Thursday, November 13, 2014

Immigration to be an Issue in AG Confirmation?


Seung Min Kim on Politico reports that Republicans, including Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have indicated that immigration will be a large part of their line of questioning of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch in her confirmation hearings begin, which should be after the new Republican majority is seated in January.  It appears that the questioning will center on the extent of the power of the President to issue executive orders on immigration, which (as recently as yesterday in China) he has promised to do in the near future.

Immigration may be an issue the other questioning of the nominee.  The U.S. Department of Justice, headed by the Attorney General, houses the Exeecutive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the home of the immigration court system and the Board of Immigration Appeals.  Among other things, the hearing process in the immigration courts for unaccompanied minors from Central America  has been a topic of debate in recent months. In addition, high level officials in the EOIR have come under scrutiny for nepotism in the hiring of interns.

As a federal prosecutor, Lynch successfully prosecuted New York police officers accused of beating and sodomizing Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant. As the New York Times reported, "The officers were white, Mr. Louima black, and the harrowing episode rekindled racial tensions and anger at the police in New York City in 1997."   

Among her professional experience, Lynch has worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which prosecuted high-profile suspects accused of committing genocide there in 1994.


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