Sen. Jeff Sessions is calling on his fellow lawmakers to reject any new spending to address the immigration crisis at the border until President Barack Obama disavows any plans to expand deportation relief known as DACA.
The Alabama Republican made his plea in a “dear colleague” letter circulated to Senate offices on Monday. In the letter, he said the possibility of more executive actions on immigration “threatens the foundation of our constitutional Republic.”
“Certainly, DACA and the President’s other numerous unlawful policies must be terminated,” Sessions wrote. “But as a first step, Congress must not acquiesce to spending more taxpayer dollars until the President unequivocally rescinds his threat of more illegal executive action.”
The Sessions letter comes ahead of an all-senators briefing on Wednesday on the Obama administration’s roughly $3.7 billion request for emergency supplemental appropriations to address the crisis at the border. The full text appears below:
I write to inform you of a development that threatens the foundation of our constitutional Republic. On July 3, 2014, the National Journal reported:
“Obama made it clear he would press his executive powers to the limit. He gave quiet credence to recommendations from La Raza and other immigration groups that between 5 million to 6 million adult illegal immigrants could be spared deportation under a similar form of deferred adjudication he ordered for the so-called Dreamers in June 2012…
Obama has now ordered the Homeland Security and Justice departments to find executive authorities that could enlarge that non-prosecutorial umbrella by a factor of 10. Senior officials also tell me Obama wants to see what he can do with executive power to provide temporary legal status to undocumented adults.”
This is breathtaking.
The action the President is reportedly contemplating would be a nullification of the Immigration and Nationality Act by the Executive Branch of government. Indeed, it would be an executive nullification of our borders as an enforceable national boundary. By declaring whole classes of illegal immigrants beyond the reach of the law, it would remove the moral authority needed to enforce any immigration law, creating the very open-borders policy explicitly rejected by Congress and the people. And it would guarantee that the current illegal immigration disaster would only further worsen and destabilize.
As you know, over the last five and a half years, the President has routinely bypassed Congress in order to suspend enforcement of our immigration laws. The most dramatic of these lawless directives was the President’s 2012 Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), in which the President implemented by executive fiat legislation that Congress has three times rejected.
Not surprisingly, the illegal DACA program has led to catastrophic results. By declaring to the entire world that America will not enforce its immigration laws against those who enter the country as minors—indeed, that the United States will freely grant them access to work permits and taxpayer resources—President Obama unleashed a flood of new illegal immigration into the country. This is the disaster he created.
However, there is clear path forward to prevent the continued dissolution of America’s borders. Certainly, DACA and the President’s other numerous unlawful policies must be terminated. But as a first step, Congress must not acquiesce to spending more taxpayer dollars until the President unequivocally rescinds his threat of more illegal executive action.
Congress must demand that the President use his lawful powers to begin enforcing the law now—instead of passing legislation on the promise of future enforcement—and that he back down from his plan to widen his disastrous DACA program, which would of course escalate the existing border disaster to unthinkable proportions.
If Congress simply passes a supplemental spending bill without these preconditions, it is not a question of if the President will suspend more immigration laws, but only how many he will suspend.
Congress cannot surrender to this lawlessness. Acting in defense of Congress, our constituents, and their communities, we must stand firm. This transcends politics. It is about our duty as constitutional officeholders. It is about the solemn oath we all took as Members of Congress.
Very truly yours,