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Pastor: Set politics aside and help the immigrant children

Park Service employee Jesse Miller pauses while working to repair a trail destroyed in a major flood a few years earlier, inside Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park, Colo., on Aug. 4, 2016. Rocky Mountain Conservancy works for the U.S. Park Service, running crews who do whatever work is needed. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

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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