Sessions to Republicans: GOP Elite View on Immigration Is ‘Nonsense’

Daniel Halper, Weekly Standard, July 29, 2013

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.”


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.


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.

Ordinarily, this would be an act of political suicide for Democrats. How can they possibly succeed with a plan that will so badly injure American workers? Perhaps Senator Schumer, the White House, and their congressional allies believe the GOP lacks the insight to seize this important issue, push away certain financial interests, and make an unapologetic defense of working Americans. They seem, in fact, to expect the GOP House to drag their bill across the finish line. Indeed, more than a few in our party will argue that immigration reform must “serve the needs of businesses.” What about the needs of workers? Since when did we did we accept the idea that the immigration policy for our entire nation—with all its lasting social, economic, and moral implications—should be tailored to suit the financial interests of a few CEOs?

Americans broadly oppose further increases to our current generous immigration levels by a 2-1 margin, but the opposition among those earning less than $30,000 is especially strong: they prefer a reduction to an increase by a 3-1 margin. And no wonder: according to Harvard’s Dr. George Borjas, it’s the working poor whose wages have declined the most as a result of high immigration levels.

The GOP has a choice: it can either deliver President Obama his ultimate legislative triumph—and with it, a crushing hammer blow to working Americans that they will not soon forgive—or it can begin the essential drive to regain the trust of struggling Americans who have turned away. As Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol wrote in a joint op-ed, “the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers… It’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility.”

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.

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.

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  • IstvanIN

    The Republicans should push for deportation, and end to all immigration, an end to all naturalizations, an end to birth-right citizenship, an end to all refugees, stopping Obumercare, linking foreign aid to repatriation and increased tariffs on manufactured goods. With that a lot of our economic problems would end.

    • JohnEngelman

      The President’s health care plan is nearly the same as the one Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts as governor. It is popular in Massachusetts.

      • IstvanIN

        That very well may be, but what works in Massachusetts is not necessarily good for the nation as a whole.

        • JohnEngelman

          But it probably is. I prefer the Canadian single payer health plan, but Romney’s plan is one of proven effectiveness.

          The Republican answer to the tens of millions of Americans who would did not have any health coverage under the old system was a slogan written on signs at Tea Party demonstrations, “Your health. Your problem.”

          • IstvanIN

            We have more blacks and hispanics, individually, than Canada has people. I wouldn’t use Canada as a template.

          • JohnEngelman

            Do you want blacks and Hispanics to die from lack of medical care?

          • Spartacus

            I do !

          • Non Humans

            If it comes to that, I wouldn’t object. The fact is, that without the handouts, the squat-monsters wouldn’t be so eager to invade. Thus they would not put themselves into a position where they could die in such manners of lack of medical care or sustenance.
            It is my understanding that you work in education, John. I’m not sure at what level you are at in your department, but I work in healthcare, at a rural for-profit hospital, one-click below the director in my department.
            I can full-on tell you that roughly 40% of our ER visits are of the illegal squat-monster variety. Usually seeking emergency care for non-emergency conditions for their ump-teen anchor babies.
            Now let me tell you how it burns my ass to see them abusing our ER’s when if I or the lot of my friends/acquaintances gets sick, we have to weigh living expenses versus medical care. That does not even speak of the occurrence of an injury genuinely requiring emergency care. At nearly any ER, it costs you $500 through the door, insurance or not! Since most illegals can get through with an alias, they do, and skip the bill for the hospital or taxpayers to absorb.
            So yeah, I’m of the mind that since they put themselves in the position to die of lack of care, so be it!

          • IstvanIN

            They’re not my problem.

          • Triarius

            I would rather them not be in the US altogether. But if I had to pick between the resources going to these leeches or them dying, I’d choose them dying. The same would be said by the Chinese, Israelis, or Saudi’s in their home countries as well. It is only normal for us to have the same instinct.

          • Greg Thomas

            Try getting emergency medical help in mexico as a White American. You will die if you do not cough up the requested pesos for your treatment. No payment, no treatment.

          • So CAL Snowman

            And then after you die they harvest your organs, sometimes they just outright murder White Americans in Mexico and take their organs.

          • Romulus

            Why don’t you donate your entire wages to their cause? Seriously, why are you on this message board? Everything you write is contrary to the basic mission of amren. White identity and awareness.

          • ms_anthro

            And he’s a moderator! I have no idea why. His posts are divisive and almost universally stray off topic.

          • toldev

            John, the question is not ” do you want Blacks and Hispanics to die from lack of medical care?”. The question is ” Am I willing, as a white person, to decrease the quality of health care for white people in order to subsidize the health care of browns and blacks?”.

          • saxonsun

            Entirely rhetorical.

          • Yes.

          • Triarius

            Is that the best you can come up with? Lol.

          • Romulus

            Canada wouldn’t have any economy we’re it not for America. 100% of their population lived within a 100 miles of the US border.

          • Triarius

            Is that why the rich Candians come to the US for healthcare? I used to work at a Michigan hospital during undergrad. The rich people of Windsor came to Oakwood and Beaumont for surgery. The same can be said for Canadians going to New York or Seattle.

          • MBlanc46

            The rich people are able to jump the queue, so they do.

          • IstvanIN

            Including their provincial premiers.

          • Nathanwartooth

            It was pointed out that only 1% of Canada’s population comes to the US for medical care as proof of how great it is.

            But my guess is that it’s the top 1% of earners who do. Which just shows how bad it really is.

          • Whitetrashgang

            Being from Canada primary(basic) care is good the rest is huge waiting lists and rationing. Having lived in the States its far superior if you make any kind of money ,a single person just 25-30 thousand a year and up. Plus in the states you pay far less taxes because you don’t have this free (paid by your taxes) health care.

          • Romulus

            The Canadiens system is pure crap. Canadiens on the whole come here for so many of their medical necessities because of long waits and doctor shortages.

          • ShermanTMcCoy

            I’ve watched the German socialized health care system degenerate under the weight of hundreds of thousands of parasites from muslim and african countries, as well as gypsies from the new Eu member, Romania.

            Recently, a little girl I know almost died due to a ruptured appendix because of gross incompetence and understaffing at our local hospital. She is back in (a different) hospital because of mistakes made by the original surgeon.

            Socialism can work, but only if most people are contributors, and belong to the same racial group. If they are not, people feel that they no longer have a stake in a system that exploits the productive to care for “the Other.”

          • Triarius

            May I ask where this was? The reason I ask is because I was less than 12 hours away from death from the same cause. Since then I have been interested in appendectomies and even chose to get my MBA from Ross (U of M Medical), where my life was saved, instead of elsewhere. Thanks.

          • ShermanTMcCoy

            Do you mean where in Germany?

          • Triarius

            That and where the doctor origintates from. If you have a link I can read German pretty well if not in English.

          • Nathanwartooth

            I’m going to explain this for everyone else.

            For the working poor, Obamacare is a disaster. These are the people for whom the bill is supposed to be helping!

            I am one of those working poor. Right now I get all of my medical costs handled for free. Something the media doesn’t like to talk about.

            Under Obamacare I’ll be forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month for the same exact care I am getting now! But what will really happen because I cannot afford that is I’ll be forced to buy the cheapest plan I can get, which will be much, much worse than what I have now.

            Obamacare was never about helping the working class, they will be the hardest hit. It was always about expanding care to the welfare class. That is why they want people like me off of it and paying for crappy insurance. To give more money so that a welfare queen with 8 kids can get better health care.

          • So CAL Snowman

            “Your health, your problem”

            And pray tell good sir, what is wrong with that attitude?

      • I would be delighted if Congress and the White House were forced to participate in this “health care” PoS.

      • NM156

        Except for that trillion-dollar Medicaid expansion thingamajig attached to it…

    • MBlanc46

      You might think that, but the people who pay for the Repub Party don’t think that. I suspect that the latter will carry the day.

    • Sick of it

      Anchor babies are only allowed because the government is willfully ignoring the obvious intent of the 14th Amendment. ‘And subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ seems to be ignored.

  • JohnEngelman

    Since the Republican Party was formed in 1854 the business community has been the most important constituency in it. For Republicans to adopt a policy that is opposed by nearly all employers they would have to stop being Republicans.

    The Republican Party exists to advance the economic interests of the richest ten percent of the country. Anything else Republican politicians and commentators talk about is an effort to win the votes of those who are hurt by their economic policies.

    • Triarius

      Between your marxist OWS mantra and your Sinophilia, why are you here?

      • JohnEngelman

        I am not a Marxist. I do love Chinese people, and Chinese culture.

        I find it easy to explain why by quoting articles I have found on this website.

        • Triarius

          A lot of what you said, on today’s articles alone, were very much in line with the OWS movement. It seems you would prefer it if China and/or Israel ruled the world. This is counter productive to our cause.

        • Romulus

          Maybe you should surrender your citizenship and move to commie China and see how well they treat you. How about Venezuela. Your an effin fraud!! I think your nothing more than a professional agitator. Do think that we here can’t see all angles over the course of American history? That somehow support for our own race and nation is unworthy of consideration? For your sake alone, I hope you enjoy all the blessings of Die-versity someday.

        • Nathanwartooth

          Seriously the Chinese?

          Japan’s culture and innovation makes China look stupid. Heck, South Koreans are cooler than the Chinese.

          Out of the 105+ IQ average Asians, you picked the worst of the lot to root for.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          Intelligence and culture? Yes.
          Values and morality? Not so much.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      “The Republican Party exists to advance the economic interests of the richest ten percent of the country.”

      I certainly believe that to be true of the GOP elite. In that sense, they are no different than the hypocritical Democrats at the top.

      There are far too few conservative populists defending America’s founding stock, but they outnumber the Dems 100 (1000?) to 1. My father’s “Party of the Working Man” has dropped the ball and become the “Party of Aggrieved Minorities.”

      For these reasons, I consider myself to be neither. But any representative, Democrat or Republican, who opposes Amnesty, deserves my support.

  • Puggg

    This better be pretty much the 45th President of the United States declaring his Presidential candidacy. I wonder if his campaign would have any use for small dogs.

  • bigone4u

    Did Jared Taylor help write the memo? If so, well done Mr. Taylor.

  • Hal K

    The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds.

    Obama lost 5 million white votes from 2008 to 2012. It was Obama who hemorrhaged support. If those 5 million whites had shown up to vote for Romney then he might have won. Romney in 2012 received almost as many votes as Bush in 2004, which was the high water mark for the GOP to date. It was not a loss of votes that cost the GOP in 2012. It was a failure to gain votes.

  • Close your eyes.

    Imagine you’re sitting in a fold up chair somewhere on the west lawn of Capitol Hill, on a cold mid winter day four winters from now. You look toward your front and slightly upward, and you’re hearing these words spoken:

    “I, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.”

    Five minutes earlier, a man named Kris W. Kobach took a similar oath whose main difference was the word “Vice” in it.

    Now as you’re sitting in your chair, to your right watching the festivities is Chris Christie, and to your left doing the same is Rand Paul. At one point, they face each other with you in between, oblivious to your presence, as they comment to each other that they shouldn’t have mucked around fighting each other over Kabuki theater non-issues back in 2013.

    Then as you look down at your smartphone, running Android 8.0 (“Lemon Meringue Pie”), you see this five alarm headline on the front of Mobile Drudge Report:


    • Manaphy

      Jeff Sessions is one of the few decent politicians left in DC, one who keeps his promises to his constituents, one that doesn’t sell out real Americans to third world savages. I truly hope that he runs for president in 2016 or 2020, otherwise we are all screwed.

      • Nathanwartooth

        Sessions has been doing this stuff for a while now. It could be to get his name out there for running for president.

        One can dream. I really think he has a good shot at winning if he runs.

        Of course the media will slander the crap out of him. We can only hope his skeletons are not worth talking about.

    • Erasmus

      Yup, Sessions for president in 2016.

      He is one of the few decent politicians now remaining in Washington. But for him and a handful of others, all the rest are pimps and grifters, especially people like the Bushes, McCain, Graham, Rubio and, now, Paul Ryan.

      That “conservatives,” including Hannity, Norquist and Medved never mention the failure of Simpson-Mazzoli as proof that amnesties don’t work or refuse to refute the failure of Simpson-Mazzoli as proof that Rubio-Schumer won’t work indicates to me how thoroughly infected the right has become by leftist thinking.

      Immigration is a deal breaker for me. I will never again support a politician who votes in favor of it. If you won’t secure the country, then being “conservative” on other issues doesn’t matter a whit.

      The first duty of every government, everywhere and always has historically been to maintain the territorial integrity of the country and secure the rights of its citizens. A government that will not first protect its citizens or, as in this case, is willing, in fact, to sell out its own citizens, is no longer a legitimate and lawful government. So, if you’re ever uncertain why Washington now behaves mostly like a crime syndicate, don’t be. It’s because Washington now appears to be the home of a crime syndicate, our own federal government.

      • Puggg

        The first duty of every government, everywhere and always has
        historically been to maintain the territorial integrity of the country
        and secure the rights of its citizens

        Also its racial and ethnic integrity.

  • Hal K

    In the long run, the sort of race-neutral maneuvering Sessions describes won’t save the GOP or whites. Whites need explicit white identity politics in order for their interests to be represented. White identity politics would lose votes for the GOP in the short term, but it is the only way forward in the long term. Society is against white identity politics, and this aspect of society has to be changed. You can’t make society accept white identity politics by avoiding the issue. As long as the GOP keeps phrasing things in race-neutral terms, it will just be spinning its wheels.

    • Puggg

      I agree that we’d be better off with explicitly racial politics. But we’re not in a good position to be cranks about it.

      • Hal K

        Exactly wrong. See my reply to Sick of it.

    • Sick of it

      Push things along certain ideological lines and you will find the same outcomes as those you desire. It should be obvious by now…just look at voting statistics.

      • Hal K

        I am not sure I understand your comment, since it is brief and vague (from my point of view), but I think you are missing my point. Implicit pro-whiteness draws in white votes without giving them enough in return. A group’s interests cannot be adequately represented without explicit identity politics. Our society has a mental block against explicit identity politics for whites, but not nonwhites. This is what has to change first.

        Affirmative action and immigration are the two most important examples. Conservative politicians have never tried to reduce legal immigration, which is making whites a minority. More of the same will lead to more of the same, i.e. towards whites becoming an oppressed minority.

        • Puggg

          You take what you can get out of politics. I don’t care whether someone delivering us crucial elements of our agenda is doing it for implicit or explicit reasons.

          • Hal K

            You are missing the point again. Explicit white identity politics is everything. It is the one key missing ingredient, without which we are on the road to a South Africa-like scenario. Nonwhites have identity politics and whites don’t. You have to blind not to recognize the importance of this.

        • Sick of it

          Your points are why conservatives are not getting people to the polls anymore – Precisely BECAUSE the so-called conservative politicians are just liberals in conservative suits.

          People in this country are getting tired of immigration. This is an idea which does not require identity politics other than American patriotism. People are getting tired of Affirmative Action. This can be argued against on the grounds of fairness and equal protection under the laws (constitutional grounds).

          David Duke could not get elected in LOUISIANA. I have no idea how you expect people to be elected along the lines of racial identity these days, unless they are a minority. That mental block will not disappear with every institution in the hands of certain people. You should also realize by now that those who control the institutions in our country use perceived threats of racial hatred or oppression to squash all pro-American movements. Fueling their propaganda does not help the cause.

          • We just need another civil war, with about 80 million Americans and everyone in Mexico dead. I’m not sorry. If the other UN security council members want to be involved, we can nuke London, Paris, Moscow and Beijing. I once thought about 40 million would be enough.

            I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. If it helps any, I would be willing to go as well, and then you could blame me.

          • Sick of it

            That sounds horrible, but what may come could be more horrible than what you just described. Especially with a complete breakdown of the economy and infrastructure.

          • My post was apparently moderated.

          • Sick of it

            Yep…I tend to end up vague to prevent moderation. In any case, it can give folks practice with reading comprehension.

          • Hal K

            Establishment-blessed conservatism is our whole problem. Look at what has gotten us to this point. That is what has failed. You are saying to go along with this because that is what is dictated by “certain people.” That is the opposite of what we should be doing.

            More of the same will get us more of the same. Nonwhites want more nonwhite immigration. Nonwhites like affirmative action, etc., and their numbers are increasing. We should not be kidding ourselves that these race-neutral strategies will save us. We should be arguing for white identity politics. Our best hope is that the GOP collapses. Our best strategy is to try to hasten that collapse.

          • Sick of it

            We should go back to the original argument, our foundational principles, which we have not really used since the 19th century. We should out the opposition, within both parties, as ANTI-AMERICAN CRIMINALS. We should hound them all out of office and into cozy jail cells. Right is on our side, but folks keep refusing to point out the obvious, coming up with alternative arguments which will not hold water with very many people.

          • Hal K

            This sounds like what many of the authors at American Thinker write. I have a response to this, but I don’t feel up to writing it. Perhaps we have argued over this before. I can’t remember.

          • Sick of it

            Not to my knowledge. I’m not saying you’re wrong per se, just that a different approach is required for modern Americans. I could also see long-term benefits for us after adopting such an approach (increasing freedom and prosperity, take back our national sovereignty, stricter punishments for criminals, etc.).

    • WR_the_realist

      Here’s the reality: Any campaign based on explicit white identity policies will lose all of the 35% of voters that are non-white, plus half the voters who are white. A lot more white people read the Daily Kos than Amren,. So such a candidate will lose by about a 1 – 2 ratio, or worse.

  • Non Humans

    Sessions definitely has a level head on his shoulders. If more representatives in the house have it in them to grow a pair and get behind him, we may well see some lasting improvements to our economy. Anyone who cannot see how this “Gang Rape of Eight” bill hurts low-income native born Americans and ultimately our economy as a whole, is truly deluded.
    Maybe since alot of the “Sacred Nonhumans” are pushing against it, and every libtarded idiot just cares so much about what they think, because they (nonhumans and libtards) have a track record for being civil and intelligent (/sarc), just maybe there’s a chance that it won’t pass.
    I wonder, though, if we would have had a Repub dominated House and Senate, if BHO would have had a stroke by now…

  • MBlanc46

    Except the humble and honest can’t pour billions into the party. If the Repubs became the party of the humble and honest, the economic elite would find someone else to push their agenda.

    • Sick of it

      Obama had more billionaires supporting his campaign than Romney.

      • MBlanc46

        If you’re implying that both parties are the parties of the economic elite, you’re right. That’s always been the case. But there have always been differences of emphasis and differences regarding which policies are actually the best for the elite. The Dems have historically supported what they think lead to longer-term, more stable conditions, whereas the Repubs have supported shorter-term, fast-growth, get-rich-quick policies.

        • Sick of it

          I am not nor have I ever been a fan of the Rockefeller Republicans, now commonly called RINOs or CINOs. We should choose our candidates more wisely in the primaries.

          • MBlanc46

            Or perhaps we should dispense with the charade of putting pieces of paper in a box or pulling a lever every two or four years, and establish real self-government, where we, or family, our neighbors, and our co-workers make the decisions that affect our lives.

  • Wow! I mean “Holy S**t, Batman!” Maybe the Idiot Party will return to dreams of fiscal responsibility, while allowing the Democrats to start foreign wars.

    Who am I kidding? Most have been corrupted as corporate, running-dog (dare I call them this?) stooges. Mr. Sessions is a lone voice in the wilderness. They have been captured into retrograde orbit and when the GOP passes some political version of the Roche Limit and breaks up, I will throw a party.

  • IKantunderstand

    Here is what the GOP should say: NO MORE IMMIGRATION. PERIOD. Defend our borders. Deport all illegals. Illegals not deported for what ever reason: NO drivers license. No job. No housing. No nothing. Go back and change your native society, after all, you are just as smart as we White people in the United(for now) States of America. REMEMBER: Race is nothing more than a social construct. That means of course, that every single solitary country in the whole wide world is absolutely equal. Ergo: Foreign aid should be insulting to the geniuses who run Africa. Personally, I think foreign aid is a form of White Supremacy. I mean, how patronizing to assume an African run country needs help? Or an Arab country? It all smacks of White Supremacy. On that basis alone, cut all foreign aid. It is SO White Supremacyish.

  • itdoesnotmatter

    In our E.R., we were so backed up with squat monsters and their 10 screaming kids [there for snotty noses], and welfare blacks, triage became a sad joke. The wait was so long, White insured patients often got up and left.

  • I do not think everyone on the left is a Marxist. I think everyone on the left should be killed tomorrow. Please remember your place, Mr. Engleman.

  • Sick of it

    Germany was run on the principles of democratic socialism until it blew up into Communism on the one hand and National Socialism on the other. I’m more interested in America being governed along the lines of American principles.