Sessions Warns Obama’s Immigration Plans ‘Unlawful’ (Video)
Posted at 4:01 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2014
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Prior to effectively adjourning for five weeks, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., used Tuesday’s Senate session to hammer President Barack Obama for proposing changes to immigration enforcement at the end of the summer without consent from Congress.
The administration is reportedly considering an executive order to provide deportation relief and work authorization cards to 5 million to 6 million of the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, which Sessions called “unlawful.”
“I’ve urged the president to reconsider this plan and to adhere to his plain statements where he has expressely stated he did not have the power to do what he now, in a complete reversal, states that he will do,” Sessions said during a nearly 30-minute floor speech. “It is important for the Congress to stand up and resist the complete errosion of its powers. If these actions are taken, we will have effectively opened the borders of America. We are nearly there already.”
Sessions’ opposition helped scuttle House Republicans’ original border package, forcing GOP leaders to pass a tougher version aimed at prohibiting Obama from issuing any new work permits and granting deportation relief to illegal immigrants. That version, however, is dead on arrival in the Democratic Senate.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has said repeatedly that the president’s team is still reviewing his legal authority and the president has not yet decided what he will do. But Earnest has said the president will act under the law.
Following a pro forma session Friday, the Senate will reconvene for legislative business at 2 p.m. on Sept. 8.
Sarah Chacko and Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.