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Washington, DC (June 15, 2018) – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) today strongly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for using the Bible to justify the separation of children from their families at the United States-Mexico border.

Contact: Adlai Amor, Friends Committee on National Legislation;; 202-903-2536

“The Bible does not justify cruel, dangerous and inhumane border enforcement practices,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary for FCNL. “It teaches us to love our neighbors, not to break up families. We are critical of the use of Biblical teachings to justify an immoral political decision of this Administration.”

While addressing a crowd in Fort Wayne, IN on Thursday, Sessions used scripture from the Bible to defend the Trump administration’s harsh practice of separating children from their parents at the border. The same passages from Paul’s letter to the Romans have been used historically to justify slavery and Nazism.

The government’s border policy prosecutes and detains adults for entering the U.S. improperly. Their children are put into the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and processed as “unaccompanied.” It can take weeks before a parent knows the whereabouts of their child. This unprecedented policy traumatizes parents and children and expands criminalization of asylum seekers.

“As Quakers, we oppose cruel enforcement policies that forcibly separate children from their families,” said Hannah Graf Evans, Legislative Representative for Immigration & Refugee Policy at FCNL. “Humane immigration policy must keep families together, protect access to asylum, and utilize alternatives to detention for all those navigating the immigration or asylum processes.”

FCNL joins members of the faith community in opposing family separation at the U.S. border and the detention and prosecution of parents travelling with children. FCNL also criticizes other documented acts of abuse by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) against vulnerable families.

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Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.

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