Sessions: GOP-led Congress is betraying voters, funding Obama’s entire immigration agenda
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, issued the following statement warning that the omnibus funding bill would, among other things, fund Sanctuary Cities, the President’s refugee expansion, and quadruple a controversial foreign worker program replacing Americans – all during a time of increasing concerns about threats to U.S. security and finances:
The more than 2,000 page year-end funding bill contains a dramatic change to federal immigration law that would increase by as much as four-fold the number of low-wage foreign workers provided to employers under the controversial H-2B visa program, beyond what is currently allowed. These foreign workers are brought in exclusively to fill blue collar non-farm jobs in hotels, restaurants, construction, truck driving, and many other occupations sought by millions of Americans.
At a time of record immigration – with a full 83% of the electorate wanting immigration frozen or reduced – the GOP-led Congress is about to deliver Obama a four-fold increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs. The result? Higher unemployment and lower wages for Americans.
As the Economic Policy Institute noted, ‘wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014,’ and ‘unemployment rates increased in all but one of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014, and all 15 occupations averaged very high unemployment rates…Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply.’
The voters put Republicans in a majority in the 2014 midterm elections – a vote which constituted a clear decision to reject the abuse of our immigration system.
That loyalty has been repaid with betrayal.
On top of this provision, the omnibus approves – without conditions – the President’s request for increased refugee admissions, allowing him to bring in as many refugees as he wants, from anywhere he wants, and then allow them to access unlimited amounts of welfare and entitlements at taxpayer expense. This will ensure that at least 170,000 green card, refugee and asylum approvals are issued to migrants from Muslim countries over just the next 12 months.
In March, as Charmain of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, I sent appropriators a list of several dozen provisions for inclusion in our funding bills to improve immigration enforcement and block presidential lawlessness; those provisions were rejected – yet industry’s request for more foreign workers, and the President’s request for refugee funds, were unconditionally approved.
The bill also funds sanctuary cities and illegal alien resettlement, allows the President to continue issuing visas to countries that refuse to repatriate violent criminal aliens, and funds the President’s ongoing lawless immigration actions – including his unimpeded 2012 executive amnesty for alien youth.
As feared, the effect is to fund the President’s entire immigration agenda.
There is a reason that GOP voters are in open rebellion. They have come to believe that their party’s elites are not only uninterested in defending their interests but – as with this legislation, and fast-tracking the President’s international trade pact – openly hostile to them.
This legislation represents a further disenfranchisement of the American voter.
Jeff Sessions represents Alabama in the United States Senate. He is Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.