Jeff Sessions: Next President Must Commit To Lower Immigration Levels, Eliminate Amnesty

AP Photo/Bob Gathany,
AP Photo/Bob Gathany,

The next President must limited immigration to reduce the pressure on American workers incurred by the current record-breaking levels, according to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

In an op-ed at USA Today, the Alabama lawmaker makes the case that immigration levels as they stand now harm American workers and are putting a strain on the middle class.

Further, he argues that President Obama’s executive amnesties — both the ongoing 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the blocked 2014 expanded deferred status programs— must be defunded by Congress and eliminated by the next president.

Sessions’ op-ed comes days after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s hold on Obama’s 2014 executive amnesty program, Sessions notes that while the 2012 programs were not a part of the lawsuit, the ruling shows it too is illegal.

“The illegal 2012 amnesty helped spark our current border crisis by giving jobs and benefits to younger illegal immigrants. This benefits program continues to operate, although it violates the law in all the same ways as the court identified for the 2014 amnesty,” he wrote.

Sessions further called on Congress to defund both the 2014 and 2012 amnesties and for the next president to eliminate them “on the first day in office.”

Also on Sessions’ wish list for Congress is: “a crackdown on sanctuary cities that shield alien criminals; an end to tax credits for illegal aliens; and blocking the president from using federal funds to unilaterally expand the costly refugee resettlement program.”

He argues that while the term “immigration reform” has been commandeered to refer to “amnesty and mass immigration,” it should really be applied to “legislation that benefits Americans,” or policies protect the interests of the American people.

Already, immigration levels in the USA are approaching a historic high. In 1970, one in 21 U.S. residents were immigrants. Today, it is nearly one in seven and on track to eclipse the highest percentage ever documented in U.S. history. Fifty-nine million immigrants have been admitted into the USA since the passage of visa changes enacted in 1965. Largely, this immigration growth is the green cards — an immigration document that legally invites foreign nationals to enter the United States, reside here permanently, collect federal benefits and ultimately register as voting citizens.

This large-scale migratory flow has padded the labor supply and pushed down wages for immigrant and U.S.-born workers alike. Real wages today are lower than they were in 1973.

Sessions argued that Congress should reduce immigration levels to allow for the economy to absorb all the new workers.

“But instead of reducing the inflow of new workers, the president’s lawless immigration conduct only increased the flow of new labor even further.  Eighty-three percent of voters want to see projected immigration growth reduced — which means Congress must take up and pass a bill to reduce the number of visas handed out each year,” he added.

Unless the country applies immigration reform that benefits American workers, Sessions argued, the U.S. will add another 1 million permanent residents, 700,000 foreign-workers, 500,000 foreign students, and 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers annually.

“Whoever wants to occupy the desk in the Oval Office must support legislation to bring down record immigration numbers — and to put the country back to work,” he concluded.


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