Donald Trump’s Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions has long held ties to an array of far-right, anti-immigrant groups. Several of these are part of the John Tanton network. Tanton is the ideological founder of modern race-based opposition to immigration, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, John Tanton “has white nationalist beliefs and has written that to maintain American culture, ‘a European-American majority’ is required.” He was Alt-Right before the term was invented. It is important for the Senate to look into the extreme views of Jeff Sessions before he is confirmed as Attorney General.
Jeff Sessions worked for years with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). The innocuous sounding group poses as a thinktank, but it promotes white nationalist websites and viewpoints according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). When Sessions led the fight in the Senate against comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, he hired an attorney from the Center for Immigration Studies to conduct the legal campaign against it.The CIS recently endorsed Sessions for Attorney General saying “Senator Sessions has been the leading advocate for tougher border control measures, ending illegal immigration and reforming our nation’s immigration laws to further the national interest, not the special business and political interests that benefit from illegal immigration and mass legal immigration.” CIS, as well as the other Tanton-network groups, believe Sessions will not just go after undocumented immigrants but will also attempt to greatly reduce legal immigration to the United States.
Roy Beck, NumbersUSA’s (another Tanton-founded group) chief executive, said that as an advocate for cutting legal immigration he is “always looking for the people who understand that legal immigration has to be kept down.” Beck told the Los Angeles Times that Sessions agreed that the number of legal immigrants has to be cut. “He’s kept that flame alive. We now have the chief cheerleader for [that viewpoint] as attorney general.”
The Tanton-founded Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a hate group as defined by the SPLC, one which Sessions regularly attends events for and was honored by. Like FAIR, Sessions believes that the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants are not American citizens.
The Senate needs to fully examine the links Jeff Sessions has to these extremist groups before voting on his nomination for America’s top law enforcement job.