Pastors: Feds Blocking Us From Immigration Camps
Meanwhile, Obama deflects criticism that he didn't visit the border
By Kevin Spak,  Newser User
Posted Jul 10, 2014 11:03 AM CDT
Supporters of the immigrant advocacy group, Puente Movement, hold a rally outside the immigration detention center in Eloy, Ariz., April 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Republic, Nick Oza)
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(Newser) – As the immigration crisis rages, pastors and faith groups are complaining that they're not being allowed to visit the children being held at border detention facilities. "It's pretty heartbreaking that they don't let anybody in there—even credentialed pastors," one pastor tells Todd Starnes at Fox News. "It's pretty ugly down there. They're packed in there like sardines." The groups even asked if they could donate toys, blankets, or food, and were rebuffed. Border Patrol confirmed that pastors aren't allowed at Arizona's Nogales facility for security reasons, but say their own chaplains handle the children's spiritual needs.

President Obama met with Texas faith leaders, local officials, and Gov. Rick Perry yesterday, and emerged with a statement urging House Republicans to pass immigration reform, and expressing solidarity with Perry. "There's nothing the governor indicated that he'd like to see that I have a philosophical objection to," Obama said. But he also dismissed criticism from Perry and other Republicans that he hadn't visited the border personally. "This isn't theater," he said. "I'm not interested in photo ops. I'm interested in solving a problem."