Alfa y Omega Discipulos de Cristo church, which is based out of Phoenix, Arizona, is getting harassed by alt-right and conservative protesters for helping migrants while they find their American sponsors to temporarily live in the country.
The church, for its part, is working in conjunction with the federal government and is performing no illegal act, according to reporting from ThinkProgress.
Immigrants who are applying for asylum are being dropped off by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the church. The church then allows the immigrants to live temporarily in their building while they search for sponsors (usually family members already living in America) to house them for a longer period of time while their asylum claims are being prepared.
Despite doing absolutely nothing illegal, right-wing protesters from the group Patriot Movement Arizona (PMAZ) are claiming the church is violating federal law.
“You’re in violation of harboring! Federal law! Subsection thirteen twenty-four, A-one-A, a federal offense!” one PMAZ member can be heard chanting, according to video obtained and disseminated by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Nick Martin.
The red-bearded man with a gun on his hip in this video says he "busted right through the door" of a Phoenix church that's sheltering asylum seekers today. You can hear him scream "America first" afterwards. @phoenixpolice showed up quickly but apparently made no arrests. pic.twitter.com/KzzUQAH0XZ
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) January 6, 2019
In that same video, another man wearing a white cowboy hat can be heard bragging about an atrocious activity he engaged in while harassing the church members. That man tells other PMAZ members that he “busted right through the door” of the church to confront them. A gun can be seen on the side of the man’s hip.
It has not yet been confirmed who the individuals in the video are. However, according to some users on social media, the man in the cowboy hat is Antonio Foreman, an individual who has long been identified with far-right extremist organizations and militia groups like the Oath Keepers.
Foreman’s history with confrontation and distorting the truth is a long one. He had once served as the bodyguard for Tim Gionet, an alt-right figure better known as “Baked Alaska.” Foreman was stabbed during a traffic altercation in 2017, which he alleged at the time was a hate crime against him for being a conservative and a supporter of President Donald Trump, according to the Washington Post.
Police, however, disputed that claim, finding that the stabbing occurred as a result of the traffic incident and nothing more.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.