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Smithtown church hosts immigration speaker

The leader of the Long Island Council of Churches will speak about immigration Sunday night at the First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown.

The Rev. Thomas Goodhue said his speech, titled “How to Talk About Immigration,” is designed to help people discuss a complex issue that arouses strong opinions and conflicted emotions.

In an interview Thursday, Goodhue said his talk, which he has delivered at churches, synagogues and other forums, is especially timely following President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday calling for reform of the nation’s immigration laws.

Goodhue, the Council of Churches’ executive director, said discussion of immigration has changed since the stabbing death three years ago of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue. A Medford teenager is in prison after being convicted last year of stabbing Lucero, and six other teenagers pleaded guilty in connection with the attack.

“It’s harder after the trial to be in denial,” Goodhue said.

The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the church, 175 East Main St., Smithtown.

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