Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, October 21, 2016

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claimed Friday that “virtually no one is being deported” from the United States, as part of his case against the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill.

Sessions, who is leading Senate Republicans’ opposition to the bill, made the surprising statement on the Senate floor Friday morning.

“We’re at a condition today where nobody is being deported,” Sessions said. “The federal government has reached a point now where virtually no one is being deported except those being convicted of serious crimes,” he later added.

In reality, the Alabama Republican could not be more wrong. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 409,849 individuals from the country in 2012; far from “virtually no one,” the number actually represents a record high.

A spokesman for Senator Sessions confirmed to The Huffington Post that the senator disputes ICE’s reported numbers, believing that they have been manipulated to make the border appear more secure than it actually is.

Aside from his ICE trutherism, there are many other reasons that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is a problematic face for the GOP’s opposition to immigration reform. Throughout his career, Sessions has been repeatedly accused of racial insensitivity. Sessions has allegedly referred to the NAACP as an “un-American” group that “forced civil rights down the throats of people,” said that he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan “were okay until I learned they smoked pot,” and called a black subordinate “boy” and warned him to “be careful what you say to white folks,” among other incidents. Although Sessions has steadfastly denied the accusations, one still can’t help but wonder whether he is the right messenger for a party that has acknowledged that it needs to improve relations with minority voters, and has singled out immigration reform as a way to do so.

The Senate debate on the “Gang of Eight” bill is expected to last several weeks; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that he hopes to hold a final vote on the legislation before the July 4th holiday.

Video of Sessions’ remarks can be seen at The Huffington Post

Photo: ryanjreilly via

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • docb

    Can we jjust ship this fool and his gaggle to GITMO and be done with the liars and ignorant short old white repub bagger males?

    • Independent1

      And the members of today’s GOP continue to show their true colors: nothing but Racists, Biggots & knowing Liars. Sessions knows very well that his statement was a blatant lie!!

      • old_blu

        I hope they keep it up because I’m more than sure the American people are getting pretty tired of it, along with all the “scandals” and it will show in 2014. Good to see you Independent.

  • Lynda Groom

    Such an angry little man. Also lacking in math skills along with the rest of his failings. Anger can only take you so far, eventually don’t Senators actually have too accomplish something while in office?

    • Mike Maricle

      I just “feel” I can drink 19 beers, and still be ok to drive. FACTS BE DAMNED!!

    • plc97477

      Not as long as someone is willing to vote for them.

      • idamag

        And, it is those someones that are an embarrassment to this country.


    Sessions has been constantly angry since the Senate rejected his appointment to the federal bench. A decision that looks ever better with the passage of time.

  • Catskinner

    Sessions is probably right. It is not as easy to deport people-other-than-Mexicans who come across the southern border. They are put in detention and held for a hearing. Once they are ordered deported, they are released and expected to return to their countries of origin. Few of them do return, but the authorities record them as having been deported at that point.

    • charleo1

      Well, that’s not what Customs, and Boarder Enforcement reports.
      So, don’t tell me you’re going to be yet another citizen that believes
      government numbers that supports their particular opinion? Like the
      increased numbers of Americans qualifying for Food Stamps. But,
      then dismiss the record number of deportations under the Obama
      Administration, as fallacy. Because you want to be able to say,
      Obama failed at every single thing he tried to accomplish, for the
      entire 8 years. And never even tried to do anything I supported.
      And where would you ever get an idea such as that, in the first

      • Catskinner

        It would take a little research, but it’s pretty widely known that the Mexican economy has been improving and the birth rate there has been dropping for a couple of decades, so many of the aliens now crossing the southern border are coming from places like Guatemala and Honduras. It has nothing to do with what I want to be able to say.

        • edwardw69

          That is true, and the Mexicans are incredibly harsh with Central Americans trying to cross their country.

    • plc97477

      Just for my information. What do you do with the cats when you got them skinned?

      • Catskinner

        plc: It’s a take off on mule-skinner. A track laying tractor–some people call them bulldozers, others call them CAT’s (as in Caterpillar) and the operator is called, appropriately, a cat-skinner.

      • Allan Richardson

        The original saying was “more than one way to skin a CATFISH.” Unlike other fish, catfish have skin that is harder to get off the flesh, so the fishermen had to resort to trial and error.

    • blyvl

      I don’t know what the practice is now, but in the past when an alien was ordered deported, they used to give them a letter telling them when and where to show up for deportation. Immigration officers called the letters “run letters”, for obvious reasons.

      • Catskinner

        It must have gotten worse. I think that’s the reason the ICE agents are suing the Obama administration. Nobody ever seems to get deported. The records say they are deported, but they aren’t really.

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    The problem is why wasn’t the media camped outside waiting to challenge his comment? Republicans lie and apparently most media swears to it.

  • Sophie Meyer

    Hmm…it’s truly sad that someone of such limited intellectual honesty (or someone possessing such a large degree of cynicism) as Mr. Sessions so proudly displays, is actually considered a leader of sorts in this nation. Is he an example of the republican notion of “American exceptionalism?”

  • blyvl

    Sen. Sessions may be wrong to some degree, but the administration is also wrong when it says they have “deported” 400,000 illegal aliens. Deportation is a formal process, but the administration is counting “removals” of aliens caught by the Border Patrol right at the border as part of those figures. No one seems to know what the exact number of “deportations” is, but many believe that it’s well less than 400,000.

    You may not agree with Sen. Sessions’ politics, but can you say with certainty that he’s wrong on immigration? The only thing the Senate immigration bill (S.744) would do for sure is to grant legal status to the 11 million or so illegal aliens in the country and to allow millions more immigrants to come to the U.S. to compete with American workers. There’s absolutely no guarantee that any of the enforcement provisions of the bill would be carried out, and history tells us that they wouldn’t.

    Please don’t accept the public statements of the proponents of S.744, or opponents either for that matter. Dig into it a little yourself and then decide if you think it’s a good thing for the U.S. Once you look at the “nuts and bolts” of the bill, you can see just how bad it is.

    • Lynda Groom

      Is Session’s playing with semantics and the 400,000 being returned to their points of origin? At the border or not does not seem change the ‘removal’ or ‘deportation’ number. Just an educated guess tells me that only ‘criminals’ are being returned is certainly wrong.

      • blyvl

        There’s a big difference between illegal aliens apprehended at the border “at entry” and aliens who are caught in the interior. Almost without excepting illegal entrants from Mexico apprehended “At entry” are given “voluntary returns” (VR’s) to Mexico. They waive their right to a deportation hearing and are returned almost immediately. OTM’s (other than Mexicans) are treated differently because you can’t simply send them back to Mexico. Sometimes they’re held in detention until they can be removed and sometimes they’re processed and given a date and place to show up for removal. As you would expect, a good percentage never show up.

        I believe this administration used the term “removals” for illegal aliens who are sent out of the country, regardless of how it’s done. Calling them all “deportations” is a bit disingenuous for people who are familiar with the removal process.

        Things may have changed over the years, but politicians and managers at the immigration agencies have always “massaged” the numbers.

        • Lynda Groom

          Agreed all politicians massage numbers for their own purposes, but my concern is that the good Senator is saying only criminals are being deported. I find that statement questionable at best.

          • blyvl

            Guess much depends on what your definition of “deported” is. If ICE agents are following the President’s “prosecutorial discretion” directive, just about the only illegal aliens that are being “removed” (deported?) from the interior of the country are those with serious criminal records or lengthy immigration records. If, as is alleged, they’re “fudging” the figures and are counting aliens caught by the Border Patrol and sent back immediately, most of them probably don’t have criminal records. (Although many of them do have records in the U.S.) That’s why it’s important to make the distinction between actual “deports” and mere removals.

  • stcroixcarp

    400,000 people deported! Imagine the entire population of a city near you simply disappearing, gone.

  • hjs3

    Repukes and first cousin Teabaggers (Yes, they do marry) illustrate yet once again that they will never allow the facts to ruin a good conspiracy….

  • Independent1

    Admittedly, the process of deporting illegal immigrants is not easy, there being so many in the country with such varied impacts on our country. Unfortunately, many are criminals that are continuing to commit the crimes here that they committed in their homelands; others are performing a valuable service for the country doing work that businesses are having trouble getting Americans to perform; and yet others, are deadbeats being taken care of by the government without performing a useful service to America. With 11 million of them, where do you start? It’s physically impossible to deport them all at once. So despite all the criticisms, the Obama administration IS DOING MORE THAN WAS BEING DONE BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION! So why are some people expecting MIRACLES to happen?

    Here are some excerpts from a Washington Post article that bring some of this out:

    In a bid to remake the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that blithely hire undocumented workers. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.

    A June 30 memorandum from ICE director John Morton instructed officers to focus their “principal attention” on felons and repeat lawbreakers. The policy, influenced by a series of sometimes-heated White House meetings, also targets repeat border crossers and declares that parents caring for children or the infirm should be detained only in unusual cases. “We’re trying to put our money where our mouth is,” Morton said in an interview, describing the goal as a “rational” immigration policy. “You’ve got to have aggressive enforcement against criminal offenders. You have to have a secure border. You have to have some integrity in the system.” Morton said the
    400,000 people expected to be deported this year — either physically removed or allowed to leave on their own power — represent the maximum the overburdened processing, detention and immigration court system can handle.

    • old_blu

      Here is something I found, the other day. A little off topic I know.

      According to the census bureau, and checked by PolitiFact:

      “less than 1 percent of illegal-immigrant-headed households included anyone receiving direct government cash assistance, such as Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or state-run cash aid”. This is not surprising: Illegal immigrants are generally barred from receiving such payments.

      They also pay into Social Security, more than they will ever collect, and pay state/local/federal taxes, taken out of their paychecks. This data is easily located via Google, for anyone who actually care about FACTS.

      Most of the undocumented have been here for decades.

      The cost of deporting 12 million+ people would be prohibitive, in addition to sending floods of millions of kids – who are Americans by birth – into the foster-care system.

      Maybe they shouldn’t have come here, but we have to deal with the reality of NOW. And the best solution for everyone concerned, for our country, is an earned pathway to citizenship.

      • Independent1

        Hi old-blu! Thanks for the add-on info. Do you recall during the Bush years when he was doing very little with illegals, that Republicans were beating the drums about having to take care of the illegal situation?? I don’t remember there being anything akin to the hullabalu that the GOP hypocrites are making these days. Am I missing something???

        • old_blu

          Yes I do. “GOP hypocrites” You nailed it!

      • plc97477

        I would be so much easier to deport jeff sessions.

        • edwardw69

          I’ll drive the bus.

          • MVH1

            I’ll move off the highway so you can get by faster.

  • Independent1

    And here’s a little more from the Washington Post article on deporting illegals:

    On the ground, a program known as Secure Communities uses the fingerprints of people in custody for other reasons to identify deportable immigrants. Morton predicts it will “overhaul the face of immigration.” The administration has expanded the system to 437 jails and prisons from 14 and aims to extend it to “every law enforcement
    jurisdiction” by 2013. The Secure Communities project has identified 240,000 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, according to DHS figures. Of those, about 30,000 have been deported, including 8,600 convicted of what the agency calls “the most egregious offenses.”

    Nearly 50 percent of the people who have been deported from the United States this budget year have a criminal conviction, from driving without a license and DUI to major felonies, ICE’s Morton said. That represents an increase of more than 36,000 over the same period in 2009, which showed a rise of 22,000 over 2008. “Occasionally, you will hear criticism that our criminal alien efforts are focused around
    people with cracked tailpipes and speeding tickets. That’s simply false,” Morton said.

    Morton’s June 30 memorandum set priorities for the capture, detention and removal of illegal immigrants. With the federal system facing a limit on how many people it can deport each year, he wrote, “principal attention” must go to people convicted of
    felonies or at least three misdemeanors punishable by jail time. In descending
    order of importance, the memo cites people convicted of a misdemeanor, those
    caught near the border and those who have failed to obey deportation orders.

    “Nothing in this memorandum should be construed to prohibit or discourage the apprehension, detention or removal of other aliens unlawfully in the United States,” Morton wrote, but such efforts should not “displace or disrupt” the pursuit of bigger targets. In an underlined section, Morton listed illegal immigrants who should not be placed in detention except in “extraordinary circumstances.” They include people who are pregnant, nursing or seriously ill. Also included are primary caretakers of children or the infirm and people “whose detention is otherwise not in the public interest.”

  • plc97477

    I wish the author had not said “the alabama republican could not be more wrong” It just seem silly to challenge him like that.

    • old_blu

      You’re right about that plc it’s not like we can’t start a fight on our own.

  • ralphkr

    Well, even I know better that to say “boy” to a black. About 35 years ago one of my female clerks came by with her one year old and I said that he was certainly becoming a big boy now. His mama immediately set me straight that her son was NOT a boy but a baby man. On the other hand, Sessions advice to his subordinate to be careful what he said around white folks was excellent advice since a lot of honkies take umbrage when encountering “uppity N—-rs”

  • paperpushermj

    One has to wonder how many of those 409,849 where stopped at the border and didn’t really make it into the Country?