Schieffer to GOP Senator: 'Do You Think Republicans Get It on Immigration?'

June 23rd, 2013 3:13 PM

Can you imagine a member of the liberal media asking a Democratic elected official if his or her party "gets it" on an issue facing the nation?

On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, host Bob Schieffer actually asked Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al.), "Do you think Republicans get it on immigration?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: Alright, I want to turn now to Jeff Sessions, senator from Alabama. He is also a Republican. And he doesn't want any part of this bill. Senator, I've just got to ask you this question, do you think Republicans get it on immigration? Because people like Lindsey Graham are saying if you don't do something, reaching out to Hispanics, you -- it might not -- you might not need to run anybody for president next time, because with the demographics changing in this country, it's going to be impossible to elect a Republican president if you don't get substantial Hispanic support.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, (R) ALABAMA: Bob, we need to do the right thing, right thing for America and I think appeal to all people, particularly Hispanics and African Americans and minorities that are here.

SCHIEFFER: But why are you so much against this amendment?

SESSIONS: Well, I'm opposed to the bill because it doesn't do what it says, Bob. This bill grants amnesty first, and a mere promise of enforcement in the future, even with the Corker-Hoeven amendment, all of which has been put in now a 1,200 page vote we'll have Monday afternoon that nobody has read. These promises of 20,000 agents won't take place, or are not required until 2021. No money is being appropriated for that. This is merely an authorization. The fencing -- we passed a law to have 700 miles of double-wide fencing, double-layered fencing. That -- this bill is weaker than that, and it gives -- it has a specific provision that says that Secretary Napolitano does not have to build any fence if she chooses not to, and she's publicly said we've had enough fencing.

So the reason this bill was in trouble; the reason this amendment was thrown in here at the last minute was because the promises weren't fulfilled, and this legislation, this amendment doesn't fulfill its promises, either, frankly. And we're going to have amnesty first, no enforcement in the future. We're going to have increased -- we're going to have continued illegality, at least 75 percent according to the CBO report. And CBO concludes that the legal immigration will be dramatically increased and we'll have -- in addition to that, we're going to have lower wages and higher unemployment according to the CBO analysis of this bill. Why would any member of Congress want to vote for a bill at a time of high unemployment, falling wages, to bring in a huge surge of new labor that can only hurt the poorest among us the most?

SCHIEFFER: What kind of a political message does that send to Hispanics?

Well, one would think the message being sent to Hispanics that are already naturalized citizens of this country is that Republicans are looking out for their jobs and economic security trying to prevent a new cheap source of labor from threatening it.

Apparently Schieffer like so many of his colleagues doesn't get that.

Of course, it's quite unlikely that he or anyone else in the media has actually read the bill. So why should their lack of understanding of its contents be a surprise?

On the other hand, since the same is likely true of most members of Congress and the president, why should we expect journalists to be more knowledgable on the subject?

Oh. That's right. That's their job.

They're not supposed to be for or against a piece of legislation exclusively for political reasons.

A conservative can dream, can't he?