To say that Republican Senator Jeff Sessions has a questionable past is certainly an understatement. Here are five reasons why he should not serve as U.S. Attorney General.
1. He not only opposes illegal immigration, but legal immigration as well.
Senator Jeff Sessions has been a staunch opponent of every immigration bill that has come before the Senate during his time as a senator, including a path to citizenship for those who enter the country illegally. In 2007, Sessions rallied and eventually succeeded in getting a bill passed that banned federal contractors for 10 years that hire undocumented immigrants.
However, the most troubling aspect of Sessions’ position on immigration is that he has also fought legal immigration in his time as a senator. He has opposed guest worker programs for immigrants in the country illegally, as well as visa programs for workers from out of the country in the fields of science, math, and technology.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2015, Sen. Sessions argued that,
“Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States. . . What we need now is immigration moderation: slowing the pace of new arrivals so that wages can rise, welfare rolls can shrink and the forces of assimilation can knit us all more closely together.”
2. Although his Senate bio may refer to him as a “strong environmentalist,” Sen. Sessions is a climate change skeptic.
In a 2015 hearing where Environmental Protection Agency’s Gina McCarthy was questioned, Sessions said, “Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”
3. His career has been rife with accusations of racism. In fact, his overt racism almost derailed his career altogether.
While a U.S. attorney in Alabama in 1986, 39-year-old Sessions was denied a federal judgeship. His colleagues had testified that Sessions had joked about the KKK and used the n-word. Sessions reportedly stated that he believed the Ku Klux Klan were “OK, until [he] learned that they smoked pot.”
The testimony completely shattered whatever reputation that Sessions had at the time. As a result, Sessions sought to defend himself against the accusations of racism, saying, “I am not the Jeff Sessions my detractors have tried to create. I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to blacks.”
4. He has advocated for inhuman foreign policy measures.
Sessions is a supporter of a “get-tough approach” to foreign policy. He once voted against an amendment that would ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of prisoners.
5. He has a history of relying on corporate interests to fund his political campaigns and protecting their interests while in office.
As Slate reports, politics in Alabama in the 1990s were dominated by several corporate interests. Of those interests, Alfa may very well be the largest.
The company aided in funding Sessions successful 1994 campaign, spending roughly $73,000 to help him win. The chief executive officer of Alfa at the time took credit for the victory, saying “we got Jeff Sessions.” Sessions later acknowledged that “without Alfa’s support, [he] could not have run.”
As a state attorney general, Sessions made it possible for an insurance company’s planned on-bid coverage of state road work and also urged the Alabama Ethics Commission to approve corporate-funded junkets for state employees.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.