Home Top Stories Senator: Obama’s Immigration Policy Provides Safe Harbor to Criminal Aliens

Senator: Obama’s Immigration Policy Provides Safe Harbor to Criminal Aliens

By Todd Starnes

President Obama’s new immigration plan will provide safe harbor to criminal aliens and will lead to a “capitulation to lawlessness” that could threaten public safety, according to U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions R-AL.

Fox News has obtained an internal document detailing how the Dept. of Homeland Security plans on implementing what critics say amounts to an amnesty policy for what could be more than one million illegal immigrants.

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Sessions said aliens convicted of felonies or misdemeanors under “state immigration laws” may be granted deferred action. Aliens who have repeatedly entered the United States illegally will also be eligible. And traffic violations will not be considered a misdemeanor.

“It is a direct threat to the rule of law and to the demonstrated desire of the American people for a lawful system of immigration,” Sessions said. “I believe this administration has utilized this policy to basically undermine and negate the ability of the law officers to do what they have been hired and paid to do.”

Sessions told Fox News that according to his understanding of the implementation documents, aliens who are using stolen or fraudulent Social Security numbers in order to gain employment will not be charged with a crime.

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It can also be reasonably stated, given the multitude of exemptions for criminal history, that even a conviction for fraudulent document usage would not disqualify someone from amnesty, Sessions told Fox News.

Sessions said the implementation plan goes well beyond the individuals who were supposed to be covered in the DREAM Act.

“Individuals who assert they are under thirty are eligible for work authorization and legal status,” he said. “And while the administration purports that applicants for amnesty must have entered the country prior to the age of 16, it is a completely unenforceable and unverifiable standard. It will have a dramatic and adverse effect on ordinary enforcement activities.

In other words, thousands of simple deportation proceedings will be converted into prolonged trials over the age of entry, he said.

“The administration has no plan, and will not attempt any serious effort, to prove when a person actually entered the United States and at what age. Clearly, a 40 year-old could, with a few documents, fraudulently assert they were thirty years old and were brought to the US at age 15. Practically, there is no effective way to dispute such a claim. This action, at bottom, is a prosecutorial policy not to enforce plain law.”

Fox News has already learned of at least two instances where this has already happened.

In El Paso, an illegal immigrant injured an Immigration & Customs Enforcement agent during an attempted escape. The illegal was not charged and was released because he was not considered a priority target by the administration.

In Newark, Del. a veteran ICE agent is facing a three day suspension after he refused orders to release an illegal immigrant driving without a license. The 35-year-old illegal also had ten previous traffic violations. He was eventually released.

The Alabama lawmaker said President Obama has “debilitated enforcement – placing every officer in a conflict between his duty to enforce the law – and the policies of his supervisors.”

ICE agents said morale is “in the toilet.” Others said they are trying to keep their heads down – fearful they could lose their job and their pension simply for doing what they were hired to do.

 “It is a devastation of any hope for effective law enforcement,” he said. “If this stays in effect, I’d say this ends the ability to have effective border security.”

The Dept. of Homeland Security was given the opportunity to respond to specific questions about the implementation plan. They refused to do so – referencing instead a recorded conference call where staff members explained portions of the plan.

On that call, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas stressed that the point was to focus on public safety, border security and integrity of the immigration system.

“As the Dept. of Homeland Security continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety including individuals convicted of crimes, Dept. of Homeland Security will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on certain people who came to the United States as children and meet key guidelines,” Mayorkas said.

The deferred action plan will go into effect on Aug. 15th.

However, senior officials acknowledge that some deferments have already been granted. More than 1,200 illegals whose cases were either pending or were about to be deported have been granted deferrals.

“I cannot overstate the tragedy of this,” Sessions said. “The pieces had come together to put America in a position to make dramatic progress against the lawlessness. This was within our grasp. We had made some progress.”

 Todd Starnes is the author of Dispatches From Bitter America. The book is endorsed by Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. Click here to get your copy.