Theodore Seeber

Theodore Seeber

Beaverton, OR

I’ve posted often here both on the need for documented workers, and the need to respect the people who are already here.

Now I’m going to tell a different story. I’m a member of the Knights of Columbus. We are a Catholic organization originally started to help the widows and orphans of immigrant workers, back in the 19th century when being even a legal immigrant got you jobs that barely fed your family and were highly dangerous. Large numbers of immigrants died in creating the infrastructure you and I use every day. And Connecticut had passed a law stating that if the breadwinner died, the children would be split up and sent to orphanages, shades of today’s deportations of single family members.

KofC could be a great help to immigrants today. I have a legal immigrant in my council who has struggled with work- I recently put him in touch with our local KofC insurance agency in an attempt to get him work as a field agent.

But I heard Monday that we have a severe problem recruiting from migrant and undocumented immigrant communities- you see, we like to keep track of where folks are, so that we can continue to check in on them and help them assimilate. Understandably- undocumented immigrants are nervous about *anybody* keeping track of where they are.

Thus, lack of documentation is keeping these people from the very groups that are ready and willing to help.

KofC isn’t going to turn anybody into the government- in fact, rather the opposite right now, with our fight over the HHS Mandate and various government agencies labeling us as terrorists, our membership lists are as secret as our initiation ceremonies. I’d rather be executed than turn those lists over to anybody outside of the Knights.

So I guess I’d urge two things- we need to get this community documented, so that labor laws apply to them and so that they can compete on an equal footing with the rest of us. And we need to start breaking down the fear that keeps this community from truly becoming assimilated and American.

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