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Senate Vote on Jeff Sessions to Determine If “Intellectual Godfather” Behind Trump Executive Orders Will Be Nation’s Attorney General

 

As the Senate gears up to vote later today on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States, Senators should be fully aware that Sessions’ longstanding worldview and policy agenda is cohesive and fundamentally hostile to immigration and the changing demographics of America – and has been on display these past weeks through the series of immigration executive orders issued by President Trump.

As the Washington Post recently and accurately labeled, Jeff Sessions is the “intellectual godfather” behind Trump’s immigration and Muslim/refugee ban executive orders. As a result and as we recently noted, if you are opposed to Trump’s immigration and Muslim/refugee ban executive orders, are among the three-of-four Americans who support legalizing, rather than deporting, undocumented immigrants, or if you care about DREAMers and the future of the DACA program, you should oppose Jeff Sessions and recognize his fingerprints and influence on the chaos and heartlessness on display these past weeks. Sessions’ influence also is seen in the new legislation from Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) seeking to slash legal immigration and dramatically reduce family-based green cards.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:“Jeff Sessions has a clear, longstanding, and disturbing worldview that is aligned with the wishlists of the anti-immigrant and white nationalist movements. From mass deportation to dramatic reductions in visa programs designed to reunify families, Sessions and his band of nativists have new power and influence to implement their extreme ideas. And, as if the ideas weren’t offensive and counterproductive on their own, we now have several weeks of chaos and damage to America’s reputation as a result of following through on Sessions-inspired executive orders. We all should oppose Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General and insist that basic American principles trump Senate bipartisan decorum.”

As America’s Voice Education Fund noted yesterday, here are just a few reasons Senators should oppose Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General: 

You Can’t Be Anti-Trump Executive Orders and Pro-Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: Democrats have been united in speaking out against the Trump immigration and refugee/Muslim ban executive orders. As a result, they should also be unanimously opposed to Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General, given that the Washington Post recently and accurately labeled Jeff Sessions the “intellectual godfather” behind Trump’s executive orders and that the AG will play a massive role in shaping ongoing battles over the current executive orders as well as the direction and implementation of future executive orders.

If You Care About DREAMers, You Cannot Vote for Jeff Sessions: Given that the future of the popular DACA program benefiting DREAMers is yet to be decided and is the subject of fierce debate within the Trump administration–and Sessions is an avowed opponent–anyone who cares about DACA should recognize that putting Jeff Sessions at the AG’s office is dangerous.

Sessions as AG Would Give New Power to Anti-Immigrant and White Nationalist-Allied Thinking: Sessions is the favorite Senator for followers of white nationalists on Twitter, per a new analysis, and the Senator and his orbit have deep ties and relationships to the network of John Tanton-founded anti-immigration organizations in addition to avowed white nationalists. Stephen Miller, the former Sessions staffer who wrote the immigration and refugee and Muslim ban executive orders, is someone for whom white nationalist Richard Spencer served as a “mentor” while the two overlapped at Duke University. As Spencer said of his relationship with Miller, “I spent a lot of time with him at Duke… I hope I expanded his thinking.” As David Brooks recently characterized: “[T]he Trump administration is not a Republican administration; it is an ethnic nationalist administration.” Putting Sessions in the AG office would only further this Administration’s connections to the extreme right.

Sessions Would Bring His Anti-immigrant Ideology into the Attorney General’s Office, with Devastating Consequences For All: As immigration attorney David Leopold recently wrote on Medium:  “As the nation’s top lawyer, head of the immigration court, and civil rights officer, Jeff Sessions would have access to multiple tools to harm immigrants and undermine due process.” Read David Leopold: Five Chilling Ways Senator Jeff Sessions Could Attack Immigrants.