Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor today outlining his concerns about the DREAM Act, which could be voted on as soon as Wednesday.
“Americans are willing to consider some form of regular status for those who have peacefully lived and worked here for an extended period of time — but only after the border is secure,” said Sessions.
“This is because the passage of an amnesty bill such as the DREAM Act is an immediate reward for the illegal entry, and there is no serious plan to stop the illegal flow — indeed, the legislation incentivizes it,” he continued. “The public will not allow us to repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty. … They understand that if we do not secure the border first, we may never secure it at all.”
Sessions also criticized how the Democrats had handled the legislative process for DREAM. “All of this is being rushed through a lame-duck Congress with no committee review,” he said. “Democrat leaders have even introduced four versions of the same bill in just over two months, three in the last 13 days. It’s been a shell game that abuses the legislative process. Is it any wonder that the public has lost faith in this institution?”
Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R.,Texas) also attacked the DREAM Act today. “The DREAM Act not only undermines economic opportunities for Americans, it also makes it less likely that either state governments or the federal government will bring their budgets into balance,” wrote King in an op-ed for Fox News, citing a study by the Center for Immigration Studies that showed the DREAM Act could cost taxpayers $6.2 billion a year.
“Legalizing millions of illegal immigrants means more competition for scarce jobs. It is an insult to the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet,” wrote Smith in The Hill.
“Simply put,” he concluded, “the DREAM Act is a nightmare for the American people.”
The Hill’s Mike Lillis reported today that the DREAM Act “faces a difficult future in the lame duck.”
“Even as Democrats in both chambers prepare to consider the measure this week, Republicans and centrist Democrats are already lining up to shoot it down,” Lillis noted. “The climb is particularly steep in the Senate, where Republicans will filibuster the hot-button bill, and even former sponsors now stand in opposition.”