EXCLUSIVE--Sessions: House Leadership Immigration Push Could Imperil GOP in 2014
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Sunday evening during an exclusive appearance on Breitbart News Sunday with Stephen K. Bannon that House GOP leadership’s push to grant amnesty to America’s illegal aliens this year could jeopardize Republicans in the 2014 elections.
“A poll just showed that just 3 percent of Americans consider immigration a top priority," Sessions said. "So now we’re going to take an issue that divides the Republicans, that is not good for working Americans, and we’re going to alter the definition of this election from an overreaching central government and Obamacare and taxes and regulations to a controversial issue like [immigration]? I think it would be, from a purely political point of view, wrong.”
Sessions said the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican party had lost all bearing on what the American people actually want.
“They’re using rhetoric and logic from groups that are not in touch with reality,” Sessions said. “They’re not talking to average working Americans who we are elected to serve. We’re not here elected to serve just big business. We’re here to serve all Americans, and there’s no doubt about it that consistently data shows this immigration plan that would grant amnesty to 11 million and double the annual flow of workers into the country would hammer working Americans so we’re going to try to get out some information again this week on that."
"But it’s so important that you cannot deny that a surge in supply of any product, including labor, pulls down the value of that product," he explained. "It just goes against all logic, unless our libertarian friends want to deny the free market."
The Alabama Senator has been focusing his criticisms on the deleterious economic impacts of increased immigration, especially how it could depress wages for low-income workers. The issue, Sessions said, is a simple matter of supply and demand, estimating that as many as 40 million additional people could enter the workforce following a bill like the Senate “Gang of Eight” proposal.
“It’s real easy to understand,” Sessions said. “11 million people would be given legal status under the [Senate] bill. They say ‘don’t worry about them because they’re already working in America.’ Not so, really. Many of them may be working part time helping their brother-in-law in a restaurant or on a subcontracting basis, but once given legal status and a Social Security card—which would happen immediately—they’ll be able to compete for the jobs like truck driving and forklift operators, Wal-Mart, government jobs too."
"So that’ll be 11 million. Then you got 4 million in a backlog. That makes 15, as it would advance them," he continued. "Then It would increase 50 percent over the next 10 years to instead of 1 million a year to 1.5 million a year. That would be another 15 million, so that’s 30. Then there’s a guest worker program.”
Sessions said right now, Republicans’ negotiations with Democrats have focused on trading amnesty for an increased labor supply that Chamber of Commerce clients and other business interests want.”And let me tell you what, it really shocks me and it’s why I’m so worried about what the House is doing this week with their ‘principles,’” Sessions said. “Good Republicans in the House seem to believe that if they go into negotiations with Democrats, their [the Republicans’] goal is to increase the guest worker program even more. If they can get the guest worker immigration status and increase it even more, they will give even more generous amnesty. That’s been the state of a good bit of the negotiations, amazingly.”
Bannon asked Sessions if he believes that an immigration plan being pushed by the establishment would “throw the rule of law out the window and that we won’t ever be able to recover that as a country,” to which Sessions replied he did.
“I do, I do, because do you remember the first time in 1986?” Sessions said. “You’re too young, but I remember it, and they promised it would never be done again. One time amnesty. So, if we do it a second time now, do you hear anybody promising we will never have amnesty again for people who enter the country illegally? We will have eviscerated any moral power, any integrity in the law."
"We have the Secretary of Homeland Security who handles Border Patrol and ICE officers who I’ve worked with in the past as a prosecutor—I was a US Attorney for 12 years, I know how it works out in the real world," he continued. "So he says the people who came here illegally have earned their citizenship. My goodness, what does that say to his officers who have taken an oath to enforce the laws of the United States?”
Sessions said GOP proponents of amnesty are suffering from one part elitism, one part misguided political theory.
“I think part of it is an elitism,” Sessions said. “There’s some very powerful financial sources out there, business leaders who are very generous who are very committed to expanding immigration. Hopefully that’s not a factor in people making a decision."
"And then you’ve got this really weird theory that somehow if we give up our principles, this is going to gain Hispanic votes?" he stated. "We want to get Hispanic votes. We want to gain their support. But think about if we reduced this illegal flow and we did not expand the immigration flow, we would begin to see wages rise and Hispanics that are here would be the ones to benefit the most."
"Well, it’s African Americans who are being hammered the most by this actually," Sessions claimed. "I hate to be that frank about it, but it’s absolutely hammering working African Americans especially young men who desperately need jobs. Professor [George] Borjas at Harvard said it’s a factor in the rising incarceration rate of African Americans. I’m sure that it is. We’ve got to get real about this. We don’t live in some theoretical world where we can do open borders.”
Sessions rounded out the interview with a call for Americans to contact their congressmen and urge to oppose this plan and with a warning about how serious a matter this is for the country moving forward.
“The danger in the House is that you’ve got overwhelming Democratic support,” Sessions said. “It’s virtually unanimous. It won’t take many Republicans to have a majority. Then if it comes to the Senate, you have a substantial Democratic majority in the Senate who you know voted for it last time. We’ll just be in a very bad situation."
"What’s happening in the House right now could well determine our future with regard to immigration," he explained. "We believe in immigration. But we’re a nation of laws and the system that we choose and the number of people we admit should serve the legitimate interests of the American people, not special businesses and not people who just like to come here when we’re not able to accept them."
"That’s the challenge in the House," Sessions stated. "This is a critical time in history. I just hope they’ll rise to the challenge and give this a lot more thought rather than rushing into it right now.”