“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 LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning 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 RubioLobbying world Former Florida congressmen mull bipartisan gubernatorial run: report Winners and losers from Jim Bridenstine’s confirmation as NASA administrator MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Memories may be beautiful, yet… Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Arizona GOP blocked from changing rules on filling McCain's seat MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care Paul backs Pompeo, clearing path for confirmation MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision GOP senator: Trump's comment on Kim Jong Un 'surpasses understanding' Republican candidate favored in Arizona special House election MORE (R- Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCan Mueller be more honest than his colleagues? Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism House Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinPompeo faces pivotal vote To succeed in Syria, Democrats should not resist Trump policy Hannity, Kimmel, Farrow among Time's '100 Most Influential' MORE (D-Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetWinter Olympians call for action on climate Overnight Health Care: GOP pushes stiff work requirements for food stamps | Johnny Isakson opens up about family's tragic loss to opioids | Republicans refuse to back vulnerable Dem's opioids bill | Dems offer new public option plan Lawmakers discuss Latino education gap MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.