The mainstream media spent a lot of time covering Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before Congress on Wednesday, but they focused almost exclusively on what he had to say about the Big Bad Russian Plot against the Democrats. While that was red meat for the liberal base, we found his comments on illegal immigration much more interesting, since it…you know…pertains to things that actually matter to the American public. Oh, and things that are actually grounded in some form of reality.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions said that if Trump and Congress can work out a deal as it pertains to the 800,000 or so illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, it could facilitate some badly needed reforms along the border.
“There has been, I’m afraid, an erosion in the respect for the rule of law,” Sessions said. “Too often, advancing political agendas has been substituted for following the law. This Department of Justice respects Congress and the Constitution, and we intend to enforce the laws as you’ve written them.
“The DACA policy produced by the last administration could not be sustained,” Sessions continued. “It was unlawful and contrary to the laws passed by this Constitution — this institution. In Congress, you now have the ability to act on this issue.”
“I would just note the president has said he wants to work with Congress,” he said. “He has a heart for young people, but we have got to have more than just an amnesty, friends. We need a good improvement in the illegality that’s going on, and there is an opportunity right now, I’m telling you — an opportunity now to do something historic.”
Well, Sessions is right that there’s an opportunity here, but Republicans have to be careful to make sure that they use this opportunity to shore up the rule of law – not contribute to its erosion. And that’s going to be tricky, since Democrats seem to think they don’t have to make any sacrifices to get amnesty for the Dreamers. Trump and the GOP need to make it crystal clear that not one single Dreamer will get protection unless the Democrats make some serious concessions.
The White House has laid out its list of demands. Will Trump get everything on that list? Of course not. But there are some non-negotiables, and the beginning of construction on The Wall needs to be among them. Without that, he needs to be willing to say “Adios” to Obama’s precious DACA kids.