On Monday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) called on Congress to reject the pieces of a comprehensive immigration reform bill and the pathway to citizenship that President Barack Obama and a narrow group of his big-business allies want to force on Americans, saying a few connected elites do not get to dictate immigration policy for the nation.
He emphasized that no immigration reform agreement should be agreed upon so long as the borders are not secure and during a time in which many American citizens are looking for work.
“America is not an oligarchy,” Sessions said in a statement before Obama was set to address San Francisco on immigration reform. “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.”
Sessions, who has staunchly opposed the immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate and has painstakingly unearthed many of the bill’s flaws, said “House leaders must lay out clearly to the American people the President’s dismal record on immigration.” He emphasized that Obama has “systematically dismantled interior enforcement, handcuffing immigration officers and bypassing Congress.”
He said “these facts–drawn from the testimony from immigration officers themselves–should be clearly documented before the whole nation,” and “no agreement should be entered into while such lawlessness continues.”
Last week, Obama said he would be fine with comprehensive immigration reform being broken up into pieces, so long as all the pieces are passed. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said immigration reform was “absolutely not” dead, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) also said that his “Republican friends” have assured him that they want to pass comprehensive immigration reform in everything but name only. Sessions warned the House to “be on alert” for a creative way in which immigration reform can be jammed through Congress.
In addition, Sessions focused on the devastating impact immigration reform legislation will have on working class Americans of all backgrounds, which is a Congressional Budget Office determination that Sessions has always emphasized while sticking up for the interests of American workers. He said Obama “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,” he said. “Wages are flat and falling for U.S. workers–the clearest evidence that there is not a labor shortage, but a jobs shortage.”
Obama traveled to San Francisco, which is a sanctuary city and home to the CA assemblyman who introduced the bill that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed to make the state a sanctuary state for many illegal immigrants who have not committed violent felonies. He will try to gin up pressure for immigration reform at a time when journalists have been outnumbering activists at many prominent immigration reform rallies.