Local November 20, 2016 | 11:41 am

The Huffington Post: Trump, Sessions and Dominican migrants to US

"Washington- In a 2006 speech on the floor of the U.S.Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee tobe the next attorney general, castigated a subset of Latino immigrants asuseless to American society.

The speech Sessions gave, which came duringthe debate over immigration reform during President George W. Bush’s secondterm, was broad in its overview and assessment of different ethnic groupsimmigrating to the United States. But when he addressed those coming from theDominican Republic specifically, the Alabama Republican was blunt, insistingthat a massive chunk of that population had sham marriages to get legal statusin the United States. And then he got even more blunt.

“Fundamentally, almost no one coming fromthe Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skillthat would benefit us and that would indicate their likely success in oursociety,” Sessions said at the time. “They come in because some other familymember of a qualified relation is here as a citizen or even a green cardholder. That is how they get to come. They are creating a false document toshow these are relatives or their spouses and they are married when it is notso.”

A vocal early supporter of Trump, Sessionswas a logical candidate for a top position in the incoming administration. Buthis past statements on civil rights and race ensured his nomination would becontentious. Thirty years ago, Sessions was denied confirmation for a federaljudgeship after the Senate Judiciary Committee objected to racist remarks hehad made calling the NAACP and ACLU “un-American” and expressing sympathy forthe KKK.

In 1996, Sessions won election to the U.S.Senate, where he became one of the most hardline voices on immigration. Hisstridency on the issue made him an outlier in his chamber but it endeared himto Trump, who also was a vocal opponent of immigration reform during hispresidential campaign. On Friday, Trump announced that Sessions would be hisnominee for attorney general, the highest law enforcement office in the land.

Sessions may face a turbulent road toconfirmation, though many of his senatorial colleagues ? including at least oneDemocrat ? said on Friday that they would support his bid. The primary hold-up,to this point, has been his past statements on the KKK and his positions on thecivil rights movement. But his 2006 statement on Dominicans could open up a newvulnerability, in part because it is far more recent ? coming almost twodecades after his judgeship nomination was rejected by the judiciary committee.

“Mr. Sessions would benefit from a tutorialabout what Dominican Americans contribute to the United States. He should startby looking at the achievements of our community in New York and in cities allacross the country,” said New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D), who willbecome Congress’ first Dominican-American member when he joins the House thiscoming year. “If Mr. Sessions’ appointment is any indication of the directionof President-elect Trump’s administration, then every American ? regardless oftheir race, ethnicity, religion, or ethnic background ? should take a stand andsay that this appointment does not reflect the values that have made Americagreat.”

Other famous Dominican Americans includeLabor Secretary Tom Perez, author Junot Díaz and fashion designer Oscar de laRenta.

Sessions’ office did not return a requestfor comment."

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments