Whether Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions’ immutable opposition to a House bill that would provide billions of dollars for ramped-up security along the porous Southwest border will succeed is to be tested this week when the lower chamber takes it to a vote, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sessions, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration, has become the face of the conservative block of lawmakers that adamantly oppose illegal immigration and granting de facto amnesty to those who entered the country illegally.
According to the Journal, the House bill, sponsored by Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, provides $10 billion for things like drones, land and sea surveillance systems, radar and fencing. Originally the legislation was thought to be something both establishment and tea party Republicans would agree on, until Sessions' relentless opposition succeeded in dividing House members.
He argues that it’s a waste of money to send more resources to the border when the president is allowing millions who entered illegally to stay and even permits others to enter.
"Democrats fight with more passion in defense of illegal immigrants than Republicans fight in defense of American workers," Sessions wrote in a 25-page memo he circulated to his GOP colleagues entitled, "Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority," according to the Journal.
The handbook also reminds Congress that they have "the power to stop this action by denying funds for its implementation."
"Surely, Congress must not allow the president a single dime to carry out an illegal order that Congress has rejected
and which supplants the laws Congress has passed."
The Alabama senator is calling on House Republicans to block funding to President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration, saying the bill does nothing to reduce illegal immigration, such as toughening enforcement away from the border, according to Politico.
His campaign to block the bill
has pitted members of his party against one another.
McCaul has defended the legislation, arguing that border security and interior enforcement are overseen by two different committees, the latter by the Judiciary Committee.
"I support his points [and] I wish I could put them in my bill, but I can’t," McCaul told Politico.
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