With the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Trump administration sets out to usher in a new era of law and order.
After the confirmation of Jeff Sessions, the president's controversial pick for Attorney General, Trump has issued three executive orders dealing with "public safety." With the new mandates, he plans to tackle criminal cartels, violent crime, and violence against police. He seeks to deploy three Department of Justice task forces in order to combat each area of concern.
"I am directing the Department of Justice to reduce crimes and crimes of violence against law enforcement officers," announced Trump. "It's a shame, what has been happening to our great, our truly great, law enforcement officers," he said. "That is going to stop today."
Throughout his campaign, Trump has been markedly pro-police, and Sessions is expected to align with him on that stance. Trump has stressed the danger facing police officers, though he has given little attention to the violence and killings enacted by law enforcement against unarmed citizens.
The Obama administration conducted widespread reviews of entire departments in order to investigate sources of tensions between police and communities, especially those most affected by the police killings of black civilians like Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and others. Trump and Sessions are not expected to continue such reforms that address the increased awareness of police brutality.
Trump also ordered a special task force to "break the back of criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth.”
During his swearing-in ceremony, Sessions spoke on a perceived spike in crime, which he sees as "a dangerous, permanent trend that puts the health and safety of America at risk." He promised to "deploy the talents and abilities of the Department of Justice in the most effective way possible to confront this rise in crime."
According to a recent F.B.I. report, shared via The Independent, the violent crime rate has been steadily declining since the 1980s and 1990s, despite a slight uptick in the past two years.
Sessions also addressed his plans to pursue stricter immigration policies, saying, "we need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety and pulls down the wages of working Americans." He is widely believed to have helped Trump develop his controversial executive order, issued late last month, that seeks to ban immigration, travel, and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order has been temporarily frozen by a federal judge and is currently being reviewed for its constitutionality.
The confirmation of Sessions, a longtime Republican Senator from Alabama, was intensely contested due to Democrats' concern about his allegedly racist past. His 1986 nomination to a federal judgeship, under the Reagan administration, was blocked by the Senate due to his perceived inability to be impartial toward minorities.