Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis has set up a display in which Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are caged in protest of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, according to NBC News. The church, led by Reverend Canon Lee Curtis, set up the display Monday night. There’s no plan as to how long the display will remain on the church’s lawn.
The zero-tolerance policy introduced by the Trump administration and championed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions effectively separates immigrant parents from their children when they attempt to enter the United States, according to Politifact. The parents are sent to be prosecuted while the children are sent to detention centers across the country. Since this policy has been enacted, over 2,000 children have been placed in detention centers with little resources and no indication of when they will be reunited with their families.
The policy received harsh criticism from political pundits, world leaders, and the United Nations Human Rights Council, who have decried the administration for enacting such a “cruel new child separation policy.” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, “The U.S. should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalizing what should at most be an administrative offense — that of irregular entry or stay in the U.S.”
Though the administration initially stated the policy has been in place for years, they then stated that the Democrats were holding up any efforts to end the policy. Eventually, Trump signed an executive order stopping the further separation of immigrant families.
Despite the executive order, protests were held throughout the nation on Saturday, June 30. For Reverend Curtis, the decision to put up the chain-linked cage with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was a no-brainer. “A number of our congregants at the cathedral are first or second-generation immigrants and this situation is not abstract to them and this is not abstract for us,” he said, in an interview with NBC News. “We want an end for family detention. Families, all families, every family, is holy, and we hope and pray that families who are seeking out a better life for their kids are afforded that opportunity.”
Though the executive order stops further familial separation, there’s no indication as to what will happen to children already separated from their families. The administration still plans for an “escalated effort” to address immigration at the Southern borders.