Faith Groups Condemn Trump's 'Immoral' Family Separation Policy

June 18, 2018
The Trump Administration continues their barbaric ‘zero-tolerance’ policy separating families at the border – literally ripping children out of the arms of their mothers and fathers – as they prosecute asylum seeking families at the border for illegal entry.

In an attempt to defend their inhumanity, President Trump blamed others for his own policy, Attorney General Sessions quoted the Bible, and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried to claim it wasn’t happening at all

Let’s be clear: The Trump Administration’s decision to separate children from their own parents is outrageous, immoral and indefensible.  The UN’s top human rights official has called this practice of brutally separating families seeking asylum ‘unconscionable’ and Amnesty International called it ‘nothing short of torture.’

Faith leaders and organizations across the nation are also strongly condemning the Administration’s grotesque ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that separates families.

Evangelical Immigration Table

“As evangelical leaders representing tens of thousands of local churches, campus communities, and ministries we are concerned that the new ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the U.S.-Mexico border … has had the effect of separating vulnerable children from their parents … we are writing to ask [President Trump] to resolve this situation of families being separated that [he has] rightly described as ‘horrible’ … The traumatic effects of this separation on these young children, which could be devastating and long-lasting, are of utmost concern.”

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together … Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

The U.S. Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Islamic Society of North America and Union for Reform Judaism

“We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children … Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children … As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.”

The Orthodox Union

“As an Orthodox Jewish organization whose values are anchored in those of the Torah and Jewish history, we are deeply concerned about any steps taken that affect families and the parent/child relationship … Thus, we believe that immigration, asylum and border security policies must also be fashioned and implemented in a manner that takes all steps possible to keep parents and children united.”

Franklin Graham, Evangelical Leader

“It’s disgraceful, and it's terrible to see families ripped apart and I don't support that one bit.”

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

“The policy of separating migrant children from their parents is unconscionable. That about 1,500 children are now unaccounted for is the tragic result of the immoral decision to use the threat of family separation as a ‘deterrent’ to immigration combined with gross incompetence by those charged with overseeing immigration enforcement … The practice of separating migrant children from their parents must stop. Those at the highest levels of the Trump administration are responsible and must provide the public a clear explanation of how this happened and how these families will be reunited.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church

“The recent statement of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the attempt by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to use biblical text of Romans 13: 1, to justify and condone the U.S. government’s separations of immigrant children from their parents, in addition to being sad and sinful, shows a deep misunderstanding of the transforming truth of scripture … The founders of this nation used the same tactics to enslave our African forebears by lifting from the writings of the Apostle Paul passages to condone slavery and to break their spirit.

Catholic Charities USA

The federal administration’s recent decision to separate children from their parents at their border is cruel and misguided. It violates our core Catholic belief in the importance of the unity of the family as fundamental to the preservation of human dignity and the common good of society. It also undermines our nation’s legacy and duty to preserve and strengthen family values. This, and the administration’s other decision to exclude victims of domestic and organized violence from asylum protection goes against our history as a refuge for those cast out and it diminishes our legacy as a nation built on immigrants’ hopes and energies.”

President Trump’s family separation policy leaves a dark stain on our nation.  Ripping vulnerable little children away from their parents is an utter atrocity that debases America’s values and our legacy as a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom.

Protecting children and families is about basic morality and common decency.  We call on President Trump to immediately rescind this barbarous policy.