Rev. David Lima describes the immigration debate in the U.S. as being like a tennis match played with a hand grenade. No one is listening to each other, and no progress is being made.

Rev. Lima, the Executive Minister of the Interchurch Council of Greater New Bedford, hopes to shed light on the immigration issue during a forum Thursday night at the Whaling Museum.

Rev. Lima tells WBSM News, he hopes the discussion will focus on the history of immigration. "Is today the first time we've been worried about the dangers of immigration and undocumented or illegal immigrants, or has this happened in the past?"

Rev. Lima added "why today is there more angst about immigration than ever before?"

Joining Reverend Lima will be Helena DaSilva Hughes of the Immigrant Assistance Center, attorney Frederick Watt who has worked in immigration law since 1990, and immigration attorney Timothy Paicopolos with Catholic Social Services.

The forum begins at 630 Thursday night at the Whaling Museum and is open to the public.