Religious Leaders Face Deportation: Detention Reignites Churches' Call for Immigration Reform
PHOENIX, Arizona — A group of eight religious leaders of the Disciples of Christ denomination in Phoenix are facing deportation after being detained by a tribal police department when they were on their way to a spiritual retreat.
The incident that occurred on Sept. 4 has shaken up the Evangelical church community in Phoenix, which is redoubling its efforts to call on President Barack Obama to take action on a comprehensive immigration reform plan.
“We’re planning to send him a letter soon with a group of churches,” said Job Cobos, who oversees the 13 Spanish churches of the Disciples of Christ in Arizona and who is also the pastor of the English-language Larkspur Christian Church.
A caravan of vehicles from the Alfa y Omega Church was driving towards Payson for a weekend spiritual retreat, when one van with nine passengers was pulled over.
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Police Department stopped the van because it was driving significantly below the speed limit, chief of police Jesse Delmar told Feet in 2 Worlds.