Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) defended his immigration record Tuesday in his Senate confirmation hearing to become the next attorney general.
Sessions, who President-elect Donald Trump has chosen to lead the Justice Department, was asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) about stances he has taken in the past having to do with illegal immigrants and whether a number of them should receive amnesty to legally stay in the U.S.
Sessions has opposed any legislation that legalizes so-called "Dreamers," the children who were brought to the U.S. illegally at a young age and have remained in the country ever since. He has also opposed legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to serve in the military.
Durbin, who supports a softer approach to immigration, confronted the Alabama senator over his immigration polices during Tuesday's confirmation.
Durbin concluded a lengthy and loaded question with, "Sen. Sessions, there's not a spot of evidence in your public career to suggest that as attorney general you would use the authority of that office to resolve the challenges of our broken immigration system in a fair and humane manner. Tell me I'm wrong."
Sessions responded by saying, "Well, you are wrong, Sen. Durbin." Sessions added:
I'm going to follow the laws passed by Congress. As a matter of policy we disagreed on some of those issues. I do believe that if you continually go through a cycle of amnesty that you undermine the respect for the law and encourage more illegal immigration into America. I believe the American people spoke clearly in this election. I believe they agreed with my basic view, and I think it's a good view, a decent view, a solid legal view for the United States of America that we create a lawful system of immigration that allows people to apply to this country and if they're accepted they get in, if they're not accepted they don't get in, and I believe that's right and just and the American people are right to ask for it.