AG Sessions Persuaded Trump To End DACA, Then Race-Baited His Way Through The Speech That Killed It

It’s certainly no secret that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man named after both the president of the Confederacy and the guy who actually started the Civil War, is an unholy racist. Like, he’s so racist that the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., actually delivered a letter to Congress pleading with them not to confirm him as a U.S. attorney 31 years ago.

So it’s no surprise to find out that Sessions was the driving force behind convincing Donald Trump to end DACA, the temporary deferment program for undocumented immigrants that protects them from deportation if they came here as children. Sessions sees no difference between an “illegal alien” who steals a car and one who may sit next to one of his 10 grandchildren in school one day.

So imbued with the essence of Jeff Sessions was the Trump decision to boot nearly a million kids out of the country in less than a year’s time that it was the AG himself who delivered the speech announcing it. And it was during that speech on Tuesday that the former senator from Alabama revealed the truth behind the decision to end DACA: That despite the fact that even many Republicans favor the basic protections that DACA affords, it is racism that serves as the foundation for undoing it. From the speech:

“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.”

This is a direct appeal to the racist tendencies of the Americans who put Donald Trump in office.

Number one, the “surge of unaccompanied minors” that Sessions refers to began well before DACA was implemented. To suggest otherwise is a dog whistle to right-wing voters. A BBC report from 2012 showed that the number of unaccompanied minors who were apprehended near the border increased from October 2011 to March 2012 by 93% over the same period in the previous year. DACA was not implemented until June of 2012. Besides that, any who came after DACA was announced wouldn’t have qualified in the first place. You had to have been in the United States at the time of implementation to benefit from the executive order.

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Number two, Sessions brings up the myth of the job-stealing immigrant. The theory, again an appeal to racists, is ridiculous from the start. Immigrants don’t even look for the same jobs as native citizens. There is no evidence to support the claim that DACA has had any effect on jobs — other than as a boost to our economy. In fact, with the job losses that will come as DACA expires — something to the tune of 30,000 workers a month — employers stand to lose billions in training new employees, and the federal government will lose tens of billions in lost revenue and GDP.

But those facts don’t jibe with the Sessions narrative.

Don’t let the mini-quarrel that Trump and Sessions got into earlier this year fool you. They both have a racist agenda, and this is the first major step in implementing it.


Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images