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Obama Executive Actions on Immigration Reform: Ted Cruz Seeks Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch's Stance on "Executive Amnesty"

First Posted: Nov 10, 2014 12:20 PM EST
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President Barack Obama's imminent immigration reform executive action could affect the confirmation of his nominee for the next U.S. Attorney General.

In a joint statement, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the U.S. Senate should not confirm the nominee, Loretta Lynch, during the current lame duck session. The Republican senators claimed the current session of the Senate has lawmakers who lost their seats and are "no longer accountable" to their constituents.

Cruz and Lee also want Lynch to issue a statement if she believes amnesty plans, set forth on an executive level, are constitutional and legal.

"President Obama's Attorney General nominee deserves fair and full consideration of the United States Senate, which is precisely why she should not be confirmed in the lame duck session of Congress by senators who just lost their seats and are no longer accountable to the voters," Cruz and Lee wrote.

"The Attorney General is the President's chief law enforcement officer. As such, the nominee must demonstrate full and complete commitment to the law," the GOP senators said. "Loretta Lynch deserves the opportunity to demonstrate those qualities, beginning with a statement whether or not she believes the President's executive amnesty plans are constitutional and legal."

Obama has said he will act on issuing an executive action on immigration after Election Day and before the end of this year. He has not specified the type of reforms the order would entail.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, cautioned Obama on issuing executive action on immigration, and it was the topic during last Friday's meeting with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders at the White House. According to a readout from Boehner's office, he "warned that unilateral action by the president on executive amnesty will erase any chances of doing immigration reform." Boehner also said an executive action would "make it harder" for the Obama administration and Congress to "work together successfully" on other issues despite potentially having common ground.

Obama said Congress has had the time to pass immigration reform, and he's not going to wait further.

"I think it's fair to say that I've shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, and I'm going to keep on doing so," Obama said on Wednesday. "But in the meantime, let's figure out what we can do lawfully through executive actions to improve the functioning of the existing system."

As Latin Post reported, Obama nominated Lynch to succeed outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. If confirmed by the Senate, Lynch will become the first black woman to hold the position.

"It's pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than Loretta. Throughout her 30-year career, she has distinguished herself as tough, as fair, an independent lawyer who has twice headed one of the most prominent U.S. Attorney's offices in the country. She has spent years in the trenches as a prosecutor, aggressively fighting terrorism, financial fraud, cybercrime, all while vigorously defending civil rights," Obama said during Saturday's nomination.

"I pledge today to you (Obama) and to the American people that if I have the honor of being confirmed by the Senate, I will wake up every morning with the protection of the American people my first thought. And I will work every day to safeguard our citizens, our liberties, our rights, and this great nation which have given so much to me and my family," Lynch said.

Although immigration reform executive action was not mentioned during Lynch's nomination ceremony, she is recognized as the civil rights prosecutor against New York City police officers involved in the assault on Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1997.


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