The Immigrant’s Song

Written by Julie Fuller, this poem reimagines a familiar hymn (“What Child Is This?”) to speak to the experience of a modern-day immigrant. The first three stanzas could be sung in worship to the tune of “What Child Is This?” Julie Fuller is a member of Pultneyville Reformed Church in Pultneyville, New York. 

The Immigrant’s Song

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On her mother’s lap is sleeping?
Where haters greet and believe they cheat,
And border control is keeping.

Why lie they in such mean estate,
With bars and floors for sleeping?
Good Christians fear, for Christ is near
A mother’s tired soul is weeping.

They ask not for gold or fortunes told, 
Nor favor or tax-free labor.
They need food, water, roof, and bed,
Salvation, a safe place to lay their head.

Though some are doctors and others have skills, 
No job of another are they asking for.
They have willing hands to work in heat and dirt;
A sponsor gives them a chance; they feel rich but are poor.

The Bible says to the stranger be kind, 
That in love and faith we can be blind.
God drew no line in the sand between lands
Or said “they must not live here” on a big sign.

The Bible does say to stop living in fear,
To love all your neighbors, 
The ones up front and in the rear. 
No need to worry if there’s enough, pray
God says they’re more than the sparrow
Find them a way.

Immigrants, Immigrants 
A blessing, a curse, 
We all were one once,  
Find them a way or this world will just get worse.