Letting his heartsong rip at the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona today, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for God’s blessing on the Trump administration’s white nationalist war against immigration.
Invoking “the Trump era” as a more militant approach to undocumented migration, Sessions spoke in the language of nativist hate groups that define immigration as an “invasion” of the United States.
“I took an oath to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he said, rejecting previous efforts to increase border security as insufficient. “Now is the time for action, now is the time we will have results.”
A statement in the speech text, which was made public hours beforehand, also referred to immigrants as criminal “filth.” Perhaps sensing that it crossed a line too obviously, however, Sessions left out the remark.
Sounds like one hell of a speech Sessions gave on the border today. pic.twitter.com/vb0v35vpHE
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) April 11, 2017
“For those who continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned. This is a new era,” Sessions said. “The lawlessness, the abdication of duty to enforce our laws and the catch and release policy of the past are over.”
Sessions made no mention of the fact that border crossings have declined since 2007, or that more Mexican nationals have left the United States than entered it in recent years. Instead, he focused on the caricature of border-crossers as members of criminal gangs, such as MS-13, to justify harsher policies.
“Pursuant to the president’s order, we will now be detaining all adults who are apprehended at the border,” Sessions explained. “They will not be released. To support this mission, we have already surged 25 immigration judges to detention centers along the border.”
While it’s not clear at all that these new judges will actually speed up due process of law, Sessions promised that another 50 jurists will be appointed this year, and 75 more in 2018.
“We will establish a system of immigration that serves the national interest,” he said. But whereas he trafficked in vicious stereotypes about immigrants, Sessions — who opposed legal immigration as a senator — never explained the “national interest” in deporting people who have lived in the United States for years, raising families and paying taxes.
Along with his Senate aide Stephen Miller and Breitbart.com CEO Steve Bannon, Sessions largely created the brand of anti-immigrant politics that Donald Trump adopted. All three now occupy high-level posts in the Trump administration.
“God bless all of you who do this work,” Sessions concluded as he addressed agents of Customs and Border Patrol. “And we ask God’s blessings on the success of this effort to improve the lawlessness and safety of our country.”
In fact, CPB has been accused of creating their own lawlessness within a “culture of impunity.” Already one of the nation’s largest jailers, CPB’s agents have been accused of drug trafficking, murder, exploitation, rape, and child molestation, though they have rarely been held to account.
Jeff Sessions, who regards all forms of police violence as a non-issue and wants to defang the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is probably the best person in America to make that situation worse.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore Flickr
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