On Tuesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) conceded that Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) will not stop opposing President Barack Obama’s potential executive amnesty and lawlessness even after Obama decided to not act unilaterally on immigration before the midterms.
In a Tuesday interview on MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart, Gutierrez said that Obama’s decision to delay his executive amnesty until after the midterms will not prevent Messrs. Cruz and Sessions, both of whom have frustrated pro-amnesty advocates with their effectiveness, from relentlessly making the midterms a referendum on amnesty.
“You’re going to have the Ted Cruzes of the world and the Jeff Sessions of the world continue to talk about the president and immigration,” Gutierrez said, noting that Obama’s delay has not “Not like you’ve taken the issue off the debate.
Cruz introduced the bill in the Senate to defund any future acts of executive amnesty, which Sessions co-sponsored and urged all of his Senate colleagues to back. He has said the 2014 midterms should be a national referendum on amnesty and repeatedly blasted Obama’s Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for luring illegal immigrant juveniles from Central America to the United States seeking “permisos” to permanently remain in the country.
Sessions has been the most relentless advocate for American workers in the amnesty debate and was instrumental, along with Cruz, in ensuring that House Republicans passed a bill before the August recess that would defund Obama’s executive amnesty.
On the Senate floor on Monday, Sessions blasted the White House for trying to protect Senate Democrats who do not want to answer to their constituents who are against executive amnesty. Sessions said that the midterms should clearly be about Obama’s amnesty.
“When should issues be talked about, great issues facing America, if not during the election cycle?” he asked.
Sessions also reiterated that Obama’s decision over the weekend to delay his executive amnesty does not mean that Obama “has in any way abandoned his plan” to enact his executive amnesty. Sessions noted that Obama understands, based on polling, that the “American people oppose what he’s doing,” but will enact an executive amnesty that would wipe away the Immigration and Nationality Act’s “clear rules on who can enter the United States, who can work in the United States, and who can live in the United States” in addition to hammering American workers.
Sessions said Obama’s “thunderous” and “dramatic abuse of presidential power” would “eviscerate any hope of ever establishing a lawful immigration system in the future” and the country’s rule of law would be “fatally wounded.
“These rules are the bedrock of any nation’s immigration policy and sovereignty and the president is actually in reality truly proposing to wipe away what amounts to the few remaining immigration rules that are in effect,” Sessions said. “The president is proposing to repeal through executive action the lawful protections to which every american worker is entitled.”
Sessions said that Senators can still block Obama from enacting his executive amnesty and the public can still pressure him even after the midterms. He declared that it is “time for many of these candidates for the senate to be heard explicitly.”
“Where do you stand? Do you support the legislation that the House of Representatives has passed that would effectively, as we often do around here, bar the president from spending any money to execute such an illegal, unauthorized amnesty, or not?” Sessions asked. “Are you for it or not?”
Sessions said that since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will not bring up the House bill that would defund Obama’s executive amnesty, it is “going to take a lot of Senators to stand up” to Reid and Obama and “bring this legislation that the house has passed that would bar the expenditure of any money to carry out an unlawful amnesty.”
Sessions noted that the jobs illegal immigrants would take are not just seasonal jobs. He said illegal immigrants who get work permits would “instantly take precious jobs, jobs from struggling american workers, unemployed american workers by the millions in every sector of the economy.” He noted that illegal immigrants with work permits could work on the county commission, at the energy company, the power companies, and manufacturing plants, and drive the forklifts and heavy equipment.”
Sessions also said on Monday that Obama does not have the right to force immigration agents to stand down and indicated that the public is waking up on the issue the more Obama overreaches. He also pointed out that if Obama enacts executive amnesty, future illegal immigrants will demand and probably receive amnesty as well.
Sessions also emphasized that amnesty opponents are not against immigrants and are not isolationist. But he said American people “have a right to believe their government will create an effective, honorable system of immigration and see that it is enforced fairly and resolutely.”