Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Monday accused President Obama of conspiring with several high tech companies to make it easier for non-U.S. citizens to find jobs in America, at the expense of millions of Americans who are still looking for work.
"This administration is actively working against the interests of the American worker," Sessions said. "And Senate Democrats, instead of defending Congress and their constituents, are handing their vote over to Leader Reid and President Obama."
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) warned Monday that tech companies are conspiring with President Barack Obama to bring in more non-U.S. workers, to the detriment of U.S. citizens still looking for work. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sessions was responding to a report in Politico that said administration officials are meeting with companies like Intel and Cisco to discuss ways it can get them to support executive branch action on immigration by the end of this summer.
The report said companies are considering ideas such as reusing unused green cards and making changes to work authorization programs.
Many companies have been clear about their support for changes in immigration rules that help them hire new workers. But Sessions has said the effort to create jobs for non-U.S. workers would only make it harder millions of non-working Americans to find jobs.
"Overall, mass layoffs in the tech industry are up 68 percent from the prior year," he said. "As for the construction industry, there are seven unemployed workers for every one job opening."
He said Cisco just last week said it would lay off 6,000 workers, and Microsoft has said it would lay off 18,000 workers.
Several press reports have indicated that Obama is considering a plan to formally spare several million illegal immigrant adults from deportation, and allow them to seek work authorization, just as Obama has done for younger immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Sessions and others have said Obama has no plans to aggressively deport millions of people anyway, and that his policy announcement would simply formalize his intention to let them stay.
Sessions said Obama's attempt to woo tech companies and others would likely add to the number of illegal immigrants who would be allowed to stay in the country.
"The increases in foreign workers demanded by corporate lobbyists would be in addition to the administration's plan to implement amnesty by executive fiat, providing work permits to 5–6 million illegal immigrants and visa overstays who will be able to take any job in any industry, public or private," he said.
The Senate last year passed an immigration reform bill that Sessions and other conservatives dismissed as a plan that would ease immigration rules immediately, with only the promise of improved border enforcement. Sessions said the same companies who supported that Senate plan now appear to be working with Obama on his executive action.
"The same group of CEOs who helped write the Senate's Gang of Eight immigration bill in secret is now scheming with the White House to extract by executive fiat what was denied to them by the American people and Congress," Sessions said.
"Tens of millions of Americans are on welfare, unemployment, and public assistance," he added. "Yet the White House and their Senate Majority seem more concerned about the economic demands of large corporations, or the citizens of other countries, than about getting our own citizens back to work into stable jobs that can support a family and uplift a community."