By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
While everyone was focused on the Republican Presidential debate and their office Christmas parties, congressional leaders of both parties were quietly working on finalizing details on the massive omnibus bill which will fund the government throughout the 2016 election year.
The more than 2,000 page bill includes full funding for President Barack H. Obama’s controversial executive immigration policies including importing thousands of Syrian refugees. US Senator. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) released a statement warning that the omnibus funding bill would, among other things, fund Sanctuary Cities, the President’s refugee expansion, and quadruple a controversial foreign worker program replacing Americans all despite increasing concerns about threats to US security and finances.
Sen. Sessions reported that, “The more than 2,000 page year-end funding bill contains a dramatic change to federal immigration law that would increase by as much as four-fold the number of low-wage foreign workers provided to employers under the controversial H-2B visa program, beyond what is currently allowed. These foreign workers are brought in exclusively to fill blue collar non-farm jobs in hotels, restaurants, construction, truck driving, and many other occupations sought by millions of Americans.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “At a time of record immigration – with a full 83 percent of the electorate wanting immigration frozen or reduced – the GOP-led Congress is about to deliver Obama a four-fold increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs. The result? Higher unemployment and lower wages for Americans. As the Economic Policy Institute noted, ‘wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014,’ and ‘unemployment rates increased in all but one of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014, and all 15 occupations averaged very high unemployment rates…Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply.’”
Sen. Sessions said, “The voters put Republicans in a majority in the 2014 midterm elections – a vote which constituted a clear decision to reject the abuse of our immigration system. That loyalty has been repaid with betrayal. On top of this provision, the omnibus approves – without conditions – the President’s request for increased refugee admissions, allowing him to bring in as many refugees as he wants, from anywhere he wants, and then allow them to access unlimited amounts of welfare and entitlements at taxpayer expense. This will ensure that at least 170,000 green card, refugee and asylum approvals are issued to migrants from Muslim countries over just the next 12 months.” “In March, as Charmain of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, I sent appropriators a list of several dozen provisions for inclusion in our funding bills to improve immigration enforcement and block presidential lawlessness; those provisions were rejected – yet industry’s request for more foreign workers, and the President’s request for refugee funds, were unconditionally approved.”
Sen. Sessions warned, “The bill also funds sanctuary cities and illegal alien resettlement, allows the President to continue issuing visas to countries that refuse to repatriate violent criminal aliens, and funds the President’s ongoing lawless immigration actions – including his unimpeded 2012 executive amnesty for alien youth. As feared, the effect is to fund the President’s entire immigration agenda.”
Sen. Sessions concluded, “There is a reason that GOP voters are in open rebellion. They have come to believe that their party’s elites are not only uninterested in defending their interests but – as with this legislation, and fast-tracking the President’s international trade pact – openly hostile to them. This legislation represents a further disenfranchisement of the American voter.”
Senator Sessions did point out one positive point in the bill. While it will continue to allow millions of people to legally enter the country, the bill included language which would have prevented the Administration from bailing out health insurance companies that are losing money on Obamacare. The insurance companies agreed to provide the enormously costly insurance policies, if the US government would agree to backstop their losses. Senator Sessions demanded that language be inserted into funding bills that would block the $2.5 taxpayer funded health insurance company bailout. According to Sessions that did make the Omnibus bill.
The Omnibus includes language that would allow returning H2B visas workers to not be included in the 66,000 per year cap currently in place. Sen. Sessions has long spoken out against these visa programs which are used by companies to drive down wages and suppress unions by bringing in foreign workers to compete against Americans……foreign workers whose immigration status is tied to their employment, making them hesitant to strike or join a union.
Senator Sessions is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and has served the people of Alabama in the US Senate since his election in 1996, The popular Senator Sessions was reelected to a fourth term in 2014 without any opponent.