“The comments by Attorney General Sessions at the border yesterday, which conflated the actions of Central American parents–who are openly presenting themselves to seek safety and protection for their families–with efforts to “smuggle children over the border” illegally were unnecessarily punitive. They were a harsh misrepresentation of international and US asylum laws that guarantee persons without papers the right to present at a US port of entry and seek asylum by showing they meet the legal definition as victims of persecution. But most especially, such inflammatory rhetoric that threatens to punish and separate immigrant families runs counter to the call of our Creator, whose love and compassion for the suffering promotes family unity and defines our higher laws to ‘love the sojourner’ (Deuteronomy 10:19), ‘treat the foreigner…as the native born among you’ (Leviticus 19:33), and ‘show hospitality to one another without grumbling’ (1 Peter 4:9).”
—Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada.