Nativism Watch

Sen. Sessions continues inviting anti-immigrant witnesses to Congress

Imagine2050 Staff • Mar 15, 2016
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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) just can’t stop inviting representatives of the organized anti-immigrant movement to testify before Congress.

Tomorrow, Sessions’ Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest will hold a hearing titled “The Impact of High Levels of Immigration on U.S. Workers.” The hearing will include testimony from two individuals with direct ties to the anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS): Steven Camarota, Director of Research at CIS, and George Borjas, an economics professor at Harvard.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) is an extremist think tank with roots in white nationalism. It promotes anti-immigrant policies, frequently using bigoted and inflammatory rhetoric and disingenuous representations of facts to accomplish its goals.

The Senate hearing comes a mere 20 days after Sessions’ presided over a hearing on high-skilled immigration featuring testimony from CIS fellow John Miano.

For years, Camarota has overseen CIS’ research output. Under his stewardship, CIS has published myriad reports riddled with methodological flaws and disingenuous conclusions leading the group to be dubbed immigration’s “false-fact think tank” by The Daily Beast.

Borjas is one of the relatively few economists that supports reductions in immigration levels. As such, his work has frequently been cited by anti-immigrant leaders and spokespersons. Borjas has worked with CIS dating back to at least 1999, when he appeared on a CIS-sponsored panel discussion. CIS has also published six reports and papers written by Borjas between 1999 and 2013. One of Borjas’ papers, focusing on immigrant welfare use and published in 2002, was made possible, at least in part, with financial support from a CIS fellowship.

Sen. Sessions also cited Borjas’ research in an Immigration Chart Book that his office released in January and distributed to Congressional colleagues.

Late last month, Sessions’ subcommittee held a hearing specifically focusing on the effects of high-skilled immigration. The hearing featured testimony from CIS fellow John Miano.

Tomorrow Sessions continues this troubling trend of inviting representatives from extremist groups like CIS. And as Imagine 2050 noted before last month’s hearing, as long as those groups “have a champion like Jeff Sessions in powerful committee positions, that trend is sure to continue.”

Photo source: CSPAN

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