By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, October 20, US Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) issued a statement after Democrats filibustered reform legislation to combat Sanctuary Cities.
Senator Sessions said “Today Senate Democrats blocked legislation to address one of the biggest, most egregious, and most dangerous wrongs now occurring in our immigration system today: Sanctuary Cities. This bill would have been a modest but valuable first step towards ending the massive, unprecedented illegality. Sanctuary cities are together freeing an average of 1,000 criminal aliens a month. Countless crimes are happening as a result of these never-ending releases: DUIs, assaults, burglaries, drug crimes, gang crimes, and murders.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “And countless Americans would be alive today – and countless mothers and fathers would not be grieving today – if the policies of these sanctuary cities were shut down. Votes to filibuster this bill were votes for continued bloodshed, for more parents burying more children, for more senseless tragedy. This filibuster today makes clear that the DemSocratic Party not only has no intention of ending this lawless abuse, but desires to see it continued.”
GOP Presidential Candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agrees with Sen. Sessions. Sen. Cruz said on the floor of the Senate, “This class of illegal aliens has a special disregard and disdain for our nation’s laws. And, too often, these offenders also have serious rap sheets… We must send the message that defiance of our laws will no longer be tolerated—whether it’s by the sanctuary cities themselves or the illegal reentry offenders that they harbor. The problem of illegal immigration in this country will never be solved until we demonstrate to the American people that we are serious about securing the border and enforcing our immigration laws. This bill is just a small step, but at least it’s a small step in the right direction.”
Sen. Cruz said, “Not only are these sanctuary policies an affront to Rule of Law, they are extremely dangerous. According to a recent study by the Center for Immigration Studies, between January 1 and September 30, 2014—just a nine-month period—sanctuary jurisdictions released 9,295 alien offenders that the federal government was seeking to deport. That is roughly 1,000 offenders a month that sanctuary jurisdictions were releasing to the people. Now of those 9,295, 62 percent had prior criminal histories or other public safety issues. And, amazingly, to underscore just how dangerous this is to the citizenry, 2,320 offenders were rearrested within the nine-month period for committing new crimes after they had already been released by the sanctuary jurisdiction. If that doesn’t embody lawlessness, it’s difficult to imagine what does. Jurisdictions that are releasing over and over again criminal illegal aliens, many of them violent criminal illegal aliens, and exposing the citizens who live at home to additional public safety risk, to additional terrorist risk. It makes no sense to continue sending federal money to local governments that intentionally make it more difficult and costly for the federal government to do its job.”
The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146) would have stripped certain federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions and incorporates elements of Kate’s Law, imposing a five-year mandatory minimum sentence on any alien who illegally reenters the country after having been convicted of an aggravated felony or two prior illegal reentry offenses.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) opposed the legislation. Menendez said, “We are witnessing the most overtly nativist and xenophobic campaign in modern US history. We’ve hit a new low with the extraordinarily hateful rhetoric that diminishes immigrants’ contributions to American history — and particularly demonizes the Latino community by labeling Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.”
The Senate voted 54-46 against the legislation.
Senator Jeff Sessions is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and has been a vocal critic of our nation’s extremely high immigration rates and poor enforcement of our immigration laws.