- Hillary Clinton spoke out Monday against President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
- Trump has blamed the policy on Democrats, something Clinton called “an outright lie.”
- Clinton also criticised Republican officials who have invoked religion in defending the policy, condemning “those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty.”
Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, spoke out Monday against President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy and its defenders.
The former first lady zeroed in on Trump’s repeated false claims that legislation passed by Democrats is to blame for the policy his administration is enforcing.
“Separating families is not mandated by law at all – that is an outright lie,” Clinton said during remarks at an event in New York. “It’s incumbent on all of us, journalists and citizens alike, to call it just that.”
The policy was announced as a deterrence measure in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It has resulted in almost 2,000 children being separated from their families at the US-Mexico border over six weeks, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.
Clinton also took aim at the Republican officials who have referenced the Bible as a defence of the policy.
“Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenet of Christianity,” she said.
Sessions responded to a Texan archbishop’s criticism of the policy last week by citing a verse from the Book of Romans that says God ordained laws from the government “for the purpose of order.”
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, later backed up Sessions’ use of the verse, saying that “it is very biblical to enforce the law.”
Clinton said this interpretation of the Bible didn’t line up with her knowledge of it.
“I went to a lot of years of Sunday school. I even taught it from time to time,” Clinton said. “I’ve studied the Bible, both the Old and the New Testament. And what is being done using the name of religion is contrary to everything I was ever taught.
“Jesus said suffer the little children unto me – he did not say let the children suffer,” Clinton continued, citing a Bible verse.
She added that “the test of any nation is how we treat the most vulnerable among us.”
Clinton also the former first lady Laura Bush was “absolutely right” when she wrote in an op-ed article in The Washington Post over the weekend: “This zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”
Clinton and Bush are among the growing bipartisan outcry over the policy.
Watch clips of Clinton’s remarks below:
JUST IN: "That is an outright lie," Hillary Clinton says of Trump White House saying separation of families at the US border is mandated by law. pic.twitter.com/iTMEmzRzss
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 18, 2018
Hillary Clinton: "Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenant of Christianity … [Jesus] did not say, “Let the children suffer.” pic.twitter.com/OTJqShBCAT
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 18, 2018
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