The Alabama senator also has taken a hard-line stance against foreign nationals who violate U.S. law, offering a firm warning to countries who refuse to take back undocumented immigrants. One such country, The Gambia — officially known as the Islamic Republic of the Gambia — has resisted taking back its nationals, which, according to Sessions, comes at the expense of American taxpayers, with few repercussions by the United States.
The Gambia is a small country in West Africa surrounded by Senegal with a small strip accessing the Atlantic Ocean.
Previously, Sessions announced Trump was seriously considering a plan to require immigrants to “self-deport” before they can reapply to lawfully return to the U.S.
in a campaign email Thursday, Sessions further clarified Trump’s position on “repatriating” those immigration law violators, as well as consequences for countries from which they came. In the statement, Sessions blamed much of this on the “weakness” of the Obama administration, including Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The text of Sessions’ statement:
“This past weekend, following intense pressure by several committees in Congress — and the promises of Donald Trump to correct this situation — the Departments of State and Homeland Security have finally taken modest steps against one small offending nation, The Gambia, to take back its nationals who have violated our laws. But other nations have created far larger problems, at great expense to the American taxpayers, and little or no action has been taken against them.
“These minor actions against such a small nation will only result in dozens of other countries continuing to disregard their legal obligations to take back their nationals, because of the weakness they have seen in the State Department under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and now under John Kerry. And it further highlights the longstanding failure of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to protect the United States from dangerous criminal aliens.
“For years, Congress and the American people have rejected the premise that a foreign country can simply refuse to take its people back when we try to deport them from the United States. Yet there are currently dozens of foreign countries that refuse to do so, and/or delay for so long that federal law enforcement officers are forced — as a result of a Supreme Court decision — to release criminals back onto the streets of our communities.
“Repatriating immigration law violators is an essential part of any lawful immigration system. Home countries must take back their deported nationals. That is why American law has long given the secretary of state the duty and power to deny future visas to any non-cooperating country — an effective tool to achieve compliance if properly used. A tool that the Obama administration failed to use during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, despite widespread knowledge about these practices.
“The willful failure of the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security to take the simple and effective steps necessary to protect the safety of the American people and the integrity of the immigration system has long been an outrage and a scandal.
“Meaningful change can only come through strong leadership and a commitment to firmly and consistently act in the national interest. Hillary Clinton’s record demonstrates that she will not provide that change.
“When Donald Trump becomes president, countries that refuse to take back their nationals will face swift, meaningful consequences. The integrity of our immigration system and the safety of our communities demand no less.”