CANADIAN CHURCH VOLUNTEER GROUP TURNED BACK AT THE BORDER--PREVENTED FROM JOINING OUR HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF EFFORT.

More details from today's situation at the border. I feel like I have to give more detail since so many seem to think I must be joking. I'm not.

This morning, at 9:00am, when I was first informed of border issues, and I was told to make sure we clarified what kind of work Rehoboth was doing (namely, volunteer work) I wrote the following letter to the Border Patrol.

"I understand that Rehoboth United Reformed Church members have been held at the border with a request to know the details for their coming to New Jersey. The Reformed Church of Highland Park has been hosting groups coming to voluntarily assist homeowners for years who are trying to get back in their homes after Hurricane Sandy. With the help of 3,000 volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada we have helped 200 families get back in their homes. Last week 37 volunteers came from State College, Pennsylvania. This week a small group is coming from Rehoboth Church."

I received a text from the group leader saying, "that wasn't what they want. They want a list of duties that we are doing. I would suggest avoiding the word 'construction.' Focus on team building. Us learning from you how to work with people in poverty..."

So, I wrote a second letter, playing down the Hurricane Sandy work, playing up the team building.

A few minutes later I received the text "we have been denied entry."

The group leader told me that the Border Patrol officer was kind, and that he even said his daughter recently went on a 'mission/work trip.' He said, "next time just say you are going for site-seeing and a short vacation." In other words, "lie."

President Trump you are creating a culture of lying, and hiding. That's going to do a lot to boost the security of our nation, I'm sure.

Peace, Seth