Jeff Sessions Smacks Down GOP Immigration “Principles”

The Alabama Senator seems to be fed up.

Once again, we have the same recycled talking points—crafted, it would appear, with the help of the same consultants and special interests. Each time, the talking points are followed by legislation that fails to match the promises—legislation that, at bottom, ensures only the amnesty and not the enforcement. The leadership talking points look like an attempted repackaging of the tired Gang-of-Eight-style formula that has been proposed, rejected, and re-proposed for years. It is no surprise then that Senator Schumer and former Speaker Pelosi are so encouraged by these developments. But while Democrat leaders and interest groups appear satisfied, this document was not voted upon by the GOP conference and clearly does not represent the consensus of Republican members. Is it not time we pushed aside the stale proposals stitched together in concert with the same lobbyists, and asked what is in the best interests of the hardworking American citizen—and the nation?

Sessions goes on to point out three basic ways in which the law is the same (and thus, just as flawed) as the Senate plan. First, it radically changes our nation by granting amnesty to illegals (sorry, I don’t say “undocumented” on this blog) before doing anything to change enforcement. Obviously, if we simply grant amnesty every few decades, without increasing border security, then we are only adding to the incentive for people to immigrate here illegally. Encouraging immigration in this way gives us the worst kind of immigration. If we wanted millions to cross our borders, then we ought to do it officially in a way that allows the prosperous to come here and add their prosperity to ours. Instead, we have devised a method that only attracts the most desperate. Of course, most desperate also means most likely to vote Democrat. So it is not mystery why Obama is pushing immigration reform.

The other two ways in which the Republican plan resembles the Senate bill are:

It would surge the already unprecedented level of legal lesser-skilled immigration to the U.S. that is reducing wages and increasing unemployment; and it would offer eventual citizenship to a large number of illegal immigrants and visa overstays.

Sessions makes a big deal about the unemployment that a flood of immigrants will bring about. When we have people who should know better claiming that, in this economy, we have too many unfilled jobs and need immigrants to do the work, I can understand why Sessions is pushing back.

But what I don’t understand is how the Democrat push for amnesty works with their push to increase the minimum wage. Obviously, if wages are kept artificially high, then immigrants won’t be able to outbid Americans for the same jobs. It seems much more likely that Americans will be able to get hired while immigrants stay unemployed.

Or are there jobs that only immigrants will apply for? With our atrociously low labor-participation rate it is hard to believe that is possible.

In any case, Session is concerned that receiving millions of new immigrants will be economically harmful to us Americans who were born here.

Republicans have the chance to be the one party giving voice to the real-world concerns of the everyday worker whose wages have been flat or falling for more than 10 years.

A chance they are throwing away.