In a place where overhauling comprehensive immigration law is a hot topic, Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina spoke in late March at a heated public-comment session on behalf of immigrants before a group of legislators of the House Select Committee on the State’s Role on Immigration Policy.
The immigration advocates – 27 of the 35 speakers – declared a temporary victory. “I think it’s a good step, a conscious step realizing that this is much more complicated and not something they can throw together,” said Irene Godinez with the Latin American Coalition. “It will give us a good opportunity to mobilize more opposition.”
The move reinforced the conventional wisdom that Republican legislative leaders wanted to avoid an elaborate fight on the issue amid the 2012 campaign season. “The word we’ve heard is this is going to be a short, short session and it’s not likely anything too controversial will come up,” said Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican committee co-chairman.
Some of Bishop Curry’s remarks – in which the work of the poet Langston Hughes is referenced – are captured in the video below, beginning at 2:33.