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Department of Justice
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Attorney General Sessions' Statement on Immigration Reform

Attorney General Sessions' statement on immigration reform:

“President Trump put forth reasonable, fair, and effective policy pillars for immigration reform that serves the national interest and would close loopholes in law and court decisions that frustrate the ability of the men and women of the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to do the jobs that Congress and the American people expect them to do.  President Trump’s proposal would go a long way toward solving those problems by: (1) enhancing border security, including a wall and the elimination of legal loopholes that facilitate illegal immigration; (2) ending the illogical visa lottery system; (3) ending extended family chain migration; and, (4) solving the DACA problem. Nearly all of the proposals advanced in the Senate this week failed to address these issues.

“One proposal in particular would have eviscerated the authority of the Department of Homeland Security to arrest, detain, and remove the vast majority of illegal aliens in the country by limiting enforcement through mandated “prioritization” to criminal aliens, national security threats and—perhaps most surprisingly—future illegal immigrants. It failed to secure the border and left in place loopholes in our laws that allow the near unfettered entry of unaccompanied minors and family units. These loopholes create inexplicable and reckless incentives for new illegal immigration and perpetuate the catastrophic “catch and release” policy that has facilitated the presence of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in the United States. It also failed to close loopholes that make it difficult to remove criminal aliens, did nothing to combat sanctuary jurisdictions, failed to end unchecked extended family chain migration, and failed to address the outdated and dangerous visa lottery program. 

“From a law enforcement perspective, these failures undermine the work of our Department of Justice prosecutors and investigators.

“We can work together to pass meaningful legislation. H.R. 4670, the Securing America’s Future Act, which has been sponsored in the House of Representatives by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, is a reasonable and fair bill that closes loopholes, establishes good policies, fulfills the President’s four pillars, and advances America’s legitimate national interest.”

Press Release Number: 
18 - 205
Updated February 16, 2018