Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who has long been one of the Senate’s most vocal opponents of our nation’s loose immigration policies, described President Obama as a “dictator” because of his policies of resettling illegal immigrants in states that do not want them, instead of apprehending them at the border and deporting them. “It's just maddening,” the senator added.
Sessions made the statement to the media on June 16 after speaking at the SIA Government Summit in Washington, D.C. "[The states where the illegals are settled] feel like this is a dictator from Washington who will not listen to the people’s concerns and they are very concerned about it,” Sessions said.
Sessions continued by saying:
What’s happening in Alabama is happening this around the country and it is the result of idiotic policy [that] cannot ever work, that’s encouraging more people to come illegally, and then we treat them, we house them, we feed them for months, and we release them basically on bail and then they just go where they wanted to go to begin with.
If we don't fix the problem, we are going to continue to have it.
Sessions’ statements were quoted by the Washington Examiner.
An article posted by AL.com (the shared website of the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, and Mobile’s Press-Register) on June 12 speculated whether the White House’s plan to relocate thousands of illegal immigrant children in Baldwin County, Alabama, (across the bay from Sessions' home in Mobile County) was politically motivated — given Sessions’ reputation as perhaps the most outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s immigration policies.
“It’s highly probable that this [relocation plan] is more political than practical,” AL.com quoted Baldwin County Commissioner Chris Elliott as saying.
And Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said: “I hope that is not the case. The polls I’ve seen is Alabama is very conservative on the immigration issue. The federal government is not.”
Session had not yet made his statement in Washington at the time of that report, which cited an earlier statement signed by Sessions and fellow Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby, opposing a similar proposal to house illegal minor children at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery. That statement criticized Obama for refusing to enforce immigration laws and urged him to deport the unaccompanied minors to their home countries.
The report noted that Shelby and U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, (R-Ala.), have been among the most vocal political leaders in criticizing the plan and quoted Byrne as saying: “It is troubling additional facilities are needed at all.”
An AL.com report last January quoted statements from Representative Martha Roby, R-Ala.) and Shelby in opposition to the plan to house the illegal minors at the Air Force base. Roby said:
A military base is no place to house illegal immigrant children. Bases like Maxwell are engaged in real military activities — training, education, cyber warfare — many times in classified settings that are very sensitive. Their mission does not need to be distracted by housing, feeding and securing hundreds of detainees. Housing illegal immigrant children at an active military base like Maxwell-Gunter is a terrible idea.
Shelby also weighed in on his opposition to the proposal:
The decision to assess the possibility of housing illegal immigrants at Department of Defense facilities, like Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, will only exacerbate our illegal immigration problem by not enforcing the laws on the books.
President Obama’s disregard for the rule of law and his attempt to push executive amnesty has led us to where we are today. I remain steadfast in my opposition to illegal immigration, and I will fight against allowing those who break our laws to be housed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
Statistics posted on the website of U.S. Customs and Border Protection report that over the last five months, there have been 21,255 apprehensions of UACs (Unaccompanied Children). While this is lower than the 34,006 UACs apprehended in the peak year of 2014, it is still well up from last year’s figures of 14,845.
During the same period, there have been 23,053 family unit apprehensions, compared to 30,602 in 2014 and 13,393 in 2015.