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Anti-immigrant hardliners in the Trump Administration, most notably Attorney General Jeff Sessions, are putting their policy agenda into overdrive. Fresh off his public role in announcing the end of the DACA program – an outcome he helped engineer with the coordination of state Attorneys General such as Texas AG Ken Paxton – Sessions and other anti-immigrant drivers are now going for broke at the Department of Justice, at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). And in Congress, instead of being alarmed, the House is proposing to expand his powers, not reel them in…
According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has wasted no time in implementing his racist, anti-immigrant ideology. We told members of the Senate that anyone who voted to confirm him would own the consequences. This means you, Dean Heller, Cory Gardner, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, and Joe Manchin – among others. The damage Sessions is doing to families, children, humanitarian protections, due process, and basic justice is stunning and profound.
Below are some recent “lowlights” from Sessions. For a fuller list, see the America’s Voice Education Fund website.
DOJ memo leads to disgusting DHS crackdown on children: A disturbing investigative journalism report from ProPublica highlights how the Trump Administration is now targeting the relatives of unaccompanied youth for deportation: “About 90 percent of minors detained at the southern border are eventually turned over to a family member. It’s a system intended to spare the state from having to take care of children, and allow young people to live in normal homes while their visa and asylum claims work through the courts. Under President Barack Obama, ICE was instructed not to go after people who came forward to claim relatives, even if they were in the U.S. illegally. Guardians were told they had no reason to fear revealing themselves to authorities. Under President Donald Trump, that policy has been reversed.” (Read the full story for disturbing examples and details.) But it was Sessions’ Justice Department thatfirst laid out the new priorities for federal agencies in April.
DOJ siding with Sheriff Joe Arpaio instead of rule of law:Following President Trump’s egregious pardon of convicted criminal Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the U.S. Department of Justice is now backing Arpaio’s push to have his guilty finding vacated. As the Washington Post recaps, “The Justice Department on Monday said in a court filing it agrees a judge should erase her finding that former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio violated a court order and was guilty of criminal contempt — a move that would have virtually no practical impact but which Arpaio considers a symbol of vindication.”
DOJ to issue “bonus points” to public safety grant applicants that agree to become adjunct members of Trump’s Deportation Force: As Law360 highlights, DoJ recently notified state and local law enforcement agencies that they “can earn bonus points on their grant applications for fiscal year 2017 by cooperating with federal efforts against unauthorized immigration.” This news is a complementary piece to the announced threats that DoJ willwithhold public safety grants and funding from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions.
These are just a few of the latest examples of how Attorney General Sessions is using and abusing his authority at DOJ. With the House considering giving Trump’s Administration even more leeway to decide who to deport this week, Members of Congress need to know that a vote for the so-called ‘gang bill’ is really a vote to give the Department of Homeland Security and AG Sessions more power to do more damage to more people and our nation’s values. Put a stop to it.