Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) late Wednesday slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for criticizing U.S. immigration laws in speeches to foreign audiences, and said those speeches go against a long-standing American tradition.
On the Senate floor, Sessions cited reports that Zuckerberg said the U.S. has a "strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants, and it's a policy unfit for today's world."
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook, is being criticized by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for questioning U.S. immigration laws before foreign audiences. AFP PHOTO/ALFREDO ESTRELLA
"Young Mr. Zuckerberg maybe doesn't know that there's a deep American tradition and a tradition in most developed nations really, you don't go to a foreign capital to criticize your own government," Sessions said. "I suppose he doesn't know about that."
"They probably didn't teach him that when he was at one of the elite schools he attended," Sessions added.
Sessions is among the most vocal opponents of President Barack Obama's plan to create legal status for up to six million illegal immigrants. He's also blamed the administration for ignoring congressional opposition to this plan, and trying to work around Congress by winning support from major companies like Zuckerberg's.
Sessions said those efforts are an attempt to put immigration policy in the hands of elites, and out of the hands of regular Americans and their representatives.
"The administration is meeting with the elite, the cosmopolitan set who scorn and mock the concerns of everyday Americans," he said. "These great and powerful citizens of the world we know don't care much about old-fashioned things like national boundaries, national sovereignty, immigration controls, let alone the constitutional separation of powers or even the consistent and evenhanded enforcement of plain law."
Sessions also slammed Zuckerberg for being one of the richest Americans who has the option of living in "fenced-off estates" while most people have to deal with the consequences of growing illegal immigration.
"Don't you get it?" he asked. "They believe they're always supposed to get whatever it is that they want. They're used to that."
Sessions has said creating legal status for millions of illegal immigrants would take jobs away from Americans, and he also questioned why companies with as much money as Facebook can't afford to hire Americans.
"I read i the news that Facebook, his company, is now worth more than $200 billion," he said. "Is that not enough money to hire American workers for a change?"