Patterico's Pontifications

1/29/2015

A.G. Nominee Loretta Lynch: Illegal Imigrants Have a “Right” to Work in This Country

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

A.G. nominee Loretta Lynch faced questioning yesterday, and in responding to questions from Jeff Sessions, she said that illegal immigrants have a “right” to work in the United States:

SEN. SESSIONS: 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 percentage 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?

LYNCH: 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…

Sessions went on to ask whether she would take action against an employer who said: I’m going to give preferential treatment in hiring to U.S. citizens over illegal immigrants holding Obama-issued work permits. She dodged that one.

Some of the best questioning has come from Ted Cruz, who asked Lynch if “prosecutorial discretion” could justify non-deportation of all illegal immigrants. She dodged that one too, as you can see in the video below. Cruz asked the question a second time, and she said she could not answer the question. Cruz asked her three times if she had ever issued permits for people to violate the law, and she ultimately said no, because the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not a licensing agency.

Critically, he asked Lynch whether a President could simply decline to enforce tax laws. After one dodge, there was this exchange, which I present a transcript for below, in order to give you a flavor of the direct questions and circuitous circumlocutions that passed for answers:

CRUZ: Let me ask about your understanding of prosecutorial discretion. Would it allow a subsequent president — President Cornyn — to state that there are other laws that the administration will not enforce – labor laws, environmental laws – would it allow a President Cornyn to say every existing federal labor law shall heretofore not apply to the state of Texas because I am using my prosecutorial discretion to refuse to enforce those laws? In your judgment, would that be constitutional?

LYNCH: Well, I certainly can’t imagine President Cornyn taking that step. [Laughter] But with respect to the hypothetical you present, again, Senator, again, I would have to know what legal basis was being proposed for that. And certainly I would review that law. And if I were the person providing advice to future President Cornyn, advise him as to whether or not there was a legal framework for it, or whether there was not a legal framework for it. If there was not, that would be the advice that I would provide to him.

CRUZ: I must say I find it remarkable that you are unable to answer that question. I can answer it straightforward. It would be patently unconstitutional for any subsequent President to refuse to enforce the tax laws, or the labor laws, or the immigration laws for the very same reason that President Obama’s actions refusing to [en]force immigration laws are unconstitutional. And it is discouraging that a nominee who hopes to serve as Attorney General will not give a straightforward answer to that question.

By most accounts, Lynch is a well-respected prosecutor with a record of fairness. That being said, she is supporting (or refusing to take issue with) the unlawful actions of the President who nominated her. I guess one could say that’s what she “has” to do — but I don’t think that saying what you need to say, knowing that you’re not being forthright, in order to promote your career, is admirable behavior. It’s common behavior, to be sure — I’m not naive — but it’s not admirable.

Lynch is probably a very nice person and a good prosecutor. I would vote against her nomination if I were in the Senate, and I support any Senator who does vote no on her nomination.

Relatively few will.

Ted Cruz will.

61 Responses to “A.G. Nominee Loretta Lynch: Illegal Imigrants Have a “Right” to Work in This Country”

  1. And this really is the best we can get.

    Suckas.

    DNF (7dc191)

  2. I am not a knee-jerk Cruz fan, and I think that immigration needs reform. But Cruz is exactly right on this. Not only on the general issue of executive overreach, but on the specifics of this nominee. Lynch should be voted down. Republican Senators who vote in favor should be primaried on this subject alone.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  3. I don’t think that saying what you need to say, knowing that you’re not being forthright, in order to promote your career, is admirable behavior. It’s common behavior, to be sure — I’m not naive — but it’s not admirable.

    She gets a ‘D’ at best for integrity.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  4. It always amazes me how Incurious and uninformed the nominees are when questioned about something they don’t want to talk about, and how they will wax poetic on that which they do wish to discuss.

    JD (f51c08)

  5. at this point I’d rather Holder in office than have her.
    Her appearance and the issue with her selective application of the law as a prosecutor dealing with convicted people – No. hell No.
    But with this GOP leadership she will get in with no problem :(

    seeRpea (9a7f2e)

  6. what is the point of having a Senate majority, rhetorical question,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  7. she’s probably not nice at all I bet you have to put your name on everything in the fridge when ole Loretta’s around cause she has that look of someone what just helps themselves to stuff

    yeah I don’t bring half n half in anymore cause Loretta always steals it

    hey has anyone seen my peabnut bubber?

    nope did you ask Loretta

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  8. Her answers are beyond troubling. I hope many in the senate do take a stand and vote against her. She will probably survive the confirmation hearings, though. She may end up being as bad as Eric Holder but it’s hard for me to conceive that she could possibly be worse. She will at least bring in some new staff. I think Holder needs to be gone. Period.

    From her answers, clearly Lynch will continue to toe the Obama political line in most respects rather than acting nobly as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. But as far as I know, she is not best buddies and a social playmate with the Obamas as Holder and his wife have been. Perhaps that will help a little.

    elissa (64c1a5)

  9. Politico (whom I know you prefer not to link to, so I will honor that) reported last night that Ms. Lynch is now walking back that statement and trying to assert that she does not in fact believe that illegal immigrants have a “right” to work in this country, so she obviously understands the damage that her statement did. It’s interesting though, to note, that her instinct was to take the La Raza side of the issue and push it. As Patterico points out, she also failed to answer the question of whether or not she would prosecute an employer who gave preferential hiring to a U.S. citizen over an illegal immigrant with a work permit.

    I agree very much with Patterico’s conclusion: Ms. Lynch is no doubt a fine upstanding citizen and under many circumstances qualified to be the Attorney General. But as the follow-up to the awful tenure of Eric Holder, we need to aspire to something higher than “she would be acceptable”; we need someone who can restore the confidence in the Justice Department as an independent agency who puts the wellbeing of the people head of the wellbeing of the Obama Administration. And I don’t think Ms. Lynch has met that standard.

    JVW (60ca93)

  10. So, she is a true believer, lying in wait all these years until now, when she can finally let loose the dogs of leftist political activism.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  11. 10.

    ==we need to aspire to something higher than “she would be acceptable”; we need someone who can restore the confidence in the Justice Department as an independent agency who puts the wellbeing of the people head of the wellbeing of the Obama Administration.==

    I agree one thousand percent with every word you said there, JVW. Unfortunately, President Obama makes the nominations and he will never nominate such a person as you describe. I’d wager there is no one even on his radar screen who is capable of meeting the criteria you describe.

    elissa (64c1a5)

  12. just another person with a leftwing, racial grievance chip on her shoulder. I’d vote “no” just based on that.

    But she has a secretive record of allowing corporations off the hook in monetary judgements against them

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  13. …President Obama makes the nominations …

    But do Republicans have to go along with it? People like Lindsay Graham make me want to puke. They make a mockery of the whole advice and consent thingy. Seriously, the advice and consent clause is in the Constitution for a reason. So somebody like Barack Obama can’t screw up the country entirely on his own.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  14. What difference, at this point, does a border make?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. Q: What do you have when you’ve 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?

    A: A good start

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. Strike that… poorly phrased…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. She admitted to Senator Cruz that she will not follow the laws of the nation and will just do whatever illegal actions Obama wants. If that’s not enough to disqualify her, why did we elect Senators in the first place?

    NJRob (d36337)

  18. 14. No Steve57, they don’t have to vote for her as I believe I said earlier–and I hope they don’t. But what you seem to fail to acknowledge is that the “candidate” line behind her is long. And our current AG is a criminal. And senatorial “Advice and Consent” involves a president’s nominations not our dream AG.

    You would be happier perhaps with Kamala Harris, Janet Napolitano, Kathryn Ruemmler, Deval Patrick?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/09/25/eric-holder-attorney-general-replacements/16203345/

    elissa (64c1a5)

  19. I didn’t mean to imply I was criticizing you in any way. Often I think I come across wrong on the internet when I wouldn’t if it were in person.

    Who I meant to be critical of is the Republicans who think Barack Obama somehow deserves to have whomeever he likes in his cabinet. Which, if that were true, would mean the Senate shouldn’t have any say in the matter. Yet, it does.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  20. Steve57, In case you have not seen it, the Senate Banking Committee passed the Iran sanctions bill pretty overwhelmingly earlier this morning. I posted some stuff on the Democratic Congresswoman thread because I wasn’t sure where to put it.

    elissa (64c1a5)

  21. hf
    That was great
    Most of the Senators questions were so lame that it would have been better to ask her where the half and half went.

    Sessions has to know that it is already illegal to discriminate against suspected illegal workers.
    The SS Administration already sends out a letter saying “hey, these SS numbers are incorrect and duplicate…” and then goes on to warn the employer not to use the information to discriminate in any way.

    I get that the problem might just be a typo, but even after checking that out, your hands are tied by threat of anti discrimination laws.
    Part of the reason why the SSA and feds turn a blind eye to minor ID theft of this type is because the illegal alien working on payroll for a company is generating income to a broke system… maybe the system get 2 payers from number 412-22-1234. Why should the SSA care?

    steveg (794291)

  22. If the hopefully-not incoming Attorney General believes that “the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here,” then is she not saying, inter alia, that she supports right-to-work legislation?

    The Dana noting the obvious question (f6a568)

  23. elissa, I did see that. It’s well past time somebody slipped a leash on this guy.

    Maybe I’m not getting your point. What I think you’re saying is that Congress is finally standing up to this guy. Which is good. What I’m saying is I’d like to see more of that.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  24. People like Lindsay Graham make me want to puke. They make a mockery of the whole advice and consent thingy.

    But when Lindsay Graham is President, you see, Democrats will reciprocate by rubber-stamping his solidly conservative nominees. They certainly won’t hold Republicans to a different standard, nosiree.

    JVW (60ca93)

  25. The Iran sanctions thing was a good news news notification –not a ” point”. Sort of in the spirit of Icy’s breaking news RIP entries. I recalled that several commenters including you, Steve, were discussing the Iran Sanctions last week and I thought I’d update. The president will very likely veto the bill should it pass, but right now at least it appears that the bill can pass the senate with substantial bi-partisan support. Maybe the lockstep Dems will cave in the end. We’ll see.

    elissa (64c1a5)

  26. A few conservatives will vote no.
    No sense getting in a typing tirade over republicans failing to do the job we thought they would.
    America is a train-wreck.
    elissa- 22″ 65 mph winds. Evacuated my 88 year old father in law from his house before the waves started to break on it.
    Took him back when power was restored yesterday. House had a sheet of ice covering it. In the 40’s tomorrow, it will be a real mess.

    mg (31009b)

  27. I appreciate the update. Thanks.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  28. not to worry!

    the GOPe will will fight on the next hill…

    totse for sure, like totally

    redc1c4 (a6e73d)

  29. 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.

    That is interesting, true.

    She’s either speaking of “natural law” or she has discovered that not allowing some people
    to be employed, as the 1986 Simpson Mazzoli Act did, is unconstitutional.

    (and she is probably relying on one of the amendments, not the fact that this is not interstate commerce)

    In other words

    Requiring employers to fill this form out:

    http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-9.pdf

    is unconstitutional.

    That’ll be the president’s position if Congress succeeeds in enacting a law reversing what he did over his veto.

    Then she adds:

    And certainly, if someone here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace…

    Now she’s arguing economics, (or perhaps economics and sociology)

    I would agree, but the defunct economist that Senator Sessons is relying on doesn’t
    agree.

    She agrees that there might be reasons for forbidding some people from living in the United states (previous crimes, or supporting terrorism, for one) but not for forbidding people to work.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  30. I’m pleased as punch. I thought I had lost my stag-handled, Case pocket knife. But it was under the couch. I moved the couch, there it was.

    It wouldn’t have been a total loss. I still had the Swiss Army Knife. Which has lasted through three marriages.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  31. The Dana noting the obvious question (f6a568) — 1/29/2015 @ 9:44 am

    If the hopefully-not incoming Attorney General believes that “the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here,” then is she not saying, inter alia, that she supports right-to-work legislation?

    “Right-to-work” here is a misnomer.

    They mean right to work at a particular place without having dues to a union deducted from your pay.

    That’s not the right to work. It’s the right not to have a union membership, or maybe just union dues, as a condition of working at a particular employer.

    No, she’s either saying that Form I-9 is unconstitutional, and maybe even that similar state laws would be, or she’s talking natural law, and that while the Simpson Mazzoli act requirements may be legal, they are immoral and unwise.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  32. Does this country want to live?

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  33. 10. So she’s saying she was speaking natural law?

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  34. You’d be amazed what you find if you just move the couch.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  35. #33… the DNR was officially filed on November 7, 2012… the day after the election Steve.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  36. Has she said what she didn’t to say, but not what she did mean?

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  37. New immigration court date for all cases except those high priority:

    November 29, 2019.

    That’s the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, when courts usually have a bared-boned staff.

    Thousands will be given that day, and it may yet reach into the tens of thousands.

    See http://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-delays-some-immigration-hearings-by-5-years-1422461407

    I guess they didn’t want to push the waiting list into the next decade.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  38. Mr Finkelman, you are making a case for loose language on her part; I am making the case that she ought to be held to the language she used. I want to hear the Democrats say that everyone here, legal or not, has a right to work, but not every American has a right to work unless he joins a union. I want to hear the Democrats say that and defend that.

    The Dana looking past Lynch's bovine feces (f6a568)

  39. Personally, I wish that, when nominees give an answer along the lines of “Senator Fill-in-the-Blank, I will get back to you with my answer.”, Senator Fill-in-the-Blank would respond with “Nominee Tap-Dancer – until you give your answer to my simple question, you have earned a No vote from me on your nomination. When you are ready for the post for which you are nominated, and will answer the questions asked of you, I will reconsider my vote.” …

    And then move on to the next question … after several of these responses from several Senators, I suspect that even Nominee Tap-Dancer might just start to get a clue …

    (And, yes, I realise that my example oversimplifies – but you get the idea)

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  40. Seems like common sense to me, Alastor.

    mg (31009b)

  41. Everyone knows the Border Patrol is an employment agency.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  42. Ms. Lynch.
    Simple yes or no questions:
    Did you eat my peanut butter?
    Is it ISIS or ISIL?
    Was President Obama really a scholar of the Constitution? I withdraw the questioon. No sense embarrassing you in front of everyone on C-SPAN

    Bonus round
    Janet Napolitano: Boxers or briefs?

    steveg (794291)

  43. Thats a long questiooon

    steveg (794291)

  44. “I’ll be happy to discuss later” should not elicit a negative vote …

    “I’ll be happy to discuss later” should have the immediate response of “Until you can give meaningful answers, you have earned my vote against your confirmation! I cannot in good conscience vote to confirm someone who is evasive. Would you care to change your answer now?” …

    (I posted this elsewhere, yesterday)

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  45. I wonder if she believes illegals have the right to vote too.

    Zoltan (19574a)

  46. Any R Senator who votes for her confirmation needs to be primaries. What the hell do we even have elections for if a person who admits they feel they can break the law for political reasons can get votes from Republicans? Democrat scum you expect this from, so you vote for people who claim to love the rule of law, and you get… The. Same. Damned. Thing!

    Ray Van Dune (c9ddb9)

  47. Carlitos waitin’ for ya
    Get back home, Loretta

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  48. Colonel, I have a DNR that says not before 10:00 AM. I hate getting up in the morning.

    Gazzer (e441dc)

  49. Lol, Gazzer

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  50. I despise Rick Santorum, but every so often he has a point. The WaPo, who probably likes him less, attempts to fact check him and essentially proves his point while awarding him 3 Pinocchios, mostly for being Rick Santorum. Some excerpts from the “fact-check”:

    “Since 2000 there have been 6 million net new jobs created in America. … How many of those net new jobs are held by people who were not born in this country? All of them. There are fewer Americans working today who were born in this country than there were in the year 2000, in spite of 17 million more in the workforce. So when people say we have to do something about the border, we have to do something about illegal immigration, they are right. We do.”

    –Rick Santorum, speech at Iowa Freedom Summit, Jan. 24, 2015

    “We’re bringing people in who will compete against a lot of American workers. In fact, since 2000, the number of native-born Americans working in the workplace has gone down. There are fewer Americans working today who were born in America than there were 15 years ago.”

    –Rick Santorum, CNN’s “State of the Union,” Jan. 25, 2015

    In his Iowa speech, Santorum connected these statistics to the need for curbing illegal immigration. But the BLS data on immigrants includes legally-admitted immigrants, undocumented immigrants, student and temporary workers, and refugees.

    The numbers appear to check out at first glance.

    The report found 127,000 fewer working-age, native-born Americans were employed in 2014 than in 2000, even though the working-age population grew by 16.8 million during that time. In comparison, there were 5.7 million more immigrants with a job in 2014 than in 2000, and the working-age immigrant population grew by 8.8 million. That is where the 5.7 million “net new jobs” figure comes from, which Santorum rounded up to 6 million in his speech.

    More than 17 million immigrants have arrived in the country since 2000, the report said. Virginia Davis, Santorum’s spokesperson at Patriot Voices, said the 17 million figure in his speech referred to this point, though it is unclear what point he was making with this figure in the speech.

    But the key word in Santorum’s speech is “net.” The actual number of native-born workers with jobs increased steadily from 2000 through 2007. Then, as the recession hit, the numbers started dropping again, back to circa-2000 levels. The number of immigrants with jobs, in comparison, grew steadily through the recession.

    From here they get to 3 Pinocchios, mostly by semantics and hair-splitting. I guess finding it “mostly true” would have caused heads to explode.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  51. The short of it is that employers replaced 6 million US citizens with 6 million immigrants, legal and otherwise, in the period between 2007 and now. You might think this would be a campaign issue, but apparently not. After all, none of those jobs were held by government workers.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  52. Hey, they’re just “the jobs Americans won’t do” Kevin! Which year’s narrative was that one again? :)

    elissa (4a576d)

  53. or jobs Americans wont pay for Americans to do.
    either way, RS has a point.

    seeRpea (9a7f2e)

  54. 46.I wonder if she believes illegals have the right to vote too.
    Zoltan (19574a) — 1/29/2015 @ 2:14 pm

    Senator: “Ms. Lynch, do you believe that an illegal immigrant has the right to vote?”

    Lynch: “Yes Senator, assuming they were voting Democrat.”

    Ray Van Dune (9a0f2b)

  55. It’s not Whitey they oppose but a God that allows inequity and fails to reward sloth and indolence.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/01/30/the-scott-walker-racial-rorschach-test/

    DNF (5f4210)

  56. Sen. Orrin Hatch has come out and says he “strongly supports” the Lynch nomination.

    I have a hard time believing what I’m seeing and hearing,

    When Prom Queen illegally gave illegal aliens permission to work, I half-jokingly asked if the government can make me hire illegal aliens. Because the law hasn’t changed. Illegal aliens can’t legally work in this country.

    Sen. Sessions asked Lynch if as AG the DoJ would go after employers for discriminating in favor of American citizens. She danced around the question, but in the end she refused to rule it out.

    Which means the DoJ will go after employers if they choose to obey black letter law and ignore Obama’s E.O. Although, it’s not an E.O., I understand. Obama refused to put anything in writing.

    This is just nuts. Lynch will get confirmed, yet her answers should have disqualified her from anything to do with law enforcement. The GOP put on a nice show about pretending to oppose Mean Girl’s amnesty. Yet they can’t bring themselves to even vote against this woman who will bring suit against employers who refuse to go along with said amnesty.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  57. Her main qualification for the job per is that she is an Obama fangirl on par with Valerie Jarret.
    He can do no wrong nor break any law. He is a law unto himself.
    If we would just do everything the way Obama wants, life would be perfect. She intends to never ever let something as old and dusty as our racist constitution get in his way.
    She will never enforce any law that restricts Obama… kinda like Kamala Harris out here in CA

    steveg (794291)

  58. Sarah Palin says Orrin Hatch is a super stud conservative and he really gets her motor humming and if you don’t like him you hate America

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  59. “If I had advice, then that is the advice I would offer him at that time.”

    Oh, good.

    mojo (5c8ea5)


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