President-elect Donald Trump is wasting no time in putting his cabinet together and Alabama’s own Sen. Jeff Sessions finds himself among the list of politicians the President-Elect is considering for a top post. First elected in 1996, the 69-year-old Senator is among the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate and a perennial Tea Party favorite.
Here’s five things you should know about Jeff Sessions:
- Sessions was the first sitting senator to endorse Donald Trump during primary season
Ahead of Super Tuesday and the Alabama primary, Sessions became the first sitting U.S. Senator to endorse Trump.”I told Donald Trump this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement,” Sessions said at a rally in Madison, Ala. Sessions acknowledged that “we don’t get everything we want” in a candidate but added: “At this time, in my best judgment, at this time in America’s history, we need to make America great again.”
In May, Sessions said the Republican party must embrace Trump. “I think [Paul Ryan] needs to recognize, on some of these issues, Trump is where the Republicans are and if you’re going to be a Republican leader you should be supportive of that,” Sessions said on Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.
- Sessions has long-said a Mexican border wall is “an essential part” of fixing illegal immigration
In the Senate, Sessions has long pressed for a crackdown on immigration, saying he’s opposed to any path for legal citizenship for undocumented immigrants and is in favor of Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Southern border.“The crisis at the southwest border highlights the simple fact that without barriers to prevent the illegal entry of additional aliens, the brave men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol simply do not have enough personnel to detain and deport all illegal border-crossers,” Sessions said eight days before Trump won the election.
Sessions was a leading opponent of the 2007 amnesty bill and 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill. The Gang of Eight bill largely ended immigration enforcement, opened up welfare and citizenship to millions of illegals aliens, issued an 33 million green cards in a single decade, and doubled the annual flow of temporary workers to fill jobs at lower wages.
Sessions has also been a leading opponent of President Obama’s executive amnesties, which gives jobs and benefits to illegal workers.
“The most important thing is to focus first and foremost on a lawful system that protects the interests of the American people first. If you enter the country unlawfully you’re subject to being deported. That’s just what the law has always been. But we have large number of people that have been here a very long time,” Sessions said during a 2016 interview on “Fox & Friends.”
- Sessions served in the U.S. Army Reserves and believes in having a strong American military
Sessions served in the United States Army Reserve from 1973 to1986 ultimately attaining the rank of Captain. He still considers that period to be one of the most rewarding chapters of his life.He’s a senior member of the prestigious Senate Committee on the Armed Services. He’s also senior member on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which oversees all U.S. nuclear weapons, missile defense, and strategic strike programs. In this role, he has been a strong advocate for protecting American security through deterrence and defense.
As strong advocate for America’s military, Sessions has advocated four major defense installations in Alabama – Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville; Fort Rucker, near Ozark; Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery; and the Anniston Army Depot.
- Sessions is a lawyer by trade and served as Alabama’s attorney general for two years
Having earned a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1973, Sessions’ first began as a practicing attorney in Russellville, Ala., and then in Mobile, a place he now calls home. Following a two-year stint as Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from 1975-1977, Sessions was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the United States Attorney for Alabama’s Southern District, a position he held for 12 years.
- Sessions is a staunch pro-life conservative who opposes same-sex marriage
Sessions has been a consistent supporter of pro-life policies. He is an original co-sponsor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and believes that sanctity of life begins at conception.
Sessions believes that a marriage is union between a man and a woman, and has routinely criticized the U.S. Supreme Court and activist lower courts when they try to judicially redefine marriage.