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NC Churches Collaborate on Immigration Debate

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The Statewide Faith and Immigration Summit in Apex gathers faith leaders from across the state to discuss their congregations' role in the immigration and refugee debate. (NC Council of Churches)
The Statewide Faith and Immigration Summit in Apex gathers faith leaders from across the state to discuss their congregations' role in the immigration and refugee debate. (NC Council of Churches)
September 12, 2016

APEX, N.C. – Building a wall or tearing it down – the immigration debate rages on as the presidential candidates make their views known on the issue.

Here in North Carolina, many of the state's church leaders are gathering next weekend to discuss how the outcome of the November election will impact immigrants and refugees in the state.

Jennie Belle, program director for North Carolina Council of Churches, maintains the Statewide Faith and Immigration Summit is even more important this year.

"I'm seeing just so much more momentum,” she states. “People are really wanting to learn about the issues, they're wanting to know specifics, they're wanting to know what they can do as people of faith to get out and get people registered to vote, what their church can do."

This is the sixth year for the event, and organizers will offer help to equip faith leaders with tools on how to deal with challenges presented to their congregations when it comes to immigration status.

The Summit also will provide a space for sharing of best practices among places of worship.

Registration is free for the event in Apex, and will remain open until Wednesday.

Belle says all North Carolina citizens can utilize lessons learned at the Summit.

"There are so many different levels that people can be involved at and education, number one, is so important, but then also training people of faith to organize and to mobilize, so that's another important aspect," she stresses.

Republican Party nominee Donald Trump has said he will deport all illegal immigrants and require them to apply for legal status from their home country.

Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton says instead the country needs a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.


Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC