LOS ANGELES (Nov. 18, 2016) — As a national affiliation of civil rights organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice condemns the President-elect’s choice of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as United States Attorney General.
Sessions has been a proponent of anti-immigrant policies at every turn. His record indicates an opposition to civil rights and he could use the nation’s top legal position to fully disenfranchise and deny the rights of people of color, immigrants, and Muslim communities.
Based on his record, we believe Sen. Sessions has consistently undermined America’s constitutional commitment to equality and is absolutely unqualified to head the U.S. Department of Justice and enforce the laws of our nation. In 1986, Sessions had his nomination to the federal judiciary rescinded due to his comments about the Ku Klux Klan and African Americans.
Since then, as a U.S. Senator, Sessions has led the charge against undocumented and documented immigrants, immigration reform, and advocated for extreme visa restrictions and mass deportations.
In the week following the election, we have already seen a rise in hate-based crime, harassment, and vandalism. We have grave concerns that under Sen. Sessions, this type of racist and xenophobic violence against our communities will be exacerbated and normalized.
We need an Attorney General who will work tirelessly to uphold the Constitution and the rights of all, particularly those of people of color and other minority populations and vulnerable persons. The people of our nation deserve a fair and balanced decision maker who does not have a history of animosity against the very communities his office should be protecting.
We demand that the President-elect immediately withdraw the nomination of Sen. Sessions for U.S. Attorney General. If his nomination proceeds, we vow to do our utmost to defend the legal rights of our most vulnerable community members and to challenge any efforts to use the nation’s highest legal position to disenfranchise our community.