As one of the organized anti-immigrant movement’s most strident allies in Congress, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has frequently provided a platform for nativist spokespeople on Capitol Hill. He will do it again this afternoon.
On Thursday, May 19, the Sessions-led Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest is holding a hearing titled, “Declining Deportations and Increasing Criminal Alien Releases – The Lawless Immigration Policies of the Obama Administration.” Among the featured witnesses scheduled to give testimony at the hearing are Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council.
As head of CIS, Krikorian has testified before Congress numerous times. In November, Krikorian testified before members of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)—another one of the anti-immigrant movement’s most reliable Congressional allies—began his line of questioning stating, “First of all, I’d like to single out Mr. Krikorian and thank him for his excellent testimony. I honestly don’t know how anyone could disagree with one word.”
Of course, there are plenty of Krikorian’s words that betray his extremism. He has tweeted: “How many rapists & drug-dealers are the anti-deportation radicals protecting?” He has argued that Mexico’s “weakness and backwardness has been deeply harmful to the United States.” And he has called journalist Jorge Ramos a “white-Hispanic ethnic hustler.”
Brandon Judd is also no stranger to Congress, having testified multiple times before committees on matters of immigration enforcement policy.
As the Center for New Community noted in the 2015 report, Blurring Borders: Collusion between Anti-Immigrant Groups and Immigration Enforcement Agents, representatives of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) have increasingly colluded with anti-immigrant activists and have virtually echoed anti-immigrant talking points in Congressional testimony.
In fact, the anti-immigrant movement has developed sources within Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement who are willing to leak data directly to them, and is cultivating spokespersons from within the unions that represent these employees.
The report projected that, as a steadfast ally of the nativist movement, Sessions would likely continue to invite NBPC representatives to testify.
So far in 2016, Sessions has proven that to be true with hearings in February and March that have served as little more than taxpayer-funded megaphones for the organized anti-immigrant movement’s talking points and policy proposals.
With today’s hearing, Sessions ensures that this trend continues.