Methodist pastor Keary Kincannon participates in a rally opposing President Trump’s immigration agenda outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, on Feb. 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of GBCSUMC

Dem invites Methodist pastor who defends immigrants to Trump’s speech

(RNS) Many of the guests invited by Democrats to President Trump's address to Congress were picked to showcase opposition to the president — and in particular what many consider his hostility to immigrants.

Some of those guests at Trump's first address to Congress Tuesday (Feb. 28) are successful immigrants. Another is not an immigrant himself, but a defender of immigrants: Methodist pastor the Rev. Keary Kincannon.

Kincannon, who accepted the invitation of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., publicly denounced a roundup of Latino men outside his Alexandria, Va., church three weeks ago, and other such raids against immigrants since Trump took office.

The roundup near his church included two men who had stayed overnight at the shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church, a United Methodist congregation.

In an NPR interview, Kincannon decried new directives for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents that have resulted in the detention of an increasing number of immigrants with minor infractions on their records.

"I don't know anybody that has a problem with ICE picking up people that they know have serious felonies, violent crimes," Kincannon said.

"But we're hearing lots of stories of people with just minor misdemeanors or even people that have green cards with minor misdemeanors that are being picked up."

Kincannon earlier in the week told the Washington Post that houses of worship and shelters should remain safe for desperate and vulnerable people.

"We should be helping them, not instilling fear that they could be targeted," Kincannon said. "Sacred places should remain sacred places.”

An ICE spokeswoman told the local NBC news station in Washington, D.C. that its "sensitive location" policy was followed in the case of its action near Kincannon's church in that the men were arrested not on church property but across the street.

The policy instructs ICE agents to avoid arrests at houses of worship, schools and medical facilities.



  1. That rev has got it right. ICE attention needs to be focused on the bad guys, not the hard working people who contribute positively to this country every day.

  2. If anything this new initiative of deputizing police into ICE operations, will do the following:

    1. Make human trafficking more profitable
    2. Made illegal alien labor more profitable
    3. Crowd detention facilities or worse, provide an incentive for the corrupt use of private prisons
    4. Overload the dockets of immigration courts with low priority cases
    5. Overload CIS with petitions for asylum and hardship waivers
    6. Make it more difficult to find the bad guys now that there is zero trust between police and the immigrant communities
    7. Make it more difficult find the bad guys because resources are being diverted to go after domestic servants, kitchen labor, construction workers and landscapers
    8. Divert manpower away from actual police work
    9. Instigate a ton of lawsuits when citizens and permanent residents are harassed by law enforcement officials and profiled.

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