Should the American republic beat back the current attempts at mass amnesty and metastasizing legal immigration, a crucial — albeit unwitting — contribution will likely have been that defeated nomination.Reporter Johnson also provides interesting details about events during the endless battles over immigration in the current Congress. For example:
Even before he came to Washington he had spent much of his career in public service, first as a U.S. attorney in Mobile and then as state attorney general. In 1986, when Sessions was 39, President Reagan nominated him to the federal district court in Alabama.
Sessions has always been willing to take on unpopular fights. As U.S. attorney, he prosecuted a group of African-American civil-rights activists for voter fraud, and his nomination prompted charges of racism from local and national officials. Colleagues at the Department of Justice accused him of racism, too, and the late Democratic senator Ted Kennedy warned that he would be a “throwback to a shameful era.” A black colleague and even a local black journalist testified on his behalf. Ultimately, his nomination was defeated. In an unusual turn of events, Senator Howell Heflin, a conservative Democrat who was expected to support his fellow Alabamian, bucked tradition and cast the deciding vote against him.
As the legislation [that ultimately passed the Senate as S. 744] took shape, Sessions tried to slow it down in part by drawing attention to the swiftness with which some lawmakers were trying to move it through the Senate. Lawmakers had had two and a half weeks to read the 844-page bill when Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy scheduled it for a markup. “The only thing I don’t think we want is delay just for delay’s sake,” New York senator Chuck Schumer, one of the bill’s sponsors, said at a committee hearing in late April 2013. Schumer’s strategy, says a Sessions aide, was “to move faster than the truth can travel.”
At the same committee hearing, Sessions gave Schumer a reason for delay. He pointed to an article in the Christian Science Monitor noting that even those involved in crafting the legislation didn’t know exactly how many new immigrants it would allow into the country. He went on to read from the text of the bill to illustrate why it was difficult for some to parse. “The discretionary authority under clause one i may not be used to waive” — he paused, right hand in the air — “roman numeral one, sub-paragraph b, c, d 2, i, e, g, h, or i of section 212 a-2, then, roman numeral two, section 212 a-3, then, roman numeral three, sub-paragraph a, c, d, e of section 212 a-10.” His staff, he told his colleagues, had been working for days “trying to decipher this gobbledygook.” Flashing a smile, he looked at Schumer and said that he’d do his best to be ready to vote on the legislation. “But count me as a, a bit of a protest.”
There's a whole lot more in the full article that illustrates what a true public servant and serious legislator should be.
And if you'd like to phone Americans' senator to, briefly, express your appreciation, the number for his Capitol Hill office is 202-224-4124 and for his district office in Birmingham is 205-731-1500. Non-Alabamians should emphasize that they're calling from other states.