Several events, ranging from the House passage of several anti-immigration laws and Jeff Sessions’ partnership with Kris Kobach to suppressing the vote nationwide, mean the Sessions DOJ is just a White House Surrogate.
Earlier on Thursday, the House passed several bills to coincide with Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.
One of the laws seeks to punish “sanctuary cities” based on the lie that Sanctuary Cities refuse to surrender violent criminals to ICE.
Actually, the sanctuary cities do turn violent criminals over to ICE, but you won’t hear that on Fox or at a Donald trump rally. It’s true that sanctuary cities are safe havens for the undocumented workers that our agriculture, construction and hospitality industries rely on.
There are a few more unavoidable truths, especially if as claimed the objective is to reduce crime. By turning local law enforcement into a sort of vichy arm of ICE, it means the very people law enforcement relies on to report crimes, and find perpetrators of those crimes will not come forward. Fear doesn’t result in cooperation in the same way a strong wind doesn’t persuade someone to take off their coat.
In an op-ed published by Fox News, Sessions states the facts surrounding the horrific murder of Kate Steinle. He goes on to identify the murderer, as an “illegal alien”. The purpose of Kate’s law is to criminalize undocumented immigrants. Until now, entering the United States without documentation was considered a violation of civil law. Frankly, no one disputes the idea of kicking out immigrants, documented or not, who commit violent crimes.
No doubt, proponents of this law will point to Kate Steinle’s killer as to why entering the country illegally should be a criminal act. To begin with that stigmatizes immigrants as a whole since it isn’t like one’s legal status is stamped on their forehead. The fact remains that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native born Americans. That’s a fact that gets buried in support of using people like Kate Steinle’s killer as “the exemplar” of immigrants.
The other reality that Republicans won’t admit during their anti-immigrant rants is the dependence that agriculture, construction and the hospitality industries have on undocumented immigrants. Roughly 50% of labor in Agriculture, the people who pick our fruit and vegetables are undocumented. In fact, farmers are already seeing the impact of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies on their labor supply. The fact is Americans are either unavailable or unwilling to do these jobs and the Trump administration’s policies that include criminalizing undocumented workers will hurt these industries.
With all their paranoia, Republicans will block their ears to any and all information that doesn’t correspond with their narrative. Just as they were warned with healthcare, they’ll discover the consequences of their decisions when they are in deep.
The bigger danger is Sessions’ willingness to turn the DOJ into a White House surrogate. True that the DOJ is part of the executive, but it also functioned independently. That’s an important feature of the rule of law because someone has to have the ability to tell the President (any president but especially this one) when he is overstepping his powers or a law he wants to pass is unconstitutional.