Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) offered “a warning for the more purely political” of his colleagues as Congress weighs whether to move on the president’s funding request on the border crisis: Don’t forget what happened to former House majority leader and now-outgoing Representative Eric Cantor.
“The results of recent primary elections show the American people are being roused to action, and once activated, their power will be felt — they will not be mocked,” Session said on the Senate floor on Monday. “They have begged, and pleaded for our nation’s immigration laws to be enforced for 30 or 40 years, and the politicians have refused.”
Cantor lost in a surprising upset in the Republican primary for Virginia’s seventh congressional district to professor Dave Brat. Many political observers pointed to Cantor’s stance on immigration reform as one of the primary reasons for his loss — Cantor was unwilling to shoot down reform that included some form of amnesty.
But with reports that President Obama may take executive action to grant legal status to as many as 5 million immigrants in the country illegally, as well as work authorization permits, Sessions urged his colleagues to not support any supplemental funding requests without including provisions that would limit his ability to take such actions.
“No member in either party — Republican or Democrat — should support any border legislation that moves through this Senate that does not expressly prohibit these planned executive actions by the president,” he said. “All this is grim talk, but the situation is stark: Congressional action this week to bar unilateral, imperial action by the president is surely the best course to head off what could be a constitutional crisis.”