The Obama administration recently reached out to a Catholic Church in California to help with the relocation of undocumented immigrants, mostly women and children.
Deacon Luis Sanchez of the Diocese of San Bernardino recently told the National Review Online that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official “expressed his desire for the Church to help in helping these families reach their destination.”
The Diocese of San Bernardino was quick to reach out to the undocumented immigrant women and children who were turned away last week by conservative anti-immigrant protesters who blocked a road to the Murrieta, California, Border Patrol station, notes The Desert Sun.
However, Kyle Coffin, a pastor at the CrossRoads Church, recently told FoxNews.com that he and his fellow pastors were not allowed to pray with, see or donate to undocumented immigrant children at the Nogales Placement Center in Tucson, Arizona.
"Border Patrol told us pastors and churches are not allowed to visit," Pastor Coffin stated. "It's pretty heartbreaking that they don't let anybody in there, even credentialed pastors."
Pastor Coffin said he asked the U.S. Border Patrol about praying with the children (who may not be Christians), but stated, "There was an immediate no."
Pastor Coffin, who described his church as a conservative congregation, believes it violates the U.S. Constitution for the government to help the poor.
"We're not anti-government at all," Pastor Coffin stated. "We think the government is equipped to do what they were constitutionally created to do, and not do the church's job.
"That frustrates me to no end, to be honest with you," Pastor Coffin added. "It drives me absolutely nuts that our government would turn us away."
In response to Pastor Coffins' complaints, the U.S. Border Patrol told FoxNews.com: "Due to the unique operational and security challenges of the Nogales Placement Center, religious services provided by outside faith leaders are not possible at this time. However, CBP's chaplaincy program is supporting the spiritual needs of the minors for the limited time they are at the center."