Providence, R.I., Mar 27, 2011 / 11:11 am
The Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island was built upon and prospered because of the faith, sacrifices and contributions of many ethnic communities, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin explained during a recent symposium entitled, “Immigrants and Immigration in the 21st Century,”at Brown University.
According the U.S. Census Bureau, 133, 000 Rhode Island residents are foreign-born. According to the Pew Center, 20,000-30,000 of the state’s foreign-born residents are unauthorized immigrants. Brown University offered an opportunity for researchers, faith leaders and policy makers to come together as a community to discuss local views and attitudes toward immigrants and immigration policy in the state in hopes to work toward a greater awareness of the issue.
The daylong conference focused immigration issues inspired by a new survey conducted by the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, and the John Hazen White Public Opinion Laboratory at Brown. The survey reflected the views of Rhode Islanders on issues of immigration in their community and beyond.
Bishop Tobin served as the keynote speaker for the conference, offering his reflections on the issue. He emphasized that the Catholic Church has been concerned with the immigration question and responding to the needs of the immigrant community for a long time and added that the Church has continued to be blessed and enriched by the immigrant community.