Amnesty and Rights

Attorney General Eric Holder now is claiming amnesty to be both a civil and a human right. In his rambling way, he makes says this [emphasis in the cite]:

Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this 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.

I’ll leave aside the distinction and lack of overlap between civil rights and human rights, except to note that a distinguished lawyer such as our Mr Holder should know better.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) has a response in a larger speech on the Senate floor. The part relevant to this subject begins at around 0+50.

The Obama administration officials have gone so far as to describe amnesty as a civil right. That’s an argument against the very idea of a nation state and the idea of a nation’s borders. Of course, there can be no civil right to enter a country unlawfully and then to demand lawful status and even citizenship. Of course, there’s not. How can this possibly be that the Attorney General of the United States would assert that people have a Constitutional right to enter unlawfully and be given amnesty? That’s the kind of thinking that’s got us into this fix, and it’s encouraged the unlawful flow of immigration. The actual legal rights that are being violated here, today, I suggest are the rights of the American citizens, and as Civil Rights Commission Member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, Peter Kirsanow, warned, our African American citizens often are the ones that are hurt the most and also recent immigrant arrivals and working Americans. So what about their rights? … What about the right of every citizen to the protection of immigration laws that we have in America today?

One small part of this larger question, as an aside: the Attorney General asserts that people have a Constitutional right to break the law? Well, that is consistent with this President’s cavalier attitude toward American law, even toward the supreme Law of our Land.

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