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Chester County Press

Editorial: The smiling Mr. Sessions

09/12/2017 01:03PM ● By Richard Gaw
Once upon a time, before he became the Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions was a rising star in Alabama politics. When he saw that his state's poultry jobs were being given to immigrants from Mexico and Central America, Sessions proclaimed compassion for the displaced workers whose jobs, he said, were being stolen away from them.  It was for good reason, h said; the immigrants in question were in the United States illegally.
In the years since, his stand only served to ignite what has become the foghorn of Sessions' anti-immigration rant that hit its highwater mark recently, when he served as the President's lackey in telling 800,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now the beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), signed into executive order by President Obama in 2012, that their lives as Americans teeter on the brink of deportation.
"Our nation's compassion is being manipulated and misplaced," Sessions said. “There is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws."
Reading from a prepared speech, Sessions smiled frequently, and afterward, he took no questions. Like an errand boy sent to deliver a bill, he was obedient to a boss who has taunted him for the past several weeks behind the veil of a Twitter rampage, the way a bully treats a weakling. And, as if to curry favor with the President, the smiling Mr. Sessions delivered the following statement that echoed tenants of the President's winning campaign last year, that called for the building of a wall to keep out the rapists and the bad hombres along our southern border:
“Enforcing the law saves lives, protects communities and taxpayers, and prevents human suffering,” he said. “Failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence and even terrorism.”
Never has a message about the average American Dreamer been delivered with so much malice, and with little more motivation than to incite fear and division, as what the smiling Mr. Sessions delivered at that podium.
If these indictments against this population are truth, then we invite the Attorney General to spend one week in the Kennett Consolidated School System, and in the School Districts of Oxford, Avon Grove and Unionville-Chadds Ford, and prove it. We invite the smiling Mr. Sessions to walk up and down the hallways between classes; to have lunch with students and hear their dreams and understand their hardships; to sit down with teachers and administrators and hear the inspirational stories of their students to succeed against odds.
Then we invite him to return to Washington, D.C. and talk about how these young people -- some now in their early 20s -- are inciting crime, violence and terrorism.
The proof is in the facts; a study conducted by the University of California-San Diego states that since DACA was enacted in 2012, 63 percent of DREAMers have obtained a better paying job than their parents; their average annual earning has increased from $20,000 to $36,000; 64.5 percent have purchased their first car and nearly 16 percent have purchased their first home; 52.5 percent are currently pursing a bachelors degree and 19 percent are currently pursing advanced degrees (masters degree, advanced professional degree, doctorate).
The encouraging news is that there is a fair amount of bipartisan support for DACA, and legal challenges already on the table or about to be, which guarantees that getting rid of DACA will not be an easy walk.
We can not know for certain the exact reason or reasons why DACA may ultimately vanish, and speculation that it is yet another method of wiping away yet another vestige of the Obama presidency has not been proven. This, however, we do know: That if those young people in our community are asked to leave the United States, the damage, both economical and that of our conscience, would be irreparable. It would begin to dismantle our heart by removing our busy hands, and so we again invite the smiling Mr. Sessions to visit our four school districts, because one week in our community's schools is enough to change the mind of even the most heartless and cruel of our lawmakers.

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