WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible Thursday to defend the Trump administration’s policy of arresting those who illegally crossing the border to enter the country.
“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. If you cross the Southwest border unlawfully, then the Department of Homeland Security will arrest you and the Department of Justice will prosecute you. Having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution.”
Speaking about immigration in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Sessions blamed parents for separations from their minor children when families are caught crossing the border.
“They are the ones who broke the law, they are the ones who endangered their own children on their trek,” Sessions said.
He also dismissed criticisms of the controversial program as not “fair or logical, and some are contrary to law.”
When asked about Sessions’ comments Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders doubled down on the biblical reference, saying “it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.”
There are critics of the policy of separating children from parents among Christian supporters of the administration, including Franklin Graham, who told the Christian Broadcasting Network this week: “I think it’s disgraceful, it’s terrible to see families ripped apart and I don’t support that one bit.”
Some critics also point out that the policy of separating children from illegal border crossers is not actually part of the law.