Religious leaders call on Congressman Devin Nunes to support DACA

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Pastors, priests, rabbis and reverends all came together outside Congressman Devin Nunes' Visalia office hoping to make a point. (KFSN)

Pastors, priests, rabbis and reverends all came together outside Congressman Devin Nunes' Visalia office Tuesday hoping to make a point.

Police were called to this demonstration, but it was peaceful and there weren't any arrests. It wasn't the first time things got loud outside Nunes' Visalia office, but this time was different. These were religious figures from around the Central Valley representing various places of worship.

They were there to ask Nunes to listen to their message that now more than ever, he needs to defend the Valley's most vulnerable and disenfranchised populations: 'Dreamers,' undocumented immigrants, Muslims. They say they've been asking for a meeting with the congressman for months but to no avail.

"We're not here to make trouble," Natalie Chamberlain of Tulare said. "We are here to be the representatives for the people we serve in our congregations and our neighborhoods."

"We also know that the representative that most of us here share, Representative Devin Nunes, has been either silent or on the wrong side of what our faith know is just and moral," Father Art Gramaje said.

To be on the right side of history, they say Nunes must defend health care for all, oppose a federal budget that funds the militarization of police and the border, and support what they call a 'clean' Dream Act. It's legislation that would protect people like Reyna Castellanos from deportation, but not be tied to any funding for a border wall.

"Representative Nunes, as a father of three beautiful girls, we hope you can appreciate my desire to stay with my children in their home country, my only known home for the past 31 years," she said.

Several clergy members did meet with someone inside Nunes' office. Reverend Carl Jones even held a sit-in after it was over. But he says they still weren't given a scheduled meeting with the congressman who, according to his spokesperson, was traveling in the Middle East on Intelligence Committee business.

"We're going to give the opportunity for them to respond over the next few days once Nunes gets back in the country," he said. "We expect an immediate response after several attempts to have a response, and if there is no response, then we escalate from there."

Nunes' spokesperson Jack Langer sent us a statement Tuesday that said quote:

"This is a left-wing activist group with whom our office has had numerous, repeated discussions through e-mail, letters, phone calls, and in-person visits. Nevertheless, they decided to stage a media stunt and disrupt the other offices in our building in order to argue, ironically, that we've been unresponsive to them."
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