immi 6                         Editors Note: This first appeared on March 3, 2014 on the author’s blog,   It was not something I thought so much about. Often, people in the shadows come to light, but the fact that we can do something about it… really encourage change, stays pressed down. It is messy and it is hard, especially when it encircles the political realm.

Immigrants play an important role in the food system from fields to restaurants- as dairy workers, meat processing workers, cooks, busboys, and more. More than half of food sector workers-both immigrant and native-born earn poverty wages.

Bread for the World Institute Andrew Wainer

and this…

More than 70 percent of all hired US farm workers are foreign-born, mostly from Mexico, and about half are undocumented.

US Department of Labor

and then we know this…

The root cause of immigration: systematic poverty, economic instability, and a lack of viable employment.

The Church Between Borders

This past week I read, Trail of Hope and Terror by Miguel A. De La Torre.

As young migrants prepare journey north. The author asks “Why are you crossing the border?” The unanimous answer “families who lacked food.”

“Please tell the Americans that I am sorry for entering their country like this. Please forgive us, but we are simply desperate.”

We pinned our names and pictures to our clothes in the event we would die; if our bodies were found, we could at least be identified… we risk death for the families left behind. Would you not cross a hundred deserts to feed your children? Ignatio

Would you not cross a hundred deserts to feed your children?

Yes, I would. Even if it was illegal. Especially if I knew freely offered work waited on the other side.

 On Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the 2nd grade classroom I work in, his story was read. My student could not understand why someone would kill him, he could not wrap his mind around that new knowledge. It is so complicated to explain, but also simple.

Jesus was always bending in love… always. 


Movements start with people gathering around each other.

Bringing what was once hidden into light.

It is hard and messy, and it makes us confront truth about ourselves.

If you live in America and eat… you rely on the work of immigrants.

Many are gathering around the table now, to pray a new dream of justice for immigrants.

Consider this Lenten Season Praying for Reform and Fasting for Families. Learn more on how to get involved here or talk to me!

What is your new dream? 

  Lisa Van Engen is a freelance writer from Holland, Michigan.  She writes about placing yourself in the proximity of renewal at her blog, which can be found here. 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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