‘We Cannot Admit Everyone.’ Read a Transcript of Jeff Sessions’ Remarks on Ending the DACA Program

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump Administration will end a program that deferred deportation of undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children.

“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” he said at a press conference.

Here is a transcript of Sessions’ speech.

Good morning. I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama Administration is being rescinded.



The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and essentially provided a legal status for recipients for a renewable two-year term, work authorization and other benefits, including participation in the social security program, to 800,000 mostly-adult illegal aliens.



This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens.



In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.



The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences. It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.



We inherited from our Founders—and have advanced—an unsurpassed legal heritage, which is the foundation of our freedom, safety, and prosperity.



As the Attorney General, it is my duty to ensure that the laws of the United States are enforced and that the Constitutional order is upheld.



No greater good can be done for the overall health and well-being of our Republic, than preserving and strengthening the impartial rule of law. Societies where the rule of law is treasured are societies that tend to flourish and succeed.



Societies where the rule of law is subject to political whims and personal biases tend to become societies afflicted by corruption, poverty, and human suffering.



To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. That is an open border policy and the American people have rightly rejected it.



Therefore, the nation must set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year and that means all can not be accepted.



This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way. It means we are properly enforcing our laws as Congress has passed them.



It is with these principles and duties in mind, and in light of imminent litigation, that we reviewed the Obama Administration’s DACA policy.



Our collective wisdom is that the policy is vulnerable to the same legal and constitutional challenges that the courts recognized with respect to the DAPA program, which was enjoined on a nationwide basis in a decision affirmed by the Fifth…

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