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Sessions: I predicted immigration crisis a year ago (Video)

Unaccompanied illegal immigrant children are flooding across the United States border at such a high rate that the U.S. government is asking officials in Central American countries to help stem the tide. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced last Thursday that his office had entered into such discussions with officials in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico.

But Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said the United States’ strategy should be simple: enforce the immigration laws that are currently on the books.

“I predicted this a year ago. You keep saying you’re not going to enforce the law and you particularly are not going to enforce it for young people, and it creates the perception — and it has created a perception around the world — that we are wide open, that children can just come and they will be permitted to stay,” Sessions said in an interview with Fox News. “It’s stunning, really. It’s absolutely unbelievable. And we have an internal memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security that just was leaked out that says that 95 percent of the people that have poured into our country in recent months are doing so because they believe they will be admitted and accepted, particularly young people.”

47,000 children entered the country illegally between January and May of this year. That is already double the number from 2013, and tens of thousands more are expected.


RELATED: Sessions debunks Obama’s entire immigration philosophy in a single paragraph


Fox News host Shannon Bream noted that Secretary Jeh Johnson and other Obama Administration officials have said the influx of illegal immigrant children into the country is further justification to pass so-called “comprehensive immigration reform.”

“I reject that totally,” Sessions responded bluntly. “We have laws on the books right now. It’s not legal to come here, whether you’re a youth or an adult, illegally. Give me a break. What he needs to (do is) tell the people not to come, if you come illegally, you’re going to be apprehended. You’re going to be sent back. He would not say that unequivocally. The president has to say that unequivocally. He has to stop the flow. That’s the humanitarian problem. We need to stop people from coming under the false belief that it’s going to be legal and they’re going to be able to stay. Secretary (Johnson) is failing dramatically. but really at this point it’s up to the president to tell the world to not come illegally. We have a process. You can apply. But you cannot enter illegally.”


RELATED: Sessions: A vote for amnesty is a vote to lower wages of American workers


Bream then moved on to the politics surrounding the immigration debate, asking whether Sessions believed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s support for comprehensive immigration reform was a major factor in his stunning defeat by tea party challenger David Brat.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” said Sessions. “A dominant issue in that campaign was immigration… I like and respect Congressman Cantor a lot, but I’m going to tell you, people in this country are hurting. Their jobs are threatened. Their wages are down significantly… And the idea that we’re going to have a bill to double the flow of illegal immigrants and guest workers into America to take jobs that Americans need to be having is just rejected by the people.”

When asked if Cantor’s defeat took immigration reform off the table for the foreseeable future, Sessions said that “big business and special interests want it still and are trying to make it happen, but I think this election was a major defeat for that agenda.”


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims