By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama issued a written statement following the President’s nomination of Jeh Johnson for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Senator Sessions said, “ICE officers report that ‘violent criminals are released every day back into communities,’ and they even sued the DHS Secretary herself over the non-enforcement directives they have received. USCIS caseworkers report that they are being forced to ‘rubber stamp’ immigration applications. Enforcement has collapsed, officer morale has plummeted, and the integrity of the entire immigration legal system is in jeopardy.”
Sen. Sessions said that Mr. Johnson will have to demonstrate to the Senate that he has: “A commitment to achieving management control of this sprawling department and its law enforcement duties, a determination to restore the depleted morale of immigration officers who have been blocked from doing their jobs, and a resolve to enforce the laws of the land, and a repudiation of the far-reaching non-enforcement protocols issued by the prior DHS Secretary.”
Sen Sessions said, “This nomination should focus the attention of the Congress and the country on the open refusal of DHS political appointees to impartially execute their law enforcement mission.”
The previous Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was very unpopular with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers who claimed that her orders were preventing them from properly performing their mission, so much so that their union sued the administration.
Sen. Sessions office reported that the ICE officers’ association is reporting that they are “currently forced to apply [the President’s] DREAMer orders to detainees in prisons and jails,” and that “violent criminals are released every day back into communities.” Sen. Sessions’ statement says that USCIS adjudications officers report that they are under “pressure to rubber-stamp applications,” and “have become an approval machine.”
Sen. Sessions office also reported from border patrol officers that illegal alien assaults against agents, as well as unlawful actions to impede agents in their duties, are not being prosecuted. Sen. Sessions office said that research from the Senate Budget, Finance and Agriculture committee minority offices demonstrate that federal in-law welfare restrictions for non-citizens have been ignored by DHS.
When Secretary Napolitano resigned Sen. Sessions said in a statement, “Secretary Napolitano’s tenure at the Department of Homeland Security was defined by a consistent disrespect for the rule of law. The resignation of Secretary Napolitano should refocus the attention of Congress on its first task: to ensure that the executive branch faithfully carries out the laws of the land. The most significant obstacle to immigration reform remains President Obama’s selective enforcement of the law. Any selection—interim or permanent—to replace Secretary Napolitano must disavow these aggressive non-enforcement directives or there is very little hope for successful immigration reform. Whoever replaces Secretary Napolitano must restore the rule of law, as well as the morale of ICE officers which has plummeted under her tenure.”
Sen. Sessions has also been critical of President Obama’s appointee: Jeh Johnson. Sessions called Johnson a Democrat loyalist and fundraiser and said, “This is deeply concerning. This huge department must have a proven manager with strong relevant law enforcement experience, recognized independence and integrity, who can restore this department to its full capability.”
Jeh Johnson is a successful attorney who became involved in President Obama’s 2008 campaign and has personally contributed over $100,000 to Democratic candidates. In 2009 Pres. Obama appointed him to be Counsel to the Pentagon where he advised the administration on the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Obama administration has been a vocal advocate for reforming America’s immigration laws to allow more people to enter the country legally and for giving legal status, including a pathway to citizenship, to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants who already live here. Sen. Sessions has said that there should be no immigration reform plan passed until the administration enforces existing immigration laws and applies border security enhancements that have already been ordered by the U.S. Congress. The President’s controversial immigration reform package narrowly passed the U.S. Senate but faces an uncertain future in the Republican controlled United States Congress.
Senator Jeff Sessions is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is a former Alabama Attorney General.