Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA College Republicans host former Attorney General Jeff Sessions

CW / Lennox Krauter
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a UACRS meeting on Jan. 30 at Houser Hall.

Editor’s note: Opinions Editor Chance Phillips is a member of UA College Democrats. However, he was not involved in the creation of the organization’s statement quoted in the article.  

UA College Republicans hosted Jeff Sessions as a guest speaker in Houser Hall on Tuesday evening. Sessions served as Alabama’s senator for more than 20 years and as attorney general under former President Donald Trump. 

UACR asked Sessions to speak because he’s “one of Alabama’s most legendary statesmen,” Chairman Riley McArdle said via text message. McArdle added that Sessions’ speech drew 90 RSVPs, the organization’s largest crowd since the fall semester of 2022. 

“I hope his common-sense legal insight shows our audience that the Republican Party is the party of law & order,” McArdle said. 

Sessions was embroiled in several controversies while in office, including implementing policies that separated more than 2,800 migrant children from their families as attorney general and failing to disclose his meetings with a Russian ambassador while campaigning with Trump.  

Sessions ultimately resigned from his post at Trump’s behest after he recused himself from the Department of Justice’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia. 

Sessions spoke to students at length about immigration, saying that “a great country must control its borders.”  

“They’re coming from all over the world, many of them from terrorist countries,” Sessions continued, referencing illegal immigration. Sessions then condemned President Joe Biden’s immigration policies and called for a merit-based system similar to Canada’s. 

Sessions also spoke on the future of the Republican Party and his support for a broad coalition working toward the interests of working-class Americans. 

“We want to create a society where people can be proud,” Sessions said. “Proud of a job that pays a good wage.”  

Sessions maintained that he’s pro-business but criticized the income growth of the wealthiest Americans during the pandemic as coming at the expense of the working class. 

“People started calling me a populist,” Sessions said. “Populism has gotten a bad name. There’s nothing wrong with honest populism.”  

Sessions spoke on several other current issues, saying he supported the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the use of the death penalty and higher tariffs. During the event, Sessions criticized the legalization of marijuana and members of the Trump administration who spoke against Trump, citing the importance of party loyalty. 

Thomas Hughes, a first-year mechanical engineering major, said he attended Sessions’ speech to gain a new perspective. Hughes said he learned more about immigration and the way that it’s changed over time in America. 

“I wanted to get involved on campus,” said Navid Sadigh, a sophomore computer science major. “I thought that’d be a great opportunity to come see my fellow Republicans.” 

Hayden Sanders, a junior aerospace engineering major, said he attended the speech because he recently joined UACR and wanted to get more involved. Sanders said he learned more about getting into politics and Sessions’ role in the Trump administration. 

UA College Democrats criticized the decision to host Sessions, calling it “a slap in the face to those who value equality and justice.” UACD cited Sessions’ restrictive immigration policies and restrictions of civil rights when he served as attorney general. 

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