Review: Finding Jesus at the Border: Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of Our Immigrant Neighbors by Julia Lambert Fogg

[1] Are you looking for a book about today’s immigration issues that marries biblical texts with contemporary stories? Here it is! With chapters dedicated to the wall at the southern border,  immigration detention and other issues, Professor Lambert Fogg tells the stories of the immigrants in our communities while at the same time interweaving the biblical narratives to help us see what Jesus would do.

[2] The stories that are shared come from personal relationships that Professor Fogg developed in ELCA congregations and through work with local community organizations. We learn about Santiago, a youth in a mixed status family, and his work both in his church and his local community. We learn about Jorge, an asylum-seeker detained at Adelanto, a private detention facility in California and his struggle to survive life behind bars in immigration detention. These stories and the many others in this book give the hidden and often unknown details of life as an immigrant in the US. They also highlight the deficiencies and inhumanity of the broken US immigration system.

[3] This book is highly recommended both for people who are already engaged in accompaniment of immigrants no matter where they may be in the US as well as for those who have not yet had the chance to know immigrants and hear their stories. For those already doing the work, it will help them bring a faith perspective with their stories as they share with other people of faith who struggle to see this kind of activism from that perspective.

[4] For those looking for the chance to learn more about the lived experience of immigrants in our communities, this book shares these important stories and perhaps might not only help them thoughtfully discern a new position but also engage in advocacy for justice and/or accompaniment around immigration issues. Those already engaged in advocacy will now have more stories to point to, to illustrate the need for change. There is a small section at the end for those who would like to delve more deeply into specific areas covered in the book.

[5] Immigration issues will continue to be part of our national dialogue as we move forward in 2021. Thus it is important to be well prepared by reading and sharing timely books like this one.









Mary Campbell

Mary Campbell serves as Program Director, AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.