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Former Federal Prosecutors Urge Sessions to End Family Separations

Former Federal Prosecutors Urge Sessions to End Family Separations

In addition to all five former first ladies stating this policy is immoral, Joe Straus, the Republican Speaker of the Texas state House wrote a letter to Trump stating in part, "I respectfully ask that you move immediately to rescind the policy that General Sessions announced in April and any other policies that have led to an increase in family separations at the border". "Illegal entry is a crime as determined by Congress".

In an interview on Fox News, Sessions dismissed comparisons of the detention facilities for migrant children to Nazi concentration camps, arguing Nazis "were keeping the Jews from leaving the country."

"As members of the United Methodist Church, we deeply hope for a reconciling process that will help this long-time member of our connection step back from his harmful actions and work to fix the damage he is now causing to immigrants, particularly children and families", the letter reads.

According to the former prosecutors, the policy - which mandates the arrest of anyone caught entering the USA illegally - is a waste of dire resources as well, given the punishment for the misdemeanor offense of illegal border crossing is at most a year in prison.

"The U.S. Justice Department is ignoring its legal and moral obligation for the sake of a political agenda at the expense of children and the efforts of state law enforcement officials combating crimes like human trafficking, drug trafficking and gang violence which operate across worldwide borders", Balderas said in a statement.

Doctors warn that forced family separation could cause permanent psychological damage, a trauma the letter said alone is "sufficient reason to halt your policy".

Since the Trump administration instituted its "zero-tolerance" policy on immigration this spring, under which anyone caught entering the USA illegally is referred for criminal prosecution, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families.

Current and former state and federal prosecutors are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his zero tolerance policy targeting families who have illegally entered the United States' southern border.

"As former U.S. Attorneys, we know that none of these consequences - nor the policy itself - is required by law", the letter continues.

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US officials say the children are well cared for.

Only about 20% of those seeking asylum actually merit it, she said.

"We do not want to separate children from their parents".

On Tuesday, a a Justice spokesman said that Sessions' reference to deterrence related only to the policy provision that all illegal immigrants would be prosecuted, not that children would be separated from parents as a result.

Many Christian leaders have rejected Sessions' interpretation of Romans 13 and spoke out against the zero tolerance policy, including the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in Monday's White House press briefing, despite publicly available pictures and videos, reports of detained children in distress were false.

He also said that people who have a "genuine asylum claim" they can make their claim legally and remain with their children.

His op-ed comes amid loud and growing criticism of the Trump administration's policy of prosecuting those who cross the United States border illegally, which results in the separation of families.