U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today after Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Chairman Leahy today regarding Leahy's plan to move the Gang's immigration bill on a rushed timetable without public hearings:
"I applaud Senator Rubio for his important letter to Chairman Leahy and for supporting the request for extensive open process and public hearings outlined in the letter six of our committee members recently sent to Chairman Leahy. Never again can Congress pass a far-reaching proposal only for the American people to find out what's in it later.
"What we need, and must have, is a full and thorough national discussion over every component of this bill. The timeline presented by Chairman Leahy - as well as Leader Reid and President Obama -- is unacceptable. The committee must have a detailed series of public hearings on the Gang of 8 immigration bill after it is produced followed by an extended markup process. A sound committee process will take months -- not weeks. I urge Chairman Leahy to commit to such a schedule before the Gang produces any potential legislation.
Topics addressed in the hearings should include the following: expert testimony on how a large influx of low-skill labor, combined with an amnesty for illegal workers, will impact the wages of American workers and job prospects for the unemployed; how to enforce currently unenforced federal public charge law, including as part of any new pathway; security measures such as biometric exit and entry; resolving the concerns of the ICE officers' union; how to guarantee that enforcement is accomplished before legalization is granted; whether illegal aliens will eventually, like current green card holders, become eligible for a vast array of federal benefits; the long-term fiscal impact of any proposed legislation; strengthening partnerships with local law enforcement, etc. These are only some of the many complex issues that will profoundly impact the American people and must be thoroughly evaluated before legislation moves forward."
"It is one thing to make promises, it is quite another to write a bill that actually works."