“A federal judge said the Secretary doesn’t have the ability to direct the agents not to do what Congress has explicitly required them to do,” Sessions said. “The judge stated basically that Secretary Napolitano is not above the law.”
“Morale in the ICE officers department is one of the very lowest in the government,” Sessions said. “These ICE officers are not complaining about pay or working conditions … what they were saying was that the Secretary and Mr. [John] Morton were denying them the right to enforce the law of the United States.”
Sessions warned the a comprehensive immigration reform bill, S. 744, would give the Homeland Security Secretary more authority to waive policies.
“Now we have new law giving her more power to waive policies,” Sessions said. “So this is the problem colleagues, Congress tells America we’re going to give legal status, amnesty to some 11 million people who have entered the country illegally, and trust us we’re going to have the toughest laws in the future.
“This Secretary has proven that she is not willing to have the laws of this country enforced.”
The bipartisan group of eight senators, called the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.
Sessions said the American public should be skeptical of the law.
“We’ve had a long time problem with the enforcement of immigration law within the United States,” Sessions said. “I do believe the American people are right to be dubious and watch this very carefully.”
Earlier Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate panel delays email privacy vote amid concerns Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Overnight Tech: Senate panel poised to advance email privacy bill MORE (D-Vt.) announced that his committee would begin to make up that bill when the Senate returns from a state-work week.
Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio unmoved by 'pressure' to stay in Senate RNC official defends Susana Martinez after Trump criticism GOP Senate hopeful wants to go beyond Trump's Muslim ban MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainMcCain files B amendment to boost defense spending Senators push to authorize 4,000 more visas for Afghans Senate panel passes 4.5B defense bill MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Trump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' Romney should endorse Clinton MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeSenate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Overnight Defense: Terrorism suspected in EgyptAir crash; McCain details funding plans Overnight Finance: Path clears for Puerto Rico bill | GOP senator casts doubt on IRS impeachment | Senate approves .1B for Zika MORE (R- Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerOvernight Healthcare: House, Senate on collision course over Zika funding Ryan goes all-in on Puerto Rico Cruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinFunding boost for TSA sails through committee Senate panel passes 4.5B defense bill Reid: 'Lay off' Sanders criticism MORE (D-Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert MenendezDems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Lobbying World This week: GOP lawmakers reckon with Trump MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetGOP Senate hopeful wants to go beyond Trump's Muslim ban Lawmakers push to elevate Cyber Command in Senate defense bill GOP ad calls Clinton 'a living history of scandal' MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.