Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence issued a statement today in support of driver’s licenses for undocumented workers. Here it is in full:
“The Bishops of the United States have supported the passage of comprehensive immigration reform in our nation for many years. Until that finally happens, particular, ad-hoc issues such as providing drivers licenses for undocumented individuals will inevitably arise.
“I wish to express my support for the proposal to provide special, limited licenses for undocumented individuals in Rhode Island. It seems to be a rather practical approach that will obtain information about individuals who are already driving in our State. Additionally it will, in the long run, promote public safety. It is common sense legislation that will do much more good than harm.
“Our Holy Father Pope Francis has reminded us that he himself is the son of an immigrant family, and he has urged Americans to welcome immigrants into our midst. “I am certain that, as so often in the past, these immigrants will enrich America and its Church,” the Holy Father said.
“As the current proposal is debated, I encourage all parties to discuss the issue in a reasonable and constructive way, and to work together to promote the common good of our community.”
Tobin’s stance puts him at odds with his right-wing talk radio fan John DePetro, and at odds with the Republican Party, of which Tobin is a member.
Tobin’s letter was read at State Rep Anastasia Williams‘ press conference held today at the State House.