SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

Hospitality and the United States Immigration Law

Photo of Vincent de Paul retrieved from St. Vincent de Paul Image Archive Online

In today’s blog we share the work by Rev. Craig B. Mousin titled, “You Were Told to Love the Immigrant, But What if the Story Never Happened? Hospitality and United States”. The book highlights the intersection between biblical narratives and the law. The article describes the role played by secular and religious narratives in shaping meanings of individuals and communities and in shaping the reception or hospitality given to immigrants. The article highlights examples from the bible, tracing immigration to the time when the Israelites moved to Egypt, and they ended in slavery and when they were a wandering nation before they occupied Canaan. Other explanations of Bible pieces for example, “Love the immigrant, for you were slaves in Egypt” are provided and how they interlink to the modern-day immigration climate. This article places emphasis on the Vincentian tradition and how it would address migration law by exploring biblical narratives that are crucial in the formation of religious and national communities. For Vincent de Paul, the founding father of the Vincentian mission and hospitality the history of persons within the scripture became a model for his work and of those who follow the same tradition. The article is divided into three parts:

1.   Part I: Exploring the importance of biblical narratives to the nation (United States) and the community of faith, with specific reference to those gathered within the congregation and around the congregation of the mission founded by Vincent de Paul. This section also focuses on how the narrative impacts responses to immigration, specifically Vincentian hospitality to the immigrant.

2.   Part II: Focuses on how the biblical narratives and immigration law intersect. It also explains ways in which the laws defends and regulate its sovereignty. This section conducts a thought experiment by asking what would happen to biblical narratives if its heroes and heroines had to face structures of immigration and law during their wonderings.

3.   Part III: contemplates the significance of biblical narrative on the Vincentian hospitality to immigrants and addresses current issues of millions of unauthorized persons living in the US as well as the recent surge of unaccompanied minors at the national borders.

4.   Part IV: Contends that the Vincentian hospitality to immigrants would advocate fixing broken immigration law by expediating lawful residence for the undocumented and encouraging a human response to the current crisis of women, children and unaccompanied minors fleeing their homelands.


To read the full article, please refer to the following link:



1.   Mousin, Craig B. (2016) "You Were Told to Love the Immigrant, But What if the Story Never Happened? Hospitality and United States Immigration Law," Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 33: Iss. 1, Article 8


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