Jun 17, 2018 09:37 Asia/Tehran

The attorney general, in a speech to law enforcement officers in Indiana, called on his "church friends" not to blame him for the policy of taking children away from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Almost 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the US southern border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to figures released by Department of Homeland Security.

The figures show that 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults between 19 April and 31 May 2018. The separations were not broken down by age, and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult.

Under a “zero tolerance” policy announced by the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, Department of Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. US protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime, while the parents are.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday staunchly defended  the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border, saying that having kids does not give migrants immunity from prosecution — and even found justification for his policies in the Bible !

Sessions made his latest remarks in a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana , saying the migrant families were to blame for their own break-ups and that his department's separation of families was not "unusual or unjustified."

In his remarks, Sessions hit back at the "concerns raised by our church friends about separating families," calling the criticism "not fair or logical" and quoting Scripture in his defense of Trump administration's tough policies.

"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 the government for his purposes," Sessions said. "Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves ... and protect the weak and it protects the lawful."

Sessions also claimed that U.S. government facilities, which are run by the Department of Health and Human Services, "care for the children in a good and decent and proper way" and blamed the parents of the children for subjecting them to "such a treacherous journey."