Sessions Calls for ICE Director to Resign: ‘Failed His Fundamental Duty to Enforce Law’

By Penny Starr | February 13, 2013 | 5:28pm EST

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) called for John Morton, director of DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to resign for failing to enforce federal immigration law at a Senate hearing on Feb. 13, 2013. ( Starr)

( – The man tasked with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws should resign, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said at a Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Sessions called for ICE Director John Morton’s resignation following the testimony of Chris Crane, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer who said the Obama administration’s policies prohibit the arrest of aliens who are in the country illegally or who have overstayed their visa.

“I think we’ve got a problem here,” Sessions said. “We have, as Mr. Crane has dramatically indicated, a serious unwillingness to enforce even the most basic laws.”

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“I think most Americans assume that ICE agents and officers are empowered by the government to enforce the law,” Crane testified. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“With 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S., ICE agents are now prohibited from arresting illegal aliens solely on charges of illegal entry or visa overstay – the two most frequently violated sections of U.S. immigration law,” Crane said.

Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118 of the American Federation of Government Employees, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 13, 2013. ( Starr)

Sessions asked Crane if anyone in the Obama administration, including President Barack Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, had invited ICE officers and agents to discussions on immigration enforcement and policy. When Crane said his union members had been “shut out” of discussions, Sessions called for ICE Director John Morton’s resignation.

“I call for Mr. Morton to resign,” Sessions said. “I think he’s failed his fundamental duty to enforce the law and maintain the morale of the people we pay to do that job every day.”

In June 2010, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118, of which Crane is the president, and its affiliated council leaders across the country, cast a unanimous 259-0 vote of no confidence in Morton.

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