Senate Judiciary ranking member Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., both said immigration is an important issue to tackle but that efforts should not be rushed because of political calculations. …

“I think you’ve got to think in terms beyond immigration. I think that that only opens the door. I don’t think it wins Hispanics or minorities over,” Grassley said of the RNC’s postelection report — released Monday — that endorsed passing comprehensive immigration legislation. …

“I think what we have to do is relate to [Latinos] on the bigger issues, how entrepreneurship lifts people out of poverty; it’s not government programs,” Grassley added. …

Sessions, who has long been a critic of efforts to provide what he calls “amnesty” to undocumented immigrants, took issue with the bipartisan group of eight senators who are meeting behind closed doors to draft immigration legislation.

“If comprehensive means we wait on eight self-appointed senators to meet in secret and come out and lay down a plan, and if you don’t vote for it, you’re against immigration reform, then I think that is improper,” Sessions said. He said he would prefer to pass immigration changes piecemeal, rather than all at once.