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Attorney General lays out president’s immigration priorities at Austin press conference

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Protestors gather outside 816 Congress Ave., Austin, to protest Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Oct. 20.
Photo by Shayan Faradineh | News Editor

Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Austin Oct. 20 to discuss President Donald Trump’s immigration priorities. Sessions discuss sanctuary cities, the message the wall will send and the administrations fixes to the current immigration system. Activists from a disability rights organization gathered outside Sessions press conference to protest the attorney general.

Sessions began by advocating for the president’s plan, calling it bold and responsive to the problems the country is facing. The attorney general then said the wall will be a resource to solve the immigration issues.

“The wall will send a message to the world that we will enforce our laws,” Sessions said. “It sends a message, finally, we mean it. It says don’t come, unlawfully. File for lawful entrance and wait your turn.”

Sessions said the merit-based system, in which the administration is adopting, is like Canada. Sessions claims he has had frequent conversations with Canada.

“We can’t accept everybody that will like to come to America, we should accept those who are prepared to live lawfully,” Session said.

The attorney general recalled circumstances where illegal aliens killed police officers and citizens in Texas and different states.

“We welcome the best and brightest, turning away the gang members, fraudsters, drunk drivers and child abusers,” Session said.

Sessions then began discussing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival and the humanitarian consequences. Sessions said that 2,000 DACA recipients have had their status revoked due to illegal crimes. While speaking about loopholes, Sessions addressed sanctuary policies.

“Such policies, undermine the moral authority of law and undermine the safety of the jurisdictions that adopt them,” Session said. “Think about it, police may be forced to release pedophiles, rapist, murderers, drug dealers, arsonist back into the community, where they have no right to be in the first place.”

While criticizing politicians who support sanctuary policies, the attorney general said the department of justice will withhold grants to cities who adopt these policies. Sessions then praised President Trumps administration and how it has reduced illegal immigration already.

“According to one poll, 80 percent of Americans believe that cities should turn over criminal aliens to immigration officials,” Sessions said. “The American people aren’t asking too much, and neither is the department of justice.”

Sessions commend the state legislation and Gov. Greg Abbott for signing Senate Bill 4 into law, which outlaw’s sanctuary cities. SB 4 was blocked before implementation, and the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief for the lawsuit, in favor of Texas.

Sessions thanked law enforcement on behalf of President Trump and the Department of Justice. Although the event was advertised as a press conference, Sessions did not remain to answer any questions from the press.

Outside, advocates for disabled citizens gathered to protest the attorney general. Members of the protest were apart of American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today. Jennifer McPheal, an organizer for ADAPT, said the attorney general can help secure conational rights of millions of disabled Americans by working with the organizations and communities of those demographics.

“There’s no asterisk on the constitution that says you may be too disabled to enjoy life, liberty and the purist of happiness free of government interference,” McPheal said.

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