Sessions' Dangerous Anti-Immigrant Record

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301
New York, NY 10017

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2601
New York, NY 10017

Dear Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand:

The undersigned New York based-organizations urge you to vigorously resist the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General of the United States. We hope you will consider using any and all methods available to you to prevent Senator Sessions from being confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Much of New York’s vitality and prosperity is owed to the more than four million immigrants who call our State home. Together they account for a fifth of the State’s population and a quarter of its economic output. As organizations that serve New York immigrant and refugee communities, we are very disturbed by the prospect of Sen. Sessions leading the Department of Justice.

The Attorney General is the single most powerful figure responsible for this country's immigration laws. In addition to being in charge of the nation’s immigration courts, the Attorney General is empowered to create new regulations, require particular forms of bonds or other documentation, issue new instructions, review past administrative determinations in immigration proceedings (including Board of Immigration Appeals’ decisions), amid a whole host of other duties. Sen. Sessions’ record on immigration and his affiliations with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organizations prove he is too extreme to be this country’s top lawyer and law enforcement officer.

SENATOR SESSIONS' DANGEROUS ANTI-IMMIGRANT RECORD

Sessions has proven himself to be the most dangerous ally of the anti-immigrant movement in Congress since his election in 1996. He has received awards from the anti-immigrant hate group FAIR and has invited members of anti-immigrant organizations to testify at numerous Congressional hearings.

During his twenty-year tenure in the U.S. Senate, Sessions has consistently opposed any efforts to reform the country’s immigration laws, referring to the bipartisan 2007 bill as “terrorist assistance.” He has long been a champion for draconian immigration enforcement laws (self-deportation) that break families apart. He has railed against the DREAM Act (and DACA) and has been a fierce proponent of stripping citizenship from children born in this country to undocumented parents. Sessions has also advocated for greatly reducing legal immigration limits citing “cultural” concerns: “The numbers cannot be too great or it takes jobs from Americans and can, in fact, create cultural problems that wouldn’t occur if it was a little slower.”

SENATOR SESSIONS' CONNECTIONS TO ANTI-MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS

Sessions has a disturbing relationship with anti-Muslim extremists and organizations. He has received numerous awards from the anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Center for Security Policy, both of which promote vicious conspiracy theories and animosity towards American Muslims.

Sessions has not shied away from blaming an entire religion for the actions of few, “We need to use common sense with the who-what-where of the threat. It is the toxic ideology of Islam.”

The United States Attorney General has immense power over the lives of immigrants and refugees--Sen. Jeff Sessions’ has demonstrated through his voting record, associations with extremist organizations and his public statements that he is not the person for the job.

In addition to his views and actions impacting immigrants and Muslims, Sen. Sessions has a deeply disturbing track record on women’s rights, racial justice, voting rights, gun reform, criminal justice, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice and the rights of people with disabilities.

By any measure, Sen. Sessions is grossly unqualified to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer. We urge you to publicly and loudly oppose his nomination to be Attorney General.

Signed,

Arab American Association of New York
Hispanic Federation
New York Immigration Coalition

Acacia Network/EHCCI
ACCION East, Inc.
Advocates for Children of NY
African Services Committee
Amber Charter School
American Immigration Lawyers Association, New York Chapter
Arab-American Family Support Center
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
ASPIRA of New York Atlas: DIY
Avenues for Justice
Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT)
Betances Health Center
Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC
CARECEN N.Y. Central American Refugee Center
Catholic Migration Services
Central American Legal Assistance
Centro Corazon de Maria
Círculo de la Hispanidad
Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
Community Resource Center
Comunililfe, Inc. 
Cornell Law School  
Dejesus Center, Inc
El Taller Latino Americano
Faith in New York
Finger Lakes Community Health
Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice
Her Justice
Hudson Valley Justice Center
Ibero American Action League
Immigration Equality
International Institute of Buffalo
Kids for College
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY
La Fuerza Unida, Inc.
Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS
Latin Women in Action, Inc
Latino U College Access
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
League of United Latin American Citizens
Long Island Immigrant Alliance MFY Legal Services, Inc.
Ministerio Latino Migrante WC
MinKwon Center for Community Action
My Sisters' Place 
National Council of Jewish Women New York Section
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Neighbors Link
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership
Ola of eastern Long Island  
Polonians Organized to Minister to Our Community, Inc. (POMOC)
Puerto Rican Family Institute, Inc.
Russian-speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc.
Safe Passage Project
South Side Community Mission
Southside United - Los Sures
Spanish Action League (AKA) La Liga of Upstare NY  
Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES
St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction
The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
The Dominican Bar Association
The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester
UnLocal, Inc
Urban Health Plan, Inc.
Violence Intervention Program
Voices in Action in America
Volunteers of Legal Service
Wayne Action for Racial Equality
We Stay/ Nos Quedamos  
WESPAC Foundation
Westchester Hispanic Coalition
Youth Advocacy Corps