The Diocese of Orange and Congressman Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) each complained to the Department of Homeland Security about a Border Patrol vehicle "patrolling" outside Christ Cathedral recently.
But federal officials insist the vehicle was not on patrol Feb. 17 but had been driven by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection color guard member to the funeral of a military veteran at the Orange County Roman Catholic cathedral in Garden Grove.
Corra piped up after receiving the photos above from the Diocese.
“Christ Cathedral is my church,” he told KCBS/Channel 2. “I know what it looks like, and these photos clearly show an ICE vehicle staking out the parking lot. This is despicable, and this behavior must end. It is intimidation, and it is wrong.”
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Actually, the vehicle was not from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but the Border Patrol, and when Correa press secretary Andrew Scibetta found that out he asked, “Why are they all the way up here patrolling a church?”
Orange Bishop Kevin Vann, who at the time of sending a letter to ICE officials also mistakenly believed the vehicle belonged to that agency, wrote it was "wrong" and "disturbing" to have agents on church property without permission. His spokesman says the bishop is seeking legal guidance on how to prevent such incursions on the diocese's 62 parish and 41 school properties.
The controversy prompted this CBP statement:
On February 17, 2017, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer from the Los Angeles CBP Honor Guard attended the funeral of a military veteran at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. The CBP Honor Guard has a proud tradition of routinely attending memorial services to honor law enforcement and military personnel who have bravely served their country. CBP was not conducting any law enforcement operations in or around the Christ Cathedral or immediate area.