Forbes, December 19, 2016
The Senate confirmation hearings next month for Senator Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for attorney general, will be especially heated and cantankerous. Democrats will try to portray Senator Sessions as the premier "deplorable," the offensive epithet Hillary Clinton applied to tens of millions of Trump supporters. People shouldn't fall for such smears.
Peter Nunez, below, provides a truthful portrayal of Senator Sessions as an individual of enormous ability, integrity and achievement. Nunez is in a position to know. He is a highly respected former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California (1982–88), and a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1990–93). Among other activities, Peter Nunez currently serves as a lecturer in the Department of Political Science & International Relations at the University of San Diego, as well as chairman of the board of directors at the Center for Immigration Studies.
AT THIS POINT in our nation's history President-elect Donald Trump has chosen exactly the right person to serve as our next attorney general: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Senator Sessions has a blend of experience rarely seen in attorneys general: 12 years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, the top federal law-enforcement officer in that district; several years as the elected attorney general of Alabama; and 20 years as a member of the U.S. Senate. No previous attorney general in our lifetime can match these credentials.
During his time in the Senate, Senator Sessions has served with distinction on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the Department of Justice. He has watched the disintegration of the Justice Department under President Obama, including the appointment of two attorneys general who have aided and abetted the unprecedented expansion of unconstitutional executive orders that have undermined the concepts of the Rule of Law and the Separation of Powers that have guided our country's destiny for over 200 years. Senator Sessions understands the Constitution and is ready, willing and able to assist our next President in returning the nation to the Rule of Law and putting an end to the dictatorial powers assumed by our most recent President.
Senator Sessions understands the criminal justice system and the importance of integrating the efforts of federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies into a seamless web dedicated to public safety. He has personal experience in both state and federal law enforcement, which will enable him to maintain--and improve where necessary--critical interagency cooperation to combat drug trafficking, cyber crime, terrorism, gun violence, immigration enforcement and a variety of other threats to the public.
His many years of experience as part of the Justice Department and the insights he has gained as a member of the Senate have given him a unique knowledge of the Justice Department and its constituent agencies. The Justice Department is a complex, multidivisional entity, covering everything from criminal justice, civil rights, tax, antitrust and tort law to lands and environmental issues, as well as many other issues. It also oversees the efforts of 94 presidentially selected U.S. attorneys across the nation, as well as several federal law-enforcement agencies. The attorney general also plays a key role in the selection of federal judges for the district, circuit and supreme courts. No one knows this process better than Senator Jeff Sessions.
President-elect Trump made illegal immigration a major issue during his successful presidential campaign, and his election provides a mandate for his administration to follow through on this on-going threat to American values. As attorney general, Senator Sessions will be well-placed to lead this effort.
While serving as a U.S. attorney during the Reagan Administration, Jeff Sessions, along with colleagues from around the country, traveled to San Diego, California on several occasions to attend annual Justice Department conferences. The participants were taken on tours of the U.S.-Mexico border, which in the 1980s was totally out of control. Drug smuggling was rampant, illegal immigration was overwhelming the U.S. Border Patrol, and violence was commonplace.
From the 1970s to the mid-1990s the Border Patrol in San Diego alone made more than 500,000 illegal-entry arrests annually. The enormity of the border chaos made an impression on all who witnessed it, including Jeff Sessions.
During his 20 years in the U.S. Senate, Senator Sessions has been the leading advocate for tougher border control measures, ending illegal immigration and reforming our nation's immigration laws to further the national interest, not the special business and political interests that benefit from illegal immigration and mass legal immigration. As attorney general, Jeff Sessions will carry out the President-elect's mandate to end illegal immigration, as we have known it since Senator Ted Kennedy opened the floodgates back in 1965.
Senator Sessions is a man of integrity and courage, with unmatched experience to serve as the next attorney general of the United States. President-elect Trump could not have picked a better person for this critical assignment.
--Peter K. Nunez