Ched Myers in his book, Our God Is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice, writes, “our perspectives on marginalized people are determined by our proximity to them.”
According to analysis of statistics from the 2000 census compiled by Barry Chiswick and Paul W. Miller in their discussion paper, “Where Immigrants Settle In the United States”, immigrants are likely to live in major metropolitan areas in six states–California (LA/San Diego/Bay Area), New York (NYC), Texas (Houston/San Antonio), Florida (Miami), New Jersey (Newark/Camden) and Illinois (Chicago). But immigrants are now settling in non-traditional places. Between 2000 and 2013, Kentucky saw it’s immigrant population grow by 97%, Wisconsin experienced 73% growth in immigrants, and North Carolina had an influx of over 700,000 immigrants. (Pew Research)
Questions for Reflection
Do you live in close proximity to immigrant families? How you do think your proximity (or lack of proximity) to immigrants influences your perspective about immigration?
Proximity is necessary for personal relationships. However, personal relationships only happen intentionally. Do you personally know immigrants? How has your personal knowledge influenced your perspective on immigration?
HERE is a fascinating interactive map of immigrant settlement patterns from 1880 to 2000.