U.S. Senate Chaplain Rev. Barry Black opened the Senate Monday with a prayer for children being separated from their parents along the border due to the Trump administration’s "zero-tolerance" policy.
"We pray for our lawmakers, for our nation and its leaders and for all the nations on this earth. Through the power of your spirit, use our senators to cause justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream," Black said during the prayer.
"As children are being separated from their parents, remind us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to protect the most vulnerable in our world."
Black’s prayer came amid widespread outrage at the policy, announced earlier this year, which says children can be separated from their parents if apprehended families enter the country illegally.
Politicians on both sides condemned the practice, which has reportedly led to children being placed in cages en masse in makeshift ICE facilities. Nearly 2,000 children have been taken away from their parents in six-week period, The New York Times reported.
A tent city has been set up in Tornillo, Texas, which houses migrant children who’ve been separated from their parents at the U.S. Mexico border.
Democrat representatives and hundreds of others held protests outside the site on Father’s Day.
"We decided there wouldn't be a more powerful way to spend Father's Day than with children who have just been taken from their fathers, children who have been taken from their mothers, children who won't be able to be with their family," Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who led the protest, told the Texas Tribune.
President Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy although it was announced by his own administration.
On Monday, officials said Congress can fix the issue by passing immigration reform.
“Parents who entered illegally are by definition criminals,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday during the daily White House press briefing. "By entering our country illegally, often in dangerous circumstances, illegal immigrants have put their children at risk."