U.S. invokes Bible to justify harsh immigration steps separating children from parents

U.S. invokes Bible to justify harsh immigration steps separating children from parents

That's what's happening to the Trump administration right now as outrage grows over its policy of separating children from their parents when they arrive at the southern border - not just people crossing illegally, but in some cases families who arrive, present themselves to American authorities, and request asylum.

Sessions described the policy as created to be a deterrant to illegal immigration, announcing "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border". Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) to end the family-separation tactics, calling it "too broad".

Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by The Associated Press on Friday showed that 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults between April 19 and May 31.

A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S. -Mexico Border on June 12 near Mission, Texas.

They have cited several "loopholes" in the law that they wish to close as a means to stop illegal immigration, and therefore remove the need for a zero-tolerance policy.

Trump made his remarks in his weekly address and as House lawmakers are negotiating legislation that would limit some forms of migration, fund border security and would also grant protected status to some illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of "America's pastor" Billy Graham and a prominent Trump supporter, told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Tuesday, "It's disgraceful, and it's awful to see families ripped apart and I don't support that one bit".

The other "loophole" the Trump administration points to is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, or the TVPRA.


The new figures are for people who tried to enter the U.S. between official border crossings. The official tally of separations is now almost 4,000 children, not including March and the beginning of April 2018.

Immigrant advocacy groups denounced the policy, berating senior administration officials - some of whom were reduced to rueful apologies for a policy they said they could not justify - and telling Obama in late 2014 that he was turning his back on the most vulnerable people seeking refuge in the United States. The policy is leading to an increase in the number of detained immigrants being separated from their children.

In 2005, he launched Operation Streamline, a program along a stretch of the border in Texas that referred all unlawful entrants for criminal prosecution, imprisoning them and expediting assembly-line-style trials geared toward quickly deporting them.

Early this morning, the president said that Democrats can "can fix their forced family breakup at the Border" by working with Republicans, even though the policy is something Trump himself put into place and could instantly change.

'He's going to take children- even babies - away from their parents who won't know where they are or when or if they will see them again.

For now, Congress' inaction is leading to thousands of children being ripped away from their parents.

Miller and Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, have argued that immigration legislation is unlikely to pass this summer, officials said. But when it separates families at the border? "So if they don't like that law, they should change it", Conway explains.

Two Republican senators, Collins and Arizona's Jeff Flake, said Sunday they'd written to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to demand an explanation of the policy.

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