Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., published an op-ed in USA Today that criticizes President Obama for pushing Republicans to pass an immigration reform plan that hurts American workers while claiming to be concerned about their plight. He called upon Republicans to set aside the demands of business groups and “stand alone as the one party defending the legitimate interests of American workers” in the immigration context.
The following are excerpts from his op-ed.
“In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to discuss the plight of American workers. At the same time, he is pushing Republicans to pass an immigration plan making the problem worse by increasing the flow of immigrant workers to compete against unemployed Americans and those struggling to get by in low-wage jobs. Yet, alarmingly, the move is regarded as a part of Obama's agenda that has a chance of becoming law.
“House Republicans should reply to the president's immigration effort with a simple message: Our first duty is to help struggling Americans find good work and rising wages.
“So what is the president's proposal? With three job seekers for every open job, he proposes doubling the number of guest workers entering every year, granting immediate work permits to millions of illegal immigrants, and tripling the number of new immigrants granted permanent residency over the next decade.
“Did anyone ask the American people whether they wanted to triple immigration? Polling shows that the public opposes these increases. The opposition is particularly strong among lower- and middle-income Americans. Those earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase by 3-1.
“Republicans have the opportunity to give voice to the working and middle-class Americans whose wages and job prospects have eroded drastically in recent years. House GOP leaders are reportedly planning to release their "immigration principles" this week. Unfortunately, leaks reveal the leaders' plan mirrors central elements of the president's plan, combining work permits for millions of illegal immigrants with large permanent increases in the flow of new workers from abroad. This would be an extraordinary act of self-sabotage.
“The choice is clear. Either the GOP can help the White House deliver a crushing hammer blow to the middle class — or it can stand alone as the one party defending the legitimate interests of American workers.”
In an interview with Breitbart News Sunday Sen. Sessions said the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican party no longer understands what the American people actually want. “They’re using rhetoric and logic from groups that are not in touch with reality,” Sessions said. “They’re not talking to average working Americans who we are elected to serve. We’re not here elected to serve just big business. We’re here to serve all Americans, and there’s no doubt about it that consistently data shows this immigration plan that would grant amnesty to 11 million and double the annual flow of workers into the country would hammer working Americans so we’re going to try to get out some information again this week on that."
Sen. Sessions said right now, Republicans’ negotiations with Democrats have focused on trading amnesty for an increased labor supply that Chamber of Commerce clients and other business interests want.”And let me tell you what, it really shocks me and it’s why I’m so worried about what the House is doing this week with their ‘principles,’” Sessions said. “Good Republicans in the House seem to believe that if they go into negotiations with Democrats, their goal is to increase the guest worker program even more. If they can get the guest worker immigration status and increase it even more, they will give even more generous amnesty. That’s been the state of a good bit of the negotiations, amazingly.”
At the end of the interview, Sen. Sessions asked Americans to contact their Members of Congress and urged opposition to the Obama and House Republican leadership immigration plans.