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Faith-Based Movement Is Coming Together to Aid Unaccompanied Children on the Border

Jack Jenkins - ThinkProgress
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July 18, 2014
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Glenn Beck: Help, Donate To Immigrant Children On The Border (TheDailyBeck)

An unlikely coalition of faith groups are coming to the aid of unaccompanied children currently stranded along the U.S. border, with evangelicals, Catholics, mainline Christians, and even Glenn Beck setting aside some political and theological differences to call for increased assistance for minors ensnared in the growing immigration crisis.

In a move that surprised many on both sides of the political aisle, this week conservative pundit and radio host Glenn Beck waded into the heated debate over how to respond to the more than 50,000 immigrant children who have crossed the U.S. border in 2014, most of whom are fleeing from explosions of horrendous violence and poverty in their home countries. Beck, who is Mormon, announced on his television program this Tuesday that he intends to travel down to the border himself, where he says he will join up with local church groups currently providing aid to unaccompanied immigrant kids and bring along Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and several pastors and rabbis.

“Through no fault of their own, [these unaccompanied children] are caught in political crossfire,” Beck said. “The churches have asked us if we could bring teddy bears and soccer balls, so we’ve loaded up a whole tractor-trailer of nothing but teddy bears and soccer balls. And then I’m going to go serve breakfast and lunch, and I’m going to help unload these trucks, hot meals for 3,000.”

Many were quick to label Beck’s move as counter-cultural given his popularity among anti-immigrant conservatives, and Beck himself noted that he has “never taken a position more deadly to my career than this.” Granted, Beck’s position is more than a little inconsistent: he may endorse kindness towards immigrant children, but he is also vehemently opposed to President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in funds from Congress to address the situation, and has accused the President of “engineering” the crisis in the first place. Nevertheless, Beck’s faith-rooted compassion towards immigrant children showcases an unlikely point of commonality between himself and many progressives, and inadvertently highlights a larger effort by an unusually broad coalition of church groups to pressure the government to do more to assist the vulnerable children.

Read the rest at ThinkProgress

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