Today the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest conducted a hearing on declining deportations and increasing releases of criminal aliens by the Obama administration. President Obama’s refusal to enforce the law, in violation of his most fundamental constitutional duty, is a scandal. These are excerpts from Senator Jeff Sessions’ opening statement:
[A]s we will examine in today’s hearing, rather than truly prioritizing the removal of certain types of illegal aliens over others, the Obama Administration has simply refused to execute the laws passed by Congress and signed into law.
It has ordered immigration law enforcement officers to ignore plain law and acquiesce to the presence of millions of illegal aliens in the United States, including criminals and those who have already been ordered deported to leave the country.
If the Obama Administration was truly prioritizing the removal of certain illegal aliens over others, it would be reasonable to assume that with the same or more resources, the number of deportations would remain relatively steady each year.
However, the simple fact is that since these policies were implemented, deportations have plummeted –particularly deportations from the interior of the country as opposed to the border – and most sharply under guidelines issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in November 2014.
As this dramatic decline has occurred, Congress has increased funding each year for the purpose of immigration enforcement.
This is not prioritization and this is not prosecutorial discretion. This is a total refusal to carry out the laws passed by Congress that the Constitution obliges the President to faithfully execute.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has been releasing thousands of criminal illegal aliens onto our streets. In just the last three years, ICE released 86,288 criminal aliens. …
[T]oday’s hearing will focus on a central claim the Obama Administration makes to excuse its lawless immigration policies – namely that limited resources compelled the implementation of its lawless immigration policies. We will also assess the impact of this lawlessness on the integrity, the very moral foundation of our immigration system.
One of today’s witnesses was Thomas Homan, ICE’s Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations. In this brief exchange with Sessions, Homan confirms that ICE receives telephone calls every day from police departments who have custody of deportable aliens, but ICE does not respond to them, on Obama’s orders:
I don’t know what more can be said. President Obama has repudiated his most basic duty as chief executive, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.