President Obama’s reported plan to provide administrative amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants presents “a security nightmare,” according to Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), who fears the policy could make it easier for terrorist to carry out an attack on the United States.
“Immigration agents already tell us that the president’s DACA order has redirected resources away from national security and created massive enforcement loopholes that can be exploited by terrorists,” Sessions said in a statement.
Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.) is delighted by the prospect. “It’s music to my ears,” he said on MSNBC, adding that “when 5 million people are allowed the opportunity to come out from under the shadows and into the light of day and get legalized, it’s going to take a lot of work and capacity of our community.”
Sessions, though, says that the real burden will be placed on immigration enforcement and counterterrorism operations.
“If President Obama goes through with his plan to provide formal work authorization to millions who violate the terms of their visas, it would be a security nightmare for the United States,” he said.
Sessions’s warning comes on the heels of another Republican lawmaker warning that Islamic State terrorists in Iraq are quite capable of making a move toward the United States.
“They are one plane ticket away from U.S. shores and that’s why we’re so concerned about it,“ House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) said Sunday on Meet the Press.
Sessions preempted the charge that he is fear-mongering by recalling that the 9/11 hijackers also violated immigration laws.
“For instance, we know ICE officers can no longer police visa overstays even though they are a proven security risk — and even though the 9/11 hijackers exploited our visa system in order to launch their attacks,” he said.
A White House spokesman said Friday that the Islamic State doesn’t appear to be plotting an attack on the United States.
“To date, we have not seen them focus on that type of planning, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to be very mindful that they could quickly aim to pivot to attacks against Western targets outside of the region,” deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Friday.
“If they show the intent or they show plotting against the United States, we’ll be prepared to deal with that as necessary,” he said.