Originally published LA Times
A day after Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions cited the Bible to defend the Trump administration's immigration policies and the separation of children from their families, many faith-based leaders are forming coalitions, signing letters and issuing sharply worded statements against the policy.
“I would like to cite to you the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13,” Sessions said Thursday in a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind. He went on to say that the Bible argues Christians must “obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
In the past, some immigration cases were handled administratively and families weren’t broken up.
“I hate to see the separation of parents and children,” Trump told reporters Friday, refusing to acknowledge that the separations are caused by his administration’s new policy. As he has in the past, he blamed Democrats, saying they “forced that law upon our nation,” triggering the separations.
On Friday, immigration officials said that in the last two months, 1,995 children had been separated from their guardians.
Republicans, as well as Democrats, have castigated the administration policy, calling it cruel, inhumane and unjust.
Even before Sessions’ mention of Scripture — which the White House defended but others called inappropriate — the new policy prompted objections from the religious community. Here’s what some religious institutions and prominent faith leaders have had to say about the policy and recent comments by the administration: