From Sessions, Senators Need Answers on Immigration

Communications Associate

January 9, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Given Sen. Jeff Sessions’ history regarding immigration, senators should ask pointed questions in this week’s attorney general confirmation hearings.

“We have a series of questions and concerns regarding Senator Sessions’ nomination for U.S. attorney general,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Given his longstanding opposition to broad immigration reform, and his skepticism toward legal immigration such as visa programs in the high-technology field, the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to ask the clear, tough questions that bring Sessions’ intentions to light.”

Those questions include the following:

  1. How would Sessions ensure that individuals in our immigration court system receive their day in court and ensure that families and children fleeing violence in their home countries receive due process? Is he committed to ensuring that those with valid asylum claims receive their day in court?
  2. Would Sessions enforce civil rights and anti-discrimination laws on behalf of immigrants discriminated against on the basis of religion, immigration status or national origin?
  3. How would Sessions intervene if individual states were to take constitutionally suspect actions that harm immigrants? Will a Justice Department led by Sessions intervene if a state passes a law like Arizona’s SB 1070, key provisions of which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional?

“The Attorney General is responsible for upholding the sanctity of the Constitution,” Noorani said. “The Constitution guarantees due process for immigrants as their cases are adjudicated, and immigration courts are already stretched beyond thin. The Constitution also addresses the role of the federal government on immigration issues vis-à-vis state actions. The confirmation process must address all of these concerns.”