US religious leaders arrested in Washington illegal immigrants' protest

(Photo: Photo: Jay Mallin / UMNS)CWS President and CEO, the Rev. John McCullough was arrested as part of a protest to stop deportations in Washington D.C. on July 31, 2014.

More than 100 religious leaders and activists who participated in a protest against U.S. immigration policies were arrested in Washington D.C. on July 31.

They were protesting in response to the administration of President Barack Obama in its handling of illegal immigrants in the United States, the Huffington Post reported.

"Our faith holds us to a higher calling. We understand that God's law to love our neighbor takes precedence over any unjust human law," Church World Service, one of the groups protesting said on its website.

"The laws of our broken immigration system are immoral, and President Obama not only has the legal executive authority to fix this problem right now, he has the moral obligation to do so."

Church World Service, Catholic Sisters of Mercy, United Methodist Church, and Casa de Maryland, an immigration advocacy group, were among those who participated in the protests.

All 112 were arrested and charged with blocking passage after the group refused to leave the White House sidewalk.

Before the arrest, the prayer service led by Rev. John McCollough expressed the group's sentiments.

"We are gathered here to make our voices heard. We are here to pray for this president, our President Obama, to ask him to lose the bonds of injustice and let the oppressed go free." he said ABC News recorded.

In a blog on The Huffington Post, McCullough expressed that the faith community will continue to fight for the immigrants who are in danger.

He challenged the U.S. president to act boldly and act as soon to address the problem.

The Obama administration has been deporting at least 1,100 illegal immigrants daily.

This is from the hundreds of thousands believed to have entered the U.S. territory in the last nine months. Of this number, around 57,000 are children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

Bishop Minerva Carcano of the United Methodist Church said the group want to tell the president and Congress that "kicking out suffering immigrant families and unaccompanied children is not the answer."

Last week, the White House announced that it is considering starting a program in Honduras which will allow children of that country to apply for refugee status.

Recently, the U.S. Senate also voted to move a bill forward allocating $2.7 billion in response to the crisis. At least $840 million of the total amount allocated has been earmarked for other projects such as Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

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