Local Catholic church helping those affected by federal warrants in Stillwater

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STILLWATER, Okla. - A local Catholic priest tells News 4 five people are still in custody Thursday following Wednesday’s criminal investigation.

He says they are still in custody due to previously being deported or having warrants out.

20 others have been released but are now preparing to go in front of a judge.

Inside Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, the congregation is working hard to figure out ways to help those affected by Wednesday’s criminal investigation by Homeland Security.

“These people are now without a job with both restaurants shut down,” said Father Brian O’Brien.

He says 25 people were taken into custody. The majority, members of his church.

“Our biggest concern is family separation. We have the utmost respect for the law, but we also know that families need to stay together.”

In the coming months, Father O’Brien said those who await hearings will unlikely to be able to work.

In the meantime, local ministries are stepping in to help.

“Our biggest concern of the moment is getting them legal representation to help them through the process to make sure they are treated fairly.”

The Stillwater community is still in shock.

Palomino's and El Vaquero are still closed, more than 24 hours later.

Yellow ribbons have popped up, for some a sign of solidarity.

Father O’Brien leaning on his faith and encouraging the surrounding area to do the same.

“Keep everybody calm. Keep everybody safe. Ultimately keep families together is our main goal. Moms and dads should be with their kids and kids should be with their moms and dads.”

The Stillwater Catholic church anticipates helping 50 to 100 people.

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