“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 LeahyOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Senators 'deeply troubled' military lawyers being used for immigration cases Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos 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 RubioRubio heckled by protestors outside immigration detention facility Bill to protect work licenses of student loan debtors is welcome development Political figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Trump mocks McCain at Nevada rally Don’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate panel advances three spending bills Trump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally takes hard line on immigration in Arizona primary Flake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary MORE (R- Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDonald Trump Jr. headlines Montana Republican convention Montana's environmental lobby teams with governor to kill 600 jobs Dems allow separation of parents, children to continue, just to score political points MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE (D-Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSchumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms The Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.