Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who has been a staunch supporter of American workers and against amnesty, argued that Republicans can frame Democrats as the party that favors elites at the expense of working Americans only if they make a clean break from amnesty legislation that lowers Americans’ wages and threatens their jobs.
In an op-ed at National Review, Sessions wrote that after Mitt Romney “lost lower and middle-income voters by an astonishing margin,” the GOP’s “brilliant consultant class” decided they would promote an amnesty agenda that would hurt these voters even more.
“And what did the GOP’s brilliant consultant class conclude from this resounding defeat?” Sessions asked. “They declared that the GOP must embrace amnesty. The Republican National Committee dutifully issued a report calling for a ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ that would inevitably increase the flow of low-skilled immigration, reducing the wages and living standards of the very voters whose trust the GOP had lost.”
He wrote that as immigration has quadrupled while blue-collar jobs have been shuttered over the last four decades, “the corporate-consultant class has pronounced that an insufficient level of immigration is the problem.”
“A more colossal misreading of the political moment has rarely occurred,” he wrote.
In a nation in which a plurality of voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports amnesty, Sessions said that the GOP has an opportunity to clearly differentiate themselves from liberals while casting Democrats as the party of elitists who are abandoning American workers. That can only be done by opposing amnesty legislation that drives down their wages, in addition to those of new immigrants:
Perhaps the most important political development now unfolding in the U.S. is the public’s growing loss of faith in our political and financial elites of both parties. To open the ears of disaffected voters, the GOP must break publicly from the elite immigration consensus of Wall Street and Davos. Republicans have a clear path to building a conservative majority if they free themselves from the corporate consultants and demonstrate to the American public that the GOP is the only party aligned with the core interests, concerns, and beliefs of everyday hardworking citizens.
So Republicans have a choice. They can either join the Democrats as the second political party in Washington advocating uncontrolled immigration, or they can offer the public a principled alternative and represent the American workers Democrats have jettisoned. Republicans can either help the White House enact an immigration plan that will hollow out the American middle class, or they can finally expose the truth about the White House plan and detail the enormous harm it will inflict.
Republicans could then illustrate how, on every policy front, the Left embraces an agenda that benefits only the fortunate few. Their agenda includes: energy restrictions that destroy jobs and drive up costs; maze-like administrative rules that only the largest companies can navigate; nationalized health care that shrinks the work force; Federal Reserve stimulus, which helps big firms at the expense of small savers; taxes and regulation that close plants and send work overseas; massive spending that makes Washington a boomtown while impoverishing the nation; bureaucratic interference in schools and homes; intrusive government; a surging welfare state; endless deficits; and an increasingly open-borders immigration plan. Each of these policies directly harms working Americans. Each of these policies serves the political interests of Democrats while entailing lower pay, fewer hours, and higher unemployment for dedicated American workers.
Sessions illustrated that “wherever the policies of the Left have been faithfully implemented, as in Detroit, human tragedy has followed.”
“The future offered by the Left — a shrinking work force struggling to fund a growing welfare state — is not only unsustainable but uncompassionate,” he continued. “Compassion demands that we spare no effort in helping millions now jobless to realize the dream of financial independence. This is the urgent economic task of the 21st century.”
Sessions wrote that by making a “clean public break from the special-interest immigration lobby,” Republicans can let “Democrats own — solely, completely, and exclusively — the unwise and unpopular policies they are pushing on these groups’ behalf.”
“Isn’t it time we made President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and each of their rank-and-file members defend their near-unanimous embrace of an immigration plan that is so contrary to the wishes and interests of the American people?” he said.
Sessions wrote that the “heart of the GOP’s pro-worker, pro-middle-class agenda should be a bold reforming of our welfare system.”
“What if, instead of applying for guest workers, companies applied to hire workers receiving job training at a local welfare office?” he wrote. “Able-bodied adults, in turn, would be required to accept employment or lose benefits. In other words: instead of a guest-worker program, a welfare-to-work program.”
He also called for domestic energy production, the streamlining of our tax code, cracking down on illicit foreign trading practices, eliminating burdensome regulations, repealing Obamacare, “enforcing an immigration plan that serves the national interest, not the special interests,” and balancing the federeal budget.
“Each of these policies would help struggling workers transition from joblessness and dependency to work and rising wages,” he concluded. “Each of these policies would grow the middle class — not the government class in Washington, D.C. And each of these policies would provide Americans with a clear answer to the following question: Which party in Washington represents you?”