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Jeff Sessions Opening Statement before Congressional Committee

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Think You Would Pass?

Think you could pass a Civics test and immigrate to the United States? Take the test and see how much you remember from Civics Class in high school.

Suggestion: If you can't pass it, do the rest of us a favor and don't vote.

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Returns From Syria with Renewed Calls: End Regime Change War in Syria Now

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Shelby Introduces Sessions in Judiciary Committee
AG Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today introduced Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as our next United States Attorney General, in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The Senator’s full remarks before the Committee are below:

“Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this historic hearing. 

“Although my friend and colleague Jeff Sessions is well-known to the members of this committee, it is my distinct privilege to introduce him as President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as our next United States Attorney General.

“Before joining the Senate, Jeff began his distinguished career as a practicing attorney, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, and United States Attorney for Alabama’s Southern District before ultimately becoming the Attorney General of Alabama. 

“During the past twenty years that I have served with Jeff in the Senate, I have had the opportunity to know him well – not just as a skilled attorney with an accomplished record as a prosecutor and legislator, but as a man of extraordinary character.

“I have the highest regard not only for his intellect, but for his integrity.

“Unfortunately, since the announcement of his nomination, Jeff’s political opponents have attacked his character with baseless and tired allegations.

“But, in reality, Jeff’s extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.

“Throughout his decades of public service, including his impressive tenure on this committee, Jeff’s commitment to upholding the rule of law is unparalleled.

“The integrity, humility, and gravity with which Jeff will approach the office of Attorney General is unquestionable. I have no doubt that he will apply the law with the impartiality required of the job. 

“I am confident that this committee will report favorably and expeditiously Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be the next United States Attorney General.”

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Sessions and Shelby: Halt Obama’s Plans To House Illegal Alien Juveniles In Baldwin County

 WASHINGTONU.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Attorney General expressing their strong objection to the consideration of two outlying airfields at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, located in Baldwin County, Alabama as a potential location for housing illegal alien juveniles, and expressing their opposition to the Administration’s handling of the crisis at the southern border.

 Text of the letter follows:

 “Dear Secretary Johnson, Secretary Burwell, and Attorney General Lynch:

We write to express our opposition to the evaluation by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of two outlying airfields at Naval Air Station Whiting Field as a potential location to house purportedly unaccompanied illegal alien juveniles, and to express our concerns about this Administration’s handling of the increasing number crossing our southern border.

Just two years ago, President Obama sent a letter to Congress outlining his plans to handle the surge at our southern border. Two years later, it is clear that President Obama’s plans for handling the situation have failed.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 38,566 illegal alien juveniles have been apprehended through May – a 69 percent increase over last year, and a number surpassed only by the record number apprehended in FY 2014. Since the beginning of FY 2014, 147,077 have been apprehended, yet only a small fraction have been removed from the United States.

Transporting some of these juveniles more than 900 miles away from our southern border to the State of Alabama, instead of expeditiously and humanely sending them back to their homes, will only make the situation worse. It rewards illegal conduct, and arguably renders the United States complicit in criminal conspiracies to violate our immigration laws.

According to the Government Accountability Office, between January 7, 2014, and April 17, 2015, ORR released illegal alien juveniles from its custody to a parent in 60 percent of all cases, an aunt or uncle in 13 percent, a sibling in 12 percent, an “other relative” in 3 percent, a first cousin in 2 percent, and a grandparent in 1 percent of all cases. Thus, in roughly 91 percent of all cases, these juveniles are eventually released to the custody of a family member located in the United States.

However, this Administration has failed to take any enforcement action against these family members – most of whom had some role to play in the juveniles’ illegal entry into the United States. And many of those family members are present in the United States unlawfully. The Administration continues to prevent the use of any of a number of commonsense tools to protect the integrity of our immigration system and the sovereignty of this nation.

Moreover, the need for additional housing facilities is far from clear. Indeed, there seems to be some confusion on the part of the Administration as to whom the special processing procedures in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) apply. Indeed, under a plain reading of the Act, many of the illegal alien juveniles apprehended could be expeditiously and humanely sent back to their homes – because they do not meet the definition of an “unaccompanied alien child.” Pursuant to the TVPRA, an “unaccompanied alien child” who is apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is then responsible for their care and custody. However, the TVPRA defines an “unaccompanied alien child” by cross-referencing section 462(g) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. § 279(g)), which defines an “unaccompanied alien child” as an individual who has no lawful immigration status in the United States, who is under 18, and with respect to whom “there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States,” or “no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.” (emphasis added).

While it is unclear how many non-parent family members are legal guardians, in at least 60 percent of these cases there is a parent in the United States who can provide care and physical custody of the juveniles – meaning that arguably, they should have never been placed into ORR custody, never should have been released to the custody of their parents, and could have been expeditiously and humanely sent back home.

Strong leadership and a commitment to the faithful execution of the laws on the books would convey a clear message to the world that if you come to the United States illegally, you will be removed. Rather than improve the current situation, Administration policies have only made the situation worse, raising several questions:

1. It is common knowledge that many of the family members to whose custody these juveniles are released – so-called “sponsors” – paid substantial sums of money to smuggle them to the United States. Section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324 provides for the criminal prosecution of anyone who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law,” anyone who “engages in any conspiracy” to do so, or anyone who “aids or abets the commission” of such acts. Accordingly:

a. How many “sponsors” have been prosecuted for violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324?

b. How many “sponsors” have been convicted for violating 8 U.S.C. § 1324?

 

2.Section 212(a)(6)(E)(i) of the INA , 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(E)(i), renders inadmissible any “alien who at any time knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law.” For those “sponsors” previously admitted to the United States, section 237(a)(1)(E)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(E)(i) renders removable those “who (prior to the date of entry, at the time of any entry, or within 5 years of the date of any entry) knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law.” Accordingly:

a. How many “sponsors” have been served with a Notice to Appear and placed into removal proceedings under section 240 of the INA?

b. How many have been charged under section 212(a)(6)(E)(i)? How many have received an order of removal based on such a charge? How many have been removed?

c. How many have been charged under section 237(a)(1)(E)(i)? How many have received an order of removal based on such a charge? How many have been removed?

 

3. Please provide a breakdown of releases of illegal alien juveniles to sponsors, by relationship type, and by fiscal year, since FY 2009 as of the date of your reply to this letter.

4. Please provide the number of illegal alien juveniles removed from the United States in FY 2016 as of the date of your reply to this letter.

5. Please provide, broken down by fiscal year, the amount of money spent by ORR on providing services to illegal alien juveniles.

6. Please provide, broken down by fiscal year, the amount of money spent on transferring illegal alien juveniles from the border to facilities in the interior of the United States.

7. How much does it cost for ORR to provide care for one illegal alien juvenile, for one day? How many days does the average illegal alien juvenile stay in the custody of ORR?

8. Please provide, broken down by fiscal year, the funding, including all associated travel costs, ORR has spent on site assessments for semi-permanent and permanent shelter locations.

Thank you for your consideration of these questions. Please feel free to contact our staffs should you have any questions. 

Very truly yours,

Jeff Sessions

United States Senator         

                                               

Richard Shelby

United States Senator”                               

 

[NOTE: To view the signed letter as a PDF, please click here. To view this release online, please click here.]

 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Judiciary Committee Releases Information About New Crimes Committed by Freed Criminal Aliens

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 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Sessions: Clinton More Lawless On Immigration Than President Obama

 WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding remarks made last night by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

 “Last night, Secretary Clinton not only made clear that she would not take action to restore our immigration system, but that she would go even further than the Obama Administration – promising to not deport any illegal aliens except violent criminals or people planning terrorist attacks. This would exclude aliens charged or convicted for drug trafficking, bank or credit card fraud, forgery, theft, driving under the influence, and countless other criminal offenses. The logic underlying Secretary Clinton’s position is dumbfounding, and assumes that it is better to wait until after an American life is lost, or to wait until a bomb is ready to go off, to attempt to take any enforcement action against those who have violated our immigration laws. And there is no daylight between her position and that of Senator Sanders. What’s more, their strident support for granting executive amnesty beyond that which even President Obama was willing to do will only further depress the wages and employment prospects of U.S. workers – the very workers who they claim to support. And the morale of federal law enforcement officers will be lowered even further.  

The immigration platforms of both Democratic candidates for President of the United States are as dangerous to our communities as they are detrimental to the national interest. Over the last eight years, President Obama has decimated the enforcement of our immigration laws, granted executive amnesty, and distorted our lawful immigration channels to such a point that they bear little to no resemblance to the laws duly passed by Congress. Recent hearings in the Senate have found that the Obama Administration is deporting the fewest number of criminal aliens from the interior of our country in years; that it has only deported 3 to 4 percent of the illegal alien juveniles who have crossed our southern border in the last two and a half years; and, that nearly half a million aliens overstayed their visas – and face virtually no chance of being deported – in the last fiscal year alone. Yet for Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders, the Obama Administration’s near obliteration of our immigration system does not go far enough.  

Thus, the policies of Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders declare that all who succeed in entering the country illegally, and all who overstay their visas, will be permitted to remain in the United States for as long as they see fit.

 For far too long, the American people have been crying out for a lawful system of immigration – one that serves their interests. One that puts as the highest priority their safety, their jobs, their wages, their schools, and their hospitals. Unfortunately, the American people can only be assured of this: the immigration platforms of Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders would ensure continued lawlessness, the further erosion of national sovereignty, the depression of wages, the diminution of job prospects, and a continued fundamental transformation of the United States of America.” 

[NOTE: To view this release online, please click here.] 

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. For further information, contact Sen. Sessions Press Office at (202) 224-4124.

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Shelby, Sessions, Byrne Vow to Fight Obama Administration’s Efforts to Cut the LCS Program

 Washington, D.C. – December 17, 2015 – Today, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) responded to reports that the Secretary of Defense is recommending cuts to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.

 According to Defense News, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has asked the Navy to “reduce the planned LCS procurement from 52 to 40…and then downselect to one variant by FY 2019.” Navy officials are opposed to the Secretary’s decision.

 Senator Shelby, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said: “The Obama Administration has once again demonstrated that it is tone-deaf when it comes to national security with this reckless proposal.  The LCS is critical to our Navy’s ability to respond to current and future threats across the world, and we cannot threaten our military’s ability to execute future operations with this powerful warfighter. 

 “Now more than ever, we must strengthen our military presence around the world – not weaken it.  Let me be clear: I will fight tooth and nail against this misguided attempt to needlessly undermine the security of our nation and the American people.”

 Senator Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: “This would be a monumental error and must not stand.  It would overrule the long-settled priorities of the Navy.  The LCS has been a top priority for the Navy for almost 20 years, has been supported by the last six Secretaries of the Navy and every Chief of Naval Operations since Admiral Vern Clark, and has had strong bipartisan Congressional support every year.  This is troubling not just for the 4,000 hardworking Austal employees in Mobile, but also for the future of our Navy and our national security.  The Navy and DOD have for years praised LCS as crucial to our future naval warfighting capabilities, and a necessary component of the surface warfare community.

“The Navy has, for many years, stated its goal of building up its capacity to 308 ships.  We are currently at only 282 ships.  Cutting LCS procurement to just 40 ships will make the Navy’s 308 ship goal impossible to achieve, as the only alternatives to LCS are far more expensive to produce and maintain.  Indeed, little of the savings would be applied to other ships.

 “LCS is crucial to our country's future naval capabilities, and the 52 ship requirement is essential to get our Navy to the numbers it needs.  I intend to fight against this proposed reduction, and I will continue to fight for LCS.”

 Congressman Bradley Byrne, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said: “The United States is threatened by multiple adversaries, from China's efforts to dominate the sea lanes in the South China Sea to Russia's initiatives in the Black Sea through its seizure of Crimea, and to Iran's attempts to choke off lanes into the Persian Gulf.  Our Navy is at risk across the world and the weak and impotent Obama Administration seeks to further undermine our position with this ill-considered decision.

 “Make no mistake about it, from Mobile to Marinette and from San Diego to Jacksonville, the bell has rung, and those in the Pentagon need to hear that this will not stand.  Not just for our ship yards but also for our Navy and for the defense of the people of the United States of America.”

 The Independence-class variant of the LCS is built by Austal USA, which is located in Mobile, Alabama.

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Sessions, Blackburn, Shelby, Smith:
HHS Violating Law By Refusing To Submit Refugee Report

 “Our nation is presented with serious economic and security threats emanating from our refugee resettlement programs.  Congress cannot, and must not, issue a blank check to [the office of Refugee Resettlement], especially at a time when the Administration is actively in defiance of federal law.”

WASHINGTONU.S. Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Congressmen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) released the following letter that was sent yesterday to the Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell:

 “Dear Secretary Burwell:

It has come to our attention that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has failed to submit an annual report to Congress regarding the activities of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), in violation of federal law. Section 413(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, requires the Secretary of HHS to submit an annual report to Congress ‘no later than the January 31 following the end of each fiscal year[.]’

The FY2014 report – which was due no later than January 31 of this year – is still outstanding, and must be produced immediately.

In its FY2016 ‘Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees,’ HHS requested over $1.6 billion for ORR. This request illustrates the exponential growth in ORR’s budget in recent years. Indeed, as recently as FY2012, ORR received $768,334,000 in funding – or less than half of what it currently seeks. 

Our nation is presented with serious economic and security threats emanating from our refugee resettlement programs.  Congress cannot, and must not, issue a blank check to ORR, especially at a time when the Administration is actively in defiance of federal law.

We look forward to the immediate submission of ORR’s FY2014 Annual Report to Congress.

Very truly yours.

Senator Jeff Sessions

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

Senator Richard Shelby

Congressman Lamar Smith”

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Chairman Sessions Statement On Sanctuary City Vote

20 October 2015

“Countless Americans would be alive today – and countless mothers and fathers would not be grieving today – if the policies of these sanctuary cities were shut down. Votes to filibuster this bill were votes for continued bloodshed, for more parents burying more children, for more senseless tragedy.”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, issued the following statement after Democrats filibustered reform legislation to combat Sanctuary Cities: 

“Today Senate Democrats blocked legislation to address one of the biggest, most egregious, and most dangerous wrongs now occurring in our immigration system today: Sanctuary Cities. 

This bill would have been a modest but valuable first step towards ending the massive, unprecedented illegality.  Sanctuary cities are together freeing an average of 1,000 criminal aliens a month. Countless crimes are happening as a result of these never-ending releases: DUIs, assaults, burglaries, drug crimes, gang crimes, and murders. 

And countless Americans would be alive today – and countless mothers and fathers would not be grieving today – if the policies of these sanctuary cities were shut down. Votes to filibuster this bill were votes for continued bloodshed, for more parents burying more children, for more senseless tragedy.  This filibuster today makes clear that the Democratic Party not only has no intention of ending this lawless abuse, but desires to see it continued.” 

[NOTE: To view this release online, please click here.] 

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Sessions Testifies On Behalf Of Alabama, U.S. Steelworkers Against Illicit Foreign Trade Practices

 WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a member of the Senate Steel Caucus, delivered the following remarks before the U.S. International Trade Commission:

 “Chairwoman Broadbent and Members of the Commission, I am here to respectfully urge an affirmative decision in the current antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigation on certain welded line pipe imports from Korea and Turkey.  For the last 150 years, the United States has thrived because of its strong manufacturing base.  This industry is especially important because domestic production is critical for our economy, energy profile, and national security.

Alabama is home to some of the nation’s leading manufacturers of steel products.  In fact, two of the petitioners in this investigation are located in my state—American Steel Pipe Division of ACIPCO of Birmingham and the Energex division of JMC Steel in Thomasville near my home.  Both of these companies, and the workers they employ, operate state-of-the-art facilities.  Given a level playing field, they can compete against any producer.  I believe that this commission has a responsibility to ensure that this industry is protected from unfair market actions and currency manipulation from overseas governments.

But the current market is not fair.  As the global economy struggles to deal with crisis after crisis, foreign nations are further incentivized to provide industry subsidies in an attempt to, in effect, export their unemployment.  The Commerce Department’s own affirmative final antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) determinations show that American producers are up against foreign companies determined not to compete fairly but instead to undercut American workers who do not receive government assistance.

Today’s testimony certainly confirms what the domestic petitioners alleged when the cases were filed in October—that Korean and Turkish line pipe producers were dumping and subsidizing their imports into the United States.  I often hear from employees that in many cases the final product price of imports is around the cost of the raw materials that American and JMC Steel use to produce their pipe.

Today you will hear from companies who have made substantial investments in their domestic operations.  American Steel Pipe recently spent $80 million to upgrade its Alabama facility: a necessary expenditure to remain competitive.  However, without support from this commission, American Steel Pipe will put off future capital investment, plant improvement, and job creation as they continue to lose revenue to dumped foreign imports.  These losses have created a less than favorable economic climate.

JMC’s new Energex facility manufactures pipe for the energy sector at its plant in Thomasville.  Last year, I visited the Thomasville plant and had an opportunity to discuss these issues with workers there.  Unfortunately, since my visit, production at this plant, which had declined significantly, ceased at the end of September.  The plant is now idle and all employees have been laid off.  

Our country relies on a strong, stable manufacturing base.  We have to make sure it is properly defended.

To me, it is clear that American workers are suffering because of the actions of aggressive nation states seeking to gain access to the world’s greatest market.  But to get that access, they must follow the rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on this important matter to the industry and its employees in Alabama and the nation.”

 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Toomey, Sessions Introduce Legislation Affirming That Police Lives Also Matter

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) are sending a message to individuals targeting police officers, prosecutors, and firefighters with violence.

 America has seen a rash of attacks on law enforcement officers. These include both the cold blooded, execution-style murders of law enforcement officers such as Pennsylvania State Trooper Corporal Bryon Dickson, and the killing of officers who are trying to protect others, such as Philadelphia Officer Robert Wilson, III. In response, Sens. Toomey and Sessions have introduced the Thin Blue Line Act, which imposes harsher penalties on individuals targeting law enforcement officers and first responders.

 “It is important we send the message that police lives also matter, and that if you target a police officer with violence, you will receive a harsh penalty,” said Sen. Toomey. “Every day, our law enforcement officers and first responders place themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us. They also present tempting targets to criminals seeking retribution, and to organized crime rings seeking to discourage law enforcement officers from investigating them. Congress has long recognized that additional tools are needed to prevent such attacks on law enforcement officers.

 “Now, we see one officer after another targeted simply for the uniform he or she wears. Our law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and firefighters deserve to know that their lives also matter, and they have our support. Those who would murder a person simply because he or she wears blue deserve a harsh penalty. This legislation seeks to achieve those ends.”

 “The alarming spike in violence directed against the men and women entrusted with ensuring the safety and order of our society must be stopped,” said Sen. Sessions. “The Thin Blue Line Act will help protect our officers by bringing harsher penalties to criminals committing these vile acts and by extending the protections afforded to federal officers to our local police and first responders. This legislation honors the message sent by law-abiding Americans that we cannot stand idly by as attacks are waged upon those who serve and protect our communities.”

 When a jury in a federal case considers whether to impose the death penalty, the jury must consider certain “mitigating” and “aggravating” factors. Current law states that if the murder victim was a federal law enforcement officer or prosecutor, this fact shall weigh as an aggravating factor in favor of the death penalty. The Thin Blue Line Act provides the same level of justice to local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and firefighters. It also enhances the penalty when a defendant targets a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or firefighter solely because that individual chose to protect and serve. Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) has introduced similar legislation in the House.

 The following organizations have endorsed this legislation:

 Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

Fraternal Order of Police

International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO

Major County Sheriffs’ Association

National Association of Police Organizations

National District Attorneys Association

National Sheriffs’ Association

National Troopers Coalition

Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association

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Sessions And Johnson Introduce ‘Protecting American Lives Act’ To Combat Sanctuary Cities, Illegal Re-Entry

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, joined with Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) in unveiling legislation today to protect American lives from criminal alien violence:

Chairman Sessions’ statement:

“On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee—and the nation—heard testimony from grieving families who lost loved ones to criminal alien violence. Each and every one of these deaths, and thousands more like them, were completely preventable.  There is never a reason to allow a dangerous criminal alien to enter, live, or remain in the United States. No parent should ever have to bury a child because we failed to keep violent criminals out of the country or failed to deport them once they were in the country. Protecting the lives of innocent Americans is one of the most basic duties of the federal government. Our goal should be to keep 100% of dangerous aliens out of the United States.

There is no delicate balancing act here: we need to remove potentially violent offenders before they hurt innocent families—before the irreversible occurs. Foreign nationals cycling in and out of prisons and jails are by definition a high-risk population. Releasing “low-level” criminal aliens from jails ensures only one thing: more opportunities for innocent Americans to get hurt—and more mothers burying more children. Yet mayors, governors, and Presidents continue bowing to special interests, allowing thousands of criminal alien offenders to walk free. In the last two years alone, the Administration has released 76,000 criminal aliens with convictions back into U.S. communities.

That is why Senator Johnson and I are introducing the Protecting American Lives Act. This simple proposal will close several of the most dangerous enforcement loopholes. It will require state and local jurisdictions to notify the federal government when a criminal alien is in their custody; it will withhold funds from any local jurisdiction that releases an alien after a federal detainer has been placed on them; and it will establish a 5-year minimum prison sentence for deported aliens who attempt to illegally re-enter the United States.

This bill will make all communities safer. I urge its swift consideration and adoption. Additionally, I urge Congress to take up the Davis-Oliver bill, a comprehensive solution to our interior enforcement collapse, named in honor of two law enforcement officers who lost their lives to a twice-deported criminal alien.”

Chairman Johnson’s statement:

“It doesn’t make any sense that an illegal immigrant who has been deported five times and has seven felony convictions was released into a community to kill an innocent young woman.  It also doesn’t make any sense that, on this administration’s watch, 121 criminal aliens have been released who subsequently have been charged with a homicide-related offense.  This legislation, which I am pleased to introduce with Senator Sessions, will safeguard against further tragedies by ensuring that sanctuary jurisdictions are no longer allowed or motivated to release criminal aliens into the public sphere.”

BACKGROUND:
The “Protecting American Lives Act” would: withhold federal funding from any state or local jurisdiction that refuses to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement (including notifying federal authorities about the apprehension of criminal aliens, and honoring immigration detainers); provide legal immunity to local jurisdictions that honor detainers; establish a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for the illegal re-entry of previously deported aliens; and provide a Sense of Congress that DHS has probably cause when it issues a detainer.

In addition to Sessions and Johnson, current cosponsors include Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

To view the legislative text, please click here.

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Sessions' Statement Against Fast-Track

“It appears there will be another attempt by Tuesday to force through new executive powers for President Obama. A vote for TAA next week is a vote to send fast-track to the President’s desk and to grant him these broad new executive authorities. If that happens, it will empower the President to form a Pacific Union encompassing 40 percent of the world’s economy and 12 nations—each with one equal vote. Once the union is formed, foreign bureaucrats will be required to meet regularly to write the Commission’s rules, regulations, and directives—impacting Americans’ jobs, wages, and sovereignty. The union is chartered with a “Living Agreement,” and there is no doubt it will seek to expand its membership and reach over time.

 Fast-track will not only apply to the Pacific Union, but can expedite an unlimited number of yet-unseen international compacts for six years. There are already plans to advance through fast-track the Trade in Services Agreement, the goal of which includes labor mobility among more than 50 nations, further eroding the ability of the American people to control their own affairs.

 Americans do not want this, did not ask for it, and are pleading from their hearts for their lawmakers to stop it.

 The same people projecting the benefits of leaping into a colossal new economic union could not even accurately predict the impact of a standalone agreement with South Korea. The latter deal, which promised to boost our exports to them $10 billion, instead only budged them less than $1 billion, while South Korea’s imports to us increased more than $12 billion, nearly doubling our trading deficit. This new agreement will only further increase our trading deficit: opening our markets to foreign imports while allowing our trading partners to continue their non-tariff barriers that close their markets to ours.

 If we want a new trade deal with Japan, or with Vietnam, then they should be negotiated bilaterally and sent to Congress under regular order. Under no circumstances should the House authorize, through fast-track, the formation of a new international commission that will regulate not only trade, but immigration, labor, environmental, and all manner of commercial policy.

 What American went to the polls in 2014 to vote for fast-track and a new global union? Can anyone honestly say that Congress is trying to ram this deal through because they think their constituents want it?

 While elites dream of a world without borders, voters dream of a world where the politicians they elect put this country’s own citizens first.

 The movement among Americans toward a decent, honest populism—toward a refocusing on the needs of American citizens and American interests—grows stronger by the day. Every vote to come before Congress, beginning with the next fast-track push, will face this test: does your plan strengthen or weaken the social and economic position of the loyal, everyday working American?”

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Senate Blocks Bill on N.S.A. Collection of Phone Records

Thank You Rand Paul!

N.S.A. Collection of Bulk Call Data Is Ruled Illegal

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Sen. Sessions Releases Lengthy Timeline Of Obama Administration’s Dismantling Of Immigration Law - Breitbart

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Sessions Named Chairman Of Two Key Senate Subcommittees

 WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) issued the following statement today after being named Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee on Armed Services and the Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee on Judiciary:

 “I am honored to have the opportunity to chair these two crucial subcommittees.

 My focus as Chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee will include: ensuring a modernized nuclear arsenal, strengthening our ballistic missile defense programs, advancing our space program, producing an American-built rocket engine to end U.S. dependence on Russia’s RD-180, and developing the technology and strategies necessary to deter any aggression, including cyber-attacks, against the United States or her interests.

 America faces a litany of global threats and emerging dangers; it is more important than ever to have the most sophisticated and cost-effective defense programs that deliver the capabilities promised.

 My focus as Chairman of the Immigration subcommittee will be to advance the core interests of the nation and its people. On no issue have special interests had a tighter grip than on the issue of immigration.

 That is why I am renaming the subcommittee ‘Immigration and the National Interest,’ as a declaration to the American people that this subcommittee belongs to them. Senator Vitter, a strong voice for the national interest, will be serving as Republican Deputy Chairman. The financial and political elite have been controlling this debate for years; this subcommittee will give voice to those whose voice has been shut out: the voice of the dedicated immigration officers who have been blocked from doing their jobs; the voice of the working families whose wages have been reduced by years of record immigration; the voice of the American IT workers who are being replaced with guest workers; the voice of the parents who are worried about their schools and hospitals; and the voice of all Americans who believe we must have a lawful system of immigration they can be proud of and that puts their interests first. 

Our first urgent task in this regard is for the Senate GOP to rally the nation behind an effort to halt the President’s unlawful amnesty.

 Additionally, there is a great deal of misinformation about what actions must actually be taken to create a sound immigration system. Our subcommittee will seek to serve all members, and the public, as a hub for the facts, data, statistics, and evidence they can rely upon for honest information. I became a prosecutor believing that there is a truth, and that a proper analysis of the facts will lead us to that truth. The challenge is large but the task is just, and rests on the solid moral foundation of our citizens’ legitimate demands.  I look forward to working with my colleagues towards this end.” 

[NOTE: To read Chairman Sessions’ recent immigration policy handbook distributed to his Republican colleagues, please click here. For news and updates about the immigration subcommittee, please follow the new Twitter account @ImmigrationGOP.]

 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Judiciary, Environment and Public Works, and the Budget Committee. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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U.S. House Representative Justin Amash On Passage Of Bill Allowing Unlimited Access To Communications Of Every American

When I learned that the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015 was being rushed to the floor for a vote—with little debate and only a voice vote expected (i.e., simply declared "passed" with almost nobody in the room)—I asked my legislative staff to quickly review the bill for unusual language. What they discovered is one of the most egregious sections of law I've encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the House floor to demand a roll call vote on the bill so that everyone's vote would have to be recorded. I also sent the letter below to every representative.

With more time to spread the word, we would have stopped this bill, which passed 325-100. Thanks to the 99 other representatives—44 Republicans and 55 Democrats—who voted to protect our rights and uphold the Constitution. And thanks to my incredibly talented staff.

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Block New Spying on U.S. Citizens: Vote “NO” on H.R. 4681

Dear Colleague:

The intelligence reauthorization bill, which the House will vote on today, contains a troubling new provision that for the first time statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process.

Last night, the Senate passed an amended version of the intelligence reauthorization bill with a new Sec. 309—one the House never has considered. Sec. 309 authorizes “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of nonpublic communications, including those to and from U.S. persons. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations.

To be clear, Sec. 309 provides the first statutory authority for the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of U.S. persons’ private communications obtained without legal process such as a court order or a subpoena. The administration currently may conduct such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress never has approved of using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.

Supporters of Sec. 309 claim that the provision actually reins in the executive branch’s power to retain Americans’ private communications. It is true that Sec. 309 includes exceedingly weak limits on the executive’s retention of Americans’ communications. With many exceptions, the provision requires the executive to dispose of Americans’ communications within five years of acquiring them—although, as HPSCI admits, the executive branch already follows procedures along these lines.

In exchange for the data retention requirements that the executive already follows, Sec. 309 provides a novel statutory basis for the executive branch’s capture and use of Americans’ private communications. The Senate inserted the provision into the intelligence reauthorization bill late last night. That is no way for Congress to address the sensitive, private information of our constituents—especially when we are asked to expand our government’s surveillance powers.

I urge you to join me in voting “no” on H.R. 4681, the intelligence reauthorization bill, when it comes before the House today.

/s/

Justin Amash
Member of Congress

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U.S. Representatives Who Voted NO:

Amash
Bass
Bentivolio
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Brat
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Broun (GA)
Burgess
Chu
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Clawson (FL)
Cohen
Conyers
Cummings
DeFazio
DelBene
DesJarlais
Doggett
Doyle
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Eshoo
Farr
Garamendi
Garcia
Garrett
Gibson
Gohmert
Gosar
Gowdy
Graves (GA)
Grayson
Griffith (VA)
Grijalva
Gutiérrez
Hahn
Hanabusa
Hastings (FL)
Heck (WA)
Holt
Honda
Huelskamp
Huffman
Jackson Lee
Jones
Jordan
Kaptur
Kildee
Kingston
Labrador
Lee (CA)
Lewis
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lummis
Massie
Matsui
McClintock
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
Meadows
Mica
Moore
Mulvaney
Nadler
Nugent
O'Rourke
Pallone
Perry
Pocan
Poe (TX)
Polis
Posey
Rangel
Ribble
Roe (TN)
Rohrabacher
Salmon
Sanford
Schakowsky
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Speier
Stockman
Swalwell (CA)
Takano
Tierney
Tipton
Velázquez
Waters
Weber (TX)
Welch
Woodall
Yarmuth
Yoho

 

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Sessions Announces Passage Of NDAA

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently announced that the Senate has passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Sessions, who played a central role in crafting the legislation, issued the following statement and update for Alabama after Senate passage by a vote of 89 to 11:
 
The courage and selflessness of Alabama’s men and women in uniform embody the great character of our state. Alabama is a leader in our nation’s defense and this legislation is recognition of that fact.

Our state’s workforce and contributions to our nation’s security were defended and supported in the Senate Armed Services Committee conference process. This legislation protects the needs and requirements of our dedicated service members and authorizes funding for numerous defense-related programs—for our state and nation—that are essential to the success of our military missions abroad.

This legislation was produced through the proper committee processafter considering all amendmentsand is within spending limits. I wish that other committees in the Senate would follow this same process as well. Much of the credit goes to retiring committee Chairman, Carl Levin, for his leadership. The bill received a strong bipartisan committee vote of 25 to 1.

As our nation faces emerging threats abroad, this legislation enables our nation to stand ready in our people’s defense.”

GENERAL OVERVIEW

·        The bill authorizes $577.1 billion in fiscal year 2015, including $495.9 billion for base DoD programs, $63.7 billion for OCO, and $17.5 billion for national security programs in the DoE and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB). The bill includes $4.5 billion in General Transfer Authority and $3.5 billion in Special Transfer Authority.

·        Authorizes $1.6 billion for the Iraq Train and Equip Fund to provide training, equipment, logistics support, stipends, sustainment and other assistance to military and other security forces in Iraq, including Kurdish, tribal or other local security forces, to counter the threat from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

·        Adopts proposals to slow the growth of DoD personnel costs in FY 2015. Establishes a 1 percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the uniformed services in pay grades O-6 and below. Reduces the rate of increase in the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to provide that BAH will cover 1 percent less than average out-of-pocket costs for housing. Authorizes a $3.00 increase in pharmacy copays for non-active duty TRICARE beneficiaries who fill prescriptions outside of military treatment facilities.

·        Gordo Army Reserve Land Conveyance – Secretary of the Army conveys 3.79 acres and the reserve center to town of Gordo, AL for municipal use.

·        Establishes a National Commission on the Future of the Army to review plans for active and reserve component end strength and force structure changes driven by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Commission would provide DOD and Congress a report on its findings and recommendations by February 1, 2016.

·        Prohibits transfer of Army National Guard Apache helicopters to the regular Army through FY 2015 but, as in the Senate committee reported version of the bill, allows the transfer of 48 aircraft beginning in FY 2016. Congress would then consider the findings and recommendations of the Commission with respect to the Aviation Restructure Initiative.

·        Authorizes within the NNSA $8.2 billion for nuclear weapons life extension and stockpile stewardship programs, $1.8 billion for defense nuclear nonproliferation and $1.4 billion for the naval reactors program.

ANNISTON

·        Army Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) – $92.35 million.

·        Sec. 216 limits availability of funds for AMPV until Secretary of the Army submits a report on plans for the replacement of M113 armored personnel carriers in formations outside of its combat brigades.

·        M1 Abrams tanks modifications – $237 million.  

·        Overall Army Land Forces Depot Maintenance $1 billion.

HUNTSVILLE

·        Authorizes missile defense programs at $8.9 billion, the budget request level plus a net increase of $364 million for improvements to our homeland defense, increased Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) interceptors, and for Israeli missile defense programs.

·        Requires DoD to develop by 2019 a domestic rocket propulsion system and authorizes $220 million in FY 2015. The NDAA supports the expedient transition from the use of Russian rocket engines to a domestic alternative for space launches.

·        Calls for improvement to ground-based midcourse defense system.  Requires upgraded and improved EKV.

·        Prohibits DoD from procuring materials and services, such as rocket engines, from the Russian Federation that were acquired after February 1, 2014 for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

·        Provides $276.3 million for Tomahawk missiles to maintain missile production at the minimum sustaining rate of 200 missiles, rather than the request of $194.3 million that would have cut production to 100 missiles. 

·        Requires the use of competitive procedures for launches under the Operationally Responsive Space program. Adds $20 million to the Operationally Responsive Space program, which was proposed to have no funding in fiscal year 2015. The $20 million will enable the program to continue designing a low cost space based situational awareness satellite.

MOBILE

·        Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) – $1.427 billion.

·        LCS mission modules common equipment – $33.9 million.

·        Establishes a pilot program for maintaining (LCS) deployed overseas.

·        Extends prohibition on use of funds available in fiscal year 2014 for construction or advanced procurement of materials for the Littoral Combat Ships designated as LCS-25 or LCS-26 until the Secretary of the Navy submits certain reports and information to the congressional defense committees.

·        Dry dock provision limits the application of section 55102 of title Code 46 USC and extends exemption to cover any floating dry dock if the movement occurs within 5 nautical miles of the shipyard.

MONTGOMERY

·        Prohibits cancellation/modification of C-130 avionics modernization program.

·        SASC-passed provision regarding Cyber MFP included.

·        Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) funded at $1.26 billion. 

WIREGRASS / FT. RUCKER

·        UH-72 light utility helicopter procurement funded at $416.6 million for 55 helicopters.

·        UH-60 Blackhawk procurement funded at $1.34 billion for 85 helicopters.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Judiciary, Environment and Public Works, and as Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.


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