It cannot be acceptable in the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday in Denver, that an undocumented person can cross the U.S.-Mexico border on a Monday, only to make his or her way to so-called sanctuary cities like Boulder, Denver and Aurora by midweek.
“What if they’re bringing six ounces of cocaine with them?” Sessions said to the crowd at the annual Western Conservative Summit toward the end of an afternoon keynote that was, in general, heavy on talk of “law and order” and the various ways he and his boss, President Donald Trump, feel they’ve helped restore that ideal.
Sessions, addressing a gigantic, cavernous ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center, drew his loudest applause with the line: “We back the blue. Not the criminals.”
He told the crowd that “in this Trump era,” American law and policy will not be set by the ACLU, but rather by “the professionals.”
What the ACLU and other organizations and figures of the anti-Trump resistance fail to recognize, Sessions argued during a roughly 30-minute speech, is that the U.S. already is the most generous country in the world to immigrants.
“We simply want a fair system,” he said, before sharing his view of how unfair it is that people enter the country illegally and find places like Denver waiting to greet them.
He did not address the separation of immigrant children and parents that his Department of Justice has overseen, nor did he speak in much detail about marijuana, the legalization of which he opposes.
He did, however, give a shout out to Lakewood baker Jack Phillips, who prevailed in this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing his religious faith. The court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had wrongfully displayed hostility toward Phillip’s faith, denying him a fair, neutral hearing.
Sessions called Phillips “courageous.”
“I’m proud for him,” he added.
In the afternoon speaker period, prior to the talk from Sessions, Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson, among others, addressed the ballroom crowd.
Robinson talked about the need he sees for lane widening on I-25, and took a question about how Colorado can stem heroin abuse among young people.
“We need more mental health (care), but we also need to get God back into the schools,” Robinson responded. “We can do more, I think, and also get ‘em off drugs.”
Robinson and all three of his Republican opponents in the primary – Walker Stapleton, Victor Mitchell and Greg Lopez – were on the schedule for the two-day Summit, an annual conference that’s billed as the largest conservative gathering outside Washington, D.C., and organized by the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University. Stapleton spoke Friday morning, while Mitchell and Lopez are slated to speak Saturday.