Cabinet Member

Jeff Sessions

    Jeff Sessions. Photo source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia
    Jeff Sessions. Photo source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia

    Trump’s Attorney General, member of Trump transition team executive committee, and previously a key Congressional ally to the organized anti-immigrant movement

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been one of the organized anti-immigrant movement’s most strident allies in Congress. Notorious anti-immigrant groups have honored Sessions for his role in obstructing immigration reform legislation in the Senate, and he has frequently used his position as chair of the Senate Judiciary immigration subcommittee to invite nativist demagogues to testify before Congress.

    • Sessions has risen to prominence as an advocate of ruthless immigration enforcement measures, self-deportation, drastic reductions in legal immigration, and revocation of birthright citizenship.
    • Sessions regularly provides a platform for virulent nativists associated with anti-immigrant organizations Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and NumbersUSA by inviting them to testify before Congress.
    • He hired then-CIS staff member Janice Kephart as temporary counsel while the Senate Judiciary Committee considered immigration reform bill S.744 in 2013.
    • In September 2007, Sessions was honored by the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) with its “Franklin Society award.” Sessions failed to mention this award in a questionnaire submitted to Senate Judiciary Committee members regarding his attorney general nomination.
    • Sessions was also recognized by the anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center in 2014.
    • Sessions publicly praised nativist leaders Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney during a meet-and-greet event at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
    • Sessions received the “Keeper of the Flame” award from Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy in 2015.
    • Sessions commemorated anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA’s 15th anniversary in a 2012 speech on the Senate floor.
    • Sessions spoke at the 2003 David Horowitz Freedom Center “Restoration Weekend” where he lauded the Patriot Act, saying, “It is not threatening to your basic liberties” and merely “a modest step.”
    • Sessions previously told the right-wing website American Thinker that he supported barring Muslims from entering the country, claiming, “We have no duty to morally or legally admit people.” He noted “most Muslims” are not extremists, but later added, “We need to use common sense with the who-what-where of the threat. It is the toxic ideology of Islam.”

    Updated: 1/6/16

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