During her testimony on the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared that she, President Barack Obama and other political officials at the top of this administration have the authority to decide which laws to enforce, and which ones to ignore.
Napolitano made the declaration in an exchange with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) when he was questioning her on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have alleged that political officials in the Obama administration, including her, have blocked them from enforcing the law.
Sessions noted that ICE agents’ union president Chris Crane had testified on Monday “that agents are prohibited from enforcing the law and, indeed, the ICE officers have filed a lawsuit [to that effect].”
“I started out as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice in 1975,” Sessions said. “I have never heard of a situation in which a group of law officers sued their supervisor and you for blocking them from following the law. They weren’t complaining about pay, benefits, working conditions. They were saying their very oath they took, to enforce the law, is being blocked by rules and regulations and policies established from on high and that this is undermining their ability to do what they’re sworn to do.”
In her response to those remarks from Sessions, Napolitano said she believes she and other political officials have the authority to tell law enforcement agents which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore.