The focus is on the Senate now that the House passed legislation to block funding for President Obama’s executive amnesties, so Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., took to the floor to warn Democrats about the seriousness of the coming Senate votes. Before House and Senate Republicans left for a retreat in Pennsylvania, Sen. Sessions’ staff hand-delivered a copy of his new immigration primer and plans to discuss it at the retreat.
On the Senate floor today, Sen. Sessions outlined the illegal nature of Obama’s executive amnesty and argued why it must be stopped. He said:
[His] edicts go far beyond a refusal to enforce duly-passed immigration law. They provide illegal immigrants with work permits, Social Security, and Medicare—taking jobs and benefits directly from American workers,..Now the action moves to the Senate. This vote represents one of the most important constitutional votes that has ever come before this body. I would encourage every Senate Democrat to pause and consider this question before acting: to whom do you owe your allegiance? To party leaders, to donors, to the citizens of other countries, or to the American citizens who elected you and the Constitution that protects their rights? If the President is allowed to take such actions, what limits will remain on future presidents who want to ignore duly-enacted law?...To the American people, millions of whom are hurting and neglected, I give you this message on behalf of every Republican pushing to end this amnesty: we are going to fight for you, and I am asking you to share your concerns with members of the Senate.
The 25-page immigration primer entitled “Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority” lays out a broad justification for immigration enforcement, although it touches on executive amnesty. “Congress has the power to stop this action by denying funds for its implementation,” Sen. Sessions wrote. “Surely, Congress must not allow the president a single dime to carry out an illegal order that Congress has rejected and which supplants the laws Congress has passed.”
The document is intended to provide an immigration framework for Republicans at the joint GOP retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Much of the document is devoted to the “enforcement collapse” under the Obama administration and the impact of immigration on jobs, government expenditures and the economy in general. Sen. Sessions also describes the “Silicon Valley STEM hoax” which refers to the false argument that there is a shortage of high-skilled American workers to fill tech jobs. He wrote:
Immigration reform’ may be the single most abused phrase in the English language. It has become a legislative honorific almost exclusively reserved for proposals which benefit everyone but actual American citizens…Nobody says opponents of tax hikes oppose ‘tax reform,’ or that opponents of cap-and-trade oppose ‘energy reform’…I am opposed to any immigration policy which makes it harder for the unemployed to find jobs and easier for employers to keep pay low. If by ‘immigration reform’ you mean helping the unemployed return to the workforce, limiting work visas so wages can rise, and establishing firm control over entry and exit in the United States, then I am for it. Which do you mean?
In the House and Senate, [Democrats] were virtually unanimous in their support of the 2013 ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill. But their strategy—appealing to the interest groups, donors, advocacy coalitions, and media personalities who oppose any sensible immigration controls—rests on the assumption that Republicans will compete for the same audience. But we were not elected to clamor for the affections of Washington pundits and trendy CEOs….The largest untapped constituency in American politics are the 300 million American citizens who have been completely left out of the immigration debate. Speak to that constituency—with clarity and compassion—and change the issue forever.
At the document’s end Sen. Sessions asks three questions:
- Is America a sovereign nation that has the right to control its borders and decide who comes to live and work here?
- Should American immigration laws serve the just interests of the country and its citizens?
- And do those citizens have the right to expect and demand that the laws passed by their elected representatives be enforced?
"If we believe the answers to these questions are ‘yes,’ then we have no choice but to fight—and to win…Why were we elected, if not to serve the people who sent us here?"
Sen. Sessions plans to print the document in a form that can be distributed to grassroots activists. He hopes an informed American people will force both Republicans and Democrats to be more accountable on immigration.
Updated: Mon, May 15th 2017 @ 4:41pm EDT