing the struggle of women for representation and ordination. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History

A United Methodist story of welcoming the immigrant

The current debate over immigration brings The United Methodist Church's history of working with long-ago immigrant women into focus. Read More

The Rev. Saul Montiel (right) prays during a cross-border service of Holy Communion at El Faro park in Tijuana, Mexico. Montiel is on the Mexico side of the border.

Wailing wall: On the U.S.-Mexico border

“By night I went out…, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire.” – Nehemiah 2:13, New International Version Read More

A composite of images from the 2014 MARCHA Annual Assembly held in Los Angeles.

MARCHA approves declaration on border crisis

More than 150 Hispanic/Latino clergy and lay leaders celebrated communion through a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border during annual assembly. Read More

Sanuanita Leal (left) greets the Rev. Javier Leyva near her home in Mission, Texas. Leyva, now director of immigration ministries for The United Methodist Church in South Texas, previously served as her pastor and baptized Leal and her family.

Church draws on border natives in immigration crisis

Contacts, local knowledge help three United Methodists make difference in relief effort along the border. Read More

Elizabeth Jimenez (foreground) helps sort donated clothing for recent immigrants from Central America in the welcome center at the Holding Institute in Laredo, Texas. Jimenez was a student in the boarding school at Holding, a United Methodist Women National Mission Institution. She is flanked by, from left: Rosa Maria Narvaez, Lydia Mejorado and Elva Guzman. The volunteers are United Methodist Women from La Trinidad United Methodist Church in Laredo. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Nonprofit finds new life in meeting immigrants’ needs

United Methodist Women-supported Holding Institute has become a center of humanitarian relief in Laredo Read More

A coyote, or smuggler, (right) uses his hands to paddle a rubber raft full of immigrants across the Rio Grande from Mexico to the U.S. side of the river in Roma, Texas. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Border visit brings immigration crisis into focus

Reacting to the surge from Central America, United Methodist delegation comes to Rio Grande Valley for tour and strategizing. Read More

Faith leaders and immigration activists protest in front of the White House during a

United Methodists, faith leaders arrested

Faith leaders and immigration activists arrested in July 31 protest of deportation of 1,100 people daily by President Obama's administration. Read More

United Methodist bishops from all over the world visit the U.S. - Mexico border to immerse themselves in the reality of life at the Southern border of the U.S. and sharpen their focus on how the church can be in ministry to persons residing there. May 7, 2013.  Here Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Bishop Gregory Palmer and others prayer with a young man, Angelo Mondragon, on the Mexico Bridge. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS; Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Border crisis: Resources for a faithful response

The United Methodist Church is providing care, legal counsel, and resources to minors fleeing to the U.S. from Central America. Learn how to help. More

Bishop Minerva Carcaño speaks to the press during the immigration rally events in Washington on July 31, 2014.

United Methodists risk arrest in deportation protest

Streaming video shows faith leaders joining in an act of civil disobedience at U.S. White House in support of immigration reform. More

The Rev. Juan Guerrero baptizes a child in Honduras. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Juan Guerrero

Commentary: Why Honduran children are coming to U.S.

The leader of the United Methodist mission in Honduras discusses the root causes of why children take on the dangerous journey to the United States. Read More

Young people from Central America wear shoes without laces. Photo courtesy Viky Garcia, Laredo Humanitarian Relief Team.

Church seeks to meet needs in border crisis

United Methodists turning attention to “sobering” crisis of unaccompanied minors and others from Central America crossing into U.S. Read More

In recent months, the numbers of unaccompanied minors from Central America crossing the U.S. border has surged, drawing both concern and criticism. In this file photo, an abandoned sandal lies just across the border from Mexico near Friendship Park in San Diego.

United Methodists tending to immigrant minors

United Methodists participated in June 22 training to provide help, pastoral care for hundreds of unaccompanied minors crossing borders into U.S. Read More

Photo by Jay Mallin, UMNS

Chicago Area bishop to join immigration rally

Families separated by deportation “need to know… leadership of The United Methodist Church cares,” says Bishop Sally Dyck. Read More

United Methodist faith leaders, other faith groups, labor leaders and immigrants during prayer vigil at the White House in support of progress on immigration reform. Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17. Photo by Jay Mallin, UMNS.

No More Deportations: Immigration Pray-In

On Feb. 17, 2014, United Methodists spoke — and were arrested — in front of the White House to bring attention to nearly 2 million deportations. View

Tijuana: Where the world’s migrants wait

United Methodist Church and Methodist Church of Mexico reach out to those trapped between nations, hiding and becoming prey to many. Read More

Feeling God’s presence on the border

'God's mercy will outlast all national boundaries,' says pastor as bishops join faithful for Holy Communion while standing in two nations. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño is framed by the tightly-spaced mesh of the border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico last month. Today President Obama made a call for immigration reform to fix a “broken immigration system.”

Carcaño guest at Obama immigration speech

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcao joined other faith leaders in affirming the President's call for immigration reform. Read More

Advocates for pregnant immigrants speak out

Authorities' treatment of Juana Villegas, her newborn and her family was unnecessary and cruel, say her supporters in Nashville, Tenn. Read More

Mariela, 18, is the primary caregiver for her three young sisters since their mother was arrested during an April 16 immigration raid at a Chattanooga, Tenn., poultry plant. UMNS video images.

Churches help families left behind after raids

United Methodists scramble to assist families torn apart by an immigration raid in Chattanooga, Tenn. Read More

Carcaño speaks out for modern-day outcasts

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño says only "a hope beyond ourselves" can empower the church to end poverty. Read More

Church leaders support sanctuary for immigrants

Pastor calls immigrants' plight an "affront to God." Read More

Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker of the Florida Area addresses an immigrant rights rally outside the Fort Worth Convention Center, site of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Church urges humane treatment of immigrants

About 300 United Methodists gather for a rally on immigrant and human rights in Fort Worth. Read More

The Rev. Walter Coleman (right), pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church, is interviewed by news reporters outside the Chicago church's storefront entrance in 2006. Church member Flor Crisóstomo from Mexico has taken refuge in Adalberto, which provided sanctuary to another member last year. A UMNS file photo by Linda S. Rhodes.

Second woman seeks sanctuary in Chicago church

Adalberto United Methodist Church has opened its doors once again to a woman seeking protection from deportation to Mexico. Read More

Elvira Arellano received sanctuary at Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago from Aug. 15, 2006, to Aug. 16, 2007. A UMNS file photo by Paul Jeffrey.

Arrest of mother puts ‘human face’ on immigration

United Methodist leaders say the case of Elvira Arellano will force the U.S. Congress to see the issue in terms of justice and mercy. Read More

Thousands of immigrants and supporters rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in March 2006. United Methodist leaders have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing the current immigration bill and calling for genuine reform. A UMNS file photo by Rick Reinhard.

United Methodist groups oppose immigration bill

Calling for genuine immigration reform, United Methodist leaders send a letter to the U.S. Senate and urge family-based legislation. Read More