By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, July 21 Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama took to the Senate floor to attack the efforts by President Obama to grant amnesty via executive order to millions of illegal aliens. Sen. Sessions also endorsed a bill introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R) from Texas aimed at curbing the President’s power to give amnesty through executive actions.
Senator Sessions said, “Senator Cruz has a bill that would stop this presidential overreach. Sessions said. It’s very simple. It lays out that we won’t spend money providing legal documents to people unlawfully in the country as defined by the law of America and as defined by the Congress of the United States. So, I will ask, will you cosponsor Senator Cruz’s bill and let’s defend our constituents, or will our congressional colleagues remain complicit in the nullification of our laws and basically the nullification of border enforcement?”
Sen. Sessions asked, “Does anybody not respect this institution? Do we not respect the House of Representatives, the United States Senate? Have we gotten so partisan that we don’t care what the president does to diminish Congress? Don’t we have an institutional responsibility, a Constitutional responsibility to defend the legitimate powers of Congress? Sure, we can disagree sometimes, but this one is not a matter of disagreement, it seems to me. This is an overreach of dramatic proportions,” referring to President Obama’s wholesale changes to the practice of American immigration law by granting visas through executive authority and by taking hundreds of thousands of people into protective custody that would normally be turned away at the borders. Most of these persons are eventually released into the custody of family members or charitable organizations (often transported across the country at taxpayers’ expense) and told to return to an immigration court hearing that could be months away.
Sen. Cruz said in a statement about his bill, “We all recognize the terrible humanitarian crisis that is occurring at the border, and all of us should come together to end the policies that have caused it. Tens of thousands of children are being smuggled into the United States by dangerous drug cartels and transnational gangs; it is heartless to allow that to continue.”
Sen. Cruz said, “The staggering conditions that children are being subjected to are a direct result of the amnesty that President Obama illegally and unilaterally enacted in 2012.” Cruz said that Obama’s unilateral actions have, “Caused the number of unaccompanied minors to skyrocket. The only way to stop the border crisis is to stop President Obama’s amnesty.”
Cruz has worked on legislation to make it easier to send these minors back home and to authorize the use of the National Guard when there is a crisis at the border.
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has ordered one thousand Texas National Guard troops to the state’s lightly guarded southern border to defend the state from the onslaught of waves of illegal immigrants and dangerous drug running cartels who have recently fired on border patrol agents with 50 caliber weapons and once from a Mexican Army helicopter.
Cruz’s bill would end President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a 2012 initiative that suspends deportation for certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors. Cruz and Sessions never supported DACA, seeing it as a reward for people who broke immigration laws to get here. DACA and other such initiatives by the Obama administration have created an incentive for more Central Americans to come to America.
Sen. Sessions accused Congress of not doing much of anything to fight back against President Obama’s executive overreaches.
Sessions reiterated his opposition to granting the President another $4.3 billion in emergency appropriations to implement his border policies. Sen. Sessions said, “Again, CBO’s analysis suggests that only $25 million of the $4.3 billion will be spent this year. What does that mean? It means we ought to slow down. We have no—there is no basis to demand a $4.3 billion increase in spending, emergency spending. Every dollar borrowed, because we’re already in debt; to spend $4 billion more is to borrow every penny of it. We should not do that until we find out more about what’s happening at our border.”
Sen. Cruz told Fox News, “The cause of this crisis is the promise of amnesty. If you look at the history of this issue, in 2011, there were roughly 6,000 children apprehended coming in illegally. Then in 2012, President Obama unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally, who entered as children. The direct foreseeable consequence of that was the number of unaccompanied children skyrocketed so that this year the Obama Administration’s estimating 90,000 kids will come next year; 145,000. That’s up from just 6,000 three years ago. What I want to do is have action that fixes the problem.”
Sen. Sessions is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.