Blessings on Bishop for stance on immigration


To the Editor:

Blessings on Bishop Tobin for his position on immigration. Governor Carcieri claims to be a religious Catholic, but his actions show a disregard for Judeo-Christian morality. The Governor's Executive Order, to make an unjust system of treating immigrants worse, not only violates the words of Mt. 25:35, it also violates the repeated injunctions in Leviticus and Deuteronomy to "Remember that you were strangers in Egypt" and therefore "treat the stranger as you would be treated."

The holiday of Passover, which is about to come upon us, commemorates the passage of the Children of Israel from Egypt to Israel. People tend to rejoice over the freedom from oppression, which the holiday celebrates, but all versions of the Haggadah (the prayer book for the holiday) repeatedly tell us to remember Mitzraim (Egypt or "narrow places") and remember how the Hebrews were mistreated as strangers in that place. Thus, we are supposed to welcome the stranger.

What has made America great is its wonderful diversity. As Barack Obama recently stated, "I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible." As both clergy and as an attorney, I have had cause to deal with many immigrants, some of whom are in an ambiguous immigration status. These people are usually hard-working contributors to the community. As Alan Greenspan has pointed out, if we were to regularize the status of the long term undocumented aliens in this country, and tax them, we would immediately solve the problem of the underfunding of Social Security. We should be welcoming, and seek to have these people "yearning to live free," have their dream. We would all be better for it.

Cantor Elliot Taubman

Block Island