TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order barring state resources from being used to carry out a federal policy of separating children from their parents after illegal border crossings.

Murphy on Tuesday called the practice "inhumane and cruel" and said earlier there was no basis for the policy in "law or scripture."

The Democrat said he wasn't sure whether state resources are being used in support of the policy.

Murphy spokesman Dan Bryan said the order applies to keeping the National Guard from traveling to the border.

Under the administration's current policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution, a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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