A mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King is comparing the struggles of the civil rights movement to immigrant rights.

The Reverend James Lawson claims the immigrant problem stems from America’s divisions among north and south, blacks and whites, and blue and red states. "The beginning place is to see the new immigrant from the Sudan or Mexico as a fellow human being trying to advance their own lives as we try to advance our families and ourselves," Lawson says.

Reverend Lawson says he doesn’t believe any of the presidential candidates are in a position to bring significant change. He says the American political process has already been "bought and paid for by special interests."

"I think in the present system, (the candidates) would not be allowed to emerge unless it was thought – by the council on foreign affairs or by some of the huge banks involved – to be safe," he says.

Reverend Lawson was the keynote speaker at the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Statewide Convention in downtown Des Moines last night.