Two months ago, Jeff Sessions looked like toast. But Tuesday morning, as he stood at a lectern at the Justice Department, the attorney general seemed to feel more like the toast of the town.
President Trump’s decision to have Sessions announce the end of the DACA program was a dodge on top of a punt: First, the White House tried to push the ball into Congress’s court by adding a six-month delay to the rescission; then Trump elected to send a Cabinet member out rather than making a potentially perilous political announcement himself. But for Sessions, who was grinning and ebullient at times during the statement, this was no hardship duty. For years as a U.S. senator, Sessions railed against illegal immigration and tried, mostly to no avail, to get the federal government to enforce laws more strictly. Now he stood as attorney general, announcing the end of the Obama-era policy to allow undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country.
“As the attorney general, it is my duty to ensure that the laws of the United States are enforced and that the constitutional order is upheld,” Sessions said. “No greater good can be done for the overall health and well-being of our republic than preserving and strengthening the impartial rule of law. Societies where the rule of law is treasured are societies that tend to flourish and succeed. Societies where the rule of law is subject to political whims and personal biases tend to become societies afflicted by corruption, poverty, and human suffering.”