Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, praised Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker—a likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate—for bringing the negative effects of a massive increase in legal immigration into the debate for the 2016 GOP nomination.
“I thought it was a good statement that he made,” Sessions told reporters, according to Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel. “He was just saying, ‘I’m going to ask the question, what is it going to do for the wages and job prospects of my constituents, the American people, as I analyze how to create a proper immigration flow into America.'”
Sessions added that Walker moving forward with an aim to discuss how to protect Americans from the economic effects of immigration—both legal and illegal immigration—is something that is “helpful for the Republic.”
“There has been, within the broader sense of the word, an establishment,” Sessions said. “Democrats and Republicans. I think there’s been a reluctance to have the issue framed in this way. So if Governor Walker commits to a discussion of this nationwide, I think it would be helpful for the republic.”
Sessions is the intellectual leader on everything to do with immigration in the Republican Party—at least from the populist perspective—and so his kind words about Walker’s strong new platform are important. There definitely are some still in the anti-amnesty community who are worried that Walker isn’t sincere—and Weigel quotes a couple of them in his story—but with Sessions, who is the kingmaker of that community, speaking highly of Walker that’s likely to end as long as Walker keeps going strong. It’s worth noting that Sessions is absolutely not endorsing Walker, or anyone, at this time, but he’s been working to try to get anyone and everyone he can in the Republican Party to be stronger on the immigration issue.
“We need a presidential candidate who talks to them [the American people] and gets off these phone calls with donors who have big bucks,” Sessions said during his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at an event hosted by Breitbart News. “We are on a road where the average American person feels forgotten.”
What’s perhaps most interesting—but not unexpected—about Walker’s new strong pro-American worker position on immigration is that the Wisconsin governor is getting attacked viciously by the same Institutional Left that tried to take him down over his union reforms, and they’re joined by many on the establishment and pro-amnesty right.
As Breitbart News already detailed earlier on Tuesday, MSNBC, the Huffington Post and Mother Jones magazine have come out swinging at Walker. They’re now joined by Ezra Klein’s liberal bastion Vox, which attempts to paint Walker as an extremist, by writing in a headline that he “is breaking to the right of the Republican mainstream on immigration.”
But even some right of center folks are attacking Walker now. For instance, the pro-“Gang of Eight” amnesty bill Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post and Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller–another Gang of Eight supporter–wrote pieces criticizing him as did the Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein.
Klein eventually did criticize the Gang of Eight bill a little bit last Congress but didn’t write any pieces about it until more than a month after the bill was introduced and just a couple weeks for the Senate passed it. One of the big narratives the establishment is trying to push is that Walker’s position on immigration is different from that of the Koch Brothers–who being libertarian-leaning support open borders type immigration–something they’re using to try to scare Walker away from standing firm. Walker’s hardcore position on immigration comes right after David Koch spoke very highly of him, but wouldn’t go as far as outright endorsing him in a primary.