Statement on Recent Immigration decisions by Trump Administration

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, acting on behalf of the Trump Administration, has made three new, unnecessary and cruel changes to how our immigration laws are interpreted and carried out.

First, his “zero tolerance” policy is taking children as young as infants and toddlers from their parents, breaking apart families already under great duress. In the six weeks since the policy was announced, nearly 2,000 children have been taken in this way. These are extremely poor families, many of them fleeing extreme violence. They do not pose a threat to us; they are the very people that our nation has so famously welcomed for most of our history.

The second and third changes made by the Administration occurred last week, when Jeff Sessions announced that being the victim of domestic violence or of gang violence would no longer provide justification for status as a refugee. This is particularly cruel, given that most of these victims are women or children. Sessions, who quoted a Bible verse to justify his policies, is making new rules far beyond anything required by law. These rules are tearing apart families and preventing some of the most vulnerable people in the world from being considered to be refugees.

None of this is required by the current law. The President’s claim that they are implementing “the Democrats’ law” is simply false.

An administration dominated by people who claim the Christian faith, who talk constantly about making America great, is instead projecting to the world a nation that is indifferent to suffering, willing to undermine families, and closed to people in great need. As an American, raised in the Christian faith, I am horrified by these actions. I urge people of good will to join the fight to undo these new immigration rules, and strive to be a nation that measures itself by what we “do to the least” among us.