U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement following today's hearing on the Gang of Eight's immigration proposal:
"I remain concerned about the purposefully rushed timetable for moving this immigration bill. As Senator Lee observed, good legislation rarely results when Congress tries to rush through a single, massive, comprehensive proposal to cover many complex and far-reaching issues. Indeed, none of the witnesses had been able to read this just released bill.
Today's hearing, featuring only two witnesses, began the conversation on the most critical concern relating to this legislation: how it will impact American workers, both in terms of their wages and their taxes. This bill proposes not only to legalize those here illegally now, but also to dramatically increase the supply of low-skill legal immigration.
At a time when Social Security and Medicare are already facing huge unfunded liabilities, studies show a sharp rise in low-skill foreign workers and their families (including older relatives) will accelerate the programs' insolvency, not strengthen them. Those legalized will be net beneficiaries--not contributors--to these programs.
Wages will also be negatively impacted. We have 90 million Americans outside the labor force and record welfare usage. Clearly, there is not a shortage of available labor to businesses. Wages for working Americans have fallen for well over a decade. As Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, explained at the hearing: "We have an abundant supply of low-skilled labor waiting for jobs... What we will do by regularizing a significant cohort--millions of individuals--is leap-frogging those individuals Due regard must be given to the fact that we have an over-abundance of people who are not working today.'"