As a senator, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a leader in the successful fight to defeat amnesty in 2006, 2007, and 2013. On Thursday, he unloaded on Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and his two new Republican allies’ now-defeated plan for the furthest reaching amnesty of illegal aliens in American history.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a supporter of the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill, joined the Minority Leader Schumer and a bipartisan group of other pro-illegal immigration senators to propose what the Department of Homeland Security estimates could amnesty up to ten million illegals, far outstripping the 2.8 million covered by 1986’s Simpson–Mazzoli Act.
In his address to the Major County Sheriffs of America at Washington, DC’s J.W. Marriot hotel, Sessions broke from discussion of MS-13 and the opioid crisis to tear into the plan. Hours after he spoke, the Senate defeated the amendment, along with all other immigration proposals that came to a vote.
In his prepared remarks, Sessions said:
I would like to take a moment to address the Schumer-Rounds-Collins proposal introduced in the Senate yesterday. I’ve seen these proposals before, and I know what this means. It means that if you can get in the country today (or even any time through June), you can’t be deported. This is open borders and mass amnesty and the opposite of what the American people support.
This amendment — plain as day — will invite a mad rush of illegality across our borders. It would protect from deportation millions of illegal aliens present in the United States today and countless others who will most certainly flood across the border.The obvious intent of this amendment is to lay the groundwork for a mass amnesty— an amnesty which would likely benefit illegal aliens who are not even in the United States today.
The amendment would essentially suspend all interior immigration enforcement until June 30, 2018, a move that Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein backs up Sessions in describing as “a de facto amnesty for anyone who can get here before June 30.” The deadline for amnesty would be set as June 30, creating a four month period for foreigners to illegal enter the United States and still be able to apply for a path to citizenship.
Sessions continued to the Major County Sheriffs:
Among its other flaws, it fails to close existing loopholes in law that permit the near unfettered entry of unaccompanied minors and family units— an unacceptable flaw that dooms this legislation. This past election, the American people spoke strongly of their desire to fix these problems. Legislation like this raises questions as to why we even have elections and undermine confidence in the public process.
President Trump has laid out a very reasonable and generous proposal. This bill does not effectuate the President’s vision, nor does it reflect the desires of American people.
In voicing his outrage at the Schumer-Rounds-Collins plan, Sessions is joining a massive outpouring of indignation from immigration hawks. According to FAIR’s Stein:
What started out in the U.S. Senate as an effort to halt illegal immigration and address the unique situation of a few hundred thousand illegal aliens who entered the country as minors has now devolved into a plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and actually increase illegal immigration into the United States.
From a ‘four-pillar’ on immigration, Schumer-Rounds-Collins-King moves us to a one-pillar plan – a massive amnesty for 5 million illegal aliens and a de facto amnesty for anyone who can get here before June 30.
Original RAISE Act (a pro-American immigration bill) sponsor Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted:
Schumer bill is a disgrace. Huge amnesty of 5-10M people, including PARENTS of DACAns. Phantom border control. No chain or diversity reforms. Directs DHS to deprioritize enforcement for illegals NOT YET IN COUNTRY. Call your senator this morning & ask to vote no! 202-224-3121
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) February 15, 2018
Cotton’s RAISE Act co-sponsor Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), also joined in:
Unbelievable. The Schumer-Rounds-Collins immigration plan actually suspends enforcement of illegal immigration until June 2018. This is incredibly misguided and makes our country vulnerable to gangs, traffickers, and terrorists. pic.twitter.com/1bGOUZhGnN
— David Perdue (@sendavidperdue) February 15, 2018
The Schumer-Rounds-Collins amendment’s other Republican sponsors are Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Some on the immigration right are already calling this group the “new gang of eight.”
Meet the new Republican only Gang of 8! They want to grant amnesty to over 10 million illegal aliens, including those who haven't even crossed the border yet: @SenatorRounds @SenatorIsakson @SenAlexander @SenatorCollins @lisamurkowski @JeffFlake @LindseyGrahamSC @SenCoryGardner
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) February 15, 2018