This is a win in our books. To have the approval of our nations police officers is an honor. And it goes to show you that he is the right choice for the position. Let’s get him in so he can get to work!
The Alabama Republican, an early Trump supporter during the campaign, and the new president share a tougher approach to immigration enforcement than any modern-day president regardless of party.
Sessions’ efforts to crackdown on illegal immigrants over the last decade often put him at odds with many of his Senate colleagues who voted in favor of giving illegal migrants already living in the country a path to citizenship. But the stance is already winning him kudos from law enforcement groups, eager for a helping hand from Washington.
Six sheriffs from some of California’s biggest counties met with Sessions in his Senate office Tuesday and afterward were clearly encouraged by the listening session.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood from Kern County, who serves as the California State Sheriffs’ Association president, told the Washington Examiner it was the “best reception we’ve had” with anyone poised to assist them at the Justice Department.
“We had no relationship with the former attorney general – none. We’ve had more of a relationship today [with Sessions] than we’ve ever had,” Youngblood said.
The sheriffs are specifically upset about California lawmakers’ efforts to tie their hands when it comes to keeping illegal immigrants convicted or charged with major crimes detained in order to work with federal immigration authorities, such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to deport them.
“People talk about sanctuary cities and counties — none of us want to be sanctuary counties,” one California county sheriff said after the meeting. “The state is trying to force that on us. We’re the local elected law enforcement leaders who want to do public safety for our citizens and the state is trying to take that away from us.”
Besides Youngblood, other California County sheriffs who participated in the meeting were Sheriffs John McMahon of San Bernardino County, Steve Freitas of Sonoma County, Scott Jones of Sacramento County and David Livingston of Contra Costa County, and Undersheriff Don Barnes of Orange County.
In addition, 100 former U.S. attorneys who served under Democratic and Republican presidents wrote a letter of support for Sessions’ confirmation after 1,400 law professors across the country urged the Senate to reject his confirmation over concerns about his record on civil rights.
“Our officers come into daily contact with many of the most dangerous people in the world – cartel members, gang members, weapons traffickers, murder suspects, drug dealers, suspects of violent assault – yet ICE Officers are unable to arrest or are forced to release many of the most dangerous back into U.S. communities due to unscrupulous political agendas and corrupt leaders,” the ICE union said in a statement during the presidential campaign.
In Sessions, such law enforcement complaints will find a receptive ear, especially when it comes to thorny immigration issues border states are forced to handle.