Sanders was ridiculed on social media for her Biblical assertion, with critics citing various passages that call for humane treatment of people, particularly children, and some tweets cheekily asking what the Bible said about adultery.
Democrats have called the policy "barbaric", and House Speaker Paul Ryan says he doesn't want kids separated from parents. "We would like to fix the broken system and fix our immigration problem, however until Democrats are willing to fix this problem it's going to continue".
- CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2018Sessions' comments come as the administration faces backlash for implementing a "zero tolerance" policy at the border by criminally prosecuting migrants entering the country illegally. Until the policy was announced in April, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation. His comments were in response to a letter from local officials urging him to demand that the Department of Homeland Security end the practice.
Colbert's enraged five-minute rant against President Donald Trump's immigration agenda failed to mention how Barack Obama implemented similar border policies of separating children from their parents and sheltering the minors in separate facilities.
The "zero tolerance" approach has drawn criticism from those on both sides of the political spectrum, including from the United Nations human rights office, which said the practice "amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of a child". On Wednesday, a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church said that separating mothers from their babies was "immoral".
Trump, White House appear at odds over GOP immigration bill
Conservatives are leery of legislation protecting from deportation immigrants who arrived illegally, calling it amnesty. On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a tense exchange with a reporter over the issue.
Historically, immigrants without serious criminal records have been released from custody while they pursued asylum or refugee status.
Lawmakers are considering several ideas to prevent family separations, though it remains to be seen if any proposal can garner enough support to pass.
And in the opening monologue of his show on Thursday, late-night TV host Stephen Colbert warned, "Don't bring God into this".
While Trump has transparent contempt for his Attorney General because he recused himself from the Russian Federation probe and put the President in jeopardy, the White House backed Sessions' invocation of religion for the immigration measures.