Paula White, the spiritual adviser of President Donald Trump, stated that Jesus would have been sinful and “would not have been our Messiah” if he had broken immigration laws.
White, during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on Monday, stated that there was a difference between the undocumented immigrants being detained for illegally entering the U.S. and Jesus being a refugee in Egypt.
The Gospel of Matthew describes Jesus and his parents Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt shortly after Jesus’s birth to escape King Herod, who sought to kill the infant.
“I think so many people have taken biblical scriptures out of context on this, to say stuff like, ‘Well, Jesus was a refugee’,” White told CBN. “And yes, he did live in Egypt for three-and-a-half years. But it was not illegal. If he had broke the law then he would have been sinful and he would not have been our Messiah.”
White regularly meets with Trump and has been a friend and counselor to him for more than 16 years.
Trump administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have used the Bible to defend the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of separating detained immigrant families at the border.
“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 them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said during a speech last month. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last month also said that it is “very biblical to enforce the law.”
Meanwhile, several Christian groups and leaders have spoken out against the zero-tolerance policy, including Pope Francis, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and prominent evangelical Christian Franklin Graham.