Outside of a few right-wing outlets, like National Review, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions doesn’t have a lot of allies in his quest to stop immigration reform these days. This week, he took to the airwaves in Boston to spew his vitriol about immigrants and immigration with notorious radio host Howie Carr. In the twenty minute discussion, Sessions offered half-truths, flat out lies and lots of immigrant bashing. And when Carr egged on Sessions on with nasty invectives about immigrants, Sessions generally agreed.
Here’s one exchange:
Carr: Most of them [immigrants] come from primitive societies they can claim there’s no birth certificate on file so they could just come in and they could be 50 years old and they could claim that they’re 65 and immediately go on Social Security. Right? No one’s going to be able to check.
Sessions: There’s a lot of truth to that.
Where to begin? First, Sessions let Carr get away with saying that immigrants come from “primitive nations.” Not too coded, huh? And, their wild claims about the negative economic impacts of immigration have been rebutted by conservatives and progressives alike.
Sessions also–as he is prone to do–ranted about border security, a talking point was disabused by the conservative editorial page of the The Wall Street Journal, which today wrote, “If this year’s immigration debate sounds familiar, that’s because so many of the arguments are leftovers.” That’s exactly what Sessions was spouting on the radio–rehashed leftovers. Check out this quote, from that same editorial, that applies directly to Sessions: “The Republicans who claim we must ‘secure the border first’ ignore the progress already made because their real goal isn’t border security. It is to use border security as an excuse to kill immigration reform.” (Emphasis ours.)
The whole interview was a train wreck, but Sessions is on a mission to defeat immigration reform. Sessions claimed that he didn’t want to “hunt down and deport” immigrants. Instead, Sessions wants to make life so miserable for immigrants that they’ll self-deport. That’s what he supported in Alabama. And that’s the position of the anti-immigrant side’s allies, like Mark ‘Just Give Up Now, GOP‘ Krikorian and Kris ‘Self-Deportation is a Perfectly Logical Idea‘ Kobach.
Sessions and his “Gang of Hate,” abetted by a few right-wing media outlets, are going into overdrive to defeat immigration reform. At the end of their interview, Carr made the statement, “This is the end of America as we know it, I think if this thing passes.”
Fortunately, the American people don’t buy into that ugliness. In fact, support for reform continues to grow. This week, The New York Times/CBS poll found, “On immigration, 83 percent of respondents said they supported a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally, as long as certain requirements — like paying fines and back taxes, passing a criminal-background check and learning English — were met.” And, that’s what the “Gang of Eight” bill does.