May 18, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
The current politicization of the issue of undocumented workers in our country is truly unfortunate. It is a social problem that demands our attention and one that needs a solution, but not an issue that can be solved without addressing the racist and xenophobic tendencies that lay below the veneer of even just societies.
My approach will not be a religious one, although certainly Scripture gives us much to think about when it comes to treating the alien workers in our midst. The Book of Deuteronomy makes it clear to the Israelites that they should not abuse the alien workers and that they should leave a portion of the harvest for those workers, reminding them that they, themselves, in prior centuries had been aliens in the land of Egypt.
I base this defense of immigrant workers on past research and present analysis of this issue that comes from understanding the labor shortages which our Nation experiences in various sectors; for example, in agriculture, construction and the service industries. Honest workers deserve to be defended because first of all they contribute to our society and economy, and secondly, because they are human beings with dignity, rights and responsibilities.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.