With thousands of migrants from Central America waiting in Tijuana for the processing of their asylum claims, a humanitarian crisis is rapidly developing in our region, less than 15 miles from Harbor City Church.
We believe that our first calling is to approach immigrants as neighbors, with love. We see the special care and concern God shows for immigrants—described as aliens, strangers, sojourners, foreigners—throughout scripture. They are our neighbors, and we are called to love them in the name of Jesus.
Our call to love does not require a certain political solution, but in light of Christ’s love, we believe the proximity of this crisis does require a response from our community of believers.
Loving our neighbors through prayer and support
The most important way we can respond in love to the needs of migrants is to ask for God’s intervention in this complex situation.
- Pray for the migrants, especially the many vulnerable children, to be safe during their stay in Tijuana, to receive accurate legal counsel, and for those who return to their home countries to be protected from persecution and violence.
- Pray for border officials, San Diego and U.S. government officials, Tijuana and Mexican government officials.
- Pray for those working through shelters, humanitarian aid organizations, and churches serving on both sides of the border.
- Pray for peaceful resolution of conflict.
Partnership with Hope For San Diego
Hope for San Diego is coordinating support and assistance to those in closest proximity to the crisis as they seek to expedite the processing of asylum claims and alleviate human suffering.
Here are two ways you can get involved:
- BY DECEMBER 16: Donate tents, sleeping bags, blankets & tarps for churches and shelters in San Diego and Tijuana providing temporary housing for migrants.
- Give financial support to World Relief, a Hope for San Diego affiliate whose legal team is accredited by the U.S. government to educate migrants at the port of entry about U.S. asylum law.
Facts about the migrant crisis
- Tijuana has seen an influx of more than 6,000 migrants from Central America and is expecting up to 9,000. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian emergency.
- About 5,000 of these migrants are living in a sports complex designed to seat 2,000 near the border in Tijuana.
- The U.S. is processing about 100 migrants per day at the port of entry, so many migrants will be living in temporary quarters in Tijuana for months.
- Most of these migrants will apply for asylum in the U.S. legally under international law. They have to prove a credible fear of torture or persecution if they return to their home country. If they pass a credible fear interview at the border, they are released into the U.S. while they await a hearing on their asylum claim.
- Only about 20% are expected to pass the credible fear interview. The remaining 80% will return to their home countries or apply for asylum in Mexico.
- Read more: World Relief: The Face of Asylum at the Southern Border
We recommend these resources to explore the biblical call to love the stranger:
- Welcoming the Stranger—Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate, by Matt Soerens and Jenny Yang.
- Seeking Refuge, by Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and Issam Smeir
- Generous Justice, by Tim Keller