Below is a letter written about Obama's amnesty executive acction by one of the top conservative leaders in North Texas, Russell Ramsland. It seems our Representative Pete Sessions has been making the local talk radio circuit and he has his titties in a twist over negative comments being made by top conservatives in his district about his take on amnesty. In fact, what is Pete's stance on amnesty? Does anyone really know? He seems to be squishy on this topic and for this, I feel compelled to share Mr. Ramsland's letter on the topic.
Recently I received a letter from Pete expressing concern that he'd seen an e-mail I had sent around, presumably the one entitled "DEFUND AMNESTY NOW", and I appeared to be struggling to convey his beliefs about Amnesty and the President's Executive Order. I appreciated Pete's concern, I read the letter, and I decided I needed to respond as you can see below. I am posting my response, as I told Pete I would, in the hopes we would truly have a dialogue about this. I believe it is critical to the future of the Country, not to mention the Rule of Law, the Constitution, our financial solvency and the future of the Republican Party. I apologize for the length, it grossly violates my belief in Shakespeare's dictum "brevity is the soul of wit", but it's that important in my mind.
Should you wish to join in the discussion, please feel free to telephone or e-mail Pete.
Local # 972-392-0505
Washington # 202-225-2231
Russell Ramsland's Letter:
December 3, 2014
Congressman Pete Sessions
2233 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4332
Thank you for your letter of November 18th relating to your stance on immigration reform. I appreciate the time and effort it took. In my e-mail you referenced, I conveyed the impression I have received by watching and listening to you, and the Republican Leadership, with regards to amnesty for illegal aliens and the apparent desire to capitulate to it, while pretending to “fight” against it for the people who elected you to do just that. I say this because the press is also full of accounts about the Republican Leadership trying to craft a plan allowing it to complain, but ultimately capitulate to Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive order because the Republican leadership wants and supports the idea of legalizing illegal immigrants, excepting those with criminal backgrounds. Your letter doesn’t appear to contradict this impression. If you believe it does, then I would suggest the very generalized nature of the language makes it difficult to understand specifically what you and the Republican Leadership will or will not pursue. And with immigration, the devil is always in the details.
For now, suffice it to say the question of whether records even exist for people who are intrinsically invisible to the system and who largely have fake or no social security numbers or any other form of reliable ID is a huge one. My friends in the FBI tell me the vast majority of criminality in illegals cannot be reliably or even adequately traced. So claiming the government could legalize all but those with a criminal background is essentially a fool’s errand.
While the Jonathon Gruber School of Government advocates offering shiny objects to distract “stupid” and gullible citizens, Boehner’s purported lawsuit to fool the American people into believing Republicans are doing something is a non-starter because Gruber is wrong and everyone is already aware lawsuits take years, the crisis is now, and the American people know it. You and your fellow Republicans were elected to STOP this deal dead in its tracks, period.
It’s also important to recognize the latest executive order is only secondarily about amnesty and immigration. That’s a shiny object designed by Obama for myopic Republican leadership. The executive order is really about precedent. And if it’s not stopped now, dead in its tracks, the Congress will be well on the path to irrelevancy by 2016 at the pace this President is going and the Republican Leadership is cringing.
The Republicans won an overwhelming landslide this election because people like Ted Cruz demonstrated that some Republicans will actually do something to stop this out-of-control disaster in the White House. I realize the media harps constantly on the idea that Cruz’s actions in the “shutdown” were a disaster for Republicans, but the data of November makes mincemeat of that. The Republican mistake in the “shutdown” wasn’t Ted Cruz’s actions, it was that Republicans never explained convincingly and morally why the actions they took were appropriate. But now the American people have elected Republicans to STOP this President, first and foremost.
If the Republican Leadership fails to use every bit of its power to do that, then the GOP has become meaningless. The American people don’t want Republican words anymore, they want deeds. And everything in your power includes using your power of the purse to pass a temporary continuing resolution now and then a permanent defunding of those programs that are illegally being pursued under Obama’s lawless executive orders after the first of the year.
Second, and again contrary to the news reports around Washington that pass as accepted wisdom, in Texas where the pushback against legalization of illegals is strongest in the nation and where the “Texas Solution” was defeated despite the best attempts of the statewide Republican to cram it down conservative throats at the State convention, Cornyn garnered 48% of the Hispanic vote and Greg Abbott garnered 44%. I don’t have to tell you that’s a huge increase in winning the Hispanic vote from 2012. And yet the State Republican Leadership said if we didn’t pass the Texas Solution we’d have gigantic losses of our numbers of Hispanic voters. Further, nationally, the GOP won 36% of Hispanic voters, up a solid 9% from the 27% that Romney garnered. For a large number of legal Hispanic immigrants, our polling shows that the substantial majority of Hispanic voters oppose amnesty for illegals. Even for those Hispanic voters who may be neutral or supportive of the idea, the topic is way down their list of the most pressing issues.
The Republican Leadership seems entirely unaware their credibility is about to run out. The National Chamber of Commerce may be able to write big checks, but they can’t supply the votes you need to win. The Republican Leadership also seems entirely unaware the National Chamber of Commerce no longer shares even a single goal with the grassroots that made up the Reagan Big Tent. In this last election, we worked tirelessly to try and get thoroughly disenchanted, former Republicans now listing themselves as Independents, to come out and vote Republican. And if we’d identified ourselves as Republicans, they’d have hung up the phone. And yet the Republican Leadership keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper by assuming Jonathon Gruber is right.
So what do I suggest, specifically? Here are some suggestions.
First, do something that hasn’t been done since 1834 - namely formally censure the President and his illegal actions against the Constitution. That will make headlines in newspapers around the country and message the moral case for responding to the President’s lawlessness, namely, if his actions are not stopped now it will set precedent and become the norm, and that will destroy our entire republican system of government. The American people don’t want an Emperor. A censure, after all, is a moral statement and if the Republican Congress intends to respond to the president’s executive overreach, it needs to make a strong moral claim to the high ground. You can make the point for days that Congress has no choice but to respond to the President’s lawless actions per se, and secondarily restore order to the immigration debate in the process. It’s called messaging. If you need some wording, here’s a start:
“Resolved, That the President, in the late Executive Order relating to non- enforcement of duly constituted immigration laws, has assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the Constitution and laws, but in derogation of both.”
Next, you do a short-term Continuing Resolution with a rider attached that expressly defunds the President’s illegal amnesty program. And if the President tries to suspend non-essential government services over this rider, you have already made clear it’s Obama’s lawlessness that will destroy the country you are sworn to protect, that Obama is to blame for any suspension of non-essential services. Not the GOP. As an aside, please stop referring to Obama's threatened suspension of non-essential services as a "government shutdown." You and I both know that there is no such thing as a "government shutdown." This is part of your messaging problem.
Third, you follow it in the new Congress with agency by agency spending bills that not only eliminate any further spending on lawless decrees by the President, but that cut other areas where spending can only charitably be called “profligate”. I keep reading how the Republican Leadership wants to prove it can govern, and yet you won’t exhibit LEADERSHIP. Whining is not leadership. What I am describing in this letter to you is leadership. Go explain it to them. The GOP landslide in 2016 would then dwarf 2014’s.
Fourth, you begin to reform the immigration laws in a measured, step-by-step set of bills to address various problems specifically, and in a targeted manner. You do NOT succumb to the temptation to do an omnibus bill on immigration and at this time you do NOT try to enact any sort of amnesty for those here illegally. I think Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, etc. all testify to the folly of these huge, all-encompassing attempts to make law. It’s a record of unmitigated disaster after unmitigated disaster. Is this the record of governing the Republican Leadership now wants to wrap around it’s own shoulders?
When you start reforming immigration, step one is to close the border, immediately turning illegals around and sending them home instead of admitting them. Set a time frame and measurement for proving the border has been successfully closed. Following that can be bills opening up the green card process for greater numbers of STEM immigrants, strengthening interior enforcement, requiring e-verify for all Federal positions (including contractors and subcontractors), requiring one parent to be a US citizen in order to obtain birthright citizenship and eliminating the use of languages other than English in any government document. Only after all this do you start crafting a true guest worker program.
Let me address two critical points regarding the latter, since that is where the greatest mischief is to be found. There is very substantial legal precedent in court cases that says if you grant legal status to a person here illegally while he remains in the country, you CANNOT deny him access to all the free social services. Obama already knows this. So if you are truly against free social services to guest workers - you should be - you cannot grant amnesty to anyone while they remain in the country. They will have to return home first in order to apply for guest worker status. Next, there is also absolutely no way a guest worker program can be tied to a path to citizenship. Citizenship needs to be on an entirely separate, parallel path. If you are willing and courageous enough to plant these as a cornerstone, you will find a far more receptive audience in this country to a guest worker program.
Pete, I believe this letter contains specificity, not sweeping generalizations that can be misunderstood and thereby ignored when convenient. If you will write to me a letter with specificity, then I would most gladly put it in my e-mails to my fellow members of the Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum. We can then all have an open discussion about it. I will try to start the ball rolling on this conversation by posting this letter. Otherwise I can send out your letter, but I fear you will be flooded with letters expressing similar sentiments to this one, and that hardly seems productive for either of us.
I appreciate your time and attention to this letter.
Russell J. Ramsland, Jr.