Sen. Jeff Sessions charged on Thursday that President Barack Obama's "lawlessness" has not only created the huge crisis with illegal immigrants at the border, but also one that is "much too little discussed" for Americans.
"Washington has profoundly failed in its lawful duty to the American people," the Alabama Republican said in an op-ed piece in National Review.
"On this July Fourth, it is time to focus squarely on the needs of the American people who have given their blood and sweat to deliver us this magnificent republic."
Sessions, long an opponent of comprehensive immigration reform, slammed Obama and Senate Democrats for promoting the legislation sponsored by the bipartisan Gang of Eight that was passed by the upper chamber last year.
"We owe our first obligation to the citizens of this country, and yet the last year has been consumed by an immigration debate centered on the needs of immigration lobbyists and politicians," he said. "The ultimate expression of this failure of priorities was the Senate’s immigration bill.
"During a time of low wages, high unemployment, and surging welfare rolls, the Senate bill doubled the existing and expansive rate of legal immigrant and guest-worker admissions into the U.S.
"If mass immigration is so good for the economy, why then — during this long sustained period of record immigration into the U.S. — are incomes falling and a record number of Americans not working?" Sessions asked.
A senior member of the Budget and Judiciary committees, Sessions offered six ways that the Obama administration can help Americans.
They include "stop promoting amnesty" by deporting illegals and by protecting the jobs of lawful residents with an expanded E-Verify program and other workplace-verification systems.
He also charged that Obama needed to remove programs that paid $4.2 billion in "taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants in the form of the additional child tax credits" last year and to create jobs that would get "a record 58 million working-age Americans off unemployment, off welfare, and into good-paying jobs that can support a family."
And, most importantly, Sessions argued that Republicans needed to battle Obama's efforts to address the immigration crisis through executive action,
which he vowed to do in a Rose Garden speech on Monday.
"Congress simply has no choice but to use its substantial constitutional powers to confront the president’s lawlessness," he said. "And if the Senate Democratic majority continues to empower this illegality, then they should be exposed publicly and held to account for doing so.
"To violate even further his constitutional requirement to enforce the law — regardless of what other measures are taken — will ensure that the border crisis continues."
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