Sessions to Republicans: GOP Elite View on Immigration Is 'Nonsense'

In a sharp memo sent this morning to fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill, Senator Jeff Sessions argues that the GOP elite view on immigration--shared by President Barack Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer--is "nonsense." Instead, Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, advises his fellow Republicans to adopt a "humble and honest populism."

The Sessions memo begins, "The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head. The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration. This is nonsense."

The senator from Alabama goes on to argue that Republicans will win big elections if they can appeal to "working Americans of all backgrounds." And he says that if this immigration bill becomes law, "Low-income Americans will be hardest hit"

Sessions's advice to his fellow Republicans is clear: Don't help Obama hurt America. The Republican-lead House is currently working on the Senate-approved immigration bill.

"Like Obamacare, this 1,200-page immigration bill is a legislative monstrosity inimical to the interests of our country and the American people. Polls show again and again that the American people want security accomplished first, that they do not support a large increase in net immigration levels, and that they do not trust the government to deliver on enforcement. The GOP should insist on an approach to immigration that both restores constitutional order and serves the interests of the American worker and taxpayer. But only by refusing any attempt at rescue or reprieve for the Senate bill is there a hope of accomplishing these goals," Sessions writes in conclusion.


"Instead of aiding the President and Senator Schumer in salvaging a bill that would devastate working Americans, Republicans should refocus all of our efforts on a united push to defend these Americans from the Administration’s continued onslaught. His health care policies, tax policies, energy policies, and welfare policies all have one thing in common: they enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people. Our goal: higher wages, more and better jobs, smaller household bills, and a solemn determination to aid those struggling towards the goal of achieving financial independence."

Here's a copy of the full memo:

Memo: How The GOP Can Do The Right Thing On Immigration—And Win July 29, 2013 To: Republican Colleagues From: Ranking Member Jeff Sessions

The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head.

The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration.

This is nonsense.

The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party. Of course, such a clear and honest message would require saying “no” to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.

In Senator Schumer’s failed drive to acquire 70 votes, he convinced every single Democrat in his conference to support a bill that adds four times more guest workers than the rejected 2007 immigration plan while dramatically boosting the number of low-skill workers admitted to the country each year on a permanent basis. All this at a time when wages are lower than in 1999, when only 58 percent of U.S. adults are working, and when 47 million residents are on food stamps. Even CBO confirms that the proposal will reduce wages and increase unemployment. Low-income Americans will be hardest hit.

Spread the word.

P.S.: Over the weekend Rep. Paul Ryan sent out a very different message when he floated his plan for a path to citizenship for millions of "undocumented Americans" (Ryan's term). Roy has more in his blog.


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Comment by Virgil Earl Koon on August 25, 2013 at 12:23pm

Senator Sessions is correct but the real problem should be obvious. If we remove by our votes the Republican Rhinos, who do we have that will win that support America and our Country? We all know that the reason why we get little done with the Feds is that we seldom have the majority, even when and especially when a Republican is voted in as President! We also note that the Liberal media always attacks the President if we have a Democratic Congress and Senate. It is always having a bad and lying and irresponsible media that is ruining our Country! We hear something about Soros, who is a billionaire? We heard that he is pushing media and controlling much of what is said. We are told he wants a one world government. Obviously, the Liberal media and Soros do not want a one world government that supports the rights of the people as we have in America as they are being attacked from every side by media and this Administration. Wake up... without an honest media we have Hitler in office with a media that supports all of his propaganda!

Comment by jerry michael moses on August 1, 2013 at 7:58am

     The GOP follows the money that elects them , and that is the people who want cheap labor. That is the prevailing condition in the Congress. There is another point of view , and that is that they will be able to DICTATE to the mexcan illegals !!!!!!!!!!!

     Now that reasoning is not hard, is it ??


Comment by Benson William Gates III on July 30, 2013 at 3:04pm

The Washington politicians don't respond to us because they believe they are above us.  We need to flush that toilet and start over.

Comment by Garry L. on July 30, 2013 at 1:17pm

Lets all just leave the GOP and become an Independent. When the money dries up, maybe just maybe on an outside chance, maybe they will get the message,,but I doubt it.  Just no fixing stupid.

Comment by Gene Szymanski on July 30, 2013 at 11:35am

Sen. Sessions, my thought is that they are contemplating their next campaign ad are willing to forget the duties they currently face.

Comment by Walt Hutchens on July 30, 2013 at 10:40am
Senator Sessions is right and he's one of the few Republicans with the courage to say so. Good idea to write him a note of thanks.

People who talk of legalization but not citizenship don't get it: Most of the damage will be done by legalization because once an illegal is legal he can move up to the next tier of jobs -- those for corporations that FOLLOW the law and compete with American citizens for THOSE jobs.

When that happens the casual and sub-minimum wage jobs the (former) illegals had will have to be filled with -- wait for it -- NEW people who will work for dirt wages or in sweatshop conditions because they dare not file a complaint -- NEW ILLEGALS.

And just in time for the election of 2016, guess what: Democrats will chorus "We Can't Have Two Classes of Americans!" -- and all the 'legals' will get citizenship and the right to vote, courtesy of the DEMOCRATIC Party.

Republicans imagine they'll get good karma by agreeing now to 'legalization' but just imagine where they'll be in 2015 when either they endorse ten million new Democratic voters OR they fight 'citizenship for second class Americans,' citizenship happens anyway, and all the new voters vote for Hillary.

Except for Sen. Sessions, most Republican Congressmen are stupid.
Comment by Frank W Brown on July 30, 2013 at 9:04am

ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL, round up ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS and send them home! they then can try LEGALLY entering our country. Congress, you ALL took an OATH to UPHOLD and DEFEND the CONSTITUTION of The United States of America, just WHEN exactly do you plan to HONOR that OATH???

Comment by Paul Z. on July 30, 2013 at 6:58am

Start phoning Paul Ryan, 202-225-3031, & tell him most Republicans & Independents aren't interested in a pathway to citizenship for Illegals, but FIRST fully securing our borders with approved 700 mile, 2-layer fence & mandatory E-verify. ONLY then, can we discuss any other issues regarding Illegals. Ask him to be concerned with the hardships of American Citizens & LEGAL Immigrants, not Illegals, & to enforce ignored LAWS we already have in place for decades! ! !

Just like Mrco Rubio who dropped to 6th. place from 1st. in choice for President because of his PUSH for "another" Amnesty, Ryan needs to be united with the majority of Republicans in Congress & Republican & Independent voters!

Comment by Triptolemus on July 30, 2013 at 6:33am

Ryan has joined the schemers with his nonsense about thirteen years to become a citizen.

These illegal aliens have all the benefits of citizenship now. They are already voting. They also have the benefit of pretending they are ignorant foreigners when they run afoul of our laws. They also have the benefits of welfare programs, both federal and state, and free health care.

Politicians are not telling the truth about the 13 year wait period to become a citizen. It goes along with the provision in the Senate bill allowing them to have two phony identifications cards and the statute of limitations, which will forgive any wrongdoing, including collecting welfare benefits under several different names.

Comment by Sterling Orr on July 30, 2013 at 6:24am

WHEN will the working class realize that Obama and his administration is out to get them and any working citizen. His lies go un recognized while his retoric keeps them quiet. Wake up American.



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 Will  Tea Party Hand The Liberals Their Ass On Election Day? 

It was this week two years ago that Hillary Clinton’s victory looked assured, when the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault appeared all but certain to end his campaign.

Jesse Ferguson remembers it well. The deputy press secretary for Clinton’s campaign also remembers what happened a month later.

It’s why this veteran Democratic operative can’t shake the feeling that, as promising as the next election looks for his party, it might still all turn out wrong.

“Election Day will either prove to me I have PTSD or show I’ve been living déjà vu,” Ferguson said. “I just don’t know which yet.”

Ferguson is one of many Democrats who felt the string of unexpected defeat in 2016 and are now closely — and nervously — watching the current election near its end, wondering if history will repeat itself. This year, instead of trying to win the presidency, Democrats have placed an onus on trying to gain 23 House seats and win a majority.

The anxiety isn’t universal, with many party leaders professing confidently and repeatedly that this year really is different.

But even some of them acknowledge the similarities between the current and previous election: Trump is unpopular and beset by scandal, Democrats hold leads in the polls, and some Republicans are openly pessimistic.

FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 76.9 percent chance of winning the House one month before Election Day. Their odds for Clinton’s victory two years ago? 71.4 percent.

The abundance of optimism brings back queasy memories for Jesse Lehrich, who worked on the Clinton campaign and remembers watching the returns come in from the Javits Center in New York.

“I was getting texts after the result was clear – including even from some political reporters and operatives – texting me, you know, ‘Are you guys starting to get nervous?’ or ‘What’s her most likely path?’” he said. “I was like, ‘What do you mean, starting to get nervous? What path? They just called Wisconsin. We lost.’”

“People were so slow to process that reality because they just hadn’t considered the possibility that Donald Trump was going to be the next president,” he continued.

Lehrich said he sees similarities between 2016 and 2018. But he said he thought Democrats were cognizant of the parallels and determined not to let up a month before the election, as many voters might have two years ago.

Other Democratic leaders aren’t so sure. Asked if he thought his party was overconfident, Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton responded flatly, “Yes.”

Democrats could win a lot of House seats, he said, or could still fall short of capturing a majority.

“The point is that we’ve got to realize that this not just some unstoppable blue wave but rather a lot of tough races that will be hard-fought victories,” Moulton said.

If Democrats are universally nervous about anything after 2016, it’s polling. The polls weren’t actually as favorable to Clinton and the Democrats as some remember, something 538’s Nate Silver and some other journalists pointed out at the time.

But Clinton’s decision not to campaign in a state she’d lose, Wisconsin, and the failure of pollsters everywhere to miss a wave of Trump supporters in red areas are mistakes Democrats are still grappling with today.

“Clearly last cycle, polling was off,” Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters last month. “There were a lot of predictions that were made last cycle that didn’t come to fruition.”

Lujan emphasized in particular how pollsters missed the rural vote, calling it a “devastating mistake.” He said the DCCC has taken deliberate steps since 2016 to get it right this time around, but underscored a congressional majority still required a tooth-and-nail fight.

“So I’m confident with the team that’s been assembled, but I’m definitely cognizant of the fact we need to understand these models and understand the data for what it is,” he said.

One Democratic pollster said the data he’s seen makes plain that the party is favored to win a majority — but that it’s still not a sure thing. He said even now it’s unclear if the political environment will create an electoral tsunami, or merely a good year where Democrats might still fall short of a House majority.

“We’ve all learned a lesson from 2016 that there are multiple possibilities and outcomes,” said the pollster, granted anonymity to discuss polling data one month before the election. “And if you haven’t learned that lesson, shame on you. That 20 percent outcome can happen. That 30 percent outcome can happen.”

This year, Democrats have history on their side: The incumbent president’s party historically struggles during midterm elections. That wasn’t the case in 2016, when Democrats were trying to win the presidency for three consecutive terms for the first time in their history since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The GOP accomplished the feat only once in the same period, with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.)

Some Democratic leaders say the reality of Trump’s presidency — unlike its hypothetical state in 2016 — changes the dynamic entirely.

“Democratic energy is at nuclear levels,” said Steve Israel, a former DCCC chairman. “Democrats would crawl over broken glass to vote in this election.”

Israel said he still has concerns about November (political operatives always have concerns about the upcoming election). But he waves away the notion that the party might fall short of a House majority.

“Most Democrats and a heck of a lot of Republicans I speak to believe that Democrats will have the majority,” he said. “The real question is, by how much?”

Ferguson is, of course, of two minds: He thinks the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the day-to-day reality of Trump’s presidency fundamentally changes how voters will see this election.

But he’s also gun-shy about what could change in the next month, after the multitude of surprises that occurred during the last month of the 2016 race, whether the “Access Hollywood” recording or then-FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the investigation into Clinton’s emails was re-opened.

Many Republicans argue the 2018 election has already seen its October surprise, with the confirmation fight over Brett Kavanaugh finally motivating conservative voters to vote.

“I don’t know what the October surprises will be,” Ferguson said. “But we make a mistake if we assume that what we’re seeing today is what we’ll see for the entire month. We lived through it two years ago.”

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