On May 16, the North Carolina legislature overturned Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of SB 20, another in a long line of abortion bans blanketing the country. The threats that this […]
NCCC in the News
We're often featured in the media, especially the opinion pages. Check out some recent articles below.
A Catholic school teacher fired due to his same-gender marriage will have his discrimination lawsuit heard by a U.S. Court of Appeals soon. In 2014, Lonnie Billard announced on Facebook […]
Led by the Rev. William J. Barber II, a dozen Christian clergy stood in the hallway of the North Carolina General Assembly Friday (May 12) to denounce a bill approved […]
“What happens to solar panels during a hurricane?” This was one of the first questions asked during a renewable energy symposium in Carteret Community College’s Joslyn Hall the week of […]
The idea that North Carolinians would be allowed to carry a concealed, loaded weapon without having a permit appears to be holstered for this legislative session. In a surprise move Wednesday, the […]
House lawmakers in the Judiciary 2 committee debated House Bill 189, otherwise known as the NC Constitutional Carry Act on Tuesday morning. The proposed bill looks to allow anyone 18 […]
House Bill 189, the bid to remove restrictions and allow most North Carolinians to carry a concealed loaded weapon, passed through a key committee despite vigorous debate on Tuesday morning and […]
After tragedies like the Hedingham mass shooting in Raleigh, people often turn to their faith for answers and healing. Members of the North Carolina Council of Churches have over 6,200 […]
Faith community leaders call on Gov. Cooper to commute NC death sentences of all prisoners awaiting execution
About 300 leaders in the faith community on Friday called on Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to commute the death sentences of all prisoners awaiting execution in North Carolina. In a […]
Nearly 300 faith leaders from around the state delivered a letter to Governor Roy Cooper asking him to commute the death sentences of all 137 people on North Carolina’s death […]
An opportunity to learn more about solar and wind power will take place in Carteret County during the week of Earth Day. The Renewable Energy Symposium is set for 1 […]
Three major religious holidays are overlapping today as Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, Jews mark Passover and Muslims are in the middle of Ramadan month. Today on In Focus with Loretta […]
During a time of major celebration for several world religions, nearly 300 faith leaders from around North Carolina are calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to end the death penalty. On […]
The North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System will host a symposium next month focusing on the harms posed by confederate monuments. The all-day event […]
Addiction Professionals of North Carolina announces our collaborative partnership with Mount Vernon Christian Church (MVCC) in Clayton, NC to provide mental health awareness and education. MVCC received a grant from the North Carolina Council […]
GOP lawmakers have passed similar legislation expanding gun access in past legislative sessions. This time, they might have the votes to override the governor’s veto. Hours after three students at […]
North Carolina saw record highs in opioid overdose hospitalizations and deaths in 2022. Some policies enacted in the middle of the last decade had helped to reverse trends from the […]
A group of Protestant churches in North Carolina has filed an amicus brief supporting a gay plaintiff’s Title VII claim against the Catholic school that fired him in 2014, according to Law360. Lonnie […]
A coalition of advocates, including parents who have lost children to overdose deaths, is calling on legislators to expand North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law. One key change they want is […]
Law360 — A coalition of Christian organizations in North Carolina urged the Fourth Circuit to uphold a gay teacher’s Title VII victory against the Catholic high school that fired him […]
Maybe the change was an inevitable byproduct of our charged and contentious era. Maybe it was naïve to ever think that things were dramatically different in the past. Whichever the […]
Progressive faith leaders across the state say they’re encouraging congregations to educate themselves on candidates and issues. They are sharing an online Faithful Voter Reflection Guide, which offers a moral perspective […]
Speaking to local faith leaders on Nov. 3, Reverend Jessica Stokes from the N.C. Council of Churches encouraged their organizations to “think outside our walls” and take pragmatic steps to […]
Community partners are calling on gun owners to secure their firearms in response to Thursday’s mass shooting. Watch the press conference:
Advocates are contending North Carolina state agencies are not doing enough to slow down the devastating impacts of climate change. Last year Gov. Roy Cooper signed an energy bill into law, which […]
On the first ever Protestant Libertarian Podcast roundtable, my three guests are Reverend Doctor Jennifer Copeland, who is the director of the North Carolina Council of Churches, Doctor Christina Cowger, […]
The headline above a column published over the weekend in the Washington Post declared “I don’t want your god in charge of my health care.” Writer Kate Cohen, in the September 26 column, […]
RALEIGH, NC – On September 13, 2022, the Governing Board of the North Carolina Council of Churches approved an updated resolution on Reproductive Health. The resolution references a 1970 Council resolution […]
A faith-driven community event in Greensboro this Thursday offers a full day of free workshops on healthy eating, mental health, HIV prevention and more. Its organizers say they hope to […]
Advocates for voting rights took aim at partisanship in the North Carolina judicial system and criticized Chief Justice Paul Newby for actions they said has made the courts less fair. […]
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A group by the name Fair Courts NC wants to stop judges from affiliating with a political party. They are driving around the east to speak in favor […]
Are actions by the General Assembly threatening the impartiality of North Carolina’s judicial system? A coalition of left-leaning nonprofits under the umbrella of a group called Fair Courts NC thinks […]
The North Carolina Utilities Commission is hosting a series of hearings this summer to take public input on the draft carbon plan that Duke Energy filed May 16. Hearing opportunities […]
North Carolina faith leaders started hearing from their parishioners several years ago that the opioid crisis was hitting home. They didn’t always know how to help. For many families and […]
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade Friday morning, people and groups across North Carolina spoke out in reaction to the end of federal protection of […]
Faith and climate leaders convene in Charlotte this week, as the Southeast Climate and Energy Network and US Climate Action Network join forces. They’re asking the nation to pay its fair share to help […]
As redistricting processes wrap up across the country, faith groups in North Carolina are working to raise awareness and educate residents on issues related to election integrity. Jennifer Copeland, executive […]
Fifty clergy members signed a letter, urging that opioid settlement money go toward harm reduction efforts. Watch Live on Spectrum News 1.
As overdose deaths in North Carolina continue to soar, a group of more than 50 statewide faith-based organizations is calling on city and county officials to act. In a letter sent […]
North Carolina will receive $750 million from a settlement with opioid makers and distributors. A group of faith leaders is calling on local governments to use that money with compassion. […]
Health officials & faith leaders hope settlement money makes big difference in opioid crisis￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina will soon receive $750 million in settlement funding for substance abuse resources and treatment. The state Department of Health and Human Services reported an […]
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) — While the country recovers from two mass shootings in 10 days, the national conversation is turning to two topics: gun access and mental health. In a […]
The North Carolina Council of Churches began addressing the issue of substance-use disorder and overdose response before its Oklahoma counterpart. Elizabeth Brewington joined the council in 2018 specifically to work in this […]
At the GLAAD Awards, Rev. Dr. Jones will explain her work as a faith leader in the fight against HIV: “Ours is just one of many faith communities working to tell […]
Faith groups such as the N.C. Council of Churches and Interfaith Power and Light are urging churches across the state to take advantage of Duke Energy’s solar panel rebate program, […]
Duke Energy’s solar panel rebate program expires this year, and faith groups such as the North Carolina Council of Churches and Interfaith Power and Light are urging churches across the state to […]
NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – One drug is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths in North Carolina, according to state health officials. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl, often combined with other […]
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — As the world begins to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re learning more about the collateral damage. This week, NCDHHS leaders announced 2020 […]
Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and one in nine women with HIV are unaware they have it. Faith leaders in North Carolina are working to reduce […]
The settlement comes as North Carolina is seeing potentially record opioid deaths. A total of 3,961 people died of suspected overdoses in 2021, a 26% increase from 2020, when 3,132 […]
Radio Interview with Elizabeth Brewington, Partners in Health and Wholeness Associate Director, Overdose Response and HIV Advocacy.
With the 2022 midterm elections looming 10 months away, faith leaders in the South are preparing a “revival” effort to reinvigorate voters around what they see as two crucial issues: […]
Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have increased statewide by 26%. It is estimated more than […]
The North Carolina Council of Churches was founded in 1935, primarily for the purpose of addressing racial inequity and racial injustice, and we strive to do so to this day. […]
Beech Valley Baptist Church in Sugar Grove to Participate in Strive to Revive Cardiac Arrest Rescue Program
High Country Press Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), the North Carolina Council of Churches, the American Red Cross and Rep. Becky Carney have selected Beech Valley […]
The Sylva Herald“Our congregation is committed to protecting the health of our members, and Strive to Revive helps us take this commitment to the next level,” said the Rev. Avery Brown, church pastor. “With more than 50-75 people attending our church each week, we have the potential to save lives and make a real difference in our community.”
Strive to Revive kicked off in Charlotte in 2010 by awarding 20 organizations with AEDs and CPR training. BCBSNC, the North Carolina Council of Churches, the American Red Cross and Carney are committed to expanding the program statewide by distributing AEDs and providing CPR training to places of worship across North Carolina with the goal of reaching all 100 counties.
NC Policy Watch
This week, House Speaker John Boehner stated flatly that there will not be any conference with the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill. We’re hearing one excuse after another about how immigration reform is too complicated and there isn’t enough time for a vote. After months of dithering, it’s clear that House leaders are hoping to run out the clock on immigration. If it holds true that the House doesn’t vote on any other immigration bills, then an amendment to deport DREAM-eligible immigrants — which passed with overwhelming GOP support in June — will be the only immigration measure to have received a vote on the floor of the House in 2013.
The Jefferson PostHave you ever gone to bed hungry? Have you ever skipped a meal so that your children could eat? Have you ever waited in a long line to take home a bag of leftover groceries that was no longer fit for store shelves?
Did you know that 1 in 6 North Carolina households reported serious problems affording adequate nutritious food at some point last year, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today. Of the North Carolinians experiencing this food insecurity, some 5.5 percent experienced very low food security – meaning that one or more household members had to reduce their food intake at least some time during the year.
On Sunday August 25, about a hundred Durham residents and faith leaders from seven different traditions gathered at the People’s Plaza to pray for our elected officials. As people with different stories, different colors of skin, even different faiths, we were united in our hope that Rep. Butterfield, Rep. Coble, Rep. Price and their colleagues in the House will support a just and moral immigration reform that offers a pathway to citizenship, unifies families, supports workers, and moves us forward together.
SalonEvery week prayers and gospel songs infuse the air and participants offer blessings to the latest batch of 100 or so activists entering the Raleigh General Assembly building to commit civil disobedience. If you’re not from here, it may all seem a little counter-intuitive: A movement for inclusive and just secular governance that is deeply inflected with Christian ethics and arguments.
Raleigh News & ObserverThey plan to fan out across the state visiting community centers, school gyms, churches, libraries, waiting rooms and shopping centers. Their goal: Sign up as many North Carolina residents as possible for subsidized insurance under the nation’s health care law.
The News & ObserverThese are difficult times. We pray that our lawmakers and governor will demonstrate compassion for our fellow North Carolinians who need food, clothing, health care and shelter and for the many charitable nonprofit organizations that provide this support.
The Fayetteville ObserverSam Thompson was looking for a sunny spot to plant tomatoes. He ended up leading an award-winning community revolution. Thompson, an elder at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, pitched the idea of a community garden to the church six years ago. What began as a creative use for otherwise empty church property was recently awarded an equipment grant by the North Carolina Council of Churches and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. “We’re using the grant funds to dig a well,” Thompson said. “Wouldn’t you know this would be the wettest June in years.”
Winston-Salem ChronicleThe Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation has partnered with the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide grants to faith-based organizations to help them supply healthy eating alternatives to their members and underserved communities.
United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church (UMMBC) is one of 20 faith-based organizations that have received a $5,000 Healthy Eating Equipment Grant. The church will use the grant to purchase much needed equipment and supplies to support the 10 gardens that now comprise the S.G. Atkins Community Gardens at Winston-Salem State University.
Mt. Airy NewsPiney Grove Baptist Church’s food ministries recently got a boost from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (BCBSNC) in the form of a $5,000 healthy eating equipment grant. The effort is a partnership between BCBSNC and the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide equipment for 20 faith-based organizations to bring healthier food to their members and communities. More than $90,000 in equipment grants are being used to provide canning and cooking supplies, expand church community gardens and increase storage for fresh produce.
Sojo.netJesus was a peacemaking, blessed child of God, but he also was an “other.” Reviled and persecuted, he was the paperless son of displaced immigrant parents. The prophetic iconoclast. That guy who hung out with those people, the type most modern leaders would not associate with, except for a photo opportunity at a Thanksgiving Day soup kitchen. Let us remember on Sunday when we celebrate his resurrection, that Jesus was crucified because he was an outsider whose way of doing things scared and angered the powers-that-be.
Raleigh News & ObserverThere’s no shortage of solutions in search of problems these days in Raleigh. One classic example is the proposed pink licenses for young immigrants who are granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The special licenses, approved by Gov. Pat McCrory, were neither requested by law enforcement nor designed to follow what other states have done.
By Eric Ginsburg, YES Weekly
Dozens of organizations and hundreds of people from throughout the area came together in Greensboro last week to talk about an issue central in everyone’s lives: food. The Come to the Table conference, held at UNCG, was designed to assemble people who are working on and concerned with food issues to learn, network and organize around food access and justice.
Public News Service – NCWeight loss is the most popular New Year’s resolution being made by North Carolinians and people around the country, according to new data from the University of Scranton. The goal of being healthier is even making its way into churches around the state, through a program sponsored by the North Carolina Council of Churches.
Baptist PeacemakerGoogle “care for creation” and you’ll find it’s a panreligious movement. If nothing else, this demonstrates that all major religions—Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Baptist—all agree on at least one thing. Can I get an “amen” to that?
It’s good that this is the case. Reconciliation between a planet needing stewardship and inhabitants who often refuse to see that need will require everything from global to grassroots activity.
WFMY News 2HDRamsuer, NC – What if your chances of surviving a heart attack, or sudden cardiac arrest, depended on the neighborhood you lived in? According to a new study, it just may. The New England Journal of Medicine suggests CPR by a bystander is less likely in low-income areas. They go on to say there is a direct relationship between household income and the racial makeup of a neighborhood.
Winston-Salem ChronicleBlue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the North Carolina Council of Churches, the American Red Cross and State Rep. Becky Carney have selected Winston-Salem’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church as one of 150 places of worship across the state to participate in Strive to Revive.
UCC NewsParkway United Church of Christ is now ready to take action if someone in the building shows signs of a heart attack. Through the North Carolina Council of Churches’ Strive to Revive program, the Winston-Salem congregation qualified for a free automated external defibrillator (AED) and CPR training, and the Rev. Craig Schaub made sure his church took advantage of the opportunity.
Placing defibrillators in houses of worship — including eight in Winston-Salem — is part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C.’s strategy for extending the reach of health care into community gathering places.
The insurer and churches hope there will be a pay-it-forward element from the free CPR training that goes along with the automated external defibrillators.
“Most people don’t want to be in a helpless place when they see someone having a cardiac arrest,” said Bruce Hayes, associate pastor at Reynolda Church.
Durham-Herald SunDURHAM – Over the next three years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will fund 150 Automated External Defibrillators and training for places of worship across the state, with 33 already lined up. BCBSNC President and CEO J. Bradley Wilson made the announcement Tuesday at First Calvary Baptist Church in Durham along with Strive to Revive partners the American Red Cross, the North Carolina Council of Churches and N.C. Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg).
WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public RadioEric Hodge: Several state organizations are banding together give churches the tools to save lives. Gurnal Scott reports.
Gurnal Scott: State Representative Becky Carney of Charlotte will never forget April 2nd, 2009..the day a portable defibrillator revived her after a near-fatal heart attack at the General Assembly
Rep. Becky Carney: One story can propel a great movement within a community.
The News & ObserverDeath penalty opponents and advocates of the state’s Racial Justice Act have embarked on an intense petition drive, letter-writing and email campaign, targeting five Democrats in the state House of Representatives.
The goal is to persuade the representatives to sustain the governor’s Thursday veto of the legislature’s overhaul of the Racial Justice Act.
The News & ObserverThe N.C. Council of Churches rejoices in the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, affirming the decades-long concerns of the council for those without health care.
Sojourners | God’s PoliticsThe recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court should put to rest any notion of North Carolina trying to enact an Arizona- or Alabama-style immigration bill. While we remain concerned that the ruling could leave the door open for legalized racial profiling, the Court has made clear that immigration policy and enforcement should be left up to the federal government.
The NC Council of Churches rejoices in today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which affirms the decades-long work and concerns of the NCCC […]
Goldsboro News-ArgusImmigration is not just a political issue — it is about life and death, an advocate who works with churches told Wayne County clergy Tuesday. Chris Liu-Beers, program associate with the North Carolina Council of Churches, met with 17 local religious leaders during a special breakfast designed to encourage conversations about the topic and how churches can play a role. One of those sharing his experiences with the immigrant community was the Rev. John Richardson, a regional minister with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. He equated the immigration issue to the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible.
Executive Director George Reed’s full interview with NC Policy Watch from Sunday is now available here. In it, Reed explains the Council’s opposition to Amendment One. People of faith who […]
Hear George Reed explain the Council’s opposition to Amendment One on Sunday morning’s News & Views hosted by Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch. The program airs at 7 a.m. […]
Durham Herald-SunThe ballot referendum that could cement the definition of marriage as “the only domestic legal union” into the state Constitution has turned a political debate into a religious one — and is mustering people of faith across North Carolina to the polls.
BCBSNC FoundationMy faith journey began at an early age and in a somewhat nontraditional way. I fondly remember attending weekly prayer meetings and Bible studies at my grandmother’s house in rural North Carolina. Community members would come from all around to worship together in a small, weather-beaten house at the end of a long dirt path. They would read scriptures, sing songs and tell stories of how they were able to overcome various obstacles throughout the week.
Richmond County Daily JournalThe Pee Dee Baptist Educational Congress, an auxiliary to the Pee Dee Baptist Educational Association, will conduct the Annual Christian Educational Institute from March 19 to 23, 2012, at the Pee Dee Educational Building in Dobbin Heights.
There will be classes for church officers and each department in the church.
Durham Herald-SunPilgrim United Church of Christ will host a community series this month on “Faith and the Marriage Amendment,” about the proposed North Carolina Amendment 1. If the ballot measure passes May 8, the only valid domestic union recognized by the state will be marriage of a man and a woman.
Read more: The Herald-Sun – Pilgrim UCC hosting series on Amendment 1
The Washington PostWILMINGTON, N.C. — As the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, North Carolina is the next battleground, with religious groups on both sides bracing for a high-stakes fight on May 8.
Against a recent string of gay-marriage victories in California, Washington state and Maryland, North Carolinians will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment on May 8, the same day as the state Republican primary.
Same-sex marriage has been illegal in the Tar Heel State since 1996; Minnesota also has a marriage amendment planned for a vote in November.
Caring for Creation: Charlotte churches plant gardens, add solar panels and join others trying to protect the planet
Charlotte ObserverEven in February, there’s a lot happening in the community garden at Central United Methodist church in east Charlotte.
A few of the 24 plots still have winter vegetables to harvest. Gardeners are building pea trellises and clearing the ground to start planting early crops.
Langston Denny, a prayer leader at the church, is building a new compost bin. He’s arranged for a local restaurant to give him its lettuce, coffee grounds and eggshells that would otherwise go to waste.
Central United is part of a growing movement among faith groups – in Charlotte and around the nation – that embrace environmental conservation as a way to care for God’s creation and for neighbors in need.
Raleigh News & ObserverWe would not have chosen to be a part of an issue like this, but we are. The world is watching North Carolina to see what we will do. There is compelling evidence that conspiracy to commit kidnapping and torture were committed by Johnston County’s Aero Contractors. The state should investigate these claims and determine their validity.
IndyWeek.ComGovernor Bev Perdue kicked off the 2012 budget debate today — and (unofficially) kicked off her 2012 re-electon campaign — with a call for increased school funding. Specifically, she wants 3/4ths of that temporary 1-cent sales tax for education back temporarily.
Raleigh News & ObserverA gathering on a hillside outside a church in West Raleigh late Sunday marked the one-year anniversary since a shooting in Tucson, Ariz., left a federal judge and five other people dead and 13 injured, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Organizers used the occasion to highlight a shifting focus in what has been a decades-long effort to promote legislation aimed at limiting people’s access to guns.
Instead, there is a growing focus on using churches and other faith-based efforts to promote a change in how the American culture views guns, they said. It’s also an acknowledgement that work in legislatures across the country have been met with resistance to many anti-gun measures.
Raleigh News & ObserverAs we enter this holiday season of feasting, we need to be honest about how our food is produced. America has always relied on cheap labor to make agriculture work. The source of much of that labor used to be slave ships making the Middle Passage. Today it’s no longer slaves but immigrant workers, primarily undocumented people from Mexico and Latin America, whose cheap labor makes possible both low prices at the grocery store and high profits for agribusinesses.
Thanks to all of those who supported Abraham Jam and the wonderful performers who made it happen. We hope to have links to additional video from the concert soon, but for now, here’s a sneak peek provided by the Duke Chronicle.You can also listen to Frank Stasio’s interview with musicians David LaMotte, Dan Nichols, and Dawud Wharnsby from the Nov. 16 edition of WUNC’s The State of Things.
BladenJournal.comJoy Williams of Partners in Health and Wholeness, a Christian-based organization, will collaborate with churches and the parish nurse on Monday, Nov. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church at 800 W. Broad St. (across from the Municipal Building), to make local churches healthier for the glory of God.
The Sanford HeraldGiang said N.C. MedAssist representatives wanted to travel to each county to meet with eligible residents and explain the enrollment process. The organization contacted the North Carolina Council of Churches and expressed interest in partnering with faith-based organizations willing to host one-day enrollment programs. The Rev. Mechelle Myers of Sanford’s New Endland AME Zion Church received an e-mail from the Council about the initiative and was the first person to respond.
Raleigh News & ObserverThe N.C. Council of Churches has been working for decades to improve conditions for farm workers in our state. Sadly, too much remains unchanged over that time. Field and poultry workers do backbreaking work, but they don’t have the same protections on the job that everyone else has. Now with the recent filing of a complaint against the N.C. Department of Labor, it appears that even the few laws on the books designed to protect farm workers have been systematically ignored (“Dirty jobs,” Oct. 15 editorial).
NC Policy WatchIt’s no wonder why our political leaders are scrambling to find solutions, even while bumping heads in the process. Both sides want what’s best for America, but the process through which we work to achieve that has become increasingly contentious and politically charged. And I can’t help but believe that our own personal experiences and beliefs, not the persuasive views of political pundits, ultimately determine on which side of an issue we fall and what we deem worth fighting for.
Let me share a story.
NC Policy WatchI can certainly understand that the nation is clearly frustrated with Congress’ dysfunction, partisan gridlock, and seeming inability to deal rationally with the many major policy issues facing our communities. I am too. And immigration reform is now seen as one of the most challenging political battlegrounds, thanks in large part to partisan wrangling. Now a handful of conservative legislators are using fear and misinformation to position immigration as a political wedge issue, cashing in on Washington’s inaction and the down economy to pursue a fierce anti-immigrant agenda