Trump’s Attorney General Nominee Shares His Racism

“What do you have to lose?” was Donald Trump’s appeal to African Americans throughout his campaign. As we knew then, the answer is “Everything.”

With Trump’s first nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General, Trump confirmed that he doesn’t stand on the side of African American communities. Like Trump, Sessions has a long and documented history of racism– racism so brutally repugnant that it prevented Sessions from being confirmed to the U.S. District Court.

Sessions also supported Trump’s ban on Muslims and is behind Trump’sxenophobic and nationalistic anti-immigrant policies. Building the wall was just the rallying cry for a deportation force that would rip up working families.

Republican senators now need to decide if Trump and Session’s overt racism is what is needed in an Attorney General.

 

Read more about Trump’s Attorney General nominee’s penchant for racism:

Jeff Session’s History Of Racism

In 1986, Sessions was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. However, his nomination was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee amid accusations of racism in hiswork as U.S. Attorney in the state.

In 1984, just two years before he was nominated to the federal bench, Sessions charged three civil rights workers, including one of the leaders of the Selma to Montgomery march, with voter fraud. The case was announced after vastly increased African American voter turnout and the successful election of black officeholders, and was seen as an attempt at voter intimidation. All three workers were acquitted.

In his confirmation hearings, Sessions was accused of making racially insensitive statements to staff while U.S. Attorney. One staff member, attorney Thomas Figures, who is African American, testified that Sessions regularly called him “boy” and told him to “be careful what you say to white folks.”

Figures also testified that Sessions said that he “used to think they [the Ku Klux Klan] were OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.” In hisconfirmation hearing, Sessions claimed the comment was a joke. Figures additionally claimed that Sessions said “I wish I could decline” all civil rights cases.

In addition, a career Justice Department employee named J. Gerald Hebert testified that Sessions called the NAACP, the ACLU, the National Council of Churches, SCLC, and other civil rights groups “Un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” Hebert testified that Sessions said these groups “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” When asked about these comments, Sessions, in hisconfirmation hearing, said “I’m often loose with my tongue. I may have said something about the N.A.A.C.P. being un-American or Communist, but I meant no harm by it.” During his confirmation hearing Sessions stood by his statement that the Voting Rights Act was a “piece of intrusive legislation.”

In his testimony, Sessions also conceded that he called a white civil rights lawyer a “disgrace to his race” but once again claimed it was a joke, and confirmed that he had never hired a black employee until he learned he had been nominated to the federal bench.

After holding four hearings on Sessions’ nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected his nomination by a 10 to 8 vote. Sessions’ nomination was the second judicial nomination in 50 years to be rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

1986 Federal Judicial Nomination Was Rejected As Sessions Was Accused Of Racism

1986: Sessions Was Nominated To The U.S. District Court For The Southern District Of Alabama

Sessions Was Nominated To The U.S. District Court For The Southern District Of Alabama. According to the Associated Press, “President Reagan’s nominee for an Alabama federal judgeship acknowledged Thursday he accused prominent civil rights and church groups of engaging in un-American activities. Jefferson B. Sessions III told the Senate Judiciary Committee he made the remark while referring to political activities by the National Council of Churches and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. At a confirmation hearing, Democrats assailed the civil rights record of Sessions, the U.S. attorneyin Mobile who was nominated as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Alabama.” [Associated Press, 3/13/86]

Sessions’ Nomination To THe U.S. District Court Was Defeated Amid Charges Of Racism

In 1984, Sessions Charged Three Civil Rights Workers With Voter Fraud After Increased Voter Turnout For Black Voters And Successful Election Of Black Officeholders; Charges Were Seen As Voter Intimidation

Sessions Charged Three Civil Rights Workers With Voter Fraud; The Workers Were Acquitted. According to ABC News, “At the time, Sessions had recently prosecuted three civil rights workers for voter fraud, alleging that 14 ballots had been tampered with. Known as the Marion Three, the civil rights workers were acquitted and cited by civil rights groups opposing Sessions’ nomination as evidence of his alleged racial animus.” [ABC News, 6/2/09]

The Guardian: When Sessions Brought His Voter Fraud Charges, The Workers Had Increased Black Voter Turnout To 80 Percent And Black Legislators Were Elected After “Virtually No” African Americans Were Registered To Vote In 1965; The Charges Were Seen As Voter Intimidation. According to The Guardian, The tip of the problem was a 1984 case that came to be known as the ‘Marion 3’ – Sessions’s prosecution of three civil rights workers over what he perceived as voting fraud. As Lani Guinier lays out in her book Lift Every Voice, before 1965 there were ‘virtually no blacks registered to vote in the 10 western Black Belt counties of Albama’. But by the 1980s that had started to change. Through the massive get-out-the-vote efforts of three leaders – including a former aid to Martin Luther King – black voter turnout began to creep toward 80%, and a handful of black legislators were elected. That’s where Sessions stepped in, charging three voting rights organizers with voter fraud. All three were quickly acquitted. Sessions’s choice to focus on their efforts looked a lot less like good governance and a lot more like voter intimidation.” [The Guardian, 5/5/09]

One Of The Three Workers Sessions Charged With Voter Fraud Help Lead The Selma To Montgomery March.According to the New York Times, “Many civil rights and civil liberties groups have opposed the nomination, and more than a dozen representatives of the groups were prepared to testify against it. Also prepared to testify was a defendant in the Perry County case, Albert Turner, who helped lead the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, and Thomas Figures, a black attorney who once worked for Mr. Sessions in Alabama.” [New York Times, 3/14/86]

According to Testimony In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Called An African American Lawyer “Boy” And Told Him To “Be Careful What You Say To White Folks”

Sessions Was Accused Of Making Racially Insensitive Statements To Fellow Staff While Serving As The U.S. Attorney

Sessions Was Accused Of Making Racially Insensitive Statements To Staff Members While Serving As The United States Attorney In Mobile, Alabama. According to the New York Times, “The statement by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware about the nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions 3d, came as one of the nominee’s former deputies accused him of making racially insensitive comments to staff members while serving as the United States Attorney in Mobile.” [New York Times, 3/20/86]

Testifying In Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing, Assistant U.S. AttorneyThomas Figures Said Sessions Regularly Called Him “Boy.” According to ABC News, “The most headline-grabbing charges against Sessions, however, were made by Thomas Figures, an assistant United States Attorney for seven years and an African-American. Figures had been appointed to the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Alabama during the presidency of President Carter. During Sessions’ confirmation hearings in 1986, Figures alleged that Sessions repeatedly displayed racial insensitivity around him. ‘I was regularly called “boy,”’ Figures said. When asked by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who called him ‘boy,’ Figures said, ”Mr. Sessions did, one or two of the other assistants.” One of those Assistant U.S. Attorney, Edward Vulevich, said Figures’ charge wasn’t true and called Sessions ‘a man of utmost integrity.’” [ABC News, 6/2/09]

Figures Said Sessions Had Admonished Him To “Be Care What You Say To White Folks.” According to ABC News, “Once after he’d been in a dispute with a white secretary in the US Attorney’s office, Figures said in his testimony, Sessions ‘called me into his office and indicated he felt I had been unduly harsh with the secretary. Mr. Sessions admonished me to “be careful what you say to white folks.”…Had Mr. Sessions merely urged me to be careful about what I said to “folks,” that admonition would have been quite reasonable. But that was not the language that he used.’ ‘There was a period in our own lifetimes when blacks were regularly admonished to be particularly polite or deferential, and a remark of that sort may just have slipped out inadvertently,’ Figures said at the time.” [ABC News, 6/2/09]

In 2009, Figures Stood By His 1986 Testimony. According to ABC News, “Reached in Mobile, Alabama, this week, Mr. Figures told ABC News, ‘I stand by my testimony and I don’t know if anyone has questioned the veracity or the truth of it. And I don’t really care.’” [ABC News, 6/2/09]

According To Testimony In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Said He “Used To Think [The KKK] Were Okay,” Until He Discovered Some Of Them Were “Pot Smokers”

Figures Testified In Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing That Sessions Said That He “Used To Think [The Ku Klux Klan] Were OK” Until He Found Out Some Were “Pot Smokers.” According to the New Republic, “It got worse. Another damaging witness–a black former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama named Thomas Figures–testified that, during a 1981 murder investigation involving the Ku Klux Klan, Sessions was heard by several colleagues commenting that he ‘used to think they [the Klan] were OK’ until he found out some of them were ‘pot smokers.’ Sessions claimed the comment was clearly said in jest. Figures didn’t see it that way. Sessions, he said, had called him ‘boy’ and, after overhearing him chastise a secretary, warned him to ‘be careful what you say to white folks.’ Figures echoed Hebert’s claims, saying he too had heard Sessions call various civil rights organizations, including the National Council of Churches and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ‘un-American.’ Sessions denied the accusations but again admitted to frequently joking in an off-color sort of way.” [New Republic, 12/30/02]

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Described His Comment That He Used To Think The KKK Were Okay As A Joke. According to the Associated Press, “Sessions described the Klan remark as a joke, and called the organization ‘a force for hatred and bigotry.’ He said at the time he made the remark, he was involved in prosecution of two Klan members for the murder of a black man.” [Associated Press, 3/13/86]

Sessions Called The Voting Rights Act A “Piece Of Intrusive Legislation”

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Stood By Calling The Voting Rights Act Of 1965 A “Piece Of Intrusive Legislation.” According to the New Republic, “He further admitted to calling the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a ‘piece of intrusive legislation,’ a phrase he stood behind even in his confirmation hearings.” [New Republic, 12/30/02]

According To Testimony In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Called A White Civil Rights Lawyer A “Disgrace To His Race”

A Justice Department Employee Claimed That Sessions Called A White Civil Rights Lawyer A “Disgrace To His Race;” Sessions Acknowledged The Statement, But Argued He Was Joking. According to the New Republic, “Hebert testified that the young lawyer tended to ‘pop off’ on such topics regularly, noting that Sessions had called a white civil rights lawyer a ‘disgrace to his race’ for litigating voting rights cases. Sessions acknowledged making many of the statements attributed to him but claimed that most of the time he had been joking, saying he was sometimes ‘loose with [his] tongue.’” [New Republic, 12/30/02]

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Said “I May Have Said, ‘Maybe He Is’” A Disgrace. According to the Associated Press, “In regard to the remark on the civil rights lawyer, Sessions said, ‘I may have said, “Maybe he is” (a disgrace). I don’t know why I may have said that.’” [Associated Press, 3/13/86]

Sessions Called The NAACP And ACLU “Un-American” And “Communist-Inspired”

Testifying In Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing, Justice Department Employee J. Gerald Hebert Said That Sessions Called The NAACP And ACLU “Un-American” And “Communist-Inspired.” According to the New Republic, “On its own, the case might not have been enough to stain Sessions with the taint of racism, but there was more. Senate Democrats tracked down a career Justice Department employee named J. Gerald Hebert, who testified, albeit reluctantly, that in a conversation between the two men Sessions had labeled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ‘un-American’ and ‘Communist-inspired.’ [New Republic, 12/30/02]

Hebert Testified That Sessions Argued The NAACP And ACLU “Forced Civil Rights Down The Throats Of People.”According to the New Republic, “Hebert said Sessions had claimed these groups ‘forced civil rights down the throats of people.’” [New Republic, 12/30/02]

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Said The NAACP And ACLU Could Be Seen A “Un-American” When “They Involve Themselves In Promoting Un-American Positions” In Foreign Policy. According to the New Republic, “In hisconfirmation hearings, Sessions sealed his own fate by saying such groups could be construed as ‘un-American’ when ‘they involve themselves in promoting un-American positions’ in foreign policy.” [New Republic, 12/30/02]

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Said The He “May Have Said Something About The NAACP Being Un-American Or Communist, But I Meant No Harm By It.” According to the New York Times, “Mr. Sessions acknowledged at the hearing that he once ‘may have said something about the N.A.A.C.P. being un-American or Communist, but I meant no harm by it.’ He strenuously denied that he bore any racial prejudice, and his supporters say Mr. Sessions is a victim of politicians who are using his past statements of context.” [New York Times, 3/20/86]

Figures Testified That Sessions Also Called Martin Luther King’s SCLC, Operation PUSH, And The National Council Of Churches Anti-American. According to ABC News, “In addition, Figures said that Sessions ‘stated that he believed the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Operation PUSH, and the National Council of Churches were all un-American organizations teaching Anti-American values.’” [ABC News, 6/2/09]

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Said When The NAACP And National Council Of Churches “Take Positions That People Think Are Un-American They Hurt Themselves.” According to the Associated Press, “Sessions said he did not make such an accusation. But he acknowledged using the word un-American in a conversation about the NAACP and the National Council of Churches _ not the ACLU. ‘I said when they take positions that people think are un-American they hurt themselves,’ Sessions said. ‘I don’t think of the National Council of Churches and the NAACP as being un-American organizations. The NAACP has done more than any organization to promote racial progress in the South.’” [Associated Press, 3/13/86]

Sessions: “I’m Often Loose With My Tongue. I May Have Said Something About The NAACP Being Un-American Or Communist, But I Meant No Harm By It.” According to the New York Times, “‘I don’t recall saying that,’ Mr. Sessions said. ‘I’m often loose with my tongue. I may have said something about the N.A.A.C.P. being un-American or Communist, but I meant no harm by it.’” [New York Times, 3/14/86]

Sessions Said He Wished He Could Decline All Civil Rights Cases

Figures Testified That Sessions Said “I Wish I Could Decline” All Civil Rights Cases. According to Talking Points Memo, “Figures recalled one occasion in which the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division sent them instructions to investigate a case that Sessions had tried to close: ‘We had a very spirited discussion regarding how the Hodge case should then be handled; in the course of that argument, Mr. Sessions threw the file on a table, and remarked, ‘I wish I could decline on all of them.’’” [Talking Points Memo, 5/7/09]

Figures: Sessions Demonstrated A “Hostility To Investigating And Pursuing” Civil Rights Cases. According to Talking Points Memo, “All of them, according to Figures, meant civil rights cases generally. As he explained at one point: ‘[T]he statement, the manner in which it was delivered, the impression on his face, the manner in which his face blushed, I believe it represented a hostility to investigating and pursuing those types of matters.’” [Talking Points Memo, 5/7/09]

Sessions Did Not Hire Any Black U.S. Attorneys Until After He Learned He Had Been Nominated To The Federal Bench

In His Confirmation Hearing, Sessions Said He Had Not Hired Any Black Employees Until After He Learned He Had Been Nominated For The Federal Bench. According to the Miami Herald, “Mr. Sessions also told the committee that he had not hired any blacks to work in his office until after he learned of hisnomination.” [Miami Herald, 3/21/86]

The Judiciary Committee Held Four Hearings On Sessions’ Nomination; Sessions At One Point Argued “I Am Not A Racist”

The Senate Held Four Hearings On Sessions’ Nomination, More Than On Recent Supreme Court Nominees. According to the Washington Post, “Sessions faced heated questioning from a pair of Democrats still playing prominent roles today, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who called the nominee ‘a throwback to a shameful era,’ and Vice President Biden, then a senator in the initial stages of launching his failed 1988 presidential campaign. The committee held four hearings, more than were held on any recent Supreme Court nomination, with Sessions pleading ‘I am not a racist’ during one committee appearance.” [Washington Post, 5/5/09]

Sessions Was Just The Second Nominee In 50 Years To Be Rejected By The Judiciary Committee

Sessions’ Nomination Was Rejected By A 10-8 Vote

June 1986: The Senate Judiciary Committee Rejected Sessions’ Nomination By A 10-8 Vote. According to the New York Times, “The Senate Judiciary Committee today rejected the nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions 3d to be a Federal district judge in Alabama. It was the first time one of President Reagan’s judicial nominees was rejected. The 10-to-8 vote to disapprove Mr. Sessions was followed by a 9-to-9 vote in which the committee refused to send the nomination to the Senate floor with either no recommendation or an unfavorable one, in effect killing the nomination. A majority vote is necessary for an affirmative motion.” [New York Times, 6/6/86]

Before Sessions, More Than 200 Of Reagan’s Nominees Had Been Confirmed; Sessions Was The Second Nominee In 50 Years To Be Rejected By The Senate Judiciary Committee. According to The Guardian, “Sessions had good reason to believe he’d be rubber-stamped through to a judgeship – some 200 of the Gipper’s judges had already been heavily sprinkled throughout the federal judicial system. But Sessions stopped up the works. The young lawyer became only the second man in 50 years to be rejected by the Senate judiciary committee.” [The Guardian, 5/5/09]

Sen. Ted Kennedy Argued That It Was “Inconceivable… That A Person Of [Sessions’] Attitude Is Qualified To Be A U.S. Attorney, Let Alone A United States Federal Judge.” According to The Guardian, “The reasons for hisrejection, as I explained in this 2002 New Republic story had to do with a soupy mix of dubious and arguably racist moves, comments and motivations on the part of the Alabama native that led senator Ted Kennedy to announce it was ‘inconceivable … that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a US attorney, let alone a United States federal judge.’” [The Guardian, 5/5/09]

Sen. Metzenbaum Said Sessions Was A Man Of “Marginal Qualifications Who Lacks Judicial Temperament” And Was “Hostile To Civil Rights Organizations And Their Causes.” According to The Guardian, “Later Kennedy would say the hearings created a ‘clear and convincing case to gross insensitivity to the questions of race’ on the part of Sessions. His Democratic colleague, senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio, called Sessions a man of ‘marginal qualifications who lacks judicial temperament. … A nominee who is hostile, hostile to civil rights organizations and their causes.’” [The Guardian, 5/5/09]

Sen. Heflin Of Alabama, Who Had Supported Sessions’ Nomination, Voted Against Moving Sessions’ Nomination To The Full Senate. According to ABC News, “Sessions was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which refused to report out his nomination for a full vote in the US Senate. Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Ala., who had supported Sessions’ nomination, voted against him. Two Republicans – then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Sen. Charles Mathias, R-Maryland – jointed the Democratic majority on the committee to reject his nomination.” [ABC News, 6/2/09]

Media Reaction

Miami Herald Editorial: “Clearly, By All Reasonable Standards,” Sessions’ Nomination “Is Ill-Advised And Ought To Be Withdrawn.” In an editorial, the Miami Herald wrote, “SEN. EDWARD M. Kennedy of Massachusetts has called President Reagan’s nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions III to be a Federal district judge ‘regrettable.’ Civil-rights and civil- liberties groups have characterized it as outrageous. Clearly, by all reasonable standards, it is ill-advised and ought to be withdrawn.” [Miami Herald, 3/21/86]

Miami Herald Editorial: “For Whatever Else Can Be Said About Mr. Sessions, Currently A U.S. Attorney In Mobile, Ala., He Has Provided Ample Evidence That He Lacks The Requisite Judicial Temperament.” In an editorial, the Miami Herald wrote, “For whatever else can be said about Mr. Sessions, currently a U.S. attorney in Mobile, Ala., he has provided ample evidence that he lacks the requisite judicial temperament. Note his response when asked in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee whether he had ever referred to the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union as un-American and Communist organizations: ‘I don’t recall saying that,’ he said. ‘I’m often loose with my tongue. I may have said something about the NAACP being un-American or Communist, but I meant no harm by it.’ A loose tongue indeed. And no harm by it?” [Miami Herald, 3/21/86]

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Sessions “Has A History Of Making Statements Indicating That He Is Not Fit For A Lifetime Appointment To The Federal Bench.” In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Sessions, you see, who is the U.S. attorney in Mobile, Ala., has a history of making statements indicating that he is not fit for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. For example, he has called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union ‘un-American’ and ‘communist-inspired’ because they want to ‘force civil rights down the throats of people.’” [Los Angeles Times, 3/21/86]

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Sessions “Has Shown That He Is Temperamentally Unsuited To Judge Cases In The Southern District Of Alabama, 44% Of Whose Population Is Black.” In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Sessions now tries to minimize those statements and explain them away as mere jokes or off-hand remarks. The senators must decide for themselves what he really believes. This is no witch hunt or effort to impose a liberal litmus test on a President’s judicial nominees. The American Bar Assn. gave the 38-year-old Sessions its lowest rating, ‘qualified,’ and a minority report found him ‘unqualified’ for the bench. Most of Reagan’s judicial appointments have been people with impressive credentials regardless of their ideologies. Sessions is a different story. He has shown that he is temperamentally unsuited to judge cases in the Southern District of Alabama, 44% of whose population is black. If the nomination is not withdrawn, it should be defeated in committee or on the Senate floor.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/21/86]

New York Times Editorial: Sessions “Can’t Understand Why Black Americans Take Umbrage At His Light-Hearted References To Racial Prejudice.” In an editorial, the New York Times wrote, “Another nominee, Jefferson B. Sessions 3d, offers somewhat more legal seasoning for a District Court post in Mobile, Ala., but he can’t understand why black Americans take umbrage at his light-hearted references to racial prejudice. Recalled for more confirmation testimony, he acknowledged calling the N.A.A.C.P., the A.C.L.U., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Council of Churches ‘un-American organizations.’ He now asserts he ‘never meant to suggest, nor do I consider these organizations to be un-American.’” [New York Times, 5/8/86]

Immigration

Sessions Praised Trump And Said He Was “Really The Expert As Far As I’m Concerned On Borders.” According to the New York Times, “Donald J. Trump unveiled his first Senate endorsement at a rally here Sunday night, bringing Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama up onstage with him and praising him as ‘really the expert as far as I’m concerned on borders.’ Mr. Sessions is known for hisvirulent opposition to the immigration bill that passed the Senate in 2013, which included a path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants already in the country, and Mr. Trump has made a tough stance on immigration a pillar of hiscampaign. ‘I told Donald Trump, this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement,’ Mr. Sessions said, looking out over the crowd of thousands. ‘Look at what’s happened.’” [New York Times, 2/28/16]

In A Letter Sessions Blasted “Autopilot” Flow Of immigration, And Called It A “National Security Issue”

Jeff Sessions Co-Authored A Letter To Republicans In Which He Referred To Immigration As A “National Security Issue” Which Affected “Every Aspect” Of His Constituents’ Lives. According to an open letter to Republicans by Senator Jeff Sessions and Rep. Dave Brat, “As our conference prepares to hold its annual policy retreat, we would like to share some thoughts on one policy that most separates the views of the GOP’s voters from the party’s biggest donors: immigration. The enormity of what is happening is somehow lost on our political leaders. But it is not lost on the American people. Immigration affects every aspect of our constituents’ lives. It affects their jobs, wages, schools, hospitals, neighborhood crime, social stability, and community living standards. It is also a national security issue. There can be no higher duty as lawmakers than to keep our constituents and their families safe.” [Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Dave Brat Open Letter to Republicans, 1/12/16]

Sessions And Co-Author Rep. Brat Wrote That After Lifting Visa Caps In 1965 That The Level Of Immigration In The U.S. Had “Quadrupled” And Called This “Autopilot Immigration Flow” “Extreme” And “Ahistorical.” According to an open letter to Republicans by Senator Jeff Sessions and Rep. Dave Brat, “In the fifty years since visa caps were lifted in 1965, the level of immigration in the country has quadrupled – from fewer than 10 million foreign-born residents in 1970 to more than 42 million today. Over the next five decades, Pew Research projects immigration will add another 103 million to the U.S. population equivalent of 25 cities of Los Angeles. That would mean 100 straight years of uninterrupted record-breaking immigration growth. This autopilot immigration flow is not only extreme, but ahistorical.” [Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Dave Brat Open Letter to Republicans, 1/12/16]

Sessions Authored A Bill Mandating A Five-Year Federal Sentence For Illegal Immigrants Who Entered The Country After Being Deported

Sessions Authored A Bill  To Cut Off Federal Funding For States And Localities That Did Not “Comply With Immigration Enforcement,” Mandated A Five-Year Federal Sentence For Illegal Immigrants Who Entered The Country After Being Deported. According to Al.com, “U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., authored a bill Thursday to cut off federal funding to states and localities that don’t comply with immigration enforcement in response to a Senate hearing on Tuesday involving so-called ‘sanctuary cities.’ The bill would also give a mandatory minimum five-year federal sentence to illegal immigrants who reenter the country after being deported. Tuesday’s hearing included testimony from the families of people murdered by illegal immigrants, including the father of Kathryn ‘Kate’ Steinle, the 31-year-old California woman who was killed on a San Francisco pier, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant with a criminal history who reentered the country several times. Sessions said in a statement announcing the Protecting American Lives Act that Steinle’s death and others ‘were completely preventable.’” [Al.com, 7/23/15]

Sessions Announced The “Protecting Americans Lives Act” In Response To A Senate Hearing On “So-Called ‘Sanctuary Cities.’” According to Al.com, “U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., authored a bill Thursday to cut off federal funding to states and localities that don’t comply with immigration enforcement in response to a Senate hearing on Tuesday involving so-called ‘sanctuary cities.’ […] Tuesday’s hearing included testimony from the families of people murdered by illegal immigrants, including the father of Kathryn ‘Kate’ Steinle, the 31-year-old California woman who was killed on a San Francisco pier, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant with a criminal history who reentered the country several times. Sessions said in a statement announcing the Protecting American Lives Act that Steinle’s death and others ‘were completely preventable.’” [Al.com, 7/23/15]

Sessions Sponsored The “Border Crossing Deterrence Act Of 2008”

Sessions Sponsored The Border Crossing Deterrence Act Of 2008 Which Sought To Establish Mandatory Minimums For Aliens Entering The United States At An “Improper Time Or Place.” According to the Library of Congress, Sessions was the sponsor of S.2709, the Border Crossing Deterrence Act of 2008 on March 6, 2008 which sought to increase criminal penalties and establish mandatory minimum penalties for “an alien’s entry into the United States at an improper time or place.” [S.2709, 3/6/08]

LGBTQ Rights

Sessions Blasted The SCOTUS Ruling Legalizing Gay Marriage

Sessions On SCOTUS Ruling On Gay Marriage: The Court “Decided There Is Something In The Constitution That Tells States How To Define Marriage…It’s Never Been Found There.” According to Al.com, “A lawyer for the state judicial system sent Gov. Robert Bentley a letter urging public officials to defy the ruling and saying the ruling was not law, but an opinion. Sessions said the definition of marriage should be left to the states and called the decision overreach by activist judges. ‘They decided there is something in the Constitution that tells states how to define marriage,’ Session said. ‘It’s never been found there since the founding of the republic.’” [Al.com, 7/1/15]

Sessions: “Since The Founding Of The Republic The States Have Decided Marriage, And There’s Not One Hint In The Constitution There’s A Constitutional Right To Redefine Marriage From Its Current Status.” According to YellowHammerNews.com, “Friday afternoon on Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions shared histhoughts on the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down same-sex marriage bans across the country, calling it a ‘very serious and erroneous ruling.’ ‘On its pure legal basis, the Constitution says nothing about marriage,’ Sen. Sessions asserted. ‘Since the founding of the Republic the states have decided marriage, and there’s not one hint in the Constitution there’s a constitutional right to redefine marriage from its current status. At the same time states are considering this in the political process with differing results. It’s the kind of thing that ought to be decided by the people.’ Though gay marriage was already legal in 34 states prior to Friday, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, struck down traditional marriage laws in the remaining states.” [YellowHammerNews.com, 6/26/15]

Sessions Called The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision “Unconstitutional” And Said That The Issue May Be Like Abortion Because It Could “Fester With The American People.” According to WKRG.com, “‘What this court did was unconstitutional, what this court did–they can’t to do, nothing in the constitution for such a result no mention of marriage in the constitution,’ says Sessions. It’s an issue that evokes a lot of passion on both sides and may not be over. ‘Well I don’t know some say it will be like abortion where it continue fester with the American people sometimes the court thinks it can just make a ruling and an issue will go away, so I don’t know how this one will play out in the years to come,’ said Sessions. The senator says ultimately clerks and probate judges have to comply with federal law but he says this was an overreach.” [WKRG.com, 6/29/15]