Alabama Republican senator Jeff Sessions has attacked an immigration bill intended to strengthen border security in the United States. The conservative senator, who is well known for his anti-immigration stance, says the bill supported by fellow Republican Michael McCaul does not go anywhere near far enough.
McCaul, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sponsored the bill that would force the Department of Homeland Security to seize control of the entire south-western border of the United States over the course of the next five years and would see DHS personnel fined if they failed to meet set benchmarks regarding the locking down of the US border. The bill would also see the Texas National Guard deployed to the border on a permanent basis. Sessions says that the amount of money that the bill would cost would not be practical, given the unwillingness of the Obama administration to enforce existing immigration laws. He added that the White House should authorize the building of a fence consisting of two layers along 700 miles of the border.
The top Democrat on the committee, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, believes that McCaul has acted too hastily in his desperation to retaliate against the executive action on US immigration reform taken by President Obama; however, McCaul’s bill is the first to try to negotiate on the issue between the Senate and the House of Representatives since the House failed to vote on the comprehensive bill passed by the Senate in June 2013.