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Pallone Statement on Trump Administration Actions on Affirmative Action

August 2, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC -  Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement on the Trump administration preparing to direct the Justice Department’s civil rights division to investigate universities over affirmative action admissions policies.

“This proposal would dedicate valuable Department of Justice resources towards a shameful targeting of minority students pursuing higher education.  Not only does this effort contradict decades of precedent in favor of affirmative action in higher education, it also transparently appeals to the worst instincts of a small but vocal contingent of President Trump’s supporters.  It is another reminder of the warning Coretta Scott King issued in 1986, when she told the United States Senate that ‘I do not believe Jefferson Sessions possesses the requisite judgment, competence, and sensitivity to the rights guaranteed by the federal civil rights laws’ to serve as a federal judge.” 

“From 1996 to 2012, African-American enrollment in colleges and universities increased 72 percent, and minority graduation rates have increased as well.   Studies have also shown that students of all races have benefitted as a result of affirmative action policies through improved intellectual engagement, citizenship, and cognitive skills.  I will do everything in my power to prevent the implementation of this effort to use the Department of Justice as a tool against minority achievement.”