Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Horrible Human Being Rises to the Top: AG Jeff Sessions Adopts All-Out Lying as a Legal Tactic

Hearing that Miami-Dade may have collapsed under the contemptible pressure tactics of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was disheartening. I hold out hope and expectations that other urban areas will be savvy enough to understand that Sessions' club is made of paper mâché.

What makes guys like this tick? Utter, outright racism. It's not complicated.

No, it's not complicated finding the motivation for an attorney general who was once denied the federal bench for being the racist that he is. But what stretches the imagination is that Sessions would imitate his boss, Donald Trump, whose pathological lying has gotten him to the White House with little other gear to help him get anything done.

And yet here we are, with Sessions threatening to withhold federal grants and such from jurisdictions that make themselves sanctuaries for undocumented workers. Nothing less than the Supreme Court has weighed in on such tactics -- on a number of cases -- and so Sessions should understand that he's already on thin ice. But that's not stopping him:
We’re familiar with President Trump’s dystopian vision of an America in chaos, preyed on by foreigners and awash in citizens violated by feral criminals and “illegals.” Through last year’s campaign and into this year, Trump has repeatedly lied about the national crime rate, murder rates and much more. Here though is a case where anti-immigrant policies continue to be justified by at least deliberately misleading statements and what can only be called incitement.
Here’s a statement released today by the Justice Department, justifying a letter sent out to nine so-called “sanctuary cities” threatening loss of federal funds if they don’t collaborate and assist Trump administration immigration policies.
Here’s the second paragraph (emphasis added) …
Additionally, many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime. The number of murders in Chicago has skyrocketed, rising more than 50 percent from the 2015 levels. New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s “soft on crime” stance. And just several weeks ago in California’s Bay Area, after a raid captured 11 MS-13 members on charges including murder, extortion and drug trafficking, city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next.
The second highlighted sentence doesn’t explicitly say the murder rate continues to rise in New York City. But that is certainly the intended impression, along with the dig at ‘soft on crime’ policies.
Read the rest of Josh Marshall's piece to discover what obvious horseshit these claims are. Crime and murder are way down, especially in New York City, and in any event undocumented workers commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans.

Just to be clear, there's method to the madness of sanctuary cities. Not only is it a humane way to deal with a problem that's not going away anytime soon, but it's actually a law enforcement tool to reduce crime. NPR had a good piece on this:
But the available data on crime, immigration, and safety in cities does not support the premise for the president's actions. News outlets and researchers pointed out during the presidential campaign that immigrants who are in the country illegally are less likely to commit crimes or be incarcerated than the general population. The American Immigration Council noted in a 2015 study that the recent period of rising immigration to the United States from 1990 to 2013 also corresponded with plummeting crime rates across the country.
This past Thursday, a new study conducted Tom K. Wong, a political scientist at the University of California-San Diego, found that there are broad benefits for local jurisdictions that resist cooperating with federal immigration enforcement — they are safer in the aggregate and enjoy stronger economies. "For the first time we're kind of seeing that crime rates are lower when localities stay out of the business of federal immigration enforcement," Wong said.

You'd think an attorney general would want that. You'd be wrong.

We'll see if Sessions pulls off this corrupt bit of Kabuki theater. I say no. Will he become the newest resident of Bullshit Mountain, as Jon Stewart used to call it? It's pretty obvious he already has.

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