YWCA USA is deeply disappointed that the Senate has confirmed Jeff Sessions as the United States Attorney General despite significant public outcry in opposition. His track record on issues of race and civil rights causes lasting harm to communities of color. He has opposed nearly every immigration bill that has come before the Senate that has included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He has expressed that the Voting Rights Act was “intrusive” despite its historical and practical significance to voters of color. In addition, now-Attorney General Sessions opposed the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Finally, he opposed the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – a critical bill that has helped countless survivors of violence and the organizations that serve them.
YWCA USA will continue to work for justice and equal protections under the law regardless of who is in power. We intend to hold Attorney General Sessions to three important promises he made during his confirmation hearings. First, he has committed to fully enforcing VAWA. Second, he will ensure that the Office of Violence Against Women is funded to effectively further its critical mission. Third, he has promised to faithfully enforce all federal laws, including those regarding domestic violence. This involves ensuring that immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence are not penalized for seeking help through deportation.