A war of words involving President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and national religious leaders has erupted over separating illegal immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sessions recently cited the Bible to defend the policy while Trump blamed the Obama administration, saying he personally didn’t like what was happening to such children.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that more than 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border in the last six weeks.
In response to criticism from a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church that separating mothers from their babies was "immoral”, Sessions told an Indiana audience that the Bible justified the government’s actions.
"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.”
The furor over immigrant kids grew out of Sessions’ announcement last month of a "zero tolerance" policy that any adult who enters the country illegally will be criminally prosecuted.
Current U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime, unlike their parents.
Earlier criticism was directed at the overcrowding of holding facilities for undocumented persons entering the U.S., many of whom brought their children along.
Previously, all members of illegal families were deported at the same time to their native countries through civil deportation procedures rather than criminal.
Some religious leaders accused Sessions of intentionally misinterpreting the Bible passage to justify the harsh treatment of undocumented immigrants and their children.
We doubt that separating children from their parents has been done as methodically since Nazi Germany did it to Jewish families before and during World War II.
In our view, it is clear that we can add illegal immigrant kids to the list of human beings not valued by this president or his administration.