Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church leaders are hosting their annual community dialogue on issues of importance.

Each year the Wichita Falls MCC hosts discussions on many different topics. Last year the topic was on guns and previous years the discussion was on race. This year church leaders decided to talk about immigration because Pastor Mel Martinez thought it is a topic that needed to be discussed.

“We want to provide a space to shed some light on what the issues really are,” Martinez said. “Are we really concerned about the legality or are we really forgetting that they are human beings behind this word immigrant?”

During the meeting on Thursday, guest speaker, Dr. Claudia Montoya, from Midwestern State who spoke about the history of immigration.

“People tend to think that the migration is just from Mexico or Latin America to the U.S. But I would like to talk about, for example, the history of the Chinese immigration to Mexico and to Latin America, what happened to them,” Montoya said.

Dr. Montoya said there are some common misunderstandings when it comes to immigration.

“The idea that immigrants come here just to steal resources,” Montoya said. “that they are just sitting, I don’t know either on porches or their houses, doing drugs and not contributing to society. I think it is interesting because I don’t think this is necessarily something people really believe.”

In the end, Pastor Martinez hopes to open the hearts of the public and educate them on this topic.

The next discussion is planned for next May.