Posted on December 13, 2018

William Barr, Trump’s Pick as Attorney General, Is an Immigration Hardliner

Robert Donachiem, Washington Examiner, December 12, 2018


Trump is tapping former Attorney General William Barr, a 68-year-old conservative D.C. fixture with a wealth of experience both in and outside of government, to be Sessions’ permanent replacement at Justice Department. The move has been welcomed by the GOP establishment but it is his uncompromising views on immigration that will most buoy Tump loyalists.

Barr has lamented the ineffectiveness of U.S. immigration laws. He said that immigrants only have to set foot on U.S. soil to seek asylum, regardless of whether or not they have a legitimate claim. In the 1990s, while serving as deputy attorney general and then attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush, Barr expressed his frustrations with U.S. asylum policies.


When he was acting attorney general in 1991, Haitians seeking asylum from a military coup were detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in order to ascertain which of them could be considered legitimate refugees. He voiced concerns that many were carrying the AIDS virus, which was plaguing Haiti and clashed with U.S. military leaders.

“Their position was, ‘Guantanamo is a military base, and why were all these people here, the H.I.V. people, all these other people? How long are you going to be on our property with this unseemly business?” Barr said at the time. ”I’d say, ‘Until it’s over. But we’re not bringing these people into the United States.'”


Barr supports an expansive view of executive power and has been vocally against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

{snip} Barr has defended the president’s firings of former FBI Director James Comey and acting Attorney General Sally Yates. He also supported Trump’s call for the DOJ to investigate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Barr has been critical of the Mueller investigation, taking issue with the fact that many attorneys on the special counsel’s team have donated to political campaigns. Barr himself has donated over $567,000 to political candidates and causes, nearly all Republican.