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

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press - Nearly 2,000 minors have been separated from their families at the USA border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by The Associated Press.

It is the Trump administration's decision this year to prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals that has forced the breakup of families; the children are removed when the parents are taken into federal custody. But neither bill has much hope of securing enough support in the Republican-controlled Congress, let alone surviving Trump's veto pen.

During the interview Bannon defended the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy, which has included separating undocumented migrant parents from their children if they caught while crossing the border into the United States.

In May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents.

Between April 19 and May 31, the 1,995 children were separated from 1,940 adults who were being held by USA border patrol in preparation for prosecution for crossing the border illegally, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said on a call with reporters.

"While the bill contains some positive provisions, including full funding for the border wall and closing loopholes in current law that sustain illegal border surges, it is still a mass amnesty", said RJ Hauman, of the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform. "I'm sure you love your children".

Beyond politicians, pediatricians have also denounced the practice of tearing children away from their parents, saying it can disrupt brain development and harm long-term health. The cruelty of the policy would provide a deterrent to those contemplating coming to the border. The initiative yielded results and was soon expanded to more border sectors.

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Rubiales went on to say that he had heard the news "five minutes before Real Madrid announced it". "There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled".

Through May, DHS stats put the exact number of children separated from parents at 1,995. The administration has not been able to point to a statute that requires it, because no such statute exists. Miller and Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, have argued that immigration legislation is unlikely to pass this summer, officials said.

He said that Democrats have blocked legislation that would deport gang members and are in favor of sanctuary cities that limit local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Jentezen Franklin, a member of Trump's evangelical council, told CNN, "It's a very unsafe route to go when you begin to take selections of scriptures and say, 'The Bible was written to justify political standings". Sanders stonewalled the question and continued to blame the Democrats - as has President Trump - for the fiasco.

The separations stem from a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, which it has the power to unilaterally reverse.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had the gall to cite the Bible as justification for separating families. New centers in Texas will open in the next few days.

"We have laws about asylum, people can come to this country and they can request asylum if they're fleeing violence in their home country, and the price of trying to save yourself and the lives of your family should not be the separation of your family", King told Portland-based CBS affiliate WGME on Friday. Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution.

Democrats have latched onto the issue and vowed to fight in the court of public opinion, with leaders planning trips to the border to highlight the stories of separated families, already the focus of news media attention.

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