Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has been named the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. As BAL has previously reported, Sessions is a major opponent of immigration reform in the Senate. Sessions got the position after being passed over to chair the powerful Senate Budget Committee in favor of Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

Sessions is already taking a very vocal lead on the issue of immigration in the 114th Congress. Last week, he published an Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority, which he distributed to his Republican colleagues. The document details Sessions’ fervent opposition to immigration, including a section devoted to “The Silicon Valley STEM Hoax,” in which he describes “the false claim … that there is a shortage of qualified Americans with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).” Sessions has indicated that his office would like to use the themes laid out in the handbook for further discussion with his colleagues at ongoing immigration meetings throughout the year.

Sessions’ higher-profile role on immigration issues on the Senate Judiciary subcommittee could be a setback for immigration reform proponents. As chair, Sessions will now have the ability to hold oversight hearings and conduct investigations. In addition, the Senate has already introduced several immigration bills in the new session that could be impacted by Sessions’ often negative views on immigration.

BAL is paying close attention to this and other developments in Congress and will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available. For more frequent updates and news, follow us on our BAL Government Affairs Twitter page.

For additional information or questions:

Lynden Melmed, Partner
Washington, D.C.
Direct: 202.842.5830

Christiana Kern, Legislative Analyst
Direct: 202.842.5831

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact