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Jeff Sessions' Tough Stand on Illegal Immigration Inspires Hope, Fear

Jeff Sessions' Tough Stand on Illegal Immigration Inspires Hope, Fear

(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 November 2016 09:11 AM

Advocates for the rights of undocumented immigrants are alarmed by the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, while those who insist the current system is too lenient in allowing those who enter the country illegally to stay are elated that much-needed reform will finally be enacted, Politico reports.

"Sen. Sessions' public statements and history on immigration give [us] real reason to be concerned that his positions, if confirmed as attorney general, would not uphold the values embodied in the Constitution to protect due process and fairness," Greg Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Politico.

There is also worry about the far-ranging powers of the attorney general to make binding decisions regarding immigration.

For example, when Janet Reno held the position during the Clinton administration, she issued key orders that allowed asylum in both severe cases of domestic abuse and for those who feared persecution due to their sexual orientation.

Advocates for undocumented immigrants fear that this power will be used by Sessions to the detriment of those in the country illegally.

Karen Tumlin, legal director at the National Immigration Law Center, told Politico that an attorney general "can literally write opinions that have the force of law and interpret federal immigration law. Would a Sessions-led Justice Department lead to humanizing changes in immigration law? Unfortunately, evidence is to the contrary."

But it is for these very same reasons that others are ecstatic over his nomination, since he would have wide latitude over the type of immigration violations to prosecute and who would be deported.

KGW in Portland reports that as a senator, Sessions has lashed out at sanctuary cities, saying, "Why should we be funding, providing federal law enforcement to cities that won't even cooperate with the federal government in its most basic responsibilities?"

As attorney general, he would be able to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities unless they agree to work together with the immigration agents to locate illegals.

Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA, a lobby group which advocates stricter immigration laws, told The Washington Times, "The sanctuary cities thing is huge. I think most jurisdictions are going to fold like a cheap suit."

Politico points out that another of the many ways in which he could influence policy is through his oversight of the immigration courts, which are currently backlogged by more than half a million cases of those trying to avoid deportation.

Sessions could speed up that process by installing more judges, particularly those who share his stringent view on who should be allowed to stay in the United States, thus increasing the pace of deportations.

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Advocates for the rights of undocumented immigrants are alarmed by the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, while those who insist the current system is too lenient in allowing those who enter the country illegally to stay are elated that much-needed reform...
jeff sessions, attorney general, illegals, crackdown
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2016-11-29
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 09:11 AM
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