Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the Bible to defend Donald Trump’s hawkish policy that has led to the separation of hundreds of children from their parents at the southern border of the United States.
Speaking about Trump’s immigration policy in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Sessions pushed back against criticism of the policy from several quarters — including from the church, with one cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church describing the current administration’s decision of separating mothers from their children as “immoral,” according to Time.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
Last month, Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy against illegal immigration, giving officers sweeping powers to separate children from their undocumented parents. While the parents are detained and charged with crimes, the children are placed into the custody of the Health and Human Services Department and sent to detention centers, which they share with hundreds of other minors.
As of now, more than 650 children are estimated to have been separated from their parents. As the Inquisitr reported yesterday, some children are taken away from their parents on the pretext of a “bath,” while one woman claimed that immigration officers took away her daughter as she was breastfeeding her.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 14, 2018
Donald Trump, who has lived up to the hard stance that he espoused against immigration during his rallies before the election, has not been affected by the criticism of his policy — something that seems to have emboldened Sessions. Instead of being critical about the policy’s perceived inhumanity, Sessions argued that people should commend the administration for being grateful toward the separated children.
“They are provided food, education in their native language, health and dental care, and transported to their destination city — all at taxpayer expense.”
An undocumented immigrant from Honduras sobbed as she told an attorney how federal authorities took her daughter while she breastfed the child in a detention center, where she was awaiting prosecution for entering the country illegally https://t.co/fQiob4qjYs
— CNN (@CNN) June 13, 2018
However, many Biblical scholars have not taken well to Sessions’ defense, saying the attorney general does not seem to have grasped the Apostle Paul at all.
“(Sessions) should study the Apostle Paul more closely. In Galatians 6, Paul instructs Christians: ‘So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith,'” Rev. Jennifer Butler, the CEO of Faith in Public Life, said.
“Ripping children from their mothers is not doing good to these families, or to any of us. It is cruel, wrong and sinful.”
Pope Francis also said during a recent event at the Vatican that America’s illegal immigrants must first be treated as humans.
“I would like to point out that the issue of migration is not simply one of numbers, but of persons, each with his or her own history, culture, feelings and aspirations,” the pope said.