U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today after Chairman Patrick Leahy replied to a letter from Judiciary Committee Republicans in which they cautioned against a rush to pass an amnesty bill that "could be the most dramatic and consequential alteration of our immigration system in nearly thirty years":
"Last week, Ranking Member Grassley, Senator Hatch, Senator Cornyn, Senator Lee, Senator Cruz, and I sent a letter to Chairman Leahy warning against a rush to pass an amnesty bill before the American people know what's in it. In his reply to our letter, Chairman Leahy effectively informed Committee members that he has every intention of moving on a rushed timetable that would make it impossible for lawmakers or the public to properly assess a bill of this magnitude.
Specifically, it seems the Chairman is arguing we can put a bill on the floor two weeks after the Gang of Eight potentially produces legislation in early April. The Chairman's suggestion that we don't need hearings on this new proposal because we have held immigration hearings in the past misses the entire point: the massive proposal being cobbled together by a group of Senators in secret must be independently judged and reviewed by the Judiciary Committee in the full light of day. That will take months--not two weeks--and will require hearings on every aspect of this issue: protecting American workers and wages, protecting our public benefit programs and ensuring enforcement of the public charge law, evaluating the size, scope, and impact of any guest worker program, tracking visa overstays, etc.
No member of Congress who believes in democratic procedure can acquiesce to the ramming through of a thousand-page bill that will dramatically and directly impact the taxes, wages, and security of our constituents."