Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Sessions: 'We never really intended' to separate families

Sessions: 'We never really intended' to separate families

Sessions was speaking Monday in New Orleans at the National Sheriff's Association conference.

Trump continued to fault Democrats and pointed to more lenient policies under past administrations that had not charged all migrants who had crossed illegally.

The most visible byproduct of the Trump administration's practice, known as "zero tolerance", has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents when apprehended at the border, because unaccompanied minors can only be held in immigration detention for a short period of time.

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".

The president has repeatedly disparaged the former Alabama senator for his lack of involvement on a volatile front that casts an even larger shadow over Trump's presidency: Russian Federation.

McCain is among a growing number of Republican lawmakers voicing concern over the administration's "zero tolerance" approach to illegal border crossings.

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. The complaint suggests the border strategy is akin to child abuse. "It's not American", Hatch said Monday. "I just simply said to my Christian friends, you know the United States has laws and I believe that Paul was clear in Romans that we should try to follow the laws of government of which we are a part".

Led by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, 21 top state prosecutors from California to MA sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen (KEER'-sten) Nielsen.

"I find that offensive", Nielsen said Monday, responding to a reporter's question at the White House.

"I directed it not to say that religion requires these laws on immigration", Sessions said. "Fundamentally, we are enforcing the law".

Attorney General Balderas and 20 attorneys general demand that United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions immediately stop putting children in danger by separating them from their families.

Sessions said he had not anticipated the backlash generated by the "zero tolerance" immigration policy and the anger over moving as many as 2,000 immigrant children into detention centers without their parents.

The Rev. David Wright, who spearheaded the complaint against Sessions, told USA Today that he hoped Methodist pastors could get Sessions to see the harm he is doing to immigrant children and persuade him to change his mind.

"Traumatizing children by separating them from their parents as a deterrent for adult conduct is, in our view, sufficient reason to halt your policy", the letter said.

On Monday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper banned state employees and resources from supporting any federal practices that separates families due to their immigration status, saying the Trump administration's policy was offensive and ran counter to Coloradan values.

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