Sessions 'Can Go to Jail': Former Immigration Judge Says AG 'Belongs' Behind Bars for Contempt

Sessions 'Can Go to Jail': Former Immigration Judge Says AG 'Belongs' Behind Bars for Contempt
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) makes opening remarks to a panel of Department of Homeland Security officials John Wagner, deputy assistant commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations; Anh Duong, director of Border and Maritime Division of Homeland Security's Advanced Research Projects Agency; Craig Healy, assistant director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's National Security Investigations Division; and Rebecca Gambler,director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as they testify about the unimplemented biometric exit tracking system before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2016. (CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

As the Trump administration has faced public outrage for its policy of holding migrant children ransom in cages to force their parents to self-deport a policy that has now led to a full-blown humanitarian crisis Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dutifully and enthusiastically helped enforce it. And this week, he was threatened with contempt of court by federal district judge Emmet Sullivan, after trying to deport a woman and her daughter while their lawyers were still arguing their asylum case.


One person who agrees is Paul Schmidt, a retired former immigration judge and general counsel for the now-defunct predecessor of ICE, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"I'm stunned — absolutely stunned — as somebody that worked for the Justice Department for 35 years, been involved in the field for 45 years,” said Schmidt to MSNBC's Katy Tur on Friday, in response to the clash between Sessions and the federal courts. "I think Sessions definitely should be held in contempt and ultimately he can go to jail and that’s exactly where he belongs."

The Trump administration has generally shown disregard for the admonitions of courts throughout the family separation controversy. Last month, Trump officials missed the court-ordered deadline for all separated children under the age of five to be reunited with their parents. Even now many families remain torn apart, with some children likely to never see their parents again.

But it is especially notable that Jeff Sessions — who has spent his career lecturing the country on how the deportation state is necessary to uphold the law — would be so flagrantly ignoring the law himself.

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