Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) defended House Republicans for not taking up a bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill saying it’s not xenophobic to protect U.S. borders.
Earlier Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted House Republicans for not bring the bill to the floor after Senate passage more than 320 days ago.
“Sens. Reid and Schumer demanded that House of Representatives pass their immigration bill. They labeled Republicans extremists for not giving into their demands,” Sessions said. “They were right about one thing, the House is not going to give in.”
Last summer, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, but Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has refused to take up the legislation.
Sessions has been an ardent critic of the Senate bill, which would have set up a path way for citizenship for some illegal immigrants, increased guest worker visas and invested in more border security.
Sessions has said the immigration bill would harm U.S. workers by driving down wages in a time of high unemployment.
“Extreme is trying to pass an immigration bill that would double the number of guest workers … when 50 million working-age Americans are out of work,” Sessions said. “Is no one concerned about that?”