White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said separating undocumented children from their families at the border is in accordance with The Bible.
In response to a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta about Attorney General Jeff Sessions justifying the Trump administration’s harsh new policy of stripping children out of the arms of their parents at the border by citing The Bible, Sanders didn’t miss a beat.
“It is very biblical to enforce the law,” Sanders said, without specifically citing any book of The Bible or any specific chapter and verse. “That is actually repeated a number of times throughout The Bible.”
Sanders comments on family separations at the border: “It is very biblical to enforce the law” https://t.co/5DiL1C4FHt
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 14, 2018
However, The Bible actually has multiple verses that would appear to contradict the Trump administration’s immigration policy, in both the Old and New Testaments. The Common English Bible translation of Exodus Chapter 23, Verse 9 states, “Don’t oppress an immigrant. You know what it’s like to be immigrants, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt.”
The King James Version of Deuteronomy Chapter 15, Verse 11 states, “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”
And in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25, Verses 35 and 36, Jesus himself tells his disciples that for every time they either helped or did not help someone in need, they were doing that to Jesus.
“I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.”
In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) described the harrowing conditions undocumented immigrants in federal custody were experiencing, which included beatings, guards depriving detainees of water, and in one mother’s case, being given a slip of paper with her name and the names of children assigned to her who were not actually hers — suggesting that the U.S. Border Patrol is routinely reassigning children separated from their families to different parents.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.