NAFSA CEO notes concerns around Sessions’ record on immigration, voting rights and education
WASHINGTON, January 10, 2017 – In written testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Esther D. Brimmer, executive director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators expressed the organization’s strong opposition to the appointment of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to attorney general. NAFSA stands with 144 civil and human rights organizations against Sessions’ appointment.
Opposing any presidential cabinet nominee is an extremely rare move for NAFSA. As Brimmer noted in her statement to the Judiciary committee, “NAFSA does not take this step lightly. As a matter of practice, NAFSA believes it is preferable to reserve judgment on cabinet level nominees until after they have had a chance to testify in the confirmation hearing process. However, in the case of Senator Sessions, his long track record provides sufficient evidence for us to determine he is not qualified to enforce laws pertaining to immigration and civil rights that are vital to NAFSA’s mission.”
NAFSA, the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the promotion and advancement of international education and exchange, specified objections to Sen. Sessions’ appointment on the basis of three components: Senator Sessions’ anti-immigrant stance, alarming record on voting rights and fight to continue the unconstitutional ruling in Alabama for separate and unequal education for minority students.
Brimmer’s statement explained that NAFSA’s commitment to fostering peace and security through international education relies upon leadership that embraces openness, equality and justice. The statement also noted that NAFSA believes that Senator Sessions’ hostile positions on immigration, voting rights and education disqualify him from leading the United States Department of Justice, and his record on these issues indicates that if confirmed, he will champion policies that are neither just nor inclusive.”
Read Brimmer’s complete Congressional testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.