On Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) accused President Barack Obama of trying to implement his executive amnesty that “stains our legal system and our country” before the American people figure out that the consequences are “graver than a lot of people think” right now.
He urged Congress to use its power of the purse to stop Obama from unilaterally wiping out the nation’s immigration laws.
“It’s already starting,” Sessions said on the Senate floor of the implementation Obama’s executive amnesty, while referring to reports that the Obama administration is already hiring thousands of agents who will be responsible for issuing temporary work permits and federal identification cards and Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants.
Sessions accused Obama of trying to “impose his immigration views before the Congress can contain it or restrain it” and “before the American people fully understand what’s happening, and to make it so it can’t be stopped.” He said Obama has issued executive orders that “violate the laws of Congress,” because Obama wants to” implement laws he wishes Congress had passed, but Congress has refused to pass.”
He noted that the American people stopped the amnesty bills Congress tried to pass in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014 because they want an immigration system that does not reward lawlessness and one that serves their interests instead of special interests. Sessions noted that perhaps no other issue “defines the gap between the elites in this country and middle Americans who go to work every day, who support our country, pay our taxes, and fight our wars.”
Obama’s allies in the bipartisan political class have spent nearly $1.5 billion to get sweeping amnesty legislation over the years, and Sessions noted they “haven’t given up” on enacting massive amnesty.
“Despite the election, despite the wishes of the American people, they want their policies, and they’re going to ram it through this Congress if they possibly can, no matter what we think, no matter what the people think,” Sessions said. “That is a threat to representative democracy. It is a threat to the laws of this country. And the Congress needs to say no.”
Congress, Sessions reminded his colleagues, is not “hopeless, helpless,” and “ineffectual” on Obama’s executive amnesty, because Congress has the power of the purse. Sessions emphasized that the executive branch “cannot spend one dime that has not been approved by the United States Congress.” He cited former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said that Obama’s executive amnesty is a “step toward kingship or dictatorship,” and Obama “must be stopped now.”
“Our entire constitutional structure is at stake,” Gingrich said in Tweets that Sessions mentioned. “This new Obama power grab is the greatest threat to freedom since King George third.”
Sessions said even lawmakers who agree with giving amnesty to all of the country’s illegal immigrants cannot support Obama’s executive action that eviscerates the separation of powers in order to unilaterally “wipe out duly passed laws to create an entirely new system of immigration that Congress refused to establish.”
“So Congress has a responsibility and a duty here,” Sessions continued. “Congress should fund no program, should allow no presidential expenditure that is spent on programs it deems are unworthy. And it absolutely has a responsibility to ensure that this president spends no money to execute policies that are in violation of existing law.”
Though Obama “may well be stopped by lawsuits in years to come,” Sessions said that “Congress has the power to stop it now.” Sessions noted that federal officials are already rubber-stamping immigration applications and illegal immigrants will get temporary amnesty and work permits without meeting with officials face-to-face, which will make it even tougher to prevent fraud.
Sessions said lawmakers are supposed to “serve the interest of working Americans” and asked, “are we serving their interests or are we listening to special interests, political groups and activist groups, politicians who think they gain political advantage, and certain businesses who want more cheaper labor?”
“Don’t we represent the vast majority of the people?” he asked. “Isn’t there a national interest, an interest of the American people? Somebody needs to defend that interest.”
Sessions also mentioned that none of the nine new Senators elected to the body support Obama’s executive amnesty, and perhaps that is why Obama and his allies are trying to move their “lawless agenda forward” during the lame-duck Congress “out of fear it might not be so popularly received next year.”