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Sessions’ Immigration Subcommittee Investigation Reports Retaliation Against Immigration Officers

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) announced that he and other members of his Immigration Subcommittee were investigating instances where the US Department of Homeland Security (DHA) were retaliating against Immigration Officers for doing their job and actually enforcing American Immigration Law.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. He was joined by all the Republican members of the Subcommittee in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about  potential retaliation against DHS personnel who attempt to uphold their oaths of office by enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

Senator Sessions wrote, “We are aware of multiple allegations of targeting and retaliation against DHS personnel who refuse to comply with this Administration’s willful disregard of our immigration laws—such as allegations made in lawsuits filed in federal court by an award-winning ICE attorney and by a group of 10 ICE officers and agents.”

Sen. Sessions wrote in the correspondence to Secretary Johnson: “On February 25, 2015, during a MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion at Florida International University in Miami, President Obama said: ‘There may be individual [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] officials or Border Patrol who aren’t paying attention to our new directives. But they’re going to be answerable to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, because he’s been very clear about what our priorities should be… If somebody is working for ICE and there is a policy and they don’t follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it.’ Not only do the President’s statements ignore the plain language of several immigration statutes that command DHS personnel to take certain actions relating to illegal aliens, the comments seem to comport with a pattern and practice of threats toward DHS personnel who seek to fulfill their duties under the law. Such statements also illustrate why morale levels among DHS personnel continue to remain near the bottom of all federal entities.”

The Republican on the Subcommittee wrote that, “President of the National ICE Council Chris Crane has said that agency leadership is “punishing law enforcement officers who are just trying to uphold U.S. law,” and is “willing to take away their retirement, their job, their ability to support their families in favor of someone who is here illegally and violating our laws . . . either taking a disciplinary action [or] threat[ening] disciplinary action.’”

Sen. Sessions and company wrote, “Earlier this month, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council (Local 3307) Chris Cabrera testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that: ‘[Border Patrol] agents who repeatedly report groups [of aliens] larger than 20 face retribution. Management will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low volume areas as punishment. Needless to say agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group.’”

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Senator Sessions demanded that Sec. Johnson, “Provide the number of employees the Department disciplined over the last six years, including through the issuance of an adverse annual review, relating in any way to the alleged refusal of those employees to comply with the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, the refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner, or the reporting of large groups of aliens apprehended after crossing the border.” Sessions demanded detailed information about each case, “including all documents and data in native format, to our offices by the close of business on April 13, 2015.”

Under President Obama (D) much of the immigration enforcement has grown increasingly lax. The President has unilaterally suspended enforcement of many immigration laws and has announced plans to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens living in this country. His plan is currently blocked in federal court.

Sen. Sessions has been a vocal opponent of the President’s executive actions.

Sessions letter was also signed by Senators: Deputy Chairman David Vitter, David Perdue, Charles E. Grassley, John Cornyn, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Thom Tillis.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has announced that he is running for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States next year.

Sen. Sessions enjoys such enormous popularity in Alabama that no candidate (Republican or Democrat) would challenge him in the 2014 election where he won his fourth term in the Senate.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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