William Barr Confirmed as Attorney General
By Heather Ham-Warren | February 15, 2019
On Thursday, William Barr was confirmed as the 85th Attorney General of the United States. Barr was nominated by President Donald J. Trump following the resignation of Jeff Sessions late last year. Interestingly, Barr also served as the 77th Attorney General under former President H.W. Bush in the early nineties.
The United States Senate confirmed Barr by a vote of 54-45. Three Democratic Senators—Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)— broke party lines to vote in favor of the president’s nominee. Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was the only Republican to vote against confirmation citing concerns with his record on privacy issues.
Clearly, the new attorney general will have his hands full with a wide array of issues. However, at a time when immigration is the most pressing domestic policy issue, it is critical to have an individual at the helm of the Department of Justice who has a deep understanding of the issues and a strong commitment of the rule of law. William Barr’s record demonstrates that he is precisely such an individual and will ably pick up where his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, left off.
In the upcoming months the Department of Justice will be forced to address several immigration issues including the widespread abuse of our nation’s political asylum system and physical border security. Asylum abuse is directly responsible for the paralysis of our federal court system, and unless decisive action is taken, the situation will only worsen. Former Attorney General Sessions took important first steps toward undoing reckless policy decisions made under the Obama administration that touched-off the unprecedented asylum fraud that is straining our nation’s legal system.
During his previous stint in this position Attorney General Barr fought to minimize asylum abuse. Under his leadership, asylum abusers were quickly turned around and returned home – policies that were continued, and even strengthened under the Clinton administration. Unfortunately, today the abuse is exponentially worse, and threatens the integrity of our immigration system.
Fortunately, the attorney general also recognizes the urgent need to secure our nation’s borders. During his recent confirmation hearings, Barr affirmed his commitment to having effective border barriers in place to curb chaotic illegal immigration and to interdict narcotics and other contraband coming across the border.
FAIR is encouraged by Barr’s confirmation, and looks forward to working with him in the upcoming months to restore the integrity of our nation’s immigration policies.