Religious leaders denounce separation of migrant families outside ICE center in Richmond

Abraham Drucker of San Francisco spent Father's Day protesting with his children. 

"There was no way that I could just sit down and have a nice brunch with my family when other people's families were torn apart," he said. 

Drucker organized a rally outside the West Contra Costa County Detention Center to protest the separation of migrant families at the U.S.- Mexico border.

President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policy means families that cross the border illegally will be separated with a few exceptions. Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted the Bible when defending the controversial policy.

Religious leaders at some Bay Area churches denounced this idea. 

"I was just appalled that people would use religion to justify injustice to immigrants," said Fil Nesta, an ordained minister who immigrated from Mexico when he was an infant. Nesta is not a U.S. citizen. 

"Our immigration policy and laws are broken. Something needs to happen in that area as well. But in the meantime we have a god-given gift to treat immigrants in a humane way," said Nesta. 

"There is no spiritual law that justifies separating children from their parents," said Reverend Jeremiah Kalendae with the First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

Reverend Mary Foran called Sessions's remarks "low." She wants immigrant families to know there is help. "Many churches, and ours included, are developing something called compliment teams, which is very personal support for families with particular things that are going on."

Members of the non-profit group Urban University marched along Grand Avenue in Oakland to show solidarity with activists all over the country fighting for these families. 

Meanwhile, Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, fired back at critics who say asylum seekers are being separated in a series of tweets. One reads, "For those seeking asylum at ports of entry, we have continued the policy from previous administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between family members, or if the adult has broken a law."