Editorial: Sessions speaks — Alabama senator goes on attack, as usual, in Washington
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Jul 12, 2013 | 2262 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Given his Washington influence on matters of immigration, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions can earn a few headlines when he dishes up bold talk.

He did that this week.

“The Senate immigration bill is Obamacare’s 1,200-page legislative cousin,” Sessions, R-Mobile, wrote in an op-ed for National Review Online. “It is a disaster on every level. Republicans should make no effort to salvage it or to offer even the slightest hope of revival.”

That leaves no room for interpretation.

Sessions, a member of the U.S. Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees, is reaffirming his mark as Alabama’s Mr. Consternation in Congress. He fights immigration reform. He fights Obamacare. He fights White House policies. At least he’s consistent.

It’s a tiring act, but we’re stuck with it. Friday afternoon, after the announcement of Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s resignation, Sessions unsheathed his carving knife and went to work on the director’s reputation. It was vintage Sessions, though wholly unnecessary.

“Secretary Napolitano’s tenure at the Department of Homeland Security was defined by a consistent disrespect for the rule of law,” Sessions said in a prepared statement. “The resignation of Secretary Napolitano should refocus the attention of Congress on its first task: to ensure that the executive branch faithfully carries out the laws of the land. The most significant obstacle to immigration reform remains President Obama’s selective enforcement of the law. Any selection — interim or permanent — to replace Secretary Napolitano must disavow these aggressive non-enforcement directives or there is very little hope for successful immigration reform.

“Whoever replaces Secretary Napolitano must restore the rule of law, as well as the morale of ICE officers which has plummeted under her tenure.”

Attack, attack, attack.

Criticism of the Department of Homeland Security is valid, though it’s disingenuous to pin the failure of immigration reform on Napolitano considering the partisan logjam most worthwhile legislation faces in Congress.

It’s clear that President Obama’s desire to push through immigration reform this summer is likely to be unfulfilled. Reform efforts in the House and Senate vary, and August’s recess is near. House Republicans are more inclined to work on enforcement of existing immigration laws than to consider ways to improve what’s already in effect. Oh, and don’t mention paths to citizenship, at least not to the most ardent GOP representatives.

Consider this a banner week for Sen. Sessions. Immigration reform and Napolitano gave him a chance to again go on the offensive. His message, like his effectiveness, hasn’t changed.
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