From: Karla Crosswhite-Chigbue/CNN
Subject: Senators pledge support for Eric Holder, Jr., to become Deputy Attorney General
From juvenile crime to the death penalty, Eric Holder, Jr. expressed his views on various topics during Friday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 46-year-old native New Yorker has been nominated to serve as deputy attorney aeneral. If confirmed he would be the highest ranking African-American at the Justice Department.
In an opening statement Holder laid out his objectives if confirmed. First, he said he would work with Attorney General Janet Reno in making sure that the federal law enforcement resources are used wisely to address the major crime problems confronting the country.
Second, he pledged to ensure that federal law enforcement agencies work with their state and local counterparts to help them meet the challenge of safeguarding our streets and neighborhoods.
Third, he promised to work in partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies to reduce and prevent juvenile crime by balancing tough enforcement measures with targeted, effective prevention and intervention initiatives. Holder said gangs, guns and drugs must be targeted to reduce crime rates involving young people.
Fourth, he said the Justice Department needs to work hand-in-hand with companion government agencies to forge cooperative relationships around the world to combat terrorism, international drug trafficking, and illegal immigration.
Finally, Holder said he will assist Reno in managing the resources and talents of the men and women at the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Holder made it clear he is not a proponent of the death penalty but said he would uphold the law where necessary.
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) expressed their support for Holder saying they would like to see quick confirmation.
Holder was sworn in as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia on October 8, 1993.
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