L.A. Archdiocese Launches Fundraising Drive to Support Separated Immigrant Families

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Anaii Gutierrez,4, and her horse Cara de Chango receive a holy water blessing from Catholic Archbishop Jose H. Gomez during a Blessing of Animals Easter event in Los Angeles on April 4, 2015. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Anaii Gutierrez,4, and her horse Cara de Chango receive a holy water blessing from Catholic Archbishop Jose H. Gomez during a Blessing of Animals Easter event in Los Angeles on April 4, 2015. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

For years, Catholic leaders in Los Angeles have made no secret of their sharp opposition to government crackdowns on illegal immigration.

But if there were any lingering doubts about the church’s stance, Archbishop José Gomez erased them when he put his name — and the church’s considerable influence — behind a fundraising drive for immigrant families who were separated while trying to enter the country.

The idea for a direct appeal to parishioners throughout the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which includes Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, came about following the zero-tolerance policy the Trump administration put in place along the Mexico border earlier this year, said Isaac Cuevas, director of immigration and public affairs for the archdiocese.

After being separated and then reunited amid public and political outcry over the policy, a few dozen families arrived in the Los Angeles region last month, Cuevas said. Some came in search of relatives, others were connecting with sponsors who had agreed to take them in. Still others had nowhere to live.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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