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Jeff Sessions Was Right

Despite his falling out with President Trump, Jeff Sessions' record makes him still more than welcome in conservative circles.

For the casual Republican observer, the warm welcome for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s “Future of American Political Economy” conference might have come as a surprise. Former President Trump famously fell out with Sessions, pushing him out of the cabinet and then denying him his former senate seat in the 2020 Alabama Senate primary. But despite the Trump treatment, respect for Sessions remains pronounced on the right. 

The reason is straightforward: In the face of the Biden Administration’s failing immigration policy and the resulting chaos across the Southwest, Jeff Sessions’ consequential reign at the Department of Justice has been clearly and fully vindicated. 

The criticisms from the left are familiar to us now—that Jeff Sessions’ was using his office to launch an unfair crackdown on innocent migrants and that racism was the driving motive. For an activist media and an open-borders Democratic establishment, Sessions provided an easy target. A Southerner with a disappearing dialect, the media directed coastal elitist bigotry towards him in a way that no other Republican, save for Brett Kavanaugh, experienced. 

Whatever the pitch of the media’s animosity, they can’t hide the facts. Jeff Sessions implemented policy that was bringing the border crisis to a close in an innovative, just, and humane way. Zero-tolerance, aggressive DOJ prosecution and the unfairly demonized policy of separating children from human traffickers resulted in the most stable environment the border regions have seen in decades. In the final year of the Trump Administration, border apprehensions were cut in half, an indisputable testament to Sessions’ time as attorney general and his impact on policy across multiple agencies. 

Now, as a result of the Biden Administration’s open-borders ideological obsession, the southern border has become awash in crime, drug and child trafficking, and an unprecedented surge of economic migrants. In just six months, border apprehensions shattered previous records, reaching one million. Additionally, untold thousands are likely crossing undetected, taking advantage of halted wall construction to violate the law and terrorize border communities. The situation is rapidly deteriorating with no clear leadership from President Biden or his incompetent border czar, Kamala Harris. Faced with reversing course and fixing the crisis, the Biden Administration instead chose to ignore the crisis completely. It is likely the crisis will intensify as Democratic leaders choose to pacify immigration interests and the media, hoping to skirt the criticism they helped foment against problem-solvers like Attorney General Sessions. 

In light of this paralysis, it is important to take stock of the lessons of the last few years. Jeff Sessions proved that the open-border interest groups, the media, and the D.C. establishment were dead wrong about the border. Though the wider public may never fully appreciate his record of accomplishment, those conservatives who strive to understand the border quagmire will never forget the selfless contribution Jeff Sessions made to stop crime, save lives, and improve our nation. Americans can only hope another leader with such commitment will rise to meet these challenges soon. 

Editors note: Jeff Session will deliver the keynote address at The American Conservative 2021 Gala on October 7, in Washington, D.C. Tickets and sponsorship here.