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Sessions: GOP presidential candidates should focus on immigration at debate

Sen. Sessions speaks at Breitbart News's meet and greet event at CPAC
Sen. Sessions speaks at Breitbart News’s meet and greet event at CPAC

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) told Breitbart News in an interview Wednesday that he hopes the ten Republicans taking the stage Thursday night for the first presidential debate focus on immigration and trade policy.

“There’s no issue that will bring in more new voters to the Republican side than immigration,” Sessions opined. “Our nominee needs to be crystal clear that we will end the illegality and we will produce an immigration system that serves the interest of the American citizens and that we can be proud of. The American people want to hear that. They have a right to hear that. Politicians have been promising that for decades and it’s time for somebody to deliver on that. So I think that will attract new voters.”

Sessions said that high immigration levels—both legal and illegal—and “unwise trade policies” have contributed to lowering wages and workforce participation rates.

“Wages are down over $3,000 from the recession in 2008, we’ve got the lowest percentage of Americans working since the 1970s, wages are stuck at 1970s levels, we’ve had this huge flow of immigrants and we’ve had unwise trade policies,” he contined. “Those things, the American people instinctively know, have been adverse to their financial well-being. They want to see their leaders speak up on them. I think that the Republican nominee should say something like ‘we are looking at these numbers too, and they’re bad. I understand your concerns. We can get a trade policy that ensures fairness and reciprocity and that are not one-way agreements and that we can and will establish an immigration policy that serves your interest and is honorable and we can be proud of.’”

The Senator went on the praise several of the presidential candidates for their willingness to make immigration a significant issue in their campaigns, focusing on one in particular.

“Donald Trump has definitely resonated with the clarity of his position and the strength of his position and of course now he’s going to need to follow that up with some details,” Sessions said. “Of course, also, Senator Santorum has talked about it, Governor Huckabee has talked about it, Senator Cruz has talked about it, and Governor Walker has talked about it and seem to be open to the kind of policies that I think are essential to the country.”

Here are a few of the questions Sen. Sessions said he would recommend asking the candidates:

– Do you believe in trade agreements that improve our trade deficit or not?
– Do you believe it should increase job opportunities and wages for American workers, or not?
– Will you evaluate agreements in that light?
– Do you believe that large flows of immigration can impact adversely the job prospects and wages of American workers? Yes or no, and why?

“I think pressing that issue and causing our candidates to wrestle with it to try to articulate their answers in an honest and effective way will be helpful to the process,” he explained.


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