Sessions: House should reject the ‘destructive’ immigration bill

Sessions has been a major critic of the Senate-passed bipartisan immigration reform bill, which provides a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country illegally, while increasing border security. The bill also significantly increases the number of green cards and guest worker visas for various industries.

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The House has not taken up the Senate bill and is expected to pass its own smaller measures. Sessions said he was concerned that the House would make a similar mistake to that of the Senate did by kowtowing to special interests in the business community. 

“On the heels of the disastrous Senate bill, two key House Republicans are now floating an immigration proposal that would double the already huge increase in low-skill guest workers offered by the Senate,” Sessions said. “The House needs to repudiate the Senate’s destructive proposal, not make it even worse.”

Sessions said Congress’s first priority should be helping unemployed U.S. workers, not providing cheaper labor for businesses in the leisure and hospitality industries.

“Rather than face the reality that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults are not working, the president and many congressional lawmakers are determined to provide businesses with an easy avenue to avoid hiring these citizens,” Sessions wrote. “Congress must address the large and growing share of the U.S. population that struggles with long-term welfare reliance and unemployment. Rushing in more workers from abroad to fill limited job openings is not the answer.”

Supporters of immigration reform have argued that granting citizenship to illegal workers will boost the economy — not harm it — by providing the government with more tax revenue. 

This article was updated at 6 p.m.