Attorney General-Nominee Jeff Sessions Will Have Negative Impact on Immigrants

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions is the first Cabinet nominee of Donald Trump. The Alabama senator has been picked to be the next Attorney General of the United States. His new office is highly involved in immigration law and policy and the anti-immigrant views of Sessions are likely to do great harm to immigrant communities.

As Attorney General, Sessions will appoint new immigration judges as well as the members of the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Attorney General can also render decisions in immigration court cases himself. In addition, the Attorney General is in charge of a team of prosecutors who can bring criminal charges against immigrants. With such great power over immigration matters, let’s look at the senator’s record on immigration.

Jeff Sessions, who chairs the Immigration Subcommittee in the Senate, has long been viewed as an immigration hardliner. He has a 100% rating from most anti-immigrant PACs.

Sessions supports English-Only laws requiring that government services and notices only be provided in English. He favors strict criminal penalties for anyone caught entering the United States without permission. He helped lead the opposition to efforts to reform immigration laws and create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Sessions has called for a cut-off of some Federal funds for cities that protect undocumented immigrants.

As Attorney General, Sessions would also set priorities for Justice Department Civil Rights enforcement. Sessions has in the past opposed laws aimed at allowing blacks and Latinos to vote and has criticized Federal investigations of police misconduct towards people of color.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.