- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Southern California church is using its Nativity scene to attack U.S. border security measures.

The senior minister at Claremont United Methodist Church posted photos of her church’s Christmas-season display, showing Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus in three separate cages each topped with barbed wire.

In a statement accompanying the photos on her Facebook page, the Rev. Karen Clark Ristine called the three “the most well-known refugee family in the world.”

“What if this family sought refuge in our country today?” she wrote. “Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center.”

A separate Nativity scene inside the church has Jesus, Mary and Joseph reunited.

“In the Claremont United Methodist Church nativity scene this Christmas, the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our borders,” Ms. Ristine said.

The display was occasioned, she said, because this is “a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders, and are unwillingly separated from one another.”

According to U.S. immigration officials, because of incentives in U.S. laws and court decisions, many of the Central American families claiming asylum at the border after traversing through Mexico over the past two years are not families at all. Rather, immigrant smugglers tell them to pose as one to ensure a quick release into the U.S., where they can disappear into the larger illegal-immigrant population.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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