Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited scripture from the Bible on Thursday, June 14, to justify the Trump administration's immigration policy which has led to separating children from their parents at the border.

Since the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy went into effect in May, an estimated 500 immigrant children – some experts estimate thousands – have been separated from their parents at the border. As people across the country publicly express outrage over the horrific stories of family separations, Sessions used religion to justify the policy.

"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 the government for his purposes," Sessions said according to CNN. "Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent, fair application of law is in itself a good and moral thing and that protects the weak, it protects the lawful. Our policies that can result in short-term separation of families are not unusual or unjustified."

But religious leaders have widely condemned the harsh border control policies which leave children separated from their families and placed in government shelters. Such was the case for Pastor A.R. Bernard who joined CNN's Don Lemon to denounce the harsh border control crackdown. 

When asked about Sessions' citation of the Bible, Bernard, who was first to resign from Trump's evangelical council, said the attorney general "crossed the line."

"We’re on dangerous ground when we begin to experience what is symptomatic of a politically co-opted gospel and Christian lens that that’s coming through,” Bernard said in part. “He shouldn’t be quoting from scripture because we can make the scripture say anything that we want and try to legitimize public policy. We should never do that. And I think he crossed the line."

He also added, "When we use the Bible to justify policies that are targeting children to separate them from their parents, that’s an atrocity.”

Rallies organized by Families Belong Together were simultaneously held across the country on June 14 to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies.