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Groups Question Where Sessions Stands on Immigration

After a weekend of confusion at airports over executive orders surrounding immigration into the United States, 189 groups are calling for a delay in today's vote on President's Trumps nominee for Attorney General. (Phil King/flickr.com)
After a weekend of confusion at airports over executive orders surrounding immigration into the United States, 189 groups are calling for a delay in today's vote on President's Trumps nominee for Attorney General. (Phil King/flickr.com)
January 31, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on Senator Jeff Sessions' nomination to serve as U.S. attorney general. While his nomination has drawn criticism and concern from the start, civil-rights groups argue there are additional reasons why a vote should be delayed. The last hearing on Sessions was held on January 10th, long before President Trump's controversial executive orders on immigration.

Scott Simpson, the spokesman for the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights explains why more information is needed now.

"That was before this president issued executive orders to ban immigrants, to ban a religion, to stop refugees from coming into this country," he said. "The public deserves to know where Senator Sessions stands on these issues."

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said in a statement, "This executive order has been poorly implemented" and added the administration "should immediately make appropriate revisions."

On Monday, 189 national advocacy groups called for the committee vote on Sessions' nomination to be delayed, given the lack of information on Sessions' positions.

Simpson says knowing where Senator Sessions stands on issues that impact the civil rights of groups is key to understanding his qualifications for the job.

"The attorney general is the people's lawyer, not the president's lawyer," he said. "Sen. Sessions, if confirmed, will be the attorney general, and he will be in charge of enforcing many parts of these laws, and if the Senate doesn't know how he plans to go about doing those things, it's a dereliction of duty."

In his first hearing, Sessions testified, "I have no belief and do not support the idea that Muslims as a religious group should be denied admission to the United States."

The groups calling for a delay of the vote want senators to ask him how he would handle Trump's recent announcements.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN