U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate passage of the immigration bill:
"Sponsors of this legislation--despite the array of financial, establishment and special interest support--failed to hit their target of 70 votes. The more people learned about the bill the more uneasy they became. Failure to reach 70 votes is significant, and ensures the House has plenty of space to chart an opposite course and reject this fatally flawed proposal.
So while the bill passed the Senate, this is just the beginning.
The legislation adopted today guarantees three things: immediate amnesty before security, permanent future illegal immigration, and a record surge in legal immigration that will reduce wages and increase unemployment.
There will be no border fence, no border surge, nothing but the same tired illusory promises of future enforcement that will never occur. Americans have begged and pleaded time and again for Congress to end the lawlessness. But this amnesty-first bill is a surrender to lawlessness. As ICE and USCIS officers have warned, it will decimate immigration enforcement and erode the constitutional rule of law upon which our national greatness depends. And it remains unfair to the legal immigrants who put enormous time and expense into following the rules our nation has established.
This legislation demonstrates that the governing body in Washington has become severed from the people it is supposed to represent. It is a broken promise 1,200 pages long.
The Senate's loyalty must be to the American people--immigrant and native-born alike--who work hard, pay their taxes, fight our wars, and obey our laws. 21 million Americans cannot find full-time work. Medium household income is almost ten percent lower today than it was in 1999. But this proposal would double the number of guest workers for businesses and provide permanent legal status to more than 30 million mostly-lower skill legal immigrants in the next ten years. This huge increase in the legal immigration flow will reduce wages and raise unemployment, and displace those who have suffered the most economically. As wise observers have said, we are a nation with an economy--not an economy with a nation.
We can create a lawful immigration system that makes us proud. But for that to happen, this bill must never become law. We must return to the drawing board and produce legislation that serves the just and legitimate interests of the nation, its people, and all who wish to call America home."