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Hundreds of members at Sessions's church write formal complaint over immigration policy

The Hill logo The Hill 6/19/2018 Brooke Seipel
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More than 600 members of the United Methodist Church signed onto a letter Monday condemning Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant parents and children at the U.S. border.

In the letter, the group of churchgoers, including clergy and church leadership, accuse Sessions of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of the doctrine of the United Methodist Church.

They note in the letter that Sessions is a member of Ashland Place United Methodist Church, in Mobile, Ala.

"While other individuals and areas of the federal government are implicated in each of these examples, Mr. Sessions - as a long-term United Methodist in a tremendously powerful, public position - is particularly accountable to us, his church," the letter reads. "He is ours, and we are his. As his denomination, we have an ethical obligation to speak boldly when one of our members is engaged in causing significant harm in matters contrary to the Discipline on the global stage."

9 year-old A.R. leans against his mother who asked to be identified only as W.R. during a news conference at the Brazilian Worker Center in Boston, Monday, July, 16, 2018. The mother spoke to reporters Monday after she was reunited with her son Saturday at Boston's Logan airport. They had been separated since May 30 under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Immigration policy: Families separated at border

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The letter comes as President Trump and his administration face backlash over its policy to separate migrant families.

Sessions announced the so-called "zero tolerance" policy earlier this year, saying the Department of Justice would criminally prosecute all adults attempting to illegally cross the southern border into the U.S. As a result, families who crossed together would in some cases be separated, he said.

Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for the policy, and administration officials have asserted that only Congress can fix the issue by passing immigration reform.

Members of Congress have introduced legislation to end the practice of separating families, while simultaneously urging Trump to unilaterally stop the separations. Jeff Sessions wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

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