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Leaders of groups that back immigration restrictions lauded President-elect Trump on Friday for selecting Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as his attorney general, recalling that he was “instrumental” in blocking the 2013 Senate bill which sought to link border security to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

“Sen. Sessions will bring to the Department of Justice a fierce independence from privileged special interests, as revealed in his nearly two decades of leadership on immigration policy,” Roy Beck, executive director of the anti-amnesty group NumbersUSA, said in a statement.

Sessions has an “A+” rating on NumbersUSA’s annual immigration-reduction scorecard and was commended by Beck for “boldly and carefully championing the interests of the often-forgotten Americans of all races and ethnicities who have been left behind” by major shifts in U.S. economic and immigration policy.

The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has vigorously opposed attempts to grant citizenship or legal status to immigrants residing in the country illegally and the current administration’s enabling of sanctuary cities.

Sessions introduced a bill in 2015 that would have broadened the definition of criminal illegal immigrants, and he accused Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson of encouraging “lawlessness” at the border during an Oversight committee hearing last year.

Federation for American Immigration Reform president Dan Stein said he is confident Sessions will “put an end to the flagrant violation of federal immigration law by the more than 300 sanctuary cities and jurisdictions across the nation” during his tenure at the Justice Department.

“Having served as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, Senator Sessions’ expertise in the area of immigration is unmatched,” Stein said. “It’s hard to imagine a better pick for the attorney general position than Sen. Jeff Sessions.”

The Alabama senator also earned praise from several of his conservative colleagues, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Sessions will face a confirmation hearing and vote in the Senate, likely to be held in January.

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