Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is emerging as one of the leading opponents of immigration reform in the Senate, condemned the Chamber of Commerce for working out a shared set of principles with the AFL-CIO on how to handle future immigration.
Sessions dismissed the "inconsistent and even contradictory" principles" as a scheme to "get as much cheap labor as possible" for business. The full statement, via his press office:
“Union and non-union workers alike, as well as all Americans, should be concerned about the immigration agenda of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As in the last debate on comprehensive reform, the Chamber’s primary goal has never been to establish a lawful immigration system and secure our borders, but to get as much cheap labor as possible, regardless of how it impacts American workers, legal immigrants, and taxpayers in general.
The ‘shared principles’ announced today are internally inconsistent and even contradictory. In addition to the Gang of Eight’s plan to make millions of workers immediately available to compete for any job—which the Chamber supports—the ‘shared principles’ of the Chamber and AFL-CIO would add a permanent ‘worker visa’ program. Surely the Chamber hasn’t abandoned belief in the power of the market; such a visa program is certain to take jobs from American workers and depress wages."
The Chamber has been a positive force on many issues. This is not one of them.”