Leaders of the Catholic church are criticizing the Trump administration over its border protection policy, saying that separating mothers who illegally come into the US from their children is ‘immoral’.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, called out president Donald Trump and his ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on Wednesday during the the group’s spring conference.
‘Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety,’ he said, according to Religion News Service. ‘Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.’
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, criticized the zero-tolerance policy saying it is ‘immoral’ to separate mothers who enter the country illegally from their children
In this June 12 photo, a Honduran mother holds her two-year-old as U.S. Border Patrol agents review their papers near the U.S.-Mexico border
Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas
Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration was going to crackdown on immigration into the country by prosecuting families who cross the border illegally. He acknowledged that the policy would separate more families.
In an interview with NPR shortly after his announcement, Sessions said: ‘The children will be taken care of – put into foster care or whatever’.
DiNardo also slammed the administration’s move to overturn asylum protection for victims of domestic violence. He said the policy ‘elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection’.
‘Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives,’ he said.
Other bishops at the conference called for ‘canonical penalties’ for those Catholics who help Trump carry out the new rules.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, also criticized the Trump administration, calling the zero-tolerance policy ‘harmful and unjust’.
‘As a Catholic bishop, I support political and legal authority. I have always taught respect for the civil law and will continue to do so. But, I cannot be silent when our country’s immigration policy destroys families, traumatizes parents, and terrorizes children,’ the statement read in part.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that federal agents separated a mother and child as the woman was breastfeeding the girl. The mother, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, said she was at a detention center in Texas awaiting prosecution for entering the country illegally.
Trump blamed the policy on Democrats in a tweet last month calling it a ‘horrible law’
Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration was going to crackdown on immigration into the country by prosecuting families who cross the border illegally
She said she was handcuffed when she refused to let go of her child. According to the outlet, roughly 500 children have been separated from their parents since the zero-tolerance policy was announced last month.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security responded to DiNardo’s comments saying the department has not been separating families at the border. The Department of Justice did not have a response.
‘As part of long-standing policy, DHS is increasing referrals of illegal border crossers who violate our nation’s sovereignty to DOJ for prosecution. Every day in communities across the country – if you commit a crime the police will take you to jail – regardless if you have a family or not… Illegal aliens should not get different – even better – rights because they happen to be illegal aliens.’
In a tweet last month, Trump blamed the policy on Democrats, writing: ‘Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there (sic) parent once they cross the Border in the US. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.’