PRESS RELEASE: NCLR Opposes Nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General

Jeff Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Jeff Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Friday afternoon, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) issued the following media release about the news that President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for Attorney General:

WASHINGTON, DC—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today announced its opposition to the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next U.S. attorney general. The nomination was announced earlier today by President-elect Donald Trump.

“We believe that any president should have broad latitude in appointments within their administration. However, the combination of the pivotal role the attorney general has over so many issues of concern for our community and Sen. Jeff Sessions’ egregious track record on those issues makes it impossible for us to support this nomination,” stated NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

“On every single issue under the purview of the Justice Department—civil rights, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and immigration most notably—he holds positions diametrically opposed to the Latino community, the civil rights community, and to the mainstream. In short, he has been a ‘bad hombre’ when it comes to protecting and expanding the civil rights of millions of people living in this country,” continued Murguía.  

“Throughout his career, he has been a staunch opponent of progress for historically disenfranchised groups, whether it’s Blacks, Latinos, LGBT Americans, or women. He has been the Senate’s lead roadblock to sensible, bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. He was a leader in the opposition to the first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He has been a proponent of voter suppression efforts under the guise of fighting nonexistent voter fraud. The list goes on and on,” noted Murguía. 

“It is extremely disappointing, to say the least, that President-elect Trump, who just last week said he wanted to unite us and be the president for all Americans, has chosen someone who is at best indifferent, and at worst actively hostile to more than half the country, for such a key post. We urge the Senate to reject his nomination,” concluded Murguía.

In addition, other Latino organizations have also begun to comment about the Sessions nomination:

Hector Sanchez, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council For Latin American Advancement

The signals are loud and clear that the incoming Trump administration is headed toward being the most anti-immigrant administration we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The nomination of Jeff Sessions to be the next Attorney General is not a move to unite the nation. It is a move that indicates an assault will be waged on the civil rights of immigrants, people of color, and people who are LGBTQ. Today’s news, following the announcement that Steve Bannon will be Trump’s chief adviser in the White House and that far-right opponents of humane immigration reform like Kris Kobach and many of Sessions’ former aides are leading the transition team’s work on immigration, only exacerbates our worst fears for a Trump administration.  While we are always prepared to have a constructive dialogue about improving the lives of Latinos and all Americans with whomever is in the White House, we will stand up and insist that Trump does not have a mandate to erode our civil rights or deport millions of our immigrant family members, friends, and neighbors.

José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation

To know the policies and vision Trump plans to carry out for our nation, you really need to look no further than to the individuals that he has tapped to be part of his inner circle,” stated . “By all indications, Trump’s America promises to be less inclusive, less diverse and less hopeful. We vehemently reject this view of an America overcome by fear and hate, and stand ready to fight to protect the rights, dignity and values of our community and nation.

Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director 

Senator Sessions’s ultra-conservative views have made him a pariah even in his own party. Immigrant and Latino communities have long looked to the Department of Justice for the protection of our civil rights, yet the agency would become the dispenser of terror and racial intolerance should Jeff Sessions be confirmed.

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