The weeping family members of deportees met with Rep. Gutierrez and other Congressmembers this week, and President Obama is facing protests in California today over his deportation policies, but apparently Jeff Sessions actually believes that “nobody” is being deported from the US anymore.
“The federal government has reached a point now where virtually no one is being deported except those being convicted of serious crimes,” Sessions said on the Senate floor today while arguing against the Senate Gang of 8 immigration bill.
Deportations have actually been record-high since Obama took office, with DHS deporting a record-breaking 409,849 immigrants last fiscal year, or an average of 1100 immigrants every single day. Five thousand US citizen children are currently lingering in foster care due to the detention or deportation of their parents. That’s the US immigration system breaking up thousands of immigrant families, separating mothers and fathers from children.
And yet Jeff Sessions, among other conservatives, still doesn’t believe that we’re deporting enough people. That was the gist behind yesterday’s House vote to strip DACA of funding and deport DREAMers. And that remains the overriding principle behind Sessions’ and many of his colleagues’ efforts to oppose immigration reform. They don’t want to make US immigration policy better. They want to kill immigration reform and make life so miserable for all 11 million of the undocumented immigrants already living in the country that they’ll self-deport.
Sessions knows he’s on the wrong side of this issue. He’s on the wrong side of history, and he’s putting his party on the wrong path for the future. He’s been on the losing side of every step forward on this bill–he submitted 49 amendments to the bill in last month’s markup, and only had one amendment adopted. He pushed for an amendment against legal immigration that was voted down 1-17. He’s fallen trap to hypocrisy–and now he’s resorting to blatant falsehoods. Today, Sessions made it clear that he’ll say anything, even things that are obviously false and easily disproved, in order to kill immigration reform. But that means that everything he says during this continuing immigration debate should be viewed with high skepticism.