On Saturday I gave a talk titled “Immigration Justice for Immigrants” at the 2018 Secular Social Justice conference in Washington, DC. When the video is finally up, I’ll post it here. But, one thing that I noticed after I finished was that people were surprised about the number of immigrants in the secular cohort.
I mentioned that 13 percent of nonreligious people in the United States are immigrants, while a nearly identical percentage (12 percent) are children of immigrants (2nd generation). These numbers come from the 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey.
I added those numbers to my presentation because I actually didn’t expect that the secular community would have more immigrants and children of immigrants in their midst than evangelical Christians.
For ages, the media narrative has been that Latinos and Asian Americans are joining evangelical denominations and changing the demographic landscape of evangelicalism. Yet, only 9 percent are immigrants while 7 percent are children of immigrants.
Next time you think issues of immigration have nothing to do with the secular community remember that about 7 million of the roughly 59 million nones in the country are immigrants. Fighting for immigrant justice is not just one remote feel-good human rights issue. We’re fighting for our own.