PRESS STATEMENT

Senate Hearings Affirm NCLR Opposition to Sessions

January 12, 2017

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@nclr.org
(305)215-425

WASHINGTON, DC—After two days of hearings on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) again urged senators to oppose his confirmation.

“Sen. Sessions took a softer tone on a number of core issues related to women, Muslims, Blacks and the LGBT community during his hearing, a tacit acknowledgement of both the centrality of these issues in the Department of Justice and the need for him to address the abundant shortcomings and distressing nature of his own record on civil and voting rights,” noted NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

“Yet even the kinder and gentler version of Sen. Sessions from Tuesday could not find one positive thing to say about immigration. He would not concede the economic contributions of immigrants to this country and signaled that he would be completely on board for the President-elect’s deportation strategy, even when it came to DREAMers. He even said his views of immigration are ‘correct, just, decent and right.’ Since those views put him in the extreme on the issue even within his own party, we should all be deeply alarmed by his assertion,” continued Murguía.

“Even worse, he pointedly declined to disassociate himself from the views of the anti-immigrant extremist hate groups he has accepted awards from, recognized on the floor of the Senate, and even hired. Instead, he tried to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), one of the hate watchdog groups that has criticized his close relationships with extremists; ironically, he later proudly associated himself with SPLC’s work against the Ku Klux Klan. He also ignored the many other bipartisan sources, which have found Sessions’ closest immigration allies to be extremist and outside the mainstream,” Murguía added.

“Finally, Sen. Sessions insists that he is not a racist, which is irrelevant. What is relevant is his record: words and deeds that demonstrate a hostility to protecting the rights of millions of diverse Americans. The job of attorney general is too important to be left in the hands of a man with such an extreme and troubling track record when it comes to more than half of this country’s population. We urge the Senate to reject his nomination,” Murguía concluded.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.