House Passes Improved Immigration Legislation

The Republican Party narrowly avoided a self-inflicted disaster tonight–that is my reading, anyway–when the House passed two separate bills dealing with immigration. The first is a supplemental/enforcement bill that is not as good as doing nothing, but is significantly improved over the version against which conservatives rebelled a day or two ago. It fixed a problem with the earlier bill that would actually have slowed deportations down, and it made clear that states can deploy the National Guard on their own. It also dealt a blow to Eric Holder’s power to appoint immigration judges.

But the big news is that the House passed the “Cruz amendment,” which bars President Obama from illegally repealing existing immigration law so as to grant legal status to five to six million illegal immigrants. Such legislation shouldn’t be necessary, obviously, and the bill will never get a hearing in the Senate, where Harry Reid backs Barack Obama’s unconstitutional usurpations. But the bill helps to clarify the border issues that the nation faces, and it places the Democratic Party on the wrong side of the issue.

Jeff Sessions, who owns this issue, focused on the House’s effort to block the Democrats’ lawlessness in this statement:

I applaud the hard work of House Republicans in putting together this package, and in particular would like to recognize the steadfast and unflinching efforts from members of our Alabama delegation.

The border bill has been substantially improved, and provides a marked contrast to the Senate Democrat bill—defeated on a bipartisan basis—that would have deepened the crisis.

Most importantly, the House has taken a firm vote today to block the President’s plan to provide unlawful executive amnesty and work permits to 5-6 million illegal immigrants. They have again acted to protect U.S. workers. President Obama’s suspension of immigration law created this crisis and his new plan, if implemented, would escalate that crisis to an unimaginable degree.

While the Republican House has voted to protect our constituents and our Constitution, Senate Democrats have abandoned both in the face of this clear and present danger. Indeed, last night, all Senate Democrats except one voted to thwart the Republican effort to stop the President’s illegal actions. All but one Democrat voted with their Senate leader instead of the people who sent them here.

But the fight in the Senate is only beginning. Now that the House has passed this measure to block the President’s unlawful actions, we will demand that every Senate Democrat be held to account. We will fight, and keep fighting, for its passage. I appeal tonight to all Americans: ask your Senators where they stand on President Obama’s executive amnesty. Ask them where they stand on protecting unemployed citizens from a plan which will give work permits and jobs to millions of illegal workers.

Senators face a time for choosing: to be complicit in the nullification of our laws, or to end this lawlessness and create an immigration policy we can be proud of. Mr. Reid: you and every single member of your conference will face this choice. On the defining issue of our nation’s laws and sovereignty, there is nowhere to hide.

Some of our readers have suggested that statues of Senator Sessions should be erected to commemorate his heroic defense of American workers. I can’t disagree.


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