The office of Senator Jeff Sessions (R–AL), released a statement from the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Friday criticizing the national Chamber of Commerce “for putting cheap foreign labor above the interests of taxpayers, American workers and the nation at large.”
Senator Sessions’ office pointed to a January 29th-30th poll done by Rasmussen Reports that says 90 percent of union members say the reduction of illegal immigration is important to them.
"Union and non-union workers alike, as well as all Americans, should be concerned about the immigration agenda of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," Senator Sessions said. "As in the last debate on comprehensive reform, the Chamber's primary goal has never been to establish a lawful immigration system and secure our borders, but to get as much cheap labor as possible, regardless of how it impacts American workers, legal immigrants, and taxpayers in general.”
Sessions continued, “The 'shared principles' announced today are internally inconsistent and even contradictory. In addition to the Gang of Eight's plan to make millions of workers immediately available to compete for any job-which the Chamber supports-the 'shared principles' of the Chamber and AFL-CIO would add a permanent 'worker visa' program."
"Surely the Chamber hasn't abandoned belief in the power of the market; such a visa program is certain to take jobs from American workers and depress wages," Sessions claimed. "The Chamber has been a positive force on many issues. This is not one of them."
Sessions and other conservatives in the GOP are facing opposition not just from the White House and Democrats in Congress but fellow Republicans on the immigration issue. Senator John McCain (R–AZ), the original co-author of the 2005 comprehensive immigration reform bill, is supporting the new immigration reform bill, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R–SC), Jeff Flake (R–AZ), and Marco Rubio (R–FL).