Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Serrano Response to Sessions Statements Regarding Dominican-Americans

Nov 21, 2016
Press Release
2006 Statements Adds to Sessions’ Troubling History of Opposition to Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Immigrants


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman José E. Serrano responded to statements made by Senator Jeff Sessions regarding Dominican-Americans that came to light over the weekend:

“Senator Sessions’ history of extreme and troubling statements about minorities, civil rights, voting rights, and immigrants is well known and tremendously alarming for those of us who believe that the Department of Justice is supposed to protect the most vulnerable in our society.  However, in the wake of his nomination as Attorney General, his full record is being examined in-depth, and more and more disturbing comments are coming to light.  The weekend news that in 2006, he took time to slander Dominican-Americans on the floor of the United States Senate is completely outrageous,” said Congressman Serrano. 

“As the Representative of thousands of Dominican-Americans living in the Bronx, I condemn these statements by Senator Sessions.  Dominican-Americans are a vital part of the immigrant mosaic in the Bronx and in New York City.  They have revitalized many parts of the Bronx, and made our neighborhoods better and stronger.  In short, immigrants from the Dominican Republic have added much to our borough, our city, and our nation. The Senator’s statements at best reflect ignorance of the Dominican-American community, and at worst, they reflect outright discriminatory views. 

“These statements add yet another thing that Senator Sessions must answer for in his nomination hearings.  Taken together with his past views and votes on other issues, these statements should raise serious questions about his commitment to the core missions of the Justice Department. On its face, it appears that Senator Sessions may become the most anti-civil rights Attorney General in the last 50 years.  I am worried that he will seek to undo much of the progress we have made over the past half-century in civil rights and voting rights law. As a Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee which funds the Department of Justice, I will do everything in my power to ensure that the Department, despite his leadership, will continue to adhere to its traditional missions like protecting civil rights, voting rights, and the vulnerable in our society.  Should Senator Sessions be confirmed, I intend to ask him about his views on these issues, and I will fight against any efforts to move resources away from the core responsibilities of the Justice Department.”

Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990.  He is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.