Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Latinos Aren’t Happy About Trump’s Pick For Attorney General

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Latino leaders and groups denounced the choice of Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general, announced by President-elect Donald Trump on Friday. Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, MALDEF, called the pick “very disturbing and concerning.”

“If you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen, Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez said in a news release, using Sessions’ full name. “No senator has fought harder against the hopes and aspirations of Latinos, immigrants and people of color than Sen. Sessions,” said Gutierrez, D-Ill.

The Alabama senator, first elected in 1996, is a former U.S. attorney. He is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and advised Trump on immigration during the campaign. The Senate blocked his appointment to an Alabama federal judgeship following testimony raising questions about his views on black people and on race.

In his time in the Senate, he has opposed easing immigration laws and championed tougher enforcement and opposed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The nomination of Senator Sessions to lead the Dept. of Justice will exacerbate racial divisions throughout the country and drive the American people further apart,” said Roger Rocha, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Trump’s candidacy was clouded by questions too about his regard for Latinos and other minorities, starting with the day he launched his presidential bid by saying Mexico sends Mexicans to the U.S. who are rapists and bring drugs and crimes. He said he “assumed” some were good people. Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, a Latino and immigrant advocacy group, called Sessions “a dangerous man in this position.”

NBC News