Comment: Dignity of Labor

The Department of Labor website celebrates Labor Day and workers in America as follows:

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September ... is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country... The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership - the American worker."

Historically, and today, labor in America includes a significant immigrant component. Many of today's immigrant workers toil without documentation, contributing to our nation's strength, prosperity and well-being without the dignity of participation in our society as equals. We believe that this heaping of indignity (courtesy of our Congress) on these immigrant workers does not take away from the value of their labor. We urge those in the immigration field to observe Labor Day for all workers in America - whether they were born in America or not. In America, work and labor has dignity regardless of the nature of work, and it should have that dignity regardless of the immigration status of the worker. Please let us know your thoughts by writing to us at

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