The Federation for American Immigration Reform
(FAIR) is asking lawmakers to sign a pledge to not support legislation that would give illegal immigrants amnesty, and Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is the first to sign on.
McDaniel is challenging U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary in the Magnolia State, and the group is urging the incumbent senator to take the pledge as well, Breitbart.com
The anti-amnesty group NumbersUSA,
which is associated with FAIR, has given Cochran a lifetime grade of C+, which is lower than most Senate Republicans. Although his grade in the current Congress is B+, Numbers gives him a lifetime rating of B for helping to reduce illegal immigration at the borders. When it comes to voting against measures that would reduce immigrant visas via lottery, he gets an F-.
The FAIR pledge asks lawmakers to oppose measures "that would grant any form of work authorization to illegal aliens," oppose bills that would increase legal immigration, and oppose legislation "that would increase the overall number of guest workers."
McDaniel told Breitbart that he decided to take the pledge because he believes that immigration hurts jobs and income for Americans.
"What we've seen over the past several years is a combination of wage stagnation, growth in welfare programs, and even shrinking workforce participation," he said. "That comes in large part because of out-of-control illegal immigration but also because of increased numbers of legal immigration.
"We have millions of Americans who don't have a job, plus we have millions who are on public benefits," McDaniel added. "How about we find a way to put those people back to work?"
The Republican primary challenger said that former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Cochran "by extension" are wrong on immigration.
Cochran has not supported major legislation such as the most recent "Gang of Eight" measure that passed in the Senate in 2013, but did vote to advance the bill. He has also opposed amendments such as the one introduced by former Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina in 2009 that would have required a fence on 700 miles of the border.
McDaniel is calling on Cochran to join him.
"He should be courageous enough to engage and sign this pledge — and then fight for those workers," he said.
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