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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving for Immigrants

"You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. " Ex 22:20.

Ex 22:20 is the first of many places in the bible where kind treatment of immigrants is commanded by God or his prophets.

Tomorrow we will celebrate a feast that began when a group of illegal immigrants (I prefer undocumented worker because I have never head an undocumented worker call themselves an illegal immigrant, but they  didn't have a document issuing authority back in the day) ran out of food in their new home.  The legal and lawful residents of the place, the locals, the natives, whatever you want to call them, brought food to these poor immigrants.  Together they broke bread and gave thanksgiving.  This was the first amnesty for undocumented workers.

Perhaps tomorrow, when we start our thanksgiving meal, we can remember all those immigrants working in the margins of America, in food processing, farm labor, the restaurant trade, etc who labor to bring us the food we eat.  And give thanks to the Lord for their labor.

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