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Pastor: Set politics aside and help the immigrant children

Dinh Thi Quyen, 18-year-old nice of Vietnamese suspect in the death of Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia, checks an image of Doan Thi Huong in Nghia Binh village in northern province of Nam Dinh, Vietnam, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The family of Huong arrested in the death of the half brother of North Korea’s ruler, confirmed she is their relative, but believes she didn’t knowingly participate in the killing. Quyen said she believes Huong was duped into taking part. (AP Photo/Duong Minh Hoang)

PHOENIX — The pastor of a southern Arizona church is calling for the United States to put politics aside and focus on helping hundreds of Latin American children who have entered the country illegally.

“Put aside all the political ideology that surrounds this issue, we have kids that are in need,” Crossroads Church Pastor Dan Johnson told Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Tuesday. “Let’s put aside everything and serve the children.”

Johnson wants to bring in a large group to help the children.

“If we brought in 100 childcare providers, youth directors, pastors, in a short time we would figure out ways that we can engage these kids and make their experience less than incarceration,” he said.

But Johnson said he was told by Rep. Raul Grijalva that priests were not being permitted into a Nogales detention center housing nearly 1,000 children. However, he has a backup plan.

“Bring in a battalion of grandmothers who can read stories to them if they’re young, engage them in activities, games,” he said. “Bring in food, bring in other things that could make their experience in the detention center better.”

Johnson has helped those in peril while crossing the border for years.


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