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Arizona Churches offer shelter to immigrants facing deportation

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, center, and former Homeland Security secretaries Michael Chertoff, right, and Tom Ridge, left, speak to reporters in Washington on Feb. 25, 2015.

Churches in Arizona are opening their doors to immigrants who are facing deportation.

The offer was made following a judge ruling that a group of illegal immigrants arrested over the weekend must be deported by Homeland Security.

Around one hundred and thirty people were detained by police. Although none of them are from Arizona, local churches have opened up their doors to shelter them.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Chadash Community United Church of Christ pastor Anne Dunlap, explained that inaction by both the Obama administration and Congress had led faith communities to take such major steps to "provide sanctuary to immigrant folks who need it".

Rev. Ken Heintzelan, lead pastor of the Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix, also expressed their support for the immigrants facing deportation.

"Migration is a natural human phenomenon that when people are hungry they move where the food is, when they are thirsty, they move where the water is and where there is violence, they move away from the violence," Rev. Heintzelman.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, however, stands by the department's mandate.

"I have said publicly for months that individuals who constitute enforcement priorities, including families and unaccompanied children, will be removed," he stated.

The raid was one of many tackling illegal immigrants living near the south border, a major program run by the Obama administration. Many of the immigrants involved include families, women, and young children.

In late December of 2015, the Obama administration officials announced that they will be removing immigrants who have previously been warned to leave the country.

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