Asian Americans Advancing Justice issued the following statement on Friday.
As a national affiliation of civil rights organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice condemns the President-elect’s choice of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as United States attorney general. His nomination of Sessions, a man who has opposed civil rights and immigrants at every turn, indicates the president-elect intends to use the nation’s top legal position to fully disenfranchise and deny the rights of people of color, immigrants and Muslim communities.
Based on his record, we believe Sen. Sessions has consistently undermined America’s constitutional commitment to equality and is absolutely unqualified to head the U.S. Department of Justice and enforce the laws of our nation.
In 1986, Sessions had his nomination to the federal judiciary rescinded due to his comments about the Ku Klux Klan and African Americans. Since then, as a U.S. senator, Sessions has led the charge against undocumented and documented immigrants, immigration reform, and advocated for extreme visa restrictions and mass deportations.
In the week following the election, we have already seen a rise in hate-based crime, harassment, and vandalism. We have no doubt that under Sen. Sessions, this type of racist and xenophobic violence against our communities will be exacerbated and normalized. We need an attorney general who will act as a fair and balanced decision-maker and who does not have a history of animosity against the very communities his office should be protecting.
We demand that the president-elect immediately withdraw the nomination of Sen. Sessions for U.S. attorney general. If his nomination proceeds, we vow to do our utmost to defend the legal rights of our most vulnerable community members and to challenge any efforts to use the nation’s highest legal position to disenfranchise our community.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice-AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Advancing Justice-Chicago, and Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.