Monday on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) touted the value of presidential leadership as it pertained to what he deemed to be the “lawlessness” within the U.S. immigration system.
Also during that appearance, he praised ICE Council president Chris Crane, who was criticized by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, during an appearance on the Fox News Channel on Saturday.
According to Sessions, told the truth about the so-called Gang of Eight legislation promoted by Rubio and Crane should be heralded for doing so.
Transcript as follows:
DOBBS: Joining us now is Senator Jeff Sessions. He’s a member of a number of key Senate committees, including Budget, Armed Services, the Judiciary, a busy man on even a slow day. Senator, great to have you with us. We appreciate you taking the time.
Well, I want to turn to a couple things, if I may first, and that is this dispute that’s arisen around what we’re doing with illegal immigrants in this country, The Washington Examiner reporting first that 90,000 — 90,000 dangerous illegal immigrants have simply been released and gone free.
What is happening that our agencies are not carrying out their responsibilities, their duties to protect the country and to enforce laws?
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Lou, it’s unbelievable what’s been happening. And it’s just shocking. People can’t believe it.
This administration has devastated law enforcement. The ICE ops — there’s the federal law officers — sued their supervisors in the administration, in effect saying, You have caused us to violate our oath to enforce the law. They’re being told by policies and regulations and executive orders throughout this entire system that makes it virtually impossible to create a lawful system of immigration.
It can be done, if we had presidential leadership. It’s not that hard. It’s really possible, and we have got to do it. The American people have demanded it for 30 years. They get promises from Washington and nothing happens.
DOBBS: In dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the head of the union there in a dispute with Marco Rubio, and the head of the union saying point-blank Marco Rubio, betrayed law enforcement in the “gang of eight” legislation, and did so just bald-faced in front of everyone. You have supported him in this, that is the head of the union. What actually stopped the “gang of eight” bill, in your judgment?
SESSIONS: Well, I think Chris Crane played a big role in it, he and other law enforcement officers. They exposed this bill. They said it would not make us more safe but less safe. They said it wouldn’t work as promised.
I urged them — they met for months, the “gang of eight” did, with the La Raza and they met with the…
DOBBS: I remember it well.
SESSIONS: … Chamber of Commerce and — but they wouldn’t allow law enforcement to come in to explain how the system really works and what you have to do to end the lawlessness. And they were just pushed out and it got to be a big deal, and I guess the disagreements continue between those two.
And I just so admired Chris Crane. He was a Marine. He loved America. I believe he told the truth about the legislation, and I thought it was very important for the American people that he did.
DOBBS: Senator Rubio saying today that — that — that Crane’s suggestions were basically conspiracy theories on his part, trying to dismiss them. They are not easily dismissed, as you know.
I would also like to take up Senator Rubio’s support of the Trans Pacific Partnership, the free trade agreement that is — this president wants to have validated by the Senate. Marco Rubio has been a supporter of it, has he not?
SESSIONS: Been a very big supporter of it. He did provide the 60th vote, the vote necessary to pass the fast-track that led us to this. He had said that he has three pillars of his foreign policy, and one of them was the passage of this bill.
I really believe, Lou, that we’re a nation that trades. We’re not against trade. But I really believe these trade agreements are not working effectively for us. Our trading partners cheat and manipulate too much. And we have all the leverage in the world to stand back against that.
And if we go into this trading agreement that has 5,000 pages now, and I think we’ll regret this. We need bilateral trade agreements. I’ll support them. But we always need to be able to pull out and not have a commission, like a nascent European Commission, that evaluates disputes and changes the rules whenever they want to…
DOBBS: … getting real popular, aren’t they, Senator.
SESSIONS: They’re dangerous and they erode the sovereignty and the power of Congress and the American people.
DOBBS: Senator Jeff Sessions, always good to have you with us. Thank you very much, Senator.
SESSIONS: Thanks, Lou.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor