candle flame close up As I mentioned in my last post, we have been learning about immigration in our Border Fellows class. The following is a random assortment of things I never knew (or thought about) regarding immigration in the US: 1. Jesus was a refugee. According to Matthew 2:13-16, Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled to Egypt because Herod was trying to kill Jesus. 2. “Anchor babies” often give false hope to their parents. The way the current system works, US citizens are allowed to petition for their non-citizen parents to immigrate to the US. However, most adults who give birth to a child in the US and remain in the US afterward have no chance of immigrating lawfully by having their child petition for them in the future. Firstly, they must wait until the child is 21-years-old before they can petition for their parent. Secondly, the parents must return to their home country during the time that the child is petitioning for them. However, if the parent lived in the US for over 10 years without legal status, they automatically trigger a permanent ban from entering the US the moment they leave the country. 3. The wait times for family-based immigration vary by country and priority category. For example, for unmarried adult children of US citizens, the US government is currently processing applications from February 1, 2007 for Chinese applicants and from October 15, 1993 for Mexican applicants. (source: 4. There is no relationship between the police and Border Patrol/ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). However, many undocumented persons do not know this, which discourages them from calling the police even if they are in dire need of help. (source: presentation by Border Patrol) 5. Every year, the US government receives $6-$7 billion dollars in taxes from undocumented workers with false Social Security numbers. (source: Matthew Soerens and Jenny Yang,  Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, and Truth in the Immigration Debate (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009), 34) Interesting stuff. Was any of this new to you, like it was to me? Carmen Thunem is currently a Border Fellow at Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach in El Paso, TX. An immigrant herself, she was born and raised in Canada and came to the States for college. Her mother and three of her grandparents are first-generation immigrants to Canada. Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated.  We’re always looking for new guest bloggers; please check out our Guest Blog Submission Guidelines if you’re interested and email

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