National Review Online
September 11, 2014
The Senate isn’t doing anything to stop Obama’s plans — thank the plutocrats.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday evening about Senate Democrats’ refusal to support legislation to block the president’s proposed executive actions on immigration policy, and the interests supporting amnesty. Following is an adapted version of his remarks.
Earlier this week I spoke about the president’s promise that he would issue an executive amnesty to 5 or 6 million people. The planned amnesty would include work permits, photo IDs, and Social Security numbers for millions of people who illegally entered the U.S., illegally overstayed their visas, or defrauded U.S. immigration authorities.
The Senate Democratic conference has supported and enabled the president’s unlawful actions and blocked every effort to stop them. Not even one of our Democratic colleagues has backed the House legislation that would stop this planned executive amnesty or demanded that Senator Reid bring it up for a vote. Every Senate Democrat is therefore the president’s partner in his planned lawless acts.
Tonight I would like to talk about the influence of special interests on our nation’s immigration system. How did we get to the point where elected officials, activist groups, the ACLU, and global CEOs are openly working to deny American workers the immigration protections to which they are legally entitled? How did we get to the point where the Democratic party is prepared to nullify and wipe away the immigration laws of the United States of America?
Just yesterday Majority Leader Reid wrote in a tweet something that was shocking. He said: “Since House Republicans have failed to act on immigration, I know the President will. When he does, I hope he goes Real Big.”
Let this sink in for a moment. The majority leader of the Senate is bragging that he knows the president will circumvent Congress to issue executive amnesty to millions, and he is encouraging the president to ensure this amnesty includes as many people as possible. And the White House has acknowledged that 5 to 6 million is the number they are looking at.
Has one Senate Democrat stepped forward to reject Mr. Reid’s statement? Has one Senate Democrat stepped forward to say: I support the legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would secure the border and block this executive amnesty? Have they ever said they support that? Have they ever said: I will do everything in my power to see that the House legislation gets a vote in the Senate so the American people can know what is going on? No. All we hear is silence.
This body is not run by one man. We don’t have a dictator in the great Senate. Every member has a vote. And the only way Senator Reid can succeed in blocking this Senate from voting to stop the president’s executive actions is for members to stop supporting him.
Every senator needs to stand up and represent their constituents — not big business, not the ACLU, not activist groups, not political interests, but the American interests, the workers’ interests. That is what we need to expect from them, and we don’t have but a few weeks, it looks like, to get it done.
In effect, the entire Senate Democratic conference has surrendered the jobs, wages, and livelihoods of their constituents to a group of special interests meeting in secret at the White House. They are surrendering them to executive actions that will foist on the nation what Congress has refused to pass and the American people have rejected. They are plotting at the White House to move forward with executive action no matter what the people think and no matter what Congress — through the people’s House — has decided.
Politico reports that “White House officials conducted more than 20 meetings in July and August with legal experts, immigration advocates and business leaders to gather ideas on what should be included in the order.”
So who are these so-called expert advocates and business leaders? They are not the law-enforcement officers; they are not our ICE officers; they are not our Border Patrol officers; they are not the American working man and woman; they are not unemployed Americans. They weren’t in the room. You can be sure of that. Their opinions weren’t sought.
No, White House officials are meeting with the world’s most powerful corporate and immigration lobbyists and activists who think border controls are for the little people. The administration is meeting with the elite, the cosmopolitan set, who scorn and mock the concerns of everyday Americans who are concerned about their schools, jobs, wages, communities, and hospitals. These great and powerful citizens of the world don’t care much about old-fashioned things like national boundaries, national sovereignty, and immigration control — let alone the constitutional separation of powers.
Well, don’t you get it? They believe they are always supposed to get whatever it is they want. They are used to that. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, one report says they have spent $1.5 billion since 2007 trying to pass their desired immigration bill — $1.5 billion. They tried and tried and tried to pass the bill through Congress, but the American people said: No, no, no. So they decided to just go to the president. They decide to go to President Obama, and they insist that he implement these measures through executive fiat. And Senate Democrats have apparently said: Well, that is just a wonderful idea. We support that. Just do it. Go big. But, Mr. President, wait a little bit. Wait until after the election. We don’t want the voters to hold us accountable for what you are doing. We want to pretend we in the Senate have nothing to do with it.