Delay Sessions Hearing Until His Relationships to Groups with White Supremacist, Antisemitic Ties are Examined

Press Contact:

Elliot Levy

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202-800-7409

elliot.levy@berlinrosen.com

Release Date: Monday, January 9, 2017

 

New York – Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), President-elect Trump's nominee for attorney general, must answer for his relationship with two right-wing anti-immigration organizations with ties to white-supremacist, antisemitic movements, Bend the Arc Jewish Action said today. The organization's CEO, Stosh Cotler, urged the U.S. Senate to delay tomorrow's hearing on Sen. Sessions' nomination until Sessions divulges the full details of his connections to the two groups, FAIR and NumbersUSA.



"Sessions' own appalling record on civil rights and race was reason enough for us to call him an unacceptable choice for U.S. Attorney General, whose role as the people's lawyer is to defend the rights of all people," Cotler said. "But he must also explain his willingness to partner closely with these organizations, which have disturbing ties to white supremacist and antisemitic movements."

Bend the Arc Jewish Action has been a leader in the Jewish community in urging the Senate to delay Sessions' confirmation hearings until Sessions completely discloses his record as is required. Bend the Arc Jewish Action is participating in the #StopSessions coalition effort, in which dozens of advocacy organizations are asking their members to call their Senators, urging them to oppose Sessions' nomination because of his appalling record on civil rights and liberties.

"Sadly, as has been demonstrated well over the past year of national politics, white supremacy and antisemitism are often fundamentally linked," Cotler added. "This is one reason Jews across America have been so adamant in opposing the rhetoric, proposals and appointments of President-elect Donald Trump, who is bringing these movements into the political mainstream. This is not normal. This is dangerous. We urge all Senators to think hard about proceeding with this nomination as if it was business as usual."

More information on Sessions' troubling connections to FAIR and NumbersUSA is below:

FAIR

  • About FAIR. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has been named as a hate group by the SPLC since 2007. Sessions "regularly attends events hosted by FAIR, founded by [John] Tanton, a white nationalist who in 1993 wrote, "I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that." [Southern Poverty Law Center, 11/18/2016]
  • Jeff Sessions Held a Press Conference with FAIR; SPLC Says FAIR Leaders Have Ties to White Supremacists. "An immigration reform group handed out a report that included a fundraising solicitation at a press conference last week hosted by three Republican Senators - a move that may have been a breach of Senate rules. Sens. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), David Vitter (La.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) joined law enforcement officers at a Thursday press conference to argue that the Obama administration's immigration directives would put agents and citizens at increased risk. [...] FAIR has been pegged as an anti-immigration group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and is listed on the civil rights group's 'Hatewatch.' 'Although FAIR maintains a veneer of legitimacy that has allowed its principals to testify in Congress and lobby the federal government, this veneer hides much ugliness,' according to the SPLC website. 'FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements.'" [Roll Call, 7/31/12]
  • John Tanton, Founder of FAIR, Has Promoted Anti-Semitism. "But hidden away in 17 cardboard boxes deep inside the simple facility are the papers of John Tanton, the retired Michigan ophthalmologist who has been the most important figure in the modern American anti-immigration movement for three decades. The papers, which include more than 20 years of letters from the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and a batch of other nativist groups, contain explosive material about Tanton's beliefs. They also show that FAIR, where Tanton still serves as a member of the board, has been well aware of Tanton's views and activities for years. [...] He wrote a major funder to encourage her to read the work of a radical anti-Semitic professor — to 'give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life' — and suggested that the entire FAIR board discuss the professor's theories on the Jews. He practically worshipped a principal architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 (instituting a national origin quota system and barring Asian immigration), a rabid anti-Semite whose pro-Nazi American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was indicted for sedition in 1942." [Southern Poverty Law Center, 9/19/08]

NumbersUSA

  • About NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA is an organization that serves as the grassroots mobilizer for the anti-immigrant movement. Its founder, Roy Beck, has spoken twice to the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, the group whose online propaganda provided a gateway into white nationalism for accused Charleston shooter Dylann Roof. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 11/18/2016]
  • Jeff Sessions Praised NumbersUSA and Roy Beck in the Congressional Record. In May 2012, Jeff Sessions entered the following statement "Recognizing 15th Anniversary of NumbersUSA" into the Congressional Record: "Mr. President, I wish to recognize the 15th anniversary of NumbersUSA, a national grassroots organization that advocates for immigration policies that seek to serve the national interest…" [Congressional Record, 5/7/12]
  • Roy Beck Appeared on a Radio Show for an Anti-Semitic Website. "[...] 'The Jeff Rense Program,' a conspiracy-oriented Internet radio show. Rense broadcasts his show on his notoriously anti-Semitic website, which promotes a wide variety of conspiracy theories, from UFO reports to supposed environmental threats to alleged Jewish control of the world. [...] The website also contains archives for the radio shows of anti-Semite David Duke and extremist Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, the most popular Internet forum for anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacists. The Rense website also links to the writings of a number of other anti-Semites such as Ted Pike, founder of the National Prayer Network and Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. [...] According to the show's, archives, Roy Beck, the founder of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA and Glenn Spencer, founder of the anti-Hispanic hate group Amer­i­can Bor­der Patrol also appeared on the show in the past." [Access ADL Blog, 4/3/14]
  • Rense's website, as of today, connects listeners to the broadcasts of notorious white supremacists and anti-Semites David Duke and Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, and advertises such books with titles like "The Myth of German Villainy." [http://rense.com/rensebooks.html, http://www.renseradio.com/listenlive.htm]