Vitter: AG Nominee Lynch's Claim Illegals Have 'Right' to Work in U.S. 'Just Absolutely Crazy'

Brittany M. Hughes | February 3, 2015 | 9:38am EST
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Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch being sworn in at her confirmation hearing on Jan. 28, 2015. (AP Photo)

( - Speaking about Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s statement that illegal aliens have the “right to work” in the United States, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said he was “astounded” by Lynch’s comments, calling them “crazy” and “just not true.” asked Vitter, “Do illegal aliens have the right to work in the United States?”

“No, they do not, and more importantly, the law is very clear on the fact that they do not have the right to work in the United States,” Vitter answered. 

“Ms. Lynch basically said illegal aliens have the same right to work in the United States as citizens and green card holders, which is just absolutely crazy and just not true. The law is very clear on that. And for her to say that is just…I was absolutely astounded.”

During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lynch asserted that illegal aliens living in the United States shared the same right to work as U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) asked Lynch during the hearing, “Who has more right to a job in this country" – citizens and legal permanent residents or illegal aliens?

“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,” Lynch responded. asked Vitter, “Do you believe Ms. Lynch’s comments reflect what the president believes about illegal aliens in the United States?”

“Absolutely, Ms. Lynch’s comments obviously reflect the president’s stance on immigration, and it’s clear she supports his position on it,” he responded.

“It’s a deciding factor for me,” Vitter continued. “I said weeks ago that I would vote against Ms. Lynch being confirmed as attorney general, specifically because of this issue. The fact that she would say something that is so contrary to U.S. law tells me she should not be the next attorney general.”

Vitter also said he was not surprised Lynch’s support for illegal aliens’ “right to work” in the United States did not get much airtime in the mainstream media last week.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Vitter explained, adding that “the mainstream media has a history of not covering things or reporting things that are critical of the president’s agenda, and clearly it’s no different with this issue.”

Earlier this month, the GOP-led House passed a DHS funding bill along with the Aderholdt amendment, which expressly forbids the department from using any funds to enact President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Otherwise, Obama’s unilateral action would defer deportation for as many as 5 million illegal aliens while simultaneously granting them the right to work in the United States.

If passed by the Senate, which is also controlled by Republicans, the bill could be subject to a presidential veto. In that case, funding for the Department of Homeland Security could run out when the current funding bill expires on Feb. 27.

Speaking before the Department of Homeland Security Monday, Obama accused Republicans in Congress of “playing politics” with national security by refusing to fund his unilateral amnesty. also asked Vitter, “What is your response to President Obama when he accuses Republicans of “playing politics” with national security if they do not pass a Department of Homeland Security bill that fully funds his executive actions?”

“Well that’s just not true,” Vitter responded. “We’re going to pass a Homeland Security funding bill, in my mind with that language. We’re going to pass a funding bill. We don’t want that department shut down.”

“Now if it passes, the president has a chance to veto it. So it would be him shutting down that department, if that happens. But we’re going to pass a bill,” he added.

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