The President’s duty under the Constitution is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The Attorney General is the President’s chief agent in that regard. With respect to immigration, the laws of the United States set forth the manner in which immigrants may lawfully enter and remain within the United States. Numerous persons are here in violation of those laws. The laws of the United States further provide that no employer may hire a person who is present in the United States illegally. The Attorney General’s duty is to execute and enforce those laws.
In today’s confirmation hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions asked nominee Loretta Lynch who has more right to a job, an American citizen or legal immigrant, or a person who is here illegally. Lynch’s answer is stunning:
Lynch’s answer amounts to a repudiation of her prospective duties as Attorney General.
Paul described Lynch’s exchange with Sessions this morning. Following the colloquy in the video, this is how Paul described the testimony:
What if an employer prefers to hire an American citizen over an illegal immigrant granted a work permit under executive amnesty? Would Lynch take action against the employer for discrimination?
It’s a great question, and Lynch totally ducks it. She looks forward to obtaining Sen. Sessions’ views on the subject after she’s studied it more.
So Lynch won’t rule out suing employers who prefer hiring Americans to hiring people who came here illegally. That pretty much rules such suits in.
This of course stands the law on its head. Federal law says that employers can’t hire illegal immigrants, Lynch says she may take the position that employers must hire illegal immigrants. Again, this is simply a repudiation of her duties should she be confirmed.
This is a transcript of a portion of Sessions’ questioning of Lynch:
On April 24th of 2013, Attorney General Holder said this — and I’m raising this fundamentally because I think there’s a lot of confusion about the — how we should think about immigration in America, what are duties and what our responsibilities are.
He said this, quote, “Creating a pathway to earn citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in our country is essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights.”
So let me ask you, do you believe that a person who enters the country unlawfully, that has perhaps used false documents or otherwise entered here, has a civil right to citizenship?
Well, Senator, I’m not familiar with the context of those comments. I certainly think that you do touch upon the difficult issue of how do we handle the undocumented — undocumented immigrants who come to our country. I believe for the life that we offer, I believe because of the values that we espouse…
I don’t want to interrupt you, but just the question is, do you agree with that statement about it’s a matter of civil rights, and citizenship, and work authority, right to work in America, for someone who enters the country unlawfully? That’s a civil right?
Senator, I haven’t studied the issue enough to come to a legal conclusion on that. I certainly think that people who come to this country in a variety of ways can rehabilitate themselves and apply, but that would have to be something that would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
I’d just like to hear you answer that. Is it a civil right for a person who enters the country unlawfully, who would like to work and like to be a citizen, to demand that, contrary to the laws of the United States? And when Congress doesn’t pass it, is that a right that they’re entitled to demand?
So I don’t think — I think that citizenship is a privilege. Certainly, it’s a right for those of us born here. I think it’s a privilege that has to be earned. And within the panoply of civil rights that are recognized by our jurisprudence now, I don’t see one that you — as such that you are describing.
I certainly agree. I’m a little surprised it took you that long. But the attorney general’s statement was breathtaking to me. ***
Let me ask you this: In the workplace of America today when we have a high number of unemployed, we’ve had declining wages for many years, we have the lowest of Americans working, who has more right to a job in this country? A lawful immigrant who’s here, a green-card holder or a citizen, or a person who entered the country unlawfully?
Well, Senator, I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here. And certainly, if someone here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.
Well, just let me wrap up by asking this: Are you — if — if a person comes here and is given a lawful right under the president’s executive amnesty to have Social Security and a work authorization card, what if somebody prefers to hire an American citizen first? Would you take action against them?
Do you understand this to mean that those who are given executive amnesty are entitled as much as anybody else in America to compete for a job in America?
Well, I don’t believe that it would give anyone any greater access to the workforce, and certainly an employer would be looking at the issues of citizenship in making those determinations.
Would you take action against an employer who says, “No, I prefer to hire someone that came to the country lawfully rather than someone given executive amnesty by the president”? Would Department of Justice take action against them?
With respect to the — the provision about temporary deferral, I did not read it as providing a legal amnesty, that is, that permanent status there, but a temporary deferral.
With respect to whether or not those individuals would be able to seek redress for employment discrimination, if — if that is the purpose of your question, again, I haven’t studied that legal issue.
I certainly think you raised an important point and would look forward to discussing it with you and using — and relying upon your thoughts and experience as we consider that point.
Lynch testified that she finds the Holder DoJ’s opinion that Barack Obama’s executive amnesty is legal to be “reasonable.” So, again, she is prepared to rubber stamp executive action that is in direct contradiction to the laws of the United States. If federal law prohibits employers from hiring illegal aliens, the executive branch cannot issue permits that purport to nullify the effect of the statute and make such employment legal. This is not a subtle or difficult point.
There are many reasons to be skeptical of Loretta Lynch and to suspect that as Attorney General, she would be another Eric Holder, turning the Department of Justice into a political arm of the White House. But there is no need to speculate: by her words, she has proclaimed her intention to subvert rather than to uphold the laws of the United States. She must not be confirmed as Attorney General.
UPDATE: Later in today’s hearing, Lynch came out foursquare behind President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional attempt to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws by giving work permits to people who can’t legally work:
Sessions: I have to have a clear answer to this question: Ms. Lynch, do you believe the executive action announced by President Obama on November 20th is legal and Constitutional? Yes or no?
Lynch: As I’ve read the opinion, I do believe it is, Senator.
That clinches it. We cannot have another Attorney General who will sign off on blatant constitutional violations. Shortly after this exchange, Sessions announced that he will vote against Lynch’s confirmation.