On Friday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that if President Barack Obama unilaterally grants temporary amnesty and work permits to potentially five million illegal immigrant adults, a wave of migrant adults will try to flood across the border, creating an even bigger border crisis than the current one Obama caused by unilaterally granting amnesty to certain illegal immigrants in 2012.
Appearing on Friday’s Mark Levin Show, Sessions spoke about numerous reports in which pro-amnesty advocates who have met with Obama have said Obama is intent on giving work authorization to the parents of illegal immigrant DREAMers. Sessions said if that happens, they will be given ID cards that say “work authorization” on them, which Sessions said would be a “total abdication of the law.”
Sessions told host Mark Levin that Obama got away with unilaterally implementing his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) temporary amnesty program in 2012 because Obama “wasn’t sufficiently challenged.”
He said “amnesty for the young people created more young people” and “if we do amnesty for the adults,” it will only lure even more illegal immigrant adults to the country. In essence, Sessions seemed to be saying, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
But he noted that there is legislation in the House and Senate that would put institutional checks on Obama’s ability to act unilaterally that was not there in 2012.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), for instance, has introduced legislation that would prevent Obama from granting temporary amnesty to future illegal immigrants. In the House, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the companion bill to Cruz’s. Sessions has called on the Senate to reject any border bill that does not explicitly preclude Obama from using federal funds to implement granting work permits to illegal immigrants.
“How Congress chooses to act in the coming hours and days will determine whether the President succeeds in his plan to nullify the immigration laws of the United States,” Sessions said in a statement before he appeared on the show.
Sessions praised Cruz’s and Blackburn’s bills but said Congress was “not focused enough” on preventing “a further erosion of any ability of this nation to maintain a lawful system of immigration.”
Since October of last year, there have been nearly 60,000 illegal immigrant juveniles who have been apprehended. Federal officials expect 150,000 more in the next fiscal year. A Pew Research report found that nearly 90% of the juveniles who apprehended are teenagers, and Texas state Senator Dan Patrick said that somewhere between one in five and one in 10 illegal immigrants are actually caught. The number of illegal immigrant juveniles who have been detained at the border spiked after Obama enacted DACA in 2012 while murder rates in Central American nations have declined since then.
Sessions said it is inconceivable that a president can just unilaterally give illegal immigrants “work authorization” cards in contravention of laws passed by Congress.
And another consequence of that, Sessions said, would be a further lowering of wages and greater job shortages. Sessions said the country needs to get Americans working in good jobs whenever possible and it is “absolutely wrong to import people to take those jobs that should go to Americans.”
He noted that adults who receive temporary amnesty and work permits can take “any job in the economy” and become truck drivers, steel manufacturers, automobile manufacturers, or “any of the best jobs out there.”
When asked about the White House’s proposed plan to allow Hondurans to apply for asylum at satellite facilities in Honduras, Sessions said it would be “a huge error that will be uncontrollable.” He noted that there are billions of people around the world who want to escape poverty and plenty of Americans in terrible neighborhoods who want to flee violence and impoverished conditions. Sessions said Obama’s unilateral changes in immigration laws would do nothing but hurt American workers whose interests elected officials should put first.
“America is entitled to have a lawful system of immigration that serves the interest of working Americans and not just big business,” Sessions said.