Immigrant Welcoming Communities

Immigrant Welcoming Communities / Books / Documentaries

Resources: Documentaries

  • A Bridge Apart: Opens with a large yellow train approaching a small town in southern Mexico. It is Arriaga, the first stop on a 1,500 km ride through central Mexico. The small station is crowded with men, women and children. Most have been traveling for weeks through Central America to arrive at this destination. There are no seats on this train. Its precious cargo will ride on top of the boxcars, tying themselves down so as not to fall under the wheels.
  • El Camino mas Largo (Migracion Infantil)/The Longest Road (Child Migration): A moving documentary tells the stories of Salvadoran children and their reasons for migrating to the United States.
  • Family Detention: The Office of the General Assembly (OGA) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined denomination and community partners recently to spotlight the inhumanity of detention centers in South Texas that are housing Central American mothers and their children. Persons of faith and conscience are organizing to provide outreach to these families and to end this disturbing practice by the U.S. government. The film “Families Held Captive,” produced by OGA, examines these prison-like facilities and the lives most affected. Watch, share, and learn more about how you can #EndFamilyDetention.

    *It is recommended to see the documentary “Harvest of Empire” to understand roots causes of migration created by US international policies.

  • Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America. “We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us” (Juan González, “Harvest of Empire”). At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present “Harvest of Empire,” a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today. For more information:
  • Immigrants for Sale: “Countless lives of undocumented immigrants are being taken and sold for billions of dollars. Watch the disturbing details unfold and listen to the first-hand accounts of the real cost of private prisons” (Brave New Films).
  • Trails of Hope and Terror: The Movie This film is based on the book, Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration, by Dr. Miguel De La Torre.
  • The Second Cooler: The Second Cooler is a documentary about illegal migration shot primarily in Alabama, Arizona, and in northern and central Mexico. The premise is that Arizona is the new Alabama—the epicenter of an intense struggle for migrant justice. The documentary’s purpose is to bring basic migration issues into focus. Those issues include the impact of free trade agreements on migration, the lack of a legal way for poor Latin Americans to come to the United States, the inherent abuses of the guest worker program, the fact that many migrants are indigenous people, anti-immigrant politics in Alabama, the thousands of migrant deaths at the border, and an escalating ideology of the border.

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Resources: Books

  • Bishops on the Border: Pastoral Responses to Immigration. Mark Adams, Minerva Carcaño, Gerald Kicanas, Kirk Smith & Stephen Talmage. 2013. New York: Morehouse Publishing.
  • Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church & the Bible. R. Carroll, M. Daniel. 2008. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Books.
  • No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism & State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Justin Akers Chacon and Mike Davis. 2006. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books.
  • Trails of Hope & Terror: Testimonies on Immigration. Miguel A. De La Torre. 2009. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
  • American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons. Mark Dow. 2004. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Uprooted!: Refugees & Forced Migrants. Elizabeth G. Ferris. 1998. New York: Friendship Press.
  • Shadows Then Light. Steve Pavey and Marco Saavedra. 2012 One Horizon Institute: Lexington, KY.
  • Re-Creating America: The Ethics of US Immigration & Refugee Policy in a Christian Perspective. Dana W. Wilbanks. 1996. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
  • An Immigration Theology: theology of context as the theological method of Virgilio Elizondo and Gustavo Gutiérrez. Simon C. Kim. 2012. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications.
  • Immigration and the Bible: A Guide for Radical Welcome. Joan M. Maruskin. 2008. New York: Women's Division, The General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church.
    Find Leader’s Guide here.
  • Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate. Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang. 2009. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.

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Immigrant Welcoming Communities is an invitation to a journey into a reciprocal missional experience alongside and among immigrant communities. The journey is open to all that wish to develop deeper, incarnational relationships among immigrant communities and who wish to engage in both mercy and justice. 

How Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Community Works:

The journey toward becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Community is life-long, but starting takes only four months. Each month your class, UMW unit, Wesley Foundation, youth group, or entire congregation will commit to the following:

To download more details on How to Become an Immigrant Welcoming Community, click here.

For more information, contact The General Board of Church and Society at

Check out who is an Immigrant Welcoming Community

If you or your community want to be an Immigrant Welcoming Community, contact The General Board of Church and Society at

California-Pacific Annual Conference

Detroit Annual Conference

Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference

If you or your community want to be an Immigrant Welcoming Community, contact The General Board of Church and Society at

Immigrant Welcoming Communities / Top of Page / Books / Documentaries