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Federal lawsuit filed against Arizona anti-immigrant groups

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 14:55:23-04

PHOENIX (AP) - The Southern Poverty Law Center has sued members of two anti-immigrant groups known to protest and harass Arizona churches that aid immigrant families.

The lawsuit against several members of Patriot Movement AZ and AZ Patriots was filed in federal court Tuesday and seeks an injunction against their practices and punitive damages.

It says members of the groups conspired to violate the churches' civil rights, defamed the pastors and trespassed on private property. Pastor Angel Campos says his church has had to buy surveillance cameras and walkie-talkies because members are afraid of the groups.

The churches have been helping federal immigration authorities who don't have the resources to deal with a soaring number of largely Central American families who have arrived at the southern border over the last year. They provide temporary shelter, food and clothing.