By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) said that the immigration reform bill which is before Congress is not a moral or economically sustainable policy in remarks released on Labor Day.
Senator Sessions said, “As the nation recognizes Labor Day too many Americans remain without work… labor-force participation rate is at a thirty-year low… Yet what is the message from the White House, certain businesses interests, and their allies in Congress? Bring in more workers from overseas to do the jobs they say Americans aren’t cut out for.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “We need to help Americans get off of welfare, off of unemployment, and into good paying jobs that can support a family. Our first loyalty must be to US citizens… A swift amnesty and a permanent surge in low-skill immigration may make sense for some business interests—but it makes no sense for a nation that is currently struggling with exploding welfare rolls, falling wages, and chronic unemployment.”
Sen. Sessions said, “that small improvements in the employment rate have masked the deeper trend of a shrinking labor force with more people retiring early, going on disability, turning to welfare, and giving up looking for work altogether. Another troubling indicator is the record-high teenage unemployment: in 1999, half of teenagers had a summer job; today, it’s a mere third. Wages are also lower today than they were in 1999. Meanwhile, 1 in 3 without a high school diploma remains unable to find a job. This is more than temporary problem but an alarming trend: the workforce is shrinking and the welfare rolls are expanding.”
Sen. Sessions has consistently warned that the immigration bill which passed the U.S. Senate and is being considered by the U.S. House would lead to more competition for low skilled jobs and would hurt low income Americans disproportionally by lowering wages.
How to deal with an estimated eleven million undocumented people living in the country has been the focus of the immigration debate; but Sessions has repeatedly pointed out that the bill which passed the Senate increases the numbers of additional legal immigrants that would be allowed in to America and has questioned the economic affects of ramping up immigration levels. Sessions pointed to a CBO report which claims the immigration bill would lead to 46 million more immigrants by 2033.
Sen. Jeff Sessions is a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.