WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee and former Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on the new push for comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty:
“Americans overwhelmingly oppose illegal immigration. They have pleaded with Congress to end the mass illegality for decades to little avail. All the while, millions have been added to the total of those illegally here.
It’s time to fix that broken system. Now we are told that the Obama Administration and members of Congress say they have a plan that they promise will do the job. So, the American people will need to watch closely. And, members of Congress must insist that they have a full and complete opportunity to study and amend such legislation.
We would be in a much better position to achieve immigration reform if the Obama Administration had spent that last four years enforcing federal law rather than dismantling it. Brave immigration agents have been left with no recourse but to sue their own Department head, simply so that they—like any other law officers—will be allowed to do their jobs. Just last Friday a federal judge made an important preliminary ruling in their favor. The ICE union also held their own agency head, John Morton, in no confidence with a unanimous vote. The first task for every media agency in the country ought to be to study this lawsuit, to listen to the long-documented complaints of ICE agents, and to review the record of stymied attempts at congressional oversight of DHS.
No comprehensive plan can pass Congress as long as this administration continues to defy existing federal law. What good are promises of future enforcement when the Administration covertly undermines those laws now in place?
Yet, without consulting the law officers who have the duty to enforce the law, another group of senators, meeting in secret—just like the last time comprehensive reform failed—have set forth an outline with no legislative language. We have seen too often before that the promises made by bill sponsors do not match up to the reality when the language is produced. No secret accord with profound consequences for this nation’s future can be rushed through. That means a full committee process and debate and amendments on the floor of the Senate.
Several points need to be understood. Amnesty will not help balance our budget. In fact, a large-scale amnesty is likely to add trillions of dollars to the debt over time, accelerate Medicare’s and Social Security’s slide into insolvency, and put enormous strain on our public assistance programs. We know already that the administration refuses to enforce existing law restricting immigrant welfare use, and in fact promotes expanded welfare use to immigrants—including food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid. I joined with four Ranking Members to obtain answers from the Department of Homeland Security about this evisceration of law, and the Administration has suspiciously defied three consecutive oversight requests.
These and other critical issues must be carefully considered as we go forward. Certainly, our current system is broken. Work must be done to fix it. That effort must occur.
All Americans, immigrant and native born, will have a better future if American continues to stand unique among nations for the special reverence it places in the rule of law.”