7:51 PM, Jun 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions argues that "lax enforcement" of border security is driving the illegal immigration "surge." Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, made the comments today on the Senate floor.
"Colleagues," Sessions began, "today there is an unprecedented crisis unfolding on our border. This crisis threatens the very integrity of our national borders, our laws, and our system of justice. It is a crisis of the Administration’s own making, and a crisis that the Administration continues to encourage."
Sessions would add, "contrary to the Administration’s claims that illegal immigrants are acting on mere rumor and misinformation, it is not only the rumor but the reality of lax enforcement that is driving the surge. It is also the lack of a clear message not to come unlawfully."
A leaked May 30 internal memo written by top Border Patrol official, Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello, said: ‘Currently only three percent of apprehensions from countries other than Mexico are being repatriated to their countries of citizenship, which are predominantly located in Central America.’
I repeat: only three percent are being returned home.
According to the former head of Enforcement and Removal Operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Gary Mead, ‘It’s taking a year or more in some places for these people to come up on a hearing and many times, they don’t have an attorney, or they’ve lost an attorney, and they get an extension, and maybe it's two years before they have a hearing. And in the interim period, they enroll in school, or they get a job, or they are reunited with family members, and then they are no longer an enforcement priority.’
Even if, after two or three years, a hearing judge finally orders removal—assuming they show up in court at all—many illegal immigrants simply ignore the order. And, having now been here for a period of years, no one makes them leave. As former ICE Director John Sandweg said, ‘If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.’
Yesterday, Byron York published in the Washington Examiner the findings of Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which show that the United States deported a total of 802 minors to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in 2011; 677 in 2012; and 496 in 2013. Weighed against the tens of thousands pouring in, it is clear that, once again, the reality—not merely the rumor—of lax enforcement has influenced decision-making in Central America.
York quotes ex-ICE Official Gary Mead: ‘If you’re getting 90,000 a year, or 50,000 a year, or even 25,000 a year, and you only remove 1,200, you’re not eliminating the backlog.’
Additionally, those here illegally have taken advantage of an asylum system that is easily open to abuse and that the Administration has sought to widen rather than narrow. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte stated recently that ‘many of the children, teenagers, and adults arriving at the border are able to game our asylum and immigration laws because the Obama Administration has severely weakened them and many thousands have already been released into the interior of the United States. What does President Obama plan to do with those who have already been released from custody?’
That’s a good question.
So we have a situation now where illegal immigrants seek out and turn themselves in to border patrol so they can be brought into the United States, be united with family members, apply for jobs, attend schools, have children in U.S. hospitals, and stay in the United States—whether through skipping court hearings, receiving asylum, or simply ignoring orders to leave. We can all expect, five or ten years from now, politicians in this very body to say that these illegal immigrants ‘came here through no fault of their own’ and are entitled to citizenship. Is this a policy of a great nation? It’s a policy of a nation that advocates for open borders, but it’s not a policy that’s compatible with a system of law, duty, and order.
And the chaos continues.
Indeed, the President actively continues to incentivize even more illegal immigration—he reauthorized his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for two years and held a White House ceremony honoring ten DACA recipients; he recently unilaterally authorized an additional 100,000 guest workers; and now the Justice Department is hiring lawyers to represent unaccompanied alien children in immigration court, to maximize the number who will receive permission to stay.
1:09 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions has released a statement that says, "7 Million People Have Left The Workforce Since The President Took Office." The statement is in response to today's jobs numbers.
"Today’s jobs numbers are only enough to tread even with population growth, maintaining unemployment at 6.3 percent. When you include discouraged workers, the unemployment rate doubles to an alarming 12.2 percent. There are still 3.2 million fewer full-time employed persons than there were in 2007," says Sessions.
12:34 PM, Mar 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, says that President Obama's budget includes a $1.76 trillion tax hike.
11:30 AM, Mar 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama unveils his budget today. And the numbers aren't likely to satisfy fiscal conservatives and budget hawks, who might have been hoping for a budget that decreases spending and lowers the debt.
According to analysis by the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff, working for Ranking Member Jeff Sessions of Alabama, over the next decade President Obama's proposed budget increases spending by 63 percent and increases debt by $8.3 trillion.
Here are a couple charts from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee showing the numbers:
11:31 AM, Feb 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Four United States Senators have a written a letter to FBI director James Comey about the indictment of author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. Senators Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are the four senators, all Republicans, to have signed the letter.
The letter quotes Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz as saying, "I can't help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. ... It smacks of selective prosecution."
7:34 AM, Feb 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue says in an op-ed that the U.S. needs more low-skill immigration because Americans are not "qualified" or "willing" to do such work.
7:10 PM, Jan 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions says that House Republicans should "expose" President Obama's immigration plan, and not join it.
'The President has no new plan, no new vision, and there will be no change in course.'2:39 PM, Sep 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, issued this statement in response to President Obama announcing Jeffrey Zients to be his top economic advisor:
'More people retiring early, going on disability, turning to welfare, and giving up looking for work altogether.'9:01 AM, Sep 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican, is marking Labor Day with a statement lamenting the decline in America’s workforce and the strident push toward passing an immigration bill.
11:00 AM, Jul 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a sharp memo sent this morning to fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill, Senator Jeff Sessions argues that the GOP elite view on immigration--shared by President Barack Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer--is "nonsense." Instead, Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, advises his fellow Republicans to adopt a "humble and honest populism."
4:24 PM, Jun 27, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions, the chief opponent of the immigration bill, released this statement in response to the Senate passing the law by a vote of 68-32:
“Sponsors of this legislation—despite the array of financial, establishment and special interest support—failed to hit their target of 70 votes. The more people learned about the bill the more uneasy they became. Failure to reach 70 votes is significant, and ensures the House has plenty of space to chart an opposite course and reject this fatally flawed proposal.
5:49 PM, Jun 24, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, asked on the Senate floor why the body should vote to give majority leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid "procedural control" over the debate over the Gang of Eight's immigration bill. Sessions, speaking Monday afternoon against a motion to close debate on the bill, pointed out that the so-called Corker-Hoeven border security amendment to the immigration bill isn't really an amendment at all.
10:47 AM, Mar 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement released at 5 a.m. today, Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, blasts the budget the Senate passed very early this morning. Sessions's main concern is that the budget "has zero real deficit reduction" and "never balances."
“The content of the plan the majority has now approved demonstrates why they were unwilling to reveal it for so long: their proposal, once accurately understood, cannot be publicly defended," says Sessions.
UPDATE: Vote set for Thursday.1:02 PM, Mar 20, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Every single U.S. senator is expected later today to have to vote on whether the federal budget should be balanced, senior Senate aides tell me. The vote will be for support of an amendment to the Democratic budget, which is currently not balanced, and which will be debated on the Senate floor today, calling for it to be balanced.