Day 20 – Stranger Love

Ruth 2:14-18

At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. 

The field of Boaz becomes a place of provision and security for Ruth.  Boaz welcomes her to glean in his fields throughout the remainder of the harvest.  Naomi rejoices that Boaz has shown them favor, suggesting that not every field (or owner) would be a refuge for the poor and the immigrant.

There is a growing “sanctuary” movement in many cities across the country to protect vulnerable immigrants by providing a place of safety.  While controversial, many churches have identified themselves as “sanctuary” for immigrants.  In some states, laws are being proposed to ensure the safety of immigrants.  Twenty-three Illinois state representatives have signed on as sponsors of the Safe Zone Act which would ensure that ICE agents could not enter schools or healthcare facilities without a warrant.  (Churches were included in the original legislation, but have since been removed.). Another proposed law, the Illinois TRUST Act would limit local police involvement in federal immigration enforcement.

In other states, immigrants have become increasingly vulnerable.  In Milwaukee County, WI, Sheriff David Clarke wants ICE  (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to immediately authorized his officers to enforce U.S. immigration laws through its 287(g) program.   In a letter to ICE, Sheriff Clarke wrote, that he is “deeply concerned about the potential threat posed by illegal aliens to the safety and security of the citizens that reside within the nineteen cities, towns and villages in Milwaukee County.”  Read more about Sheriff Clark’s involvement with ICE HERE.

Questions for Reflection

Where are the places of refuge for immigrants in your community?

Would you include your faith community among those who protect immigrants?  On what do you base your answer?

While Sheriff Clarke seems most concerned about undocumented immigrants, how do you think his actions impact immigrants that have documents?  How would you feel as an immigrant living in Milwaukee County?

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