Since the popular mind has been consumed by rising unemployment and the health-care debate, comprehensive immigration reform -- and any potential momentum to broker a bipartisan compromise on the explosive issue -- has been shoved to the wayside. Yet a network of faith-based groups that have advocated for immigrants is organizing to bring the issue back to the forefront as Washington prepares to address it early next year.
Among the churches featured in a just-released Center for American Progress report, "Loving Thy Neighbor: Immigration Reform and Communities of Faith," is the First United Methodist Church in Stephenville. Six months ago, the Reverend Dean Reed joined forces with Dallas engineer and immigration-reform advocate Lori Stafford to start the Welcoming Immigrants Network, or WIN. With more than 100 members, the group -- like most of those featured in the report -- stresses Leviticus's exhortation to love the stranger "as thyself" and seeks to educate people about problems with the current immigration system. WIN has held prayer vigils and educational events that aim to prepare people to weigh in on reform options.
"We seek to educate people about the problem, tell them how they can take action, and give them opportunities to connect with others of like heart and faith," Reed was quoted as saying in the report. We have a call into him -- if and when we have an update, we'll post it.
Reed and WIN host "An Evening of Compassion" at the Polytechnic United Methodist Church in Fort Worth on Sunday at 7 p.m. The event will include a prayer vigil calling for reform, a screening of the documentary, Made in LA, about garment industry workers who endure sub-standard conditions, as well as comments from state Senator Lon Burnam and area pastors.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.