Senator Sessions Gets Busy on Sanctuary Cities and Abortion

Jeff Sessions, the Senator from my district in Alabama, is always busy; he’s a very active and visible guy, on a range of issues that concern the people who sent him to Washington.  This morning, there were two releases from Sessions’ office in my inbox.  The releases deal with two separate issues, but both issues are critical for our nation:  Sanctuary cities, and federal funding of an abortion organization, Planned Parenthood.

Senator Sessions has joined with Senators Ron Johnson, Tom Cotton, Jim Inhofe, and Ted Cruz to push the Protecting American Lives Act, which involves Congress cutting federal funds to Sanctuary cities.  In the video below, you can hear the Senator’s remarks on cities who release illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

Sessions released a statement this morning on the Protecting American Lives Act, which I am reproducing below.

“On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee—and the nation—heard testimony from grieving families who lost loved ones to criminal alien violence. Each and every one of these deaths, and thousands more like them, were completely preventable.  There is never a reason to allow a dangerous criminal alien to enter, live, or remain in the United States. No parent should ever have to bury a child because we failed to keep violent criminals out of the country or failed to deport them once they were in the country. Protecting the lives of innocent Americans is one of the most basic duties of the federal government. Our goal should be to keep 100% of dangerous aliens out of the United States.

There is no delicate balancing act here: we need to remove potentially violent offenders before they hurt innocent families—before the irreversible occurs. Foreign nationals cycling in and out of prisons and jails are by definition a high-risk population. Releasing “low-level” criminal aliens from jails ensures only one thing: more opportunities for innocent Americans to get hurt—and more mothers burying more children. Yet mayors, governors, and Presidents continue bowing to special interests, allowing thousands of criminal alien offenders to walk free. In the last two years alone, the Administration has released 76,000 criminal aliens with convictions back into U.S. communities.

That is why Senator Johnson and I are introducing the Protecting American Lives Act. This simple proposal will close several of the most dangerous enforcement loopholes. It will require state and local jurisdictions to notify the federal government when a criminal alien is in their custody; it will withhold funds from any local jurisdiction that releases an alien after a federal detainer has been placed on them; and it will establish a 5-year minimum prison sentence for deported aliens who attempt to illegally re-enter the United States.

This bill will make all communities safer. I urge its swift consideration and adoption. Additionally, I urge Congress to take up the Davis-Oliver bill, a comprehensive solution to our interior enforcement collapse, named in honor of two law enforcement officers who lost their lives to a twice-deported criminal alien.”

The text of the pending legislation is viewable here.  Get on the phone, y’all, and urge your Senators to get on board with this Act.

Senator Sessions also joined with a large group of Senators in sending a letter to Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood; this in light of the two videos now circulating on the internet, which you may have seen on these pages.  I’m pasting the text of the Senators’ letter to Ms. Burwell below.  A similar letter, also with Sessions as a co-signee, has been sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, seeking an investigation by the Department of Justice.  Look over the list of the Signees below, and if you don’t see your own Senator’s signature there, you may want to give them a call and ask them why they aren’t concerned about an organization that receives federal funding selling human body parts for profit.

“Dear Secretary Burwell,

We are deeply disturbed by recent footage released by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America executives discussing in graphic detail the organization’s practice of harvesting the organs of unborn babies.

The footage raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions.

In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted so late in a pregnancy – sometimes even later than 5 months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested.

Congress is undertaking efforts to address these questions, and we expect the Department of Health and Human Services to fully cooperate with ensuing investigations – including future requests for information and hearing participation. To that end, we further expect the immediate preservation of any and all Department electronic and paper records that could have any relevance to any ongoing or forthcoming lawful investigation.

It is our understanding that, to date, you have refrained from commenting on the questions raised by the footage until you can review the matter further. We appreciate your acknowledgement that this matter requires further examination, and upon your receipt of this letter, we request that you confirm in writing that you have either commenced or will immediately initiate a thorough internal review of the compliance of the Department and Planned Parenthood – one of the Department’s grantees – with all relevant and applicable federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements. Please also include a description of the expected scope of the internal review, as well as an estimated completion date.

We look forward to future correspondence on this matter, and we hope that we can count on you as a key partner in our efforts to address the various legal, ethical, and policy concerns raised by the information contained in the footage.


Senator Lamar Alexander

Senator Kelly Ayotte

Senator John Barrasso

Senator Roy Blunt

Senator John Boozman

Senator Richard Burr

Senator Shelley Moore Capito

Senator Bill Cassidy

Senator Dan Coats

Senator Thad Cochran

Senator Bob Corker

Senator John Cornyn

Senator Tom Cotton

Senator Mike Crapo

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Steve Daines

Senator Mike Enzi

Senator Joni Ernst

Senator Deb Fischer

Senator Jeff Flake

Senator Cory Gardner

Senator Lindsey Graham

Senator Orrin Hatch

Senator John Hoeven

Senator Jim Inhofe

Senator Johnny Isakson

Senator Ron Johnson

Senator James Lankford

Senator Mike Lee

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator John McCain

Senator Mitch McConnell

Senator Jerry Moran

Senator Rand Paul

Senator David Perdue

Senator Rob Portman

Senator James Risch

Senator Pat Roberts

Senator Mike Rounds

Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Ben Sasse

Senator Tim Scott

Senator Jeff Sessions

Senator Richard Shelby

Senator Dan Sullivan

Senator John Thune

Senator Thom Tillis

Senator Pat Toomey

Senator David Vitter

Senator Roger Wicker”