Former Federal Prosecutors Urge Sessions to End Family Separations

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

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.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association convention in New Orleans, Monday, June 18, 2018.

Sessions falsely argued that a "loophole" in the law allows parents who cross the border with children to "effectively be given immunity from prosecution".

"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 group of former USA attorneys not only condemned the policy pushed by Sessions and President Donald Trump, but also questioned the wisdom of devoting limited federal resources to prosecuting every illegal entry case.

"We do not want to separate parents from their children", Sessions said in defence of Congress' "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

The president pointed the finger at the Dems' "weak and ineffective" border security laws - even though it's his discretionary policies that are responsible for the separation of hundreds of migrant families.

A coalition of Democratic attorneys general, including the Bay State's Maura Healey, demanded Tuesday that the Trump administration end a "zero tolerance" policy that has resulted in children being separated from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border.




Last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized the policy as well, specifically with concern to its impact on immigrant families.

"The notion that the government should intrude into the rights of a parent to be with their child has historically been met with extremely high levels of scrutiny", the letter reads.

Jenkins' office said the separations highlight the need to pass immigration reform in order to put an end to "this terrible policy".

"We will have a system where those who need to apply for asylum can do so and those who want to come to this country will apply legally", he said.

The church's complaint charged that Sessions violated the United Methodist Church's book of Discipline as well as its code of laws and social principles.

"Thank you to the 640 UM church members for bringing charges against AG Jeff Sessions for his immoral attack on families and children in the name of the Bible", she tweeted. "They can go to our ports of entry if they want to claim asylum and they won't be arrested", Sessions said.

"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", Sessions said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), left, asks to enter the holding facility for immigrant children in Tornillo, Tex., near the U.S. -Mexico border on Thursday.

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