WASHINGTON – Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told PJM illegal immigration is pulling down American working people’s wages, and they have the “right to be upset” at Washington and support presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Sessions said many economic experts such as Professor George Borjas at Harvard University have documented that illegal immigration is pulling down wages.
“That’s why wages are going down. American working people’s wages are lower today than they were in 2000. No wonder they’re upset. And part of that is excessive flow of immigration and part of it is bad trade deals that have exported our manufacturing,” Sessions, chairman of Trump’s national security advisory committee, said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference.
“They have a right to be upset. Donald Trump says, ‘I understand that. I agree with you and we’re going to make America great again,’ and I think that’s the message that will be successful. And for immigrants, they need to see some growth too. I don’t think the American immigrant population in any way favors massive lawlessness like we’re having today,” he added.
Sessions labeled presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants “radical” since the U.S. is currently seeing record immigration levels. Under Trump, Sessions said America will have a “lawful” immigration system.
“Hillary Clinton is radical. We’re at the highest level of immigration we’ve ever seen. Soon we’ll have the largest percentage of immigrant population America has ever had,” he said. “We’re not against immigration. We’re not going to end immigration. What is this? But we’ve got this massive illegality. Terrorists are exploiting it. We’re bringing in so many people that it is pulling down wages for the American worker. The numbers are much larger than people realize.”
Sessions was asked if he agreed with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) labeling Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel the “textbook” definition of a racist comment.
“Donald Trump was frustrated and he said something he shouldn’t have said. It wasn’t perfectly a good way to handle it, no doubt about it, but look, there are hundreds of thousands of interviews and discussions and comments that he makes,” he said.
“The question is — is he advancing an agenda that’s good for all Americans, working Hispanics, working African-Americans, all minorities, poor white workers, is he advancing an agenda that will make their lives better? I say yes and that is just the opposite of being biased. His agenda is hostile to the establishment and global wealth and billionaires, really, and positive for working people,” he added.
Some conservatives such as talk show host Hugh Hewitt are calling for Republican Party leaders to find an alternate nominee. Sessions, who was the first senator to endorse Trump, rejected that idea.
“It’s not many, first, and a lot of it is not even that serious. Donald Trump has the nomination of the Republican Party. He won it by Republican voters who represent the Republican Party and we have some elected office holders who have different views and would like to have somebody else but, sorry, the people have decided,” Sessions said.
“It’s time for us to get united here and the fact that his style of speaking doesn’t appeal to their sweetness but the American people want some strength. They like his policies that we are going to end the lawlessness of immigration. Why has Congress not done that in 30 years? Why not? The American people are right. We are going to get somebody elected who is going to end this lawlessness and protect us,” he added.
Sessions also said voters are looking for a president who will protect American jobs and oppose bad trade deals.
“We want somebody who is going to stand up and protect our jobs, our wages, our manufacturing and so, sorry, some people had different views and their candidates lost. We’ve got a strong candidate now who is going to win in November,” he said.
“He’s going to bring in Democrats and independents in a larger degree than we’ve seen in many years and that’s the key to win. You cannot win with a narrow Republican base. You’ve got to reach beyond that base, and people are not happy with the way things are going in this country.”