The current Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for invoking the Bible in a loose justification of the “zero tolerance” immigration policy introduced by the Trump administration. The strict enforcement of immigration law has faced widespread condemnation from both sides of the political aisle amid reports of thousands of undocumented children being separated from their parents.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said at a press conference Thursday in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
In an appearance on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” Cardinal Dolan voiced his disapproval of the attorney general’s biblical justification.
“If they want to take a baby from the arms of his mother and separate the two, that’s wrong,” Dolan told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I don’t care where you’re at, what time and condition, that just goes against — you don’t have to read the Bible for that. That goes against human decency. That goes against human dignity. It goes against what’s most sacred in the human person.”
"I don't think we should obey a law that goes against what God intends" Cardinal Timothy Dolan talks immigration in America https://t.co/Bhlduay2J8
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) June 16, 2018
Dolan also suggested that Attorney General Sessions had blatantly misapplied Romans 13, which talks about submission to governing authorities.
“I appreciate the fact that Attorney General Sessions refers to the Bible,” Dolan said. “The quote that he used from St. Paul might not be the best. For one, St. Paul always says that we should obey the law of the government if that law is in conformity with the Lord’s law. No pun intended, but God’s law trumps man’s law.”
The Archbishop continued, insisting that such a harsh application of immigration policy was distinctly unbiblical.
“I don’t think we should obey a law that goes against what God intends that you would take a baby, a child, from his or her mom,” he said. “I mean, that’s just unjust. That’s un-biblical. That’s un-American. There could be no biblical passage that would justify that.”
He went on to explain that he supports efforts to secure our country’s borders, while implying that certain measures go too far.
“You can have secure and safe borders … while still maintaining that grand American heritage of welcome of the immigrant and refugee,” the archbishop continued. “That’s just part of America and I don’t want to see that spoiled.”
Moving forward, Cardinal Dolan implored both sides of the political divide to come together in order to work toward a fairer immigration system.
“Enough of blame. Enough of retribution. Enough of accusation,” he said. “We need to get together and say, ‘Let’s make this work.'”
The Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration has drawn outrage from across the political spectrum. Former first lady Laura Bush penned an op-ed at the Washington Post in which she blasted the “cruel” and “immoral” approach to immigration.
“I live in a border state,” she wrote. “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”
“Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso,” Bush continued. “These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”