During his justification of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy toward immigrants who enter the United States illegally on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that guidance for tearing immigrant children away from their parents can be found in the Bible.

“If you cross the Southwest border unlawfully, then the Department of Homeland Security will arrest you and the Department of Justice will prosecute you. That is what the law calls for — and that is what we are going to do," Sessions said in a press briefing. "Having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution."

Sessions added that it was not the fault of the border patrol agents if the immigrant children were torn away from their families because it was the fault of their parents for letting it happen.

"They are the ones who broke the law, they are the ones who endangered their own children on their trek. The United States, on the other hand, goes to extraordinary lengths to protect them while the parents go through a short detention period,” he said.

To justify Trump’s stringent immigration policy, Sessions drew a reference from the Bible.

“Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. 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. "Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful."

Sessions was referring to the biblical verse of Romans 13:1, which reads: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

The bible has been used and misused by U.S. politicians from both sides of the political aisle while it comes to the age old immigration debate. So what does the Bible say about immigrants?

There is no mention of the words like “immigrant” or “migrant” in any English translation of biblical texts. The words used in the Bible that come close to describing a person who travels from one place to another, with the intention of settling down indefinitely, are “sojourner,” “neighbor” and “stranger.”

For example, a little further down the sixth book of the New Testament, to which Sessions referred to, appears the following verse: “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)

Immigration
Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that guidance for tearing immigrant children away from their parents can be found in the Bible. In this photo, Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border near Mission, Texas, June 12, 2018. Getty Images/ John Moore

Here are a few more Biblical verses that contradict Sessions' justification of Trump's immigration policy, as quoted in Open Bible:

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 19:33-34)

“There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exodus 12:49)

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2)

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Galatians 5:14)

When White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked following Sessions’ comments, “Where does it say in the Bible that’s moral to take children away from mothers?” she defended her colleague.

“I’m not aware of the attorney general’s comments or what he would be referencing, [but] I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is repeated throughout the Bible,” she said, the Guardian reported.