Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused the Trump administration’s critics on immigration of being radicals and hypocrites as he railed against his opponents in pointed remarks on Tuesday.
“The rhetoric we hear from the other side on this issue — as on so many others — has become radicalized,” Sessions said.
He added, “These same people live in gated communities, many of them, and are featured at events where you have to have an ID to even come in and hear them speak. They like a little security around themselves, and if you try to scale the fence, believe me, they’ll be even too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.”
Sessions was speaking before the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Los Angeles, and he devoted much of his remarks to immigration, along with recognizing the administration’s victory at the Supreme Court on President Donald Trump’s travel ban Tuesday morning.
During his speech, Sessions bristled at critics of the administration, which has stoked outrage for separating children from undocumented immigrant parents at the border, and he cast opponents widely as “open borders advocates” who complain “no matter what we do.”
“These people don’t like it when we deport people, even people who commit additional crimes after they’ve entered the country,” Sessions said.
Sessions noted his audience in California as he railed against politicians there supporting “sanctuary” policies, where local government declines to work with the federal government on immigration enforcement. He said the lack of cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement meant missed opportunities to detain and deport violent undocumented immigrants.
“Why would they want to do that?” Sessions said. “I just ask over and over. Yes, we can argue about the law, but why you as a mayor of a city or the Legislature of the state of California would want to say that federal law that calls for the deportation of someone who commits a crime in this country, who is here illegally. Why would you object to that? Who are you protecting in that?”