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Sen. Sessions: I Can Still Back Trump on Immigration

Fox News' "Fox & Friends"

By    |   Thursday, 25 August 2016 12:48 PM

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said Thursday he can back Donald Trump's policies on immigration, even though the GOP nominee has been criticized for softening his stance on deporting undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

"I think what he's saying is let's prove — the weakness in so many of the plans that have been offered over the years is they've given amnesty first and promised enforcement in the future," Sessions told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "He's saying, let's fix this problem, let's fix it and then we'll wrestle with the people who have been here a long time."

In a town hall meeting hosted by Fox News' Sean Hannity, Trump spoke of remaining against amnesty for undocumented immigrants, but instead said his administration would "work with them."

The comments were a shift from Trump's earlier declarations about deporting immigrants and only allowing them back into the United States when they followed steps to legally come back into the country.

"The most important thing is to focus first and foremost on a lawful system that protects the interests of the American people first," Sessions told Fox News Thursday. "If you enter the country unlawfully you're subject to being deported. That's just what the law has always been. But we have large number of people that have been here a very long time."

And, Sessions said he can be supportive of such a plan, but warned about the "rule of law," referring to the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, signed into law by then-President Ronald Reagan.

That law failed, in part, because of lax border security, and the nation went from an estimated 3 million living in the United States illegally up to the current total of about 11 million, and that can't happen in the future, said Sessions.

"You've get to be careful about how you handle it," he told the program. "We have to work our way through it. It's essential for America. I think Donald Trump is moving us in the right direction. If you want to secure the border and improve our immigration system, fix it, there's only one way: vote in November."

Clinton, though, wants to increase immigration across the board, said Sessions, and her policies "actually undermine enforcement."

"Hillary Clinton is the extreme. Instead of 10,000 refugees from Syria, 65,000. She wants to increase the immigration across the board. And her policies actually undermine enforcement. It cannot work, so this is open borders really versus a real establishment of law."

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN's Chris Cuomo that Sessions is working on his new message on immigration with Trump, who calls for an border wall, and Stephen Miller, a Trump adviser and former Sessions staff worker.

The two men are "immigration experts," she told him. "I think that they are trying to find a way to explain — well, for Donald Trump to articulate to Americans a very complex issue and how he feels about it."

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Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said Thursday he can back Donald Trump's policies on immigration, even though the GOP nominee has been criticized for softening his stance on deporting undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
jeff sessions, back, trump
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2016-48-25
Thursday, 25 August 2016 12:48 PM
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