Alabama's Republican voters had seven choices for U.S. Senator on Super Tuesday's Primary ballot.
Two of the candidates ran on immigration-reduction platforms, having earned career A+ NumbersUSA grades for their work in Congress: former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (1997-2016) and current U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (2015-2020).
Together, they won 56.6% of the votes on Tuesday (31.7% by Sessions and 24.9% by Byrne).
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville led the field with 33.4% of the vote. He and Sessions will face each other in the March 31 runoff election to determine who will challenge the incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in the November election. Jones has earned an F-minus immigration grade during his two years in Sessions' former Senate seat.
As will be true in all congressional races this year, NumbersUSA provided a Candidate Comparison page showing side-by-side assessments of where all seven Primary candidates stood on 12 issues that can affect the reduction of both illegal and legal immigration. Based on past actions and statements during the campaign, the following was the comparison at the time of Tuesday's election:
SESSIONS: YES for reduction on 12 issues
TUBERVILLE: YES for reduction on 2 issues -- NO on 1 issue -- No Position on 9 issues
NumbersUSA does not endorse candidacies because we know people cast their votes based on many issues and their preferences and assessments about candidates' personalities, experience, ideology and character.
NumbersUSA, on the other hand, limits itself to assessing candidates on only one issue: Their positions on reducing or expanding annual immigration.
On that one issue, NumbersUSA has never rated any Senator more highly than Sessions for his work in opposing immigration expansion and working toward a reduction in numbers to protect American workers and the everyday quality of life in local communities.
Over the years, Sessions took an extraordinary 132 actions related to the numerical level of immigration. He earned a 99% immigration-reduction grade during a time when few Senators earned better than 50%. But his votes and sponsorship of bills were not his greatest contributions. What truly made him the best immigration-reduction Senator of our lifetime -- and perhaps ever -- was his leadership and the depth of his understanding of the ethical rationale for lower annual immigration. Americans threatened by reckless immigration policies always knew that their concerns and needs would be given voice on the Senate floor by Sessions every time an expansionist effort emerged.
Sessions' powerful and persistent voice in representing the majority of Americans on various immigration issues was a key factor in defeating the bi-partisan amnesty and immigration expansion bills of 2006, 2007 and 2013.
I lamented his leaving the Senate to be the country's Attorney General (2017-18). I felt he would leave a hole in the Senate that nobody else would fill. While there have been a few Senators who filled part of that hole, Sessions' unique leadership has been proven in his absence. Nonetheless, when Sessions left the Justice Department after two years, NumbersUSA assessed that he had done more than any previous Attorney General in (a) cracking down on sanctuary cities that protect criminal aliens, (b) working to end asylum fraud to stop the surge of illegal immigration across our border, and (c) enforcing our immigration laws and prosecuting violators for the first time in decades.
In my statement to Senators during Sessions' confirmation process, I said:
Americans depend on having a chief law enforcement official who will guard their interests with a fierce independence from the institutions of power that can sometimes try to abuse that power to encroach on the rights and quality of life of an individual.
Sen. Sessions has repeatedly displayed that kind of independence throughout his Senate career.
This independence from privileged special interests has been particularly apparent in his nearly two decades of leadership on immigration policy. Sen. Sessions always has made immigration decisions based on protecting the economic interests of hard-working women and men whose incomes and very jobs have been threatened by the desire of various business lobbies to increase the foreign labor competition in their occupations. While Sen. Sessions is a strong endorser of the essential role of entrepreneurs and business owners in creating prosperity for all American citizens, he nonetheless repeatedly resisted the powerful business lobbies when he perceived their requests for non-American workers to be against the interests of the workers of our own national community."
ROY BECK is President of NumbersUSA Action
Updated: Wed, Mar 18th 2020 @ 8:00pm EDT