The New York Times Can't Handle Jeff Sessions | Conservative Review

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Sen. Jeff Sessions

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The New York Times Can't Handle Jeff Sessions

By: Daniel Horowitz | April 20th, 2015

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In Proverbs 29:9, King Solomon observed that "if a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace."  Nowhere is this more evident than with the debate concerning immigration in the year 2015 between Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and the New York Times

Even Ted Kennedy felt he needed to vouch for common sense immigration values – measured and gradual immigration, assimilation, and not using immigration policy as a pungent means of fundamentally altering the orientation of the country.

The political contours of the debate over immigration weren’t always drawn so far to the extreme left as they are today.  For example, here is what former Sen. Ted Kennedy said about his immigration bill in 1965:

“First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia … In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.” […]

“The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” [Ted Kennedy at Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 10, 1965, commenting on the Hart-Celler Act]

As we know, Kennedy lied to the American people because his bill wound up doing exactly what he promised to avoid.  But there is a broader lesson here.  Even Ted Kennedy felt he needed to vouch for common sense immigration values – measured and gradual immigration, assimilation, and not using immigration policy as a pungent means of fundamentally altering the orientation of the country.

Indeed, there was a time in America when people could debate immigration policy and provide data and logical arguments advocating for slightly less net immigration – and not be called hateful names. 

As late as 1993, the current Democrat leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, inveighed against illegal immigration on the Senate floor and introduced a bill that, among other things, reduced the annual flow of legal immigration from 800,000 to 300,000.

Keep in mind that since 1993 the levels of immigration have only increased; we have admitted over 1 million legal immigrants every single year for over a decade.  The foreign-born population has doubled since the time when the current Democrat leader felt that immigration levels were already reaching near crisis levels.  Immigration levels have quadrupled since the days when Ted Kennedy misled the public about his immigration bill.  At Conservative Review, we have detailed an assortment of data showing the enormity of the size of this great wave of immigration and how it is less diverse and assimilation-inducing than at any other time in history.

Census on Foreign Born

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]



According to a recent Census projection, the current record-high level of immigration will skyrocket based on the existing trajectory – under current law (without even increasing levels).  The foreign-born population is projected to jump by 85% - from 42 million to 78 million in four decades.  By 2060, nearly one in every five Americans will be foreign-born. 

Future Predictions by Census

Yet, there is a near consensus among both parties of the political class in D.C. to double or triple the existing baseline, in addition to legalizing all of the illegal aliens.   

Nobody involved in public policy is advocating zero net immigration, even after this unprecedented wave.  Yet, there is one brave senator – like the wise man mentioned in Proverbs – who simply wants to open a dialogue about the effects of this massive wave and the proposals to double it.  He wants to raise questions about the effects on societal cohesion, assimilation, wages, welfare, education, and language.  Everyone agrees some degree of immigration is vital for a country’s survival, but why can’t we have a rational debate over the numbers, time frame, and type of immigration?  Much like any public policy, the devil is in the details. 

Lacking any of their own legitimate research to rebut his premises, the New York Times resorted to name calling and ugly charges of racism.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), penned an op-ed in the Washington Post outlining the facts and the arguments – not for ending immigration – but for a slowdown from the protracted and sustained record-high baseline of immigration.  The Alabama senator is actually advocating a position that is to the “left” of Harry Reid just one generation ago, especially considering how the arguments for a slowdown have only grown stronger.  Indeed, Senator Sessions is not the one who needs to vouch for his views; it is those who are advocating an unprecedented wave of immigration…on top of an existing unprecedented wave of immigration…who need to show their work. 

It’s time for a legitimate debate over the levels of immigration and it’s time to elicit the input of the American people, not just the political elites.  There might be a case to be made for increased immigration, but the New York Times certainly is not positing it. Lacking any of their own legitimate research to rebut his premises, the New York Times resorted to name calling and ugly charges of racism.

Calling policy opponents racist or anti-immigrant is the last refuge for those who are bankrupt of intellectual arguments and devoid of facts.  The political elites might be unanimous in their support for reckless immigration policies that benefit their elite institutions and big business, but the American people aren’t buying it. In poll after poll, a plurality of Americans want a slowdown in immigration.  According to Gallup, just 7% of respondents want to increase immigration from its current levels. That 7% must all live inside of the D.C. beltway.    

Daniel Horowitz is the Senior Director of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.

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