While she was interviewing Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) about President Barack Obama’s and Democrats’ renewed push for amnesty for the at least 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. on Friday morning, radio host Laura Ingraham claimed that House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is going to hurt conservatives and Republicans with his support for immigration legislation.
“There is no debating that the people coming into the country, especially the people who have been here illegally, tend to be more liberal in their economic views and increasingly in their social views,” Ingraham said. “So just for the life of me, I don’t get it.”
“I know Facebook wants cheaper engineers. I get that. But how is that going to help the small government conservatism that we all are supposed to be in favor of ultimately?” she asked. “I just, for the life of me, I do not understand it.”
“I wish Paul Ryan would come back on the show,” Ingraham said. “I’m sure he’s mad at me because in my mind he’s just leading us off a cliff here with this immigration. But he’s never answered that question. He keeps talking about future labor shortages in the country which I just find uproariously funny: ‘We’re going to have future labor shortages.'”
Earlier in the segment, Sen. Sessions called on the Republican Party to stop catering to special interests like the National Council of La Raza, the Chamber of Commerce, and other groups that see either a political gain or cheap labor as a result of immigration reform. “We’ve got to not bring in more workers than we have jobs for at a time of high unemployment,” Sessions said.
“And we’ve got to serve the national interest of America, not special interests from groups on the left like pro-immigration La Raza groups and the big business groups that want cheaper labor. We’ve got to serve the national interest, and I believe that’s the position the Republican Party should take,” he explained. “We should be crystal clear about it. We’re going to serve the interests of the American people first. We believe in immigration, we’re always going to have immigration, we’re not against immigration, but it should be lawful and it should serve our national interest.”
In response to those comments from Sen. Sessions, Ingraham pointed out how at least a million illegal immigrants enter America every year. “People don’t realize that–a million people a year, that’s a lot of people in a time when our country is facing a jobless recovery where most jobs created are part time or most jobs created are low-wage jobs in the service industry,” she said. “So it’s not like we don’t have any immigration. We have a lot of immigration.”
“And you add that immigration to the millions of new workers that people like Paul Ryan think should be coming into the country and add that to the illegal immigration that would even continue under this amnesty, and plus that 15 million people would be legalized, and that’s a transformed country. That’s a different country,” Ingraham explained. “It has nothing to do with skin color. It has everything to do with, I think, how our middle class today is faring and whether or not we’re really doing right by them first.”
Sessions responded by noting that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has confirmed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will actually go down if the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill or something like it became law. “You’d still have some modest increase in GDP if you bring in 30 million people in the next 10 years, but per person it’s not going up,” Sessions said. “And it’s going down. Wages, particularly for lower and middle income workers, will go down the most. They’re going to pay the price the most.”
Ingraham then asked Sessions how any Republican could think that this type of immigration bill could result in anything other than expanded government. “I don’t understand though how Republicans believe that in any type of, you look at this just analytically, how do they think this is going to end up with smaller government?” Ingraham asked.
“Like, conservatives are supposed to be for smaller government, right? So they believe, and when you talk to people like Paul Ryan, I don’t know if you have had a chance to chat with him, how does he actually think this is going to play out like from A to B to C?” she continued. “How does this strategy end up meaning there will be entitlement reform, or no Obamacare, or that somehow government spending is going to go down over time? That all these new immigrants coming in are going to turn into Tea Partiers?”
Sessions said he has not spoken with Ryan about this. “He’s certainly a great fiscal champion for sound policies but I agree with you,” Sessions said. “I don’t see that polling data or other evidence indicates most of the immigrants come from countries where they don’t come from the classical American vision of limited government. Most of them are well accepting of an expanded role of government and polling data and votes and elections tend to show that.”