Being a Church with Day Laborers

In June, a predominantly African-American Christian church took the innovative step of hosting a day laborers’ hiring site in one of its worship rooms. The Strait Gate Church in Mamaroneck, New York, opened the worker center on the heels of a local government decision that prohibits police from questioning people about their immigration status or harassing workers who gather looking for jobs. The Hispanic Resource Center, a local advocacy group, will run the hiring site, which offers English and citizenship classes and other educational programs for workers not hired during the day. “It’s an unusual gesture, and it’s a beautiful one,” Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told The New York Times. “Particularly because we know there have been tensions between African Americans and Latinos in places where they compete against one another for these types of jobs.”

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