On Monday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that any border bill that Congress considers should deny President Barack Obama funds to grant more work permits to illegal immigrants.
Reports indicate that Obama may expand his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program via another executive action to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to millions more illegal immigrants.
After citing a National Journal report that indicated Obama may consider giving temporary amnesty and work permits to nearly seven million more illegal immigrants, including the parents of illegal immigrant children, Sessions demanded that any border bill the House sends to the Senate “should include specific language denying the president any funds to execute his planned work permits.”
“Congress has that power, clearly. We can appropriate money and not appropriate money,” he said on the Senate floor. “We can say money cannot be spent for this or that thing.”
Democrats and pro-amnesty advocates have called on Obama to ease more deportations with executive actions, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) assured La Raza this weekend that Obama would be “generous and broad” to stop the “deportation of our people.” Gutierrez said DACA was merely a “down payment” before millions more are granted amnesty.
After slamming Obama for taking “powers that he has never been given,” Sessions said illegal immigrants will keep making the trip to the United States so long as Obama’s actions lead them to believe they will be “rewarded for their unlawful act by being put on a path toward citizenship or permanent status.” In fact, the number of illegal immigrant children unlawfully entering the country spiked after Obama enacted DACA, even as murder rates in Central American countries have declined. Sessions emphasized that Congress has “every right to say that the president should not spend money delivering work permits to people that Congress has declared to be not lawfully able to work in America.”
Sessions also noted that Obama’s illegal grants of work permits “add to the already huge flow of lawful work permits issued by the federal government.” He said between 2000 and 2013, the federal government has issued almost 30 million work and immigration visas.
“To put that in perspective, 30 million is about the entire population of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala combined,” Sessions said.
He also emphasized that Obama’s encouragement of more illegal immigration and granting of work visas to illegal immigrants hurts African-Americans, as U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has noted, legal immigrants, and struggling American workers. Sessions noted they have “sweat and bled and died for this country” and have “been called on to serve and responded, paid their taxes, raised their children, tried to do the right thing day after day.”
“So what about their rights? Sessions asked. “Will no one rise to their defense?”
The Alabama Senator, who has been a champion for American workers during the amnesty debate, called for an “immigration policy that helps all residents, including millions of legal immigrants who have come to America.”
“We want to help them rise into the middle class and above. We need rising wages, not falling wages,” Sessions said. “We can’t help those living here today if we keep bringing in record numbers of new workers to compete for their jobs, to drive up unemployment, and that pulls down wages.”