Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) said the president’s speech on income inequality today was “shocking” in light of his support for a comprehensive immigration-reform plan that would almost certainly make the problem worse.
“It is shocking for the President to give a speech about income disparity and falling wages while pushing an immigration plan that will hammer American workers and widen the disparity,” Sessions said in a statement, noting that the Congressional Budget Office projected that the Senate immigration bill would reduce average wages and increase unemployment over the next decade. “The President says people are worried ‘the system is rigged’ and yet it is the President who has teamed up with a small cadre of CEOs to double the flow of immigrant workers when these exact same companies are laying off American workers in droves.”
American workers have seen their wages fall every year since Obama took office, Sessions said, pointing to studies that indicate immigrant workers have been the beneficiaries of all net job growth since 2000. “Harvard professor Dr. George Borjas found that high levels of immigration between 1980 and 2000 caused the wages of lower-skilled American workers to drop nearly 8 percent. He also found current immigration levels have resulted in a $402 billion annual wage loss for workers but a $437 billion increase in profits for business owners,” Sessions said. “It is time to have an open and honest conversation about our shrinking middle class and the consequences of our immigration policies on American workers and their wages. Unfortunately, that is not what we got from the President today.”
Obama’s speech was sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a left-wing think tank whose major donors include Walmart, Comcast, General Electric, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.