Attorneys General Demand An End To Separation Of Immigrant Families

22 June, 2018, 20:01 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration policy and law enforcement actions at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton Pa. on Friday

The policy contributed to a spike in the number of migrant children in U.S. custody from March to April, when over 10,000 were in detention centers. "And like a majority of Americans, we are appalled that your Zero Tolerance policy has resulted in the unnecessary trauma and suffering of innocent children", the prosecutors wrote on Medium in a post published Tuesday morning.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending his use of the Bible to justify a Trump administration policy that separated immigrant children from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border.

He announced the administration's "zero tolerance policy" in April "for offenses under 8 U.S.C. § 1325 (a), which prohibits both attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien".

While Sessions has always been the administration's most effective player in turning President Donald Trump's tough immigration rhetoric into policy, the attorney general's latest action comes at a time when his relationship with the White House remains fraught. This is a new low for President Trump.

But Parscale's focus appeared to be on Sessions' role with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But the border has once again highlighted an awkward alliance in which Sessions again has been thrust into the harsh political spotlight - this time as a willing partner.

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Similarly, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said the Trump administration's policy is creating "a moral and humanitarian crisis", and that "every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged".

Among them: Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine.

The attorneys' statement joins calls from celebrities, first ladies, and Republican officials to end the policy.

Faith leaders of all persuasions, including the leader of Sessions' own church, have denounced the policy.

On the last charge, the complaint accuses Sessions of "misuse of Romans 13 to indicate the necessity of obedience to secular law". "I think our church people are really concerned about children, that's what I'm hearing", he said.

Sessions' speech Monday closely mirrored that of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who also spoke at the same Sheriffs' Association event and doubled-down on the administration's new policy.

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"We've got a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director, a new deputy director, a new chief of staff, a new legal counsel, a new press person", Sessions said.

Here's what's going on: Under the previous administration, families who crossed the border illegally but claimed asylum were brought through immigration court, a civil procedure that didn't break up families but also resulted in what critics derided as "catch and release" - immigrants who entered the country illegally would fail to show up to court dates and get lost in the system.

"It is painful", Sessions said in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network. "This is one of the oldest law enforcement groups in the country".

During an annual gathering of area clergy and church members in New Hampshire this month, a resolution was passed demanding the US Department of Justice, which is overseen by Sessions, to "discontinue the separation of families" under its zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration.

Sen. Jerry Moran's office did not immediately comment Monday. Under the policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution.

AG Sessions echoed these claims Monday, arguing that if Congress "passed legislation to end the lawlessness", then children wouldn't have to be separated from their parents.

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