Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) says he is not going to be intimidated by the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back the travel ban that he signed into law nearly two years ago.
The President, Sessions said Thursday, has no interest in being intimidated by his legal team, even though they are well-funded and well-armed.
“We will defend our constitutional rights, whether we’re talking about the travel restrictions or the DACA amnesty,” Sessions said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”
The Justice Department is defending the executive order that Sessions signed, arguing that it protects Americans from terrorism and other threats.
The Trump administration, however, argues that the ban was never intended to target any specific religion, but only the Muslim faith.
“I’m confident that the president will prevail on this, because his legal teams are strong and they will be able to prove that,” Sessions, a Republican who served as attorney general under President Barack Obama, said.
“The fact that the administration is willing to go after me on the merits of their case, I have no doubt about that.”
Trump signed the order last July that bars entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
It also blocks refugees for 120 days, while also temporarily suspending the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
The order is still under review by the federal courts.
“That’s not a Muslim ban.
That’s not an immigration ban.
It’s a Muslim-centric travel ban,” Sessions told CNN’s Dana Bash Thursday.
“And the courts will rule on it, but the courts have said that the executive orders are not intended to exclude anyone, and that’s a fair interpretation.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sessions’ comments.
Trump has been criticized by critics for the executive action and the Department of Justice for not challenging the executive ban before it went into effect.
Critics have called the order “un-American” and “unconstitutional,” while many business leaders have said the order is hurting the economy and hurting the U.S. economy.
The DOJ is defending that interpretation of the executive actions, arguing the executive executive order is needed to protect Americans from a threat that has increased since Trump took office.
“There’s a lot of confusion in the public and a lot that’s not accurate,” Sessions added.
“It’s been a good administration, and we have been very productive.
The last administration had a very good one, and the next administration, they will have a very bad one.
So we’re going to continue to work together to try to work this through.”