Senior conservatives in Congress are rallying around a bill from Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) that aims to block funding for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty while forcing the administration to start enforcing immigration laws.
Senate Judiciary Committee member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) endorses the bill. Sessions’ support for any measure dealing with immigration policy is crucial to grassroots conservatives. He’s a dependable defender of American workers from the special interests pushing amnesty and lax immigration enforcement, and has enormous respect and support throughout the conservative movement and Republican Party.
Sessions has issued a lengthy statement explaining the problem with executive amnesty and reminding his colleagues of Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus’ pre-election promise to block funds for Obama’s amnesty. Sessions writes:
President Obama’s executive amnesty voids the laws Congress has passed in order to foist on the nation measures Congress has refused to pass. In violation of U.S. law, it grants illegal immigrants work permits, Social Security, and Medicare—taking jobs and benefits directly from struggling Americans. The President has arrogated to himself the sole and absolute power to decide who can enter, live, work, and claim benefits in the United States.
Before the election, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made a promise: “We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen.” We can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen. I don’t know how to be any stronger than that. I’m telling you, everything we can do to stop it we will.
Sessions noted that getting Aderholt’s bill into law would mean Republicans kept Priebus’s promise.
“Legislation introduced by Congressman Aderholt would fulfill that pledge and accomplish that goal. It would block funds for the President’s illegal scheme; surely, Congress should not fund an illegal act that eliminates our constitutional role as a lawmaking body,” Sessions said, before laying out exactly what the bill contains.
Further, the Aderholt bill would take steps to address one of the most serious problems now unfolding: the mass release of illegal immigrants who show up at the border into the interior of the country. Approximately 99% of the Central American youth and adult relatives who showed up unlawfully this year presently remain in the United States. No ‘border security’ plan can succeed that does not begin to end the destructive practice of catch-and-release. Simply providing the President with more money for ‘border security’ will be turned into a slush fund to resettle illegal immigrants in the interior of the United States.
Sessions called on his Republican colleagues Congress-wide to focus on what’s in the Aderholt bill, and on other interior enforcement measures that truly curb illegal immigration.
“Republicans should focus on these and other discrete enforcement measures—like mandatory E-Verify and closing tax credit loopholes—that will encourage repatriation and protect jobs and benefits for Americans, while launching a sustained and unrelenting campaign to block all funds for the President’s border-erasing executive amnesty,” Sessions said. “The question will then be left on the desk of congressional Democrats: will you protect the President’s order, or the people who elected you?”
Funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) runs out at the end of February and many other members of Congress are developing plans to block funding for Obama’s executive amnesty that they will likely try to get into the DHS appropriations bill. But without Sen. Sessions’ backing, those other members’ bills are all likely to fall short of the expectations of a very upset electorate. While of course anything can happen, and Sen. Sessions could back someone else’s plans, at this time it appears as though the Aderholt bill is going to soon become the battle line behind which Republicans who don’t support Obama’s amnesty will organize.
It’s also worth noting that Aderholt is the third-highest ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee heading into this Congress. If Kentucky conservatives deliver on their promise to find a suitable challenger to chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and can take him down in a primary, Aderholt could very well become chairman of that committee sooner rather than later.