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How Sessions' Faustian Anti-Immigrant Bargain With Donald Trump Could Lead to the End of American Democracy. Roger Algase

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There is an old joke about a politician who is told by one of his advisers that there is a way to guarantee that he, the politician, will never lose an election, no matter how long his career may last. Curious, the politician asks what he would have to do in order to achieve that enviable result.

The adviser tells the politician that all he, the politician, has to do is agree to sell his soul to the Devil. The politician answers:

"That sounds simple enough, but what's the catch?"

While the above, of course, is only a joke, and no rational person would ever seriously accuse any of our elected officials of having sold his or her soul to, let alone actually being, the Devil, one can find at least a faint echo of this joke in the souring of the relationship between the Attorney General and former long term anti-immigrant Senator, and the president of the United States, Donald Trump.

This is a relationship that was founded on one essential element that has been and still evidently is common to both men, namely opposition to immigration by non-European racial and religious minority groups. If their common pursuit of that policy goal seemed like a relationship that was "made in heaven" from the point of view of accomplishing that objective, it is now rapidly moving, at least for Sessions, in the direction of that other, opposite, place instead.

This is because there was a "catch" in the implied bargain between Sessions and Trump.

In return for Sessions' support as the first Senator actually to endorse him for president and someone who could be of immense help in rallying anti-immigrant voters to Trump's side, Trump held out the promise of bringing to actual fruition Sessions' long held goal of rolling back fifty years of progress in making the American dream available to immigrants from outside Europe, as contemplated by the immigration reform act of 1965.

As immigration rights advocate Linda Chavez wrote about Sessions in September, 2016:

"It's no coincidence that accompanying Trump on his visit south of the border was Sen. Jeff Sessions, arguably the most anti-immigrant politician since Senator William Paul Dillingham, whose opposition to immigrants from southern and eastern Europe resulted in the first mass restriction legislation in the early 1900's."

http://www.newsmax.com/LindaChavez/t.../02/id/746424/

But the "catch", which may or may not have been obvious to Sessions at the beginning, was that by entering into a bargain whereby Trump gave Sessions enormous power and control over America's immigration system as Attorney General of the United States, a power that Sessions might very arguably have only dreamed of ever having without Trump, Sessions would also be required to forego any ethical and legal scruples on his part which would have stood in the way of Trump's drive to absolute power.

However, by recusing himself from the Russia investigation of possible illegal contacts between Trump, or his top campaign officials, between officials and or private individuals in that country, Sessions chose to honor the rule of law, rather than the absolute "loyalty" which Trump demanded of FBI James Comey before firing him as FBI Director and which Trump, evidently, demands of everyone whom he considers to be a subordinate; "loyalty" which would put Trump so far beyond the rule of law as to set the stage for the end of democracy in America and its replacement by one man rule. See: The Guardian, July 25:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...mp-feud-russia

and Salon (May 12):

http://salon.com/2017/05/12/donald-t...get-it-report/

As a result, Sessions, according to all the latest news reports (as of July 25), is now at risk of being forced out of or fired from his position, and thereby losing the power to turn America's immigration system, for perhaps decades to come, back in the direction of the 1924 "Nordics"- only immigration act which barred all but a very few of the world's Jews, Eastern and Southern European Catholics, Muslims, Asians, Africans and Middle Easterners from coming to the United States as immigrants, and which Sessions praised so highly in his January, 2015 Immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans.

http://www.aila.org/infonet/senator-...ation-handbook

In my forthcoming further comments on this issue, i will examine in more detail how Sessions, in only six short months since becoming Attorney General of the United States, has impressed his legal stamp on the nation's immigration system.

To begin with, however, here is a description from a source that supports Sessions' goals of the way he has already made major changes in immigration enforcement policy (to the obvious detriment of minority immigrant communities throughout the United States):

http://washingtonexaminer.com/how-je...rticle/2620354

As head of the DOJ, of course, Sessions has also been responsible for devising the deceptive, if not meretricious (from the Latin word meretrix) legal argument that Trump's Muslim ban orders were allegedly not aimed against Muslims as a religion, but were only national security measures - an argument which the overwhelming 4th Circuit majority blew apart in its IRAP decision, and which few other federal courts have taken seriously.

Ironically, even though the heart of Sessions' DOJ's legal strategy in the Muslim ban cases rested on the same claim of absolute presidential power which Trump is now asserting in connection with the Russia investigation, and which threatens to end Sessions' own tenure as Attorney General (as well as America's two and a half centuries of history as a democracy), even this broad assertion of Trump's claimed authority to rule as a dictator, not a democratically elected leader, in the area of admission of immigrants to the US, has not been enough to satisfy Trump, who has been openly critical of the DOJ's strategy in defending his Muslim ban.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-br...-idUSKBN18W1BR

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
algaselex@gmail.com





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Updated 07-26-2017 at 05:45 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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