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Detroit leaders, clergy denounce Trump's AG pick

Senator Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC in 2011.
Gage Skidmore
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Senator Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC in 2011.

Some Detroit leaders, clergy, and activists spoke out against Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General on Monday, denouncing him as someone who would “take us back to the Jim Crow era.”

They said Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, has a particularly bad history when it comes to African-American voting rights, and other civil rights issues.

But Rev. Paul Perez, with the Detroit conference of the United Methodist Church, says that’s not the only area of concern.

Sessions “has consistently argued against comprehensive immigration reform, he has supported Trump’s temporary ban on Muslim immigrants, he has argued for the immediate deportation of unaccompanied minor children from the U.S., back to their war-torn countries,” Perez said.

Nicholas Buckingham is more concerned about Sessions would do in the future -- in particular, the chance that he would torpedo the momentum behind popular criminal justice reforms, like eliminating mandatory minimum sentences.

“A painfully constructed bipartisan and cross-ideological movement to de-incarcerate many people … could soon completely fall apart,” said Buckingham, an ex-offender who now advocates for returning prisoners and against mass incarceration.

Sessions does need to be confirmed by his colleagues in the majority-GOP U.S. Senate.

But advocates said that he should be subject to a “fair but rigorous” confirmation hearing regardless.

And they urged Michigan’s two senators, both Democrats, to vote against Sessions. 

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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