Rubio's steadfast immigration reform foe: Sen. Jeff Sessions
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio stepped off the trolley that takes lawmakers from their offices to the Capitol and as he brushed past Sen. Jeff Sessions, he suggested his colleague get lost in Hawaii for the week.
They laughed but the young Republican from Florida could only dream.
Rubio is trying to pass the most far-reaching immigration bill in nearly three decades. Sessions, R-Ala., is trying to stomp it dead, one speech, one ominous warning at a time, a relentless, if untheatrical, quest for the same success he had in 2007, the last time Congress attempted immigration reform.
"I just hammered the bill, pointed out the problems day after day and the opposition grew," said Sessions, who bears the studious countenance of an Eagle Scout. "I think it can happen again. Although I'll acknowledge the forces are there. The odds are different this time. But I'm going to oppose it with all the ability I have."
There are other critics of the legislation, but none as persistent as Sessions, a courtly and compact 66-year-old former federal prosecutor from Mobile who is driven by a sense of law and order and concern for American jobs that, he says, are being taken and undervalued by workers who are here illegally.
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