Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) took Department of Homeland Sec. Jeh Johnson to task for what he highlighted as the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement failures during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
“I believe Sen. [Chuck] Grassley (R-IA) is correct to say that we see a lack of will in your department. Before you took the office and from the president, frankly, on down,” Sessions began.
The Alabama lawmaker, who has been among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s immigration policies, offered a laundry list of frustrations with the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement efforts.
“Deportations are down 41 percent over three years. Twenty-five percent over last year,” Sessions said. “160,000 criminal aliens are on the streets and now you announced a program to fly people from Central American countries who apply for refugee and parole status in those countries to the United States of America at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers,” Sessions said, in reference to a recently created program.
“All this has led, I believe, millions to conclude if they come here illegally they’ll be successful. We’ve got to change that fundamentally. If you do that, I believe we can make progress,” Sessions said.
He continued to press Johnson to improve.
“Just can’t say Mr. Secretary, that you have led and the president and your predecessors have led effectively, demonstrating a will to do what the American people want, which is a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, one that we can be proud of. We are not there yet and you need to do more,” Sessions said.