U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today following statements from Gang of Eight Senators on their decision not to deliver enforcement first:
"When the Gang of Eight was first formed a publicly stated principle was the enforcement would come first--before legalization. Today, on the Sunday shows, Gang of Eight members admitted that they abandoned this principle and that, in fact, legalization--or amnesty--would come first. This proposal offers immediate legalization with unfulfilled promises of enforcement in the future. This is contrary to the commitment they made to the American people and raises the same core problem as the 2007 proposal that was rejected by the American people. This should not surprise given that Gang of Eight has refused to meet with ICE officers while consulting with the special interests. The proposal will not stand up to scrutiny.
Another area of great concern in this proposal is the impact it will have on low-income Americans and those individuals and communities suffering from chronic underemployment. The guest worker program in this proposal represents only a fraction of the increase in legal foreign workers that will be rapidly introduced. Including those illegal immigrants that are legalized, this bill, over ten years, will result in at least 30 million new foreign workers--more than the entire population of Texas. While this may mean lower wages for the business lobby, and more political power for AFL-CIO leadership, it will be bad for American workers--union and non-union. And it will expose taxpayers to enormous long-term costs, including trillions in unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security from which low-wage foreign workers will draw more benefits than they pay in. These programs need strengthening, not further weakening."