Pastor sees shift from anti-immigrant views

Changing stances as Latino membership rises
A United Methodist pastor who has sheltered an illegal Mexican immigrant for over six months says he detects changing stances on immigration by some conservative churches as they see growing membership among Latinos.

Walter Coleman, speaking at the University of Chicago on February 20, said Mormon, evangelical and Catholic churches have seen a push for immigration reform as they receive pressure from their Latino congregants. “It’s not exactly how you’d expect them to line up on the issue,” the pastor said.

Coleman’s Adalberto United Methodist Church, in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago, has provided sanctuary to Elvira Arellano and her eight-year-old son, Saul, since she defied deportation orders last August. Arellano’s son is a U.S. citizen; she is an undocumented immigrant.


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