WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States. Despite the controversy surrounding his appointment, the Senate confirmed him in a vote of 52-47.
“The confirmation of Sessions as the next Attorney General is a striking blow to the future of civil rights in this country,” said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. “Once denied a federal judgeship in 1986 due to racial insensitivities, recent events show that not much has changed in thirty years. His senate record of obstructing comprehensive immigration reform, blocking important anti-discrimination protections, and opposition to voter protections show that civil rights will not be a priority of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions.”
LULAC joined a coalition of hundreds of civil rights organizations in opposition to the confirmation based upon Sessions’ demonstrated hostility to many civil rights issues including immigrant rights, voting rights, protections for the LGBT community, and protections against the excessive use of force by police departments. In fact, Sessions has stated that he regards the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a “a piece of intrusive legislation.” In 2013 when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act with the Shelby County v. Holder case, Sessions hailed the decision as “good news for the South.”
“Over the past few weeks we have seen the Trump administration target immigrant communities with some of the most nefarious executive orders in recent memory,” said LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “We need an Attorney General who will truly serve as the ‘people’s lawyer’ and will defend the rights of marginalized communities—even when he must go against the policies of the President. At a time when the Latino community feels increasingly under threat from the policies of the Trump administration, Sessions’ confirmation offers little comfort. LULAC will continue to hold Attorney General Sessions accountable to the law he has sworn to uphold, and will ensure that the Department of Justice will continue to protect the civil rights of our nation’s most vulnerable communities.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.