Methodists, prosecutors scold Sessions over border policy

Chris Olson of Lake Wallenpaupack Pa. holds a sign outside Lackawanna College where U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions spoke on immigration policy and law enforcement actions in Scranton Pa. The Trump administration

Chris Olson of Lake Wallenpaupack Pa. holds a sign outside Lackawanna College where U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions spoke on immigration policy and law enforcement actions in Scranton Pa. The Trump administration

Similarly in May, it was Mr. Sessions who announced that the Trump administration would step up prosecutions of parents who cross the USA border illegally with their children, separating families if necessary in hopes of deterring such crossings.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated comparisons of USA border policies for illegal immigrants to Nazi policies are a "real exaggeration".

The signees of the letter also criticized Sessions for invoking Romans 13, a Bible verse, to justify the Trump administration policy of breaking up children and parents at the border.

"What's happening on the border is having a direct impact on what's happening in New Jersey", New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. The Trump administration insists that separating families is not a policy, but a requirement of enforcing the law to prosecute adults who cross the border illegally.

Dozens of former US attorneys, appointed under Democratic and Republican administrations, also pressed Sessions in a separate letter Tuesday to end the practice, calling it a "radical departure" from previous DOJ policy.

At the White House on Monday, DHS Secretary Nielsen defended the policy and said "loopholes" in the current system were driving people to attempt to come to the U.S.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ 6th distirct) talks about visiting five immigrant detainees being detained at the Elizabeth Detention Center on Sunday, June 17, 2018. They call on Sessions to stop requiring US attorneys to prosecute all immigrants and return to a policy that doesn't separate so many families.

Almost 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the border thanks to the Trump administration's controversial policy on illegal border crossings.

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"Now, under your policy, because children can not accompany their arrested parents to an adult criminal detention center, these children, apparently including infants and toddlers, are routinely separated from their parents".

Democratic Attorneys General in 21 states are calling on the Trump Administration to end the "zero tolerance" policy that has resulted in the separation of families at the US border. The church cites Sessions' "leading role" as a Sunday school teaching, former delegate "and the severe and ongoing impact of several of his public, professional actions demand that we" call for some degree of accountability.

Ultimately, Sessions wrote, it isn't the priority of the administration to separate families.

After announcing the policy last month in the shadow of California's busiest border crossing, Sessions has been an unflinching crusader, even as opponents have denounced it as immoral. Children traveling with them are separated while adults go through the legal process, a change from the government's previous practice of releasing families together while adults await prosecution.

"We have watched what happened with the Obama policies", Sessions said.

Members of the United Methodist Church from across the country signed a letter Monday accusing Sessions of child abuse, immorality and racial discrimination.

"You can be certain about this: We have your backs, and you have our thanks", Sessions said. He said in a statement that as the son of a social worker, he knows the "trauma that comes with children being separated from their parents", The Wichita Eagle reported.