By Joe Guzzardi
June 14, 2017
Because my job as a journalist required it, I spent Tuesday afternoon watching Attorney General Jeff Sessions, aka Comrade Sessions, testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – a beautiful June day wasted seeing partisan politics up close and ugly.
Among my takeaways: General Sessions nobly defended himself against Senate Democrats and unrepentant bullies that included Virginia’s Mark Warner, the committee’s Vice Chair; Oregon’s Ron Wyden, and California’s Kamala Harris.
Sessions landed the first blow when, in his opening statement to his former colleagues, he rejected suggestions that he somehow colluded with Russian agents to throw the election to President Trump. Noting that he had served the United States “with honor” that included stints as a U.S. attorney and a U.S. Senator, Sessions called the innuendos leveled against him “appalling and detestable” lies.
The idea that Sessions, winner of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and a U.S. Army reserve captain, might be a subversive is laugh-out-loud preposterous. In no way could Sessions hatch a plot to influence a presidential election in which voters cast more than 125 million votes. Allegedly, Sessions put the seditious scheme into gear during a brief meet-and-greet with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., and in the presence of hundreds of onlookers.
During his testimony, Sessions reiterated his responsibility as Attorney General to enforce the laws of the nation and to protect it from enemies. After four months in office, Sessions is off to a solid start especially as it pertains to long-neglected interior immigration enforcement. Sessions’ predecessor, Eric Holder, systematically dismantled immigration enforcement both at the border and in the interior.
So slim was the chance of deportation, close to “zero” according to former Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton, that illegal immigration soared during the Obama administration. Under Holder’s watch, instead of ordering aliens removed, he ignored them, even as they came across the border in ever-larger numbers that included known MS-13 gang members.
From the outset of his Attorney General tenure, Holder demonstrated determination to gut immigration enforcement. When states like Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama passed strong laws in support of federal immigration enforcement, Holder’s DOJ threatened to sue them. On the other hand, Holder took no action against illegal sanctuary cities, thus allowing them to persist with their dangerous practice of releasing criminal aliens instead of turning them over to ICE.
Compare Holder’s immigration failures to Sessions’ successes. According to ICE’s May statistics, arrests of unlawful immigrants are up 36.7 percent over the same time last year. About 75 percent of those arrested are convicted criminals. Sessions has targeted MS-13 as one of his priorities. On his April visit to Long Island, an MS-13 stronghold, Sessions put the gang on notice: “We are coming after you.” He stated his determination to provide justice to victims and consequences for criminals. In March, authorities arrested ten Long Island MS-13 members for a string of crimes that included the murder of two teenage girls.
Scurrilous attacks on Sessions made by his political opponents will likely continue, probably indefinitely. But so also will Sessions’ commitment to upholding the rule of law, and keeping America safe from dangerous foreign nationals, and other enemies.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.