Sen. Sessions' immigration policies clash with sanctuary cities

Sen. Sessions hard-liner on immigration

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Sen. Jeff Sessions is not shy about his views on illegal immigration and the cities, like Portland, that offer undocumented immigrants sanctuary.

Last year, Sessions advocated for taking away federal funding from sanctuary cities.

“Defund the sanctuary cities. Why should we be funding, providing federal law enforcement to cities that won’t even cooperate with the federal government in its most basic responsibilities?” Sessions asked.

In Portland, those who try to protect undocumented immigrants are recoiling at the mention of Sessions being named Attorney General.

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“There's enough fear in this country right now and he was the last person I wanted to see nominated to be Attorney General of this nation,” said the Rev. Mark Knutson, standing in the sanctuary of the Augustana Lutheran Church where he is pastor.

He is one of the leaders in the sanctuary movement. His church was one of the first in the city to declare itself a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.

“Cities that have sanctuaries are cities that really care for people there and are working go deeper in that care. So that would just, I can’t imagine that flying,” Knutson said.

As Attorney General, Sessions would be in charge of the FBI, DEA and U.S. Attorney's Office.

“He has quite a bit of influence,” said Mat Dos Santos, legal director the Oregon American Civil Liberties Union.

Dos Santos says it’s possible the agency will need to file lawsuits to stop Sessions in the future.

“I think people are really troubled,” he said.

On the other side, conservative talk show host Lars Larson is a fan of the potential Sessions appointment.

“The fact is he's been steadfast when it comes to illegal aliens. He knows that the law says illegal aliens aren’t supposed to be here” Larson said.

Larson is also a big supporter of Donald Trump. He said Sessions is correct when it comes to immigration.

“Long before Donald Trump decided to run for president, Jeff Sessions was fighting to try and get America’s immigration laws enforced. In other words , if you're not here legally, leave!” Larson said.


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