No Surrender on Immigration
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Politico, November 10, 204
On Election Day, Americans roared in protest against the President’s open-borders extremism. They rallied behind candidates who will defend the rule of law and put the needs of American workers and families first.
Exit polls were unequivocal. More than 3 in 4 voters cited immigration as an important factor in their vote, believed that U.S. workers should get priority for jobs, and opposed the President’s plans for executive amnesty. These voters were right and just in their demands.
But President Obama made clear that he would attempt to void the election results–and our laws–by moving forward with his executive amnesty decree.
This decree would operate much like his unlawful “Deferred Action”: conferring work permits, photo IDs, and Social Security numbers to millions of individuals illegally present in the U.S.–allowing them to take jobs and benefits directly from struggling American workers. It is a scheme the Congress has explicitly refused to pass.
The President will arrogate to himself the sole and absolute power to decide who can work in the U.S., who can live in the U.S., and who can claim benefits in the U.S.–by the millions. His actions will wipe out the immigration protections to which every single American citizen is lawfully entitled. And his actions will ensure–as law enforcement officers have cried out in repeated warnings–a “tidal wave” of new illegal immigration.
He must be stopped. And the American people have sent Washington a Republican congressional majority to do exactly that. Here’s how we can stop him:
President Obama’s executive amnesty will not be easy to execute. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will have to be ordered to redirect funds and personnel away from its statutorily mandated enforcement duties and towards processing applications, amnesty benefits, and employment authorizations for illegal immigrants and illegal overstays. It is a massive and expensive operation.
And it cannot be implemented if Congress simply includes routine language on any government funding bill prohibiting the expenditure of funds for this unlawful purpose. This is the same way we prevented the President from closing Guantanamo Bay. Such application of congressional power is ordinary, unexceptional, and used thousands of times.
Congress has the power of the purse. The President cannot spend a dime unless Congress appropriates it.
Karl Rove, who himself has advocated for amnesty, urged Congress to use its spending power to block the President’s fiat. He said Republicans should “use every tool available,” and put “riders on appropriations bills that say no money shall be spent to execute this policy.”
Yet reports have surfaced of plans to pass a long-term lame-duck spending bill through Harry Reid’s Senate that contains no such prohibition. This would be unthinkable.
Why would any member of Congress who opposes executive amnesty provide President Obama the funds to carry it out? A Republican majority must force congressional Democrats to answer this question through their votes.
We cannot surrender Congress’ most powerful Constitutional tool before a single newly elected Republican is sworn-in. Acting in this manner would betray the very voters who gave us this majority before we’re even in possession of it.
Consider RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ pledge to voters on executive amnesty: “It’s unconstitutional, illegal . . . It is un-American for a president to try and do such a thing . . . We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen . . . we can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen. I don’t know how to be any stronger than that. I’m telling you, everything we can do to stop it we will.”
Voters heard Chairman Priebus and sent us fearless men and women to fight this battle. The day after his election, the courageous Senator-elect David Perdue was unequivocal: “We cannot let [the President] get away with that. The people of Georgia, specifically, are sending me up there to get in a dog fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Obama’s immigration orders will have a crushing impact on the jobs, wages, schools, hospitals, police departments, and communities of our constituents. The consequences will be swift, profound, and catastrophic. Who will protect them, if not us?
In a battle between Congress and the President–over whether to save our citizens’ jobs, laws, and borders, or whether to eliminate them–there is no doubt the public will be firmly on our side.
We cannot yield to open borders. We cannot let one executive edict erase the immigration laws of an entire nation. If we believe America is a sovereign country, with enforceable boundaries, and a duty to protect its own people, then we have no choice but to fight and to win.