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Obama Administration send mixed messages to churches regarding immigrants

Counter-demonstrators to protesters opposing arrivals of buses carrying largely women and children undocumented migrants for processing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station clash with police on July 4, 2014 in Murrieta, California.
Counter-demonstrators to protesters opposing arrivals of buses carrying largely women and children undocumented migrants for processing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station clash with police on July 4, 2014 in Murrieta, California.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

National Review Online notes that in attempt to avoid additional clashes with the residents of Murrieta, California over the federal government attempts to bus in thousands of illegal immigrants, the Obama Administration has turned to the Catholic Church.

Deacon Luis Sanchez of the Diocese of San Bernardino told National Review Online that the diocese was approached by agend from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement who "expressed his desire for the Church to help in helping these families reach their destination."

The intent is to set up "transitional centers" to accommodate approximately 140 people arriving every day.

But according to Todd Starnes at FOX News, the story is different in Texas and Arizona.

Kyle Coffin, Pastor of CrossRoads Church in Tuscon, Arizona told Starnes, "Border Patrol told us pastors and churches are not allowed to visit. It's pretty heartbreaking that they don't let anybody in there - even credentialed pastors."

A representative from the Border Patrol confirms this and is quoted as saying, "Due to the unique operational and security challenges of the Nogales Placement Center, religious servies provided by outside faith leaders are not possible at this time."

Coffin, along with other pastors from the Tuscon area hoped to provide spiritual guidance and friendship to the hundreds of illegal immigrant children housed in Nogales.

Coffin told FOX News that churches were not even allowed to bring in soccer balls, or play ping pong with the children.

Similar experiences were reported in San Antonio.

DownTrend.com reports that "Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona planned to tour the detention center in Nogales when he was turned away because his entourage included five clergy members."

Grijalva said, “When we got to the gate, we were told that it came from Washington and that only the member of Congress and designated staff could take the tour, and I said ‘I’m not going to do that.’”

DownTrend.com notes that Grijalva "said he submitted a list of people who would attend the tour and received approval from Border Patrol."