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Kelly File

Sen. Sessions: Obama has 'no authority' to suspend deportation of illegal immigrants

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," November 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST:  Breaking tonight, President Obama promised to take action on immigration without Congress.  And tonight exclusive details here at Fox News on his plan to deliver as early as next week.  

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.  

Just a short time ago, Fox News Washington Bureau obtaining brand new documents from a government agency detailing the plan for executive action. This is the first look we are getting at what the president has in mind, reportedly.  In this draft proposal up to 4.5 million illegal immigrants with U.S. born children may be permitted to stay in America. An idea that is sure to ignite a furious response in some corners.  

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is a Republican, he is the ranking member of the Budget Committee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  And he recently sent a blistering letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to block executive action from the president that amounts to, quote, "amnesty."  

Senator, good of you to be here with us tonight on this breaking news.  And so the 10-part plan according to our Washington Bureau will suspend deportations for millions. In fact, over 4 million illegal immigrants, which by our count puts it as perhaps the most sweeping executive action on immigration ever. Your thoughts.  

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALA., SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER:  No doubt. And Fox has really found the proof that we've been fearing and that we have expected to happen.

Let's be clear, immigration officers have told us that if this goes through, it will be almost impossible to enforce a law in the future. Expert economists have told us if we bring in more and more people lawfully into our country, giving them the right to take jobs, and every one of these individuals are going to be given a photo ID, a Social Security number and the right to take a job in America, jobs that too few exist and too many Americans are looking for.

It's just the wrong policy and will incentivize more illegality in the future.  

KELLY: All right. Let's just talk about what it's reportedly going to do. First of all it's going to expand. He already issued deferred action, basically meaning deferred prosecution. I'm not going to pursue prosecution against young people in the United States who came here, they were brought by their parents illegally through no fault of their own.  They got here before June of 2007, they were under 31. All this stuff he said. Those are the folks I'm not going to bother.

Now, this new plan reportedly expands that considerably including another 300,000 or so illegal immigrants into that group. Then it also says the parents apparently of these kids are going to be able to stay as well. And these are not kids anymore. In many cases they're now grown. But why is that controversial in particular? Because the White House is going to turn around and say we keep families together, you know, let's be realistic, they're not going to leave so let's deal with reality.  

SESSIONS: First and foremost, there's no way to prove who are parents and who have been here for how long. They may have just come in the country last week. Maybe they're coming into the country because they have children in America and they come across the border to be with them and claim that they've been here for a longer period of time. Nobody's going to do investigations on this, nobody is going to check it. We're going to be adding five million older adults to our population. They'll be entitled to all kinds of rights and privileges --

KELLY: Well, he's not talking about making them citizens.  

SESSIONS: No, but they'll be entitled to all kinds of rights of citizens. And as they get older and become ill, United States government is not going to turn their health care away. They're going to be treated and taken care of. There's no evidence that they have job skills or education or training like a good sound immigration policy would do. And fundamentally, let me just say this.  

KELLY: Okay, let's talk about this -- sure, go ahead.  

SESSIONS: The president has no authority to do this. It's against the law.  

KELLY: All right. Let's talk about that. Let's talk about that.  Because the Center for American progress is already coming out and saying, look, deferred action, you know, basically, just declining to prosecute these folks, has been used by 11 presidents 39 times in the last 60 years.  They see nothing remarkable about the President doing it again.

SESSIONS: Megyn, let me tell you what they're talking about. It's wrong to on a mass basis eviscerate law by refusing to prosecute. But this goes much further. This says that you're going to be given as the other individuals have previously an ID card, a Social Security number and the card says, work permits on it.

And so, this is an action unilaterally by one person, the president of the United States, to legalize millions that Congress has explicitly refused to do. And on the current law they are illegally here and unable to work.

KELLY: The last time you were here you said -- of course the Republicans are about to take over control of the Senate and you will run the Budget Committee, which is a powerful committee. And you said we can stop the funding of this because we're not going to issue the funding for these cards. We're basically going to tie the president's hands financially. And yet some including Andy McCarthy and others at National Review has said that may or may not work. I mean, he's got his own money that he can use already, you know, siphoned off for other purposes. And so that may not stop this.  

SESSIONS: Well, it may not be a total solution to it, but it is a big, strong step. And it would make this almost impossible to accomplish and also would represent -- it would reflect the will of the American people. It was reported by one good recognized pollster that 80 percent of the people voting in this past election in exit polling said they opposed executive amnesty. Congress has opposed it. The American people have opposed it.  And the president persists unilaterally to do it anyway. And Congress can stop it and must stop it in my opinion. Really a threat to the Constitutional order.  

KELLY: Quickly before I let you go, any chance you would seek to defund things like the Department of Justice? You know, other departments that might participate in this plan? That's the big --

SESSIONS: Yes. We really want to fund the departments. What we don't want to fund is only one thing. We don't want to fund the ability to present ID cards and checks on these individuals and give them legal status. That we can do entirely fund the federal government.  

KELLY: Senator, great to see you. Thank you, sir.  

SESSIONS: Thank you.

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