In a special conference held in 2003 at the Baptist Seminary in Madrid on "The Churches and Immigration," various Spanish and Latin American evangelical leaders weighed in on the implications of this new situation for the Church in Spain. I believe that much of what was shared holds true for evangelicals in the USA as well. Especially poignant, in my opinion, are the following words (which I have translated from Spanish) by Spanish Pastor and Seminary Professor Emmanuel Buch Cami, from his discourse entitled "A Pastoral Perspective on Immigration":
It is necessary to continue to warn against the creation of immigrant ghettos within the churches and against every substitute for true Christian fellowship. In the New Testament, the local church is a "space for fellowship," a place of meeting and integration established by Jesus Christ in order to embody God’s purpose of inviting all mankind to become one people in Christ, excluding no one, without exception. Immigrants are the perfect test case for measuring the faithfulness of each church to the New Testament model, free of nationalistic, linguistic, or class-bound ties. Immigrants are a challenge in the face of the temptation to lock ourselves up in "towers of Babel" that isolate us from one another; rather, they
encourage us to seek more of the Spirit of Pentecost that unites us, the Spirit of Christ Jesus, Lord of the church.
In the church, the community of the Spirit, no one is a foreigner. Every Christian, no matter what may be his/her place of origin or condition, has a place at the Father’s table, and no one should be banished to remain in the entryway of the house. This "anthropology of brotherhood" is based on the fatherhood of God. All of us are invited, nothing more, nothing less, to the table. The table does not belong to anyone but the Father who calls us each as equals. That is one of the images that the celebration of the Lord’s Table conveys. The sentiment that "outsiders are going to end up kicking us insiders out" is foreign to the church of Christ, who only knows of community under the shadow of the cross. If the church does not learn to give forth an effort at extending a welcome, "lengthening [its] cords" and "strengthening [its] stakes" (Isaiah 54.2), if the church limits itself to "renting out" its premises, but not sharing them, then it becomes irrelevant in its incarnation and proclamation of the Kingdom.
I wonder if there is anything more urgent today, for Christ’s honor and for the extension of the Gospel, than for the Church to be what it ought to be, and that it be seen as such, as what it already is by God’s purpose and Christ’s work: one united and new humanity, a model of human community, a family of reconciled brothers and sisters that love their Father and love one another, the visible dwelling place of God by way of His Spirit. Only then will the world believe that Jesus is the peacemaker. Only then will God receive the glory due to His name.