By Julia Hahn
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will appear Tuesday morning before his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to begin his confirmation hearing to serve as Attorney General of the United States.
The populist Senator’s partisan opponents and their allies in corporate media have done everything in their power to smear Sessions’ good name.
Here are a few facts about the man who is likely to be the nation’s next Attorney General:
(1) Jeff Sessions has spent five decades as a champion of civil rights.
From campaigning against George Wallace’s wife as a young Republican in the 1960s to demonstrating, what famed civil rights attorney Barry Kowalski described as, an “unequivocal commitment to the prosecution of criminal civil rights cases” during his time as southern Alabama’s U.S. attorney, Sessions has stood at the vanguard of the great civil rights battles throughout modern history.
Sessions has been credited as having been indispensable in obtaining the first death penalty conviction of a white man for the murder of a black citizen in Alabama since before World War I. He’s also a vocal admirer of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, and led the effort to award her the Congressional gold medal, Fox News has reported. In 2010, Sessions even introduced a resolution to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of his favorite novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, which he has described as “one of America’s truly great literary works” that is valued by “all those who believe in fairness, equality and justice.”
(2) Jeff Sessions is the intellectual architect of a new civil rights agenda to help unemployed African Americans into good-paying jobs.
As a U.S. Senator, Sessions has done more than perhaps any other Republican to reach out to the black community and champion their interests. Indeed, no lawmaker has worked more tirelessly than Sessions to uphold the legacy of civil rights leader and late Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who argued for immigration reductions to prioritize the jobs and wages of African American workers. Sessions has stood up to both parties’ establishments as they’ve pushed for corporatist trade and immigration policies that have turned black Americans into refugees in their own communities—these issues have arguably become among the great civil rights issues of our time.
“Immigrants and other minority groups are the ones that are suffering the most from excessive immigration and this flawed trade policy of ours,” Sessions told the Daily Caller last year while discussing the importance of advancing a pro-American worker trade and immigration agenda. “A nation owes its first obligation to its own citizens,” Sessions separately explained in 2014. “But our current immigration policy advantages the citizens of other countries over our own. Undeniably, one of the groups most hurt economically by unjust immigration policies are African-American citizens,” Sessions said. “[T]he long-term large-scale importation of foreign labor has substantially eroded wages in the black community.”
As U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has explained, Sessions “has done more to protect the jobs and enhance the wages of black workers than anyone in either house of Congress over the last 10 years… Of all the Senators and public officials that I’ve dealt with, I cannot think of anyone who has been more devoted to issues related to wages and employment levels of all Americans, but particularly black American workers.”
“Senator Sessions has been a leader in the fight for preserving American jobs and ensuring opportunities for African American workers,” civil rights attorney and founder of the Black American Leadership Alliance, Leah Durant, told Breitbart.
(3) It is largely ignored by corporate media, but Sessions has also risked more professionally than perhaps any lawmaker in Washington to advance the interests of American workers.
Unafraid to buck his own party’s donors and leaders in his effort to protect American workers, Sessions led the fight against the Paul Ryan-backed controversial expansion to the H-2 visa program, which a 2015 Buzzfeed exposé revealed is being used to disproportionately lay off and replace black American workers. According to the report, a supervisor at Hamilton Growers told workers amid mass layoffs: “All you black American people, f**k you all … just go to the office and pick up your check.” While the report went virtually ignored by most members of Congress, Sessions’ office sought to give sunlight to the discriminatory hiring practices exposed by the Buzzfeed investigation.
Sessions has also publicly called out special interest donors such as Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Sheldon Adelson for pushing for low-wage, high-immigration policies that displace American workers. Many have suspected that as recompense for his willingness to take on his own party, GOP leadership pushed Sessions out of his Budget Committee Chairmanship in favor of Republican leadership ally, Mike Enzi.
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