After urging his colleagues to vote against both the House and Senate border bills on Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Congress should not adjourn until it stands against Obama’s executive actions that will effectively end immigration enforcement in America.
“Are we really to recess for August having done nothing–said nothing–offered nothing to oppose the President in this way?” Sessions asked Thursday on the Senate floor. “The American people are asking us for help, pleading with us for help, and we must answer that call. We must fight for the lawful and just system of immigration that we can proud of.”
He noted that “there is currently no legislation pending for a vote in either Chamber–House or Senate–which passes this test. As a result, both the House and Senate packages should not be supported.” Sessions emphasized that Obama’s executive amnesty has already demoralized law enforcement and made “it almost impossible to enforce the law.”
“Now imagine, then, if the president expands this amnesty and work authorization program to cover millions of unlawful immigrants of all ages? Sessions said. “It will be an effective end of immigration enforcement in America. You cannot maintain an effective, lawful system of fair immigration enforcement policy with these kind of regulations occurring and these kind of orders from the White House.”
Sessions said Obama, as the chief executive officer, is “empowered and directed to ensure the laws of the United States are carried out” and “not empowered to violate the laws of the United States.”
“The president is not entitled to make laws,” Sessions repeatedly emphasized. “Congress should not adjourn until it has firmly stood against the president’s unconstitutional and dangerous action.”
He noted that immigration and law enforcement officers have stated that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has turned into an “approval machine” while immigration enforcement officers have essentially been told to “stand down.”
Sessions cited conversations with Chris Crane, the President of the ICE Officers’ Council, who mentioned that Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program “basically halted enforcement for anyone who asserted protections under the new administration policy,” including criminals.
Now, imagine then what will happen when the President expands his amnesty and work authorization program to cover millions of unlawful immigrants of all ages,” Sessions said. “Everyone ICE comes into contact with will assert protections, will claim to have failed an application, will say they are eligible for the new amnesty.”
“No wonder the American people are unhappy with what goes on here,” Sessions said.
“These are breathtaking reports from the front lines of our immigration system,” he said. “From the people who screen and review applications. Now think–just imagine–what will happen to our system if the President goes forward with his executive actions. It would overwhelm a system that is already buckling under the weight of the massive illegality on our southern border.”
If Obama passes executive actions to grant work permits to millions of illegal immigrants during the recess, Sessions said it will allow nearly every illegal immigrant to say, “I am qualified under the president’s amnesty.”
He said that he was disappointed that his colleagues have not more forcefully tried to Obama from nullifying federal laws and asked, “How can we not take this position, colleagues?”
Sessions said the Senate and House border offer nothing to ensure that America’s sovereignty is protected and allows Obama to enact actions that “threatens the separation of powers.”
He also said Obama’s executive actions that Congress would enable by not taking a stronger stand would be a “direct affront” to American workers, “to every single unemployed American,” and to everyone who has applied to the United States for lawful admission and has not come illegally.
“What do we say to them when this happens? Sessions said, noting that Obama’s executive actions would be “particularly damaging to those in the poor and the most vulnerable communities.”