POLITICS

Jeff Sessions’ DACA speech was so full of BS, we had to fact check it.


U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions might just be the single most problematic member of Trump’s administration. On the one hand, right at zero liberals like Sessions or agree with his position on anything whatsoever. Conversely, there’s a bit of a devil’s bargain in that we have coalesced around a position in which we don’t want Sessions fired. We don’t want Trump to believe he has the unfettered ability to fire people any time they defy or disappoint him and — much more importantly — we don’t want to remove any obstruction between this president and special counsel Robert Mueller. When Sessions goes quiet for a bit, this devil’s bargain feels righteous.

But it feels less righteous this week precisely because Sessions was not quiet. His defense of President Trump’s decision to kill DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was a stark reminder that our Attorney General is a raging racist and a liar. Neither of those were discoveries, but, again, in order to palate him in the grand scheme of the greater good, we could do without such boisterous reminders.

Here are a few quotes from Sessions’s announcement on ending DACA, along with a fact-check.

The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences. It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”

All of the above is false. Numerous studies have been done on the matter and it has been found that DACA has not played any role in a “surge of unaccompanied minors.” Consensus is that cartel activity is the most prominent factor for this “surge.” DACA was very clearly presented as a program for undocumented minors who were already here and established. At no point was it to impact any future “unaccompanied minors.” Sessions contradicts himself on the last sentence. Would these folks be “illegal aliens” or would they be part of the renewable visa program through DACA? As for the American Job Denial Red Meat: that has been debunked countless times. Invariably, immigrants provide a boon to our economy. Conservatives hate that fact, but it does remain a fact.

“The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and essentially provided a legal status for recipients for a renewable two-year term, work authorization and other benefits, including participation in the social security program, to 800,000 mostly-adult illegal aliens.”

Not sure exactly what Sessions was hoping to accomplish with this. Weren’t we all clear on the age range for those we now call the Dreamers? Didn’t we know the visas were renewable in two-year terms, and thus, the Dreamers would grow up and become adults? What sort of bombshell was Sessions hoping to drop here? Bonus points for continuing to hammer away at the needlessly nativist classification “illegal aliens.” We see you, Sessions. We see you.

“We inherited from our Founders—and have advanced—an unsurpassed legal heritage, which is the foundation of our freedom, safety, and prosperity.”

Wow. Did he really just die on the inherited-from-Founders “legal heritage” hill? One would like to presume that Sessions considers ending the forcible importation of humans as an advancement, but then one comes to the uneasy conclusion what we’ll probably never know the depth or outer limits of Jeff Sessions’s racism… so we cannot be certain.

“Therefore, the nation must set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year and that means all can not be accepted.”

Yes! As a matter of fact, we do have just such a scheme in place and it’s kind of alarming that our Attorney General is floating this as though it’s a post-it recently unearthed from a suggestion box.

“There are many powerful interest groups in this country and every one of them has a constitutional right to advocate their views and represent whomever they choose.”

Is Trump Organization a powerful interest group? How about Kushner Companies? The former being a long-standing lover of visas, the latter currently under investigation for abusing the visa program?

“We at Department of Justice are proud and honored to work to advance this vision for America and to do our best each day to ensure the safety and security of the American people.”

Mmm hmm.


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