Closings & Delays across the Tennessee Valley

United Methodist Church members from Alabama sign letter bringing church charges against Jeff Sessions

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Passionate words are being heard from both sides of the aisle about U.S. immigration laws.

Democrats are pushing to stop children from being separated from their parents while some Republicans say we have to be tight on people entering the U.S. illegally.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol released video to reporters Monday showing the inside of one of the camps where children are taken after being separated from their families. It's sparking outrage across the nation.

This is a practice Attorney General Jeff Sessions has backed up even after getting tough criticism from other lawmakers.

"Our goal is to make the nation safer and to make sure that people who violate our laws are punished. We can't, we can't have a society in which people commit crimes all over the place and nothing happens. They tried that in the 60s and 70s nobody here remembers it but I do," Sessions said.

The United Methodist Church is taking a stance on session's "Zero-Tolerance" policy that includes separating children from their families at the border.
More than 600 members of the church signed a letter accusing Sessions of violating 4 different laws of the church.

Several members and clergy from Alabama signed the letter.

"This is very unusual," Douglas Sea said.

Sea's name is not on the letter.

He is a leader for the Interfaith Mission Service in Huntsville and a member of a United Methodist Church.

"These 600 people find fault with the way Mr. Sessions is behaving," he said about the letter.

The letter was filed Monday. It was sent to Session's church in mobile.

A portion of the letter reads:

"As a long-term United Methodist in a tremendously powerful, public position is particularly accountable to us, his church. He is ours, and we are his. As his denomination, we have an ethical obligation to speak boldly when one of our members is engaged in causing significant harm in matters contrary to the discipline on the global stage."

Sessions is facing four charges laid out in the United Methodist Book of Discipline,

Dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of the doctrine of the United Methodist Church, racial discrimination, immorality, and child abuse.

"It's kidnapping children you know that's the way the church views that," Sea said.

Each charge includes information about each violation.

The church sites, refusal of refugee/asylee status to those fleeing gang or sexual violence,  advocacy for and implementation of documented practices that
indefinitely separate thousands of young children from their parents,  attempting to criminalize Black Lives Matter and other racial justice activist groups, and the misuse of Romans 13 to indicate the necessity of obedience to secular law.

Individuals of the United Methodist Church are also weighing in.

The bishop from Session's conference, Reverand David Graves, has also issued a statement regarding the "Zero-Tolerance policy stating in part:

"I implore Congress and the current administration to do all in their power to reunite these families. Changes to these laws need to be addressed starting today."

It remains to be seen if the letter will have an effect on Sessions' immigration policy.

The United Methodist Church would like to enter into a resolution process with Sessions as they seek to journey with him towards reconciliation and faithful living toward the gospel.