“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.”

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Sessions said that morale at ICE is at an all time low because Napolitano has told law enforcement officers not to detain immigrants illegally in the country if they entered when they were children.

“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 Joseph LeahyGrassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Popular bill to fight drug prices left out of budget deal Judiciary Dems want public hearings with Kushner, Trump Jr. 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 Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March Outgoing GOP rep: Republican Party 'heading into trouble' in election MORE (R- Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinAmerica’s waning commitment to the promise of the First Amendment Senate rejects Trump immigration plan What to watch for in the Senate immigration votes MORE (D-Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezJustice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case DACA is neither bipartisan nor in America's interest Senate DACA deal picks up GOP supporters MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetColorado senators pitch immigration compromise Colorado senators mark Olympics with Senate hallway curling GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.