By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama issued a written statement on Monday urging House Republicans to ignore calls from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many CEOs to radically increase the flow of legal immigrants into the country.
Senator Sessions said, “House leaders must lay out clearly to the American people the President’s dismal record on immigration. During his time in office, the President has systematically dismantled interior enforcement, handcuffing immigration officers and bypassing Congress. These facts—drawn from the testimony of immigration officers themselves—should be clearly documented before the whole nation. No agreement should be entered into while such lawlessness continues.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “Secondly, the President must be asked—by media and lawmakers alike—how he can possibly justify a plan that will double the flow of immigrant workers at a time when 91.5 million Americans are outside the labor force? Indeed, as the President makes his immigration remarks he is preparing to hold a fundraiser with Silicon Valley executives, a group clamoring for more guest workers at a time when nearly half of recent college grads are underemployed. Wages are flat and falling for U.S. workers—the clearest evidence that there is not a labor shortage, but a jobs shortage.”
Sen. Sessions concluded, “America is not an oligarchy. Congressional leaders must forcefully reject the notion, evidently accepted by the President, that a small cadre of CEOs can tailor the nation’s entire immigration policy to suit their narrow interests. A Republic must answer to the people.”
There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, most of whom would like legal status and a pathway to American citizenship. President Obama announced earlier in the year that immigration reform would be one of his main legislative priorities in 2013. The Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill passed the U.S. Senate, but has gotten bogged down in the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives.
Republican critics of the bill have been critical of measures in the bill which greatly increase the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country annually and question whether the Obama administration (which has a poor record of enforcing existing immigration law) can be trusted to actually implement heightened border security provisions in the Senate legislation.
Speaker Boehner has refused to appoint a conference committee with the Senate to resolve differences in the House and Senate immigration proposals; but Senator Sessions (R) from Alabama has warned that back door negotiations are underway to pass a compromise comprehensive immigration reform bill. Sessions has led efforts to defeat the Senate immigration reform legislation.
Sessions comments were made prior to a speech by President Obama calling on Congress to pass his comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Senator Jeff Sessions is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.