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A cup of joe to combat illegal immigration?

March 26, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Just coffee 
Sometimes, a cup of coffee is more than just a cup of coffee.

That, at least, is the fervent belief of two Arizonans, one a buttoned-down Presbyterian minister, the other a tie-dyed Roman Catholic renegade. They are convinced that a steaming cup of cafe arabica could do nothing less than help solve the problem of illegal immigration.

And that's just for starters. They also believe it can bring together liberals and conservatives, fulfill the Old Testament's prophetic vision of a "new heaven and new earth," and bring the wolf together with the lamb.

As today's story by Mitchell Landsberg illustrates, that's a lot to ask of a simple cup of joe.

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Tommy Bassett shows some of Just Coffee's beans during the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. In the background are Sister Maria, right, and Sister Teresa of the Order of Clarisse. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

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