TheDC: Will your lower labor-supply policy help immigrants fully integrate into the center of American life, instead of being trapped as hyphenated-Americans on the periphery of our community?
Sessions: I’m offering a concept — the American concept that treats all people equally, regardless of their ethnicity or their religion, and that is consistent with the American vision.
There’s no doubt that the Republican vision will advance the desire of immigrants who want to see their children prosper, move up into the middle class and the upper-middle class and even to great wealth.
Our principles and policies provide that avenue, whereas the Democratic vision is driving up costs and pulling down economic growth with regulations. It over-regulates, it overtaxes … which is guaranteed to stagnate wages, job growth and the opportunity of new Americans — as well as the native-born Americans — to prosper.
It is the Democratic agenda that breaks people down into groups, and pits groups against another and rewards some groups in order to obtain votes. That’s destructive to America.
Sessions: Republicans somehow felt that we must utilize the rhetoric of the Democrats to appear supportive of immigrants. Also, businesses have very special interests in these issues, and they’re not at all hesitant to advocate for them and even raise money to promote their agenda.
It is particularly galling. The business view is even worse than being wrong in economic terms [because] they go even further and make a ludicrous claim that it is good politics for Republicans to abandon the perfectly legitimate goal of having a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest.
We’ve got to stand up and be counted.
We owe all Americans the right and opportunity to rise and prosper, but recent immigrants and native-born Americans absolutely can find themselves unable to prosper or see their wages rise if the flow of workers into the country exceeds the ability of the economy to absorb them.
So I do think it is critical for the Republicans Party to join with the decent plea of the American people to create a lawful system of immigration that serves our national interest.
TheDC: Can GOP legislators say no to the business donors who want to import more workers and customers, regardless of the cost to American workers or to the GOP’s future?
Sessions: Some politicians are influenced by friendships and being on the same side as others on issues of importance.
But there’s a old principle of politics; Voters trump money, and if you’re serving the interest of your people and you’re popular, it is pretty easy to win contributions from businesses. Democrats get huge amounts of money even when they’re serving critics of business.
I know who I represent — I represent four million Alabama citizens, and their interests are not the same as [interests as Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg.
A number of people — Sheldon Adelson, the Chamber of Commerce, Michael Bloomberg, Steve Case — [say what] they want the GOP to do in their financial interest is also going to help Republicans get elected.
We should probably roll on the floor and guffaw at them.
We need to tell people who think they can buy bad policy with money and contributions to go jump the lake. We need to tell them with clarity — we don’t represent specials interests, we represent the American interest.
We’re not going to be seduced into adopting the policy of a narrow group of billionaires and ignore the legitimate interests of millions of working Americans.
They do have highly paid lobbyists who make these argument, and get articles written in the paper to make these arguments, but as time has gone by, people are beginning to evaluate the situation differently. There has been a willingness to push back on them.