NCLI Brokers Tough Conversations on Immigration in Louisiana

When parish leaders of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission from the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana learned that nursery workers were traveling to Dallas for basic immigration services, they turned to Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith (NCLI) for help.  NCLI urged the Catholic workers to carefully invest in relationships with Anglos and African Americans – including Baptists and Methodists.  The workers responded.  At a monthly convening of mostly Black and White leaders, one immigrant shared that he felt caught between providing for his family and breaking immigration laws.  In response, an African American gentleman revealed that he had grown up on a plantation speaking only Creole, and that when he started school in the city he and his siblings were treated as strangers due to their accents and ways.  This encounter created the basis for trust –sufficient to work together not just in the founding of a local immigrant center, but also around reforming police practices to stop racial profiling.  

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