Sessions 'irreplaceable' on immigration to base

When then-candidate Donald Trump touted Jeff Sessions' support on the 2016 campaign trail, he'd joke that ev...

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 2:46 AM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 2:46 AM

When then-candidate Donald Trump touted Jeff Sessions' support on the 2016 campaign trail, he'd joke that even he was surprised he beat out other immigration hawks for the prized endorsement. It was an indication of how strongly Trump resonated with the base on immigration and border security -- and how strongly Sessions represented it.

Now, Sessions' supporters are hoping the President hasn't forgotten that lesson.

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Immigration

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

Jeff Sessions

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US Senate

Elections and campaigns

Immigration politics

Lindsey Graham

Political platforms and issues

2016 Presidential election

Elections (by type)

Political candidates

US Federal elections

US Presidential elections

Sessions' support among Republicans in the Senate is publicly weakening, as the President continues to tweet his frustration with his attorney general and early backer over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But Sessions' supporters are saying one simple fact should keep the attorney general in office: There is no one else who could better execute Trump's own vision on immigration, and no one who bears more credit for what the President has achieved thus far.

Sessions "is almost irreplaceable because of his commitment and understanding of the core issue on which the President won his election," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for slashing immigration dramatically.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham this week argued Trump deserves to replace Sessions, saying the relationship is "beyond repair."

That sentiment is not shared, however, in Sessions' strongest base of support -- the groups that have long advocated for the immigration-restricting policies that the attorney general has aggressively pursued.

"Jeff Sessions has delivered exactly what Jeff Sessions said he would deliver during the years he served in the Senate," said Art Arthur, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that supports cutting immigration.

"He has been tremendously impactful on issues that are important to the President as it would relate to immigration," Arthur added. "He's been a loyal soldier to the President in office."

"It would be a serious political mistake for the President to fire Sessions now," echoed Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at CIS. "It's lose-lose, because Democrats will say Trump is firing him to get a yes-man to obstruct whatever investigations they think are needed to topple the President, and conservatives, especially those who want immigration laws enforced, will be very upset to see Sessions go."

The Justice Department has limited authority over immigration, but Sessions has explored the boundaries of his power with expansive effect.

Sessions has reinterpreted asylum law in a way that's expected to dramatically lower the number of immigrants who qualify. He has taken a keen interest in the immigration courts under his purview, butting heads with the immigration judges' union over a number of changes and rulings Sessions has made with the stated objective of efficiency.

The attorney general also served as the face of the "zero-tolerance" border policy that resulted in thousands of family separations, announcing his department would prosecute all illegal border crossings in April. Sessions likewise was the face of the administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, providing the legal justification for doing so.

Sessions has led the charge against so-called sanctuary cities, trying repeatedly to restrict funding to such jurisdictions. On the Trump re-election campaign website "Promises Kept," Sessions can claim credit for nearly half of the "achievements" listed under immigration.

Stein suggested that Graham had ulterior motives. The South Carolina Republican is considered likely to run the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, and has a much more moderate view on immigration than Sessions.

"Lindsey Graham's equivocations are more related to the latter's salivating over the possibility of him chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee and promoting another amnesty scam on the American people than anything Sessions has done wrong in office," Stein said. "Graham knows that it would be impossible to get administration support for anything Graham wants to do on immigration as long as Sessions is Attorney General."

Graham's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 966154

Reported Deaths: 17237
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1116881202
Cuyahoga953321735
Hamilton73102963
Montgomery47187886
Summit40041955
Butler35377468
Lucas35149761
Stark29267838
Warren22334274
Lorain21938389
Mahoning19373541
Lake18335305
Clermont18304210
Delaware16385135
Licking14923200
Fairfield14476157
Trumbull14270461
Greene13536213
Medina13327218
Clark12210335
Wood11481193
Portage10958159
Allen10761235
Richland10236205
Miami9999189
Muskingum8139129
Columbiana8094182
Pickaway8022101
Tuscarawas8012235
Marion7973137
Wayne7843219
Erie6852184
Ross6114136
Geauga6036128
Hancock5973112
Ashtabula5928144
Scioto5911104
Lawrence522474
Union509752
Darke5021124
Belmont490189
Huron4776117
Jefferson4770108
Sandusky475595
Seneca4648103
Athens461232
Washington459387
Mercer4581101
Auglaize454898
Shelby440769
Knox400586
Putnam3982101
Madison391447
Ashland378395
Fulton377564
Defiance3706102
Brown368842
Crawford356196
Logan352959
Preble352471
Clinton339364
Highland326855
Ottawa322367
Williams301477
Jackson288556
Guernsey285734
Champaign285146
Fayette267644
Perry267143
Morrow258925
Henry245465
Hardin243656
Holmes2430104
Coshocton233847
Van Wert228849
Gallia221346
Adams215432
Pike214428
Wyandot209053
Hocking193449
Carroll180228
Paulding159623
Meigs134637
Noble128442
Monroe116036
Morgan100534
Harrison100132
Vinton76615
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 60°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 61°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 60°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 57°
Scattered Rain Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events