Jeff Sessions Says Trump Administration ‘Never Intended’ For Immigrant Families To Be Separated
In an interview on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to soften his tone about President Donald Trump‘s administration’s “zero-tolerance” illegal immigration policy that has resulted in thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents at the border.
Jeff Sessions Changes Tone On Immigrant Family Separations
Speaking to CBN News, Sessions said the administration “never really intended” for families to be split.
“It hasn’t really been good and the American people don’t like the idea that we are separating families,” the Justice Department’s top official said. We never really intended to do that.”
He continued: “What we intended to do was to make sure that adults who bring children into the country are charged with the crime they have committed. Instead of giving that special group of adults immunity from prosecution, which is what, in effect, what we were doing.”
The interview will air Friday and Monday on The 700 Club.
Illegal entry into the U.S. is considered a federal misdemeanor, not a felony. Many of the immigrants that have been crossing the border in recent months are refugees from countries ravaged by war or other horrifying acts and who are seeking asylum. Earlier this month, the Justice Department ruled that gang and domestic violence are not justifiable grounds for asylum. Sessions and other officials like Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had insisted that if immigrant parents didn’t want their children to be taken away from them, they should never cross the border illegally.
Also compounding problems to the immigration issue is the fact that earlier this week, the U.S. withdrew from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, citing the organization’s bias against ally Israel as one of the reasons for the decision. The U.N. condemned the government’s practice of forcibly dividing families, calling the actions a form of “child abuse.”
Earlier this month, Sessions and other Trump administration officials like White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used the Bible as an excuse for separating families, a justification that was heavily criticized by media outlets, which said no biblical verse supported these types of cruel actions and that only the Constitution should be used to dictate the country’s laws.
Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end the separation of families.