By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama issued a written statement after statements from Gang of Eight Senators on Sunday Morning talk shows about their immigration reform plan.
Sen. Sessions said on Sunday, “When the Gang of Eight was first formed a publicly stated principle was the enforcement would come first—before legalization. Today, on the Sunday shows, Gang of Eight members admitted that they abandoned this principle and that, in fact, legalization—or amnesty—would come first. This proposal offers immediate legalization with unfulfilled promises of enforcement in the future. This is contrary to the commitment they made to the American people and raises the same core problem as the 2007 proposal that was rejected by the American people. This should not surprise given that Gang of Eight has refused to meet with ICE officers while consulting with the special interests. The proposal will not stand up to scrutiny.”
Sen. Sessions said, “Another area of great concern in this proposal is the impact it will have on low-income Americans and those individuals and communities suffering from chronic underemployment. The guest worker program in this proposal represents only a fraction of the increase in legal foreign workers that will be rapidly introduced. Including those illegal immigrants that are legalized, this bill, over ten years, will result in at least 30 million new foreign workers—more than the entire population of Texas. While this may mean lower wages for the business lobby, and more political power for AFL-CIO leadership, it will be bad for American workers—union and non-union. And it will expose taxpayers to enormous long-term costs, including trillions in unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security from which low-wage foreign workers will draw more benefits than they pay in. These programs need strengthening, not further weakening.”
On Friday Sen. Sessions said “While the Gang has not briefed lawmakers or the Judiciary committee about their plan, they have leaked selected details to the press which seem to confirm Senator Schumer’s recent declaration that ‘First, people will be legalized… Then, we will make sure the border is secure.’”
Sessions said that the Gang of Eight plan, “Instead of securing the border first, it merely requires DHS to submit a plan (within six months) to achieve modest enforcement goals at some point in the next 10 years in exchange for an immediate grant of amnesty. History tells us the enforcement part will never effectively happen.”
Sessions said, “Even the border security’s future targets are weak: the plan only requires DHS to state what resources DHS needs in order to apprehend 90 percent of those the Border Patrol sees—but not those who successfully evade Border Patrol altogether.” Sessions said that the plan would leave huge vulnerabilities to cartels and other illegal crossers and said, “There is no requirement to complete the 700 miles of double-layer border fence that Congress has previously mandated (less than 40 miles of which have been completed).”
Sessions also complained about the five-year delay in the implementation of E-Verify, that the plan calls for an “electronic” exit system to track visa overstays at air and sea ports is inadequate, and the plan’s guest worker program would allow for one million foreign workers to enter the country each year and eventually apply for green cards and citizenship.
Sessions said that the plan would make ICE enforcement nearly impossible and could likely lead to millions more future illegal immigrants after the Congress gives legal status and eventual citizenship to the estimated eleven million who are already here.
President Barack H. Obama (D) has made immigration reform, gun control, and raising taxes the priority of this legislative year. The bipartisan gang of eight Senators are working on the immigration reform plan.
Senator Jeff Sessions is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee