WASHINGTON – Republican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is often viewed as the most hardline anti-immigration advocate in the Senate but unlike Republican nominee Donald Trump, Sessions doesn’t think amnesty electorally dooms the Republican Party.
Sessions spoke to reporters after addressing an event hosted by Hillsdale College Wednesday night. The Daily Caller asked the Republican senator how a Hillary Clinton victory and a subsequent passing of immigration amnesty would effect the GOP in future elections.
“I think that Republicans stand a real good chance of appealing to immigrant populations and raising our percentage,” Sen. Sessions replied after pausing for a moment to think. The Alabama senator went on to point to Donald Trump supporting an end to “lawlessness” and him “still doing pretty well with the immigrant population.”
While Trump is fairing about as well as Romney with the Hispanic vote, less than 30 percent is hardly fairing “pretty well.” The other largest group of immigrants to the U.S is Asians and they vote solidly Democrat.
Trump has previously said: “I think this will be the last election if I don’t win. I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the border, you’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they’re going to be legalized and they’re going to be able to vote and once that all happens you can forget it. You’re not going to have one Republican vote.”
Conservative author Ann Coulter agrees with this sentiment and has previously told TheDC that amnesty will make the country look like California and there will be “no possibility of Republicans winning another presidential election.” California was 38.8 percent Hispanic and 38 percent white in 2015, according to Census estimates.
The Democratic Party hasn’t won a majority of the white vote in a presidential election since 1964, so TheDC pressed Sen. Sessions about why shouldn’t then the Republican Party be worried about an increase in immigration.
“I think if we do a good job of advocating for the American interest, for all the people’s interest, for growth and prosperity we can continue to do well,” Sessions responded. He focused on the issue of immigration as being primarily one of economics. He said the U.S is “bringing in more people than we have jobs for.”
Sen. Sessions added, “Republicans don’t believe in appealing on the basis of race or ethnicity. We believe in appealing to everybody on the basis that we are going to make the country better, we’re going to make their lives better, we’re going to have more prosperity, and that is the way I think we should approach it and not in a more divisive manner.”