A deal between President Trump’s administration and Congress on an Obama-created temporary amnesty program brings “opportunity” to make “historic” pro-American immigration changes to the United States legal immigration system, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Sessions — a staunch pro-American immigration reformer — said a deal with Trump and Congress on what to do with nearly 800,000 illegal aliens currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would bring about reforms that would amount to “something historic.”
“There has been, I’m afraid, an erosion in the respect for the rule of law,” Sessions said. “Too often, advancing political agendas has been substituted for following the law. This Department of Justice respects Congress and the Constitution, and we intend to enforce the laws as you’ve written them.”
“The DACA policy produced by the last administration could not be sustained,” Sessions said of his announcement last month that DACA would officially end in March 2018. “It was unlawful and contrary to the laws passed by this Constitution — this institution. In Congress, you now have the ability to act on this issue.”
“I would just note the president has said he wants to work with Congress,” Sessions said. “He has a heart for young people, but we have got to have more than just an amnesty, friends. We need a good improvement in the illegality that’s going on, and there is an opportunity right now, I’m telling you — an opportunity now to do something historic.”
Sessions’ comments on DACA reveal a willingness by the attorney general to support the terms of a deal in which illegal aliens’ status is considered only after pro-American immigration reforms are implemented, and specifically those prioritized by the Trump administration.
For instance, Trump has outlined a 70-point immigration priority list — where family-based legal chain migration is ended and replaced with merit-based lower legal immigration levels, the system known as “E-Verify” which solidifies lawful employment is mandated federally, a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is constructed and foreign nationals who overstay their visas are more readily deported — that would need to be enacted ahead of any deal on DACA.
In agreement with Sessions on the terms of a DACA deal is the pro-American immigration reform Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“Any DACA program will have an enormous and immediate downside, increasing pressure on our borders by those who wish to cash in on a legalization. The plans detailed in the administration’s agenda must be in place prior to any DACA negotiations, to ensure that DACA doesn’t ignite yet another crisis at the border,” FAIR President Dan Stein said in a statement.
Should Congress and the Trump administration sign off on amnesty for DACA illegal aliens without demanding an end to chain migration, cuts to legal immigration and mandatory E-Verify, the U.S. could see a chain migration of foreign nationals to the country of upwards of four to six million, as Breitbart News reported.
Additionally, a DACA amnesty without a border wall constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border and with no major reforms to the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program – which resettles young illegal aliens across the U.S. – could result in a surge of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens along the southern border.