There has been no better leader on the immigration issue on Capitol Hill than Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who was just reelected without any opposition. Yesterday, Senator Sessions issued a powerful statement urging congressional Republicans to defund President Obama’s amnesty for illegal immigrants, an act that even Yale Law School Professor Peter Schuck, writing in The New York Times, admitted constituted an impeachable offense. In his statement, Sessions notes that Obama’s amnesty calls for “work permits, Social Security, and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants—reducing wages, jobs, and benefits for Americans. Congress considered and rejected these changes to immigration law in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014. The President’s action erases the laws Congress has passed in order to implement laws Congress has refused to pass.” Sessions also notes that, since 2000, “the U. S. has issued nearly 30 million lawful visas for permanent immigrants or temporary guest workers,” a fact that goes a long way toward explaining why wages are not rising. Noting that Americans overwhelmingly believe that American jobs should go to Americans, Session states that “Republicans should not be timid or apologetic, but mount a bold defense of struggling Americans. Billions of dollars and countless hours have been spent advocating immigration policies that help everyone but the actual citizens of this country. Who will be their voice, if not us?”
Unfortunately, far too many of Sessions’ Republican colleagues want to roll over and play dead. Indeed, Sessions is now being challenged for the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee by Wyoming’s Mike Enzi, a challenge that, if successful, will result in de facto bipartisan approval of Obama’s amnesty. Unless Mitch McConnnell and other Senate Republicans hear from outraged ordinary Americans about this impending sellout, it is likely that Sessions’ sage advice will be ignored and the Republicans will do nothing to oppose Obama on the most consequential issue of the day, both in terms of the Constitution and in terms of its impact on America and Americans.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.