Attorney General Eric Holder's claim that a "pathway to citizenship" is a civil right of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal citizens may have gone unnoticed by the major news media, but it did not escape the attention of immigration reform foes on the Internet.
"Holder Calls Amnesty a Civil Right" was the Fox Nation headline over Holder's remark and a video clip of the attorney general making the statement in an April 24 speech at a Mexican-American Education Defense fund event in Washington, D.C. The clip, which appears on a number of websites and is also embedded at the end of this article, shows Holder making the following statement:
Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is absolutely 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. It is about who we are as a nation. And it goes to the core of our treasured American principle of equal opportunity.
The reaction was, in the words of the AG's ill-fated gun-smuggling sting, "fast and furious."
"In Eric Holder's America, there's no constitutional right to gun ownership, no right to life for the unborn, no right of conscience for Catholics (or other people of faith) who disagree with elements of ObamaCare," wrote Carol Platt Liebau at townhall.com. "... but there is a 'right to citizenship' as a matter of 'civil and human rights' for illegal aliens." John Hayward at breitbart.com described it as "an alarmingly stupid thing for the Attorney General of the United States to say.... Has America ever had another top cop less interested in detecting or thwarting entire classes of lawbreakers?"
The "path to citizenship" has been a hot topic since it was the centerpiece of immigration reform legislation co-sponsored several years ago by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the late Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) Public outrage at the plan caused McCain to drop the idea when he pursued his party's presidential nomination in 2007 and 2008 and the bill died in the Senate. The Republican platform adopted last August opposed "any form of amnesty for those who intentionally violate the law. Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking." But with poll numbers showing only 27 percent of Hispanics voted Republican in November, McCain and other GOP stalwarts have joined this year with Senate Democrats and President Obama in support of legislation to allow illegal immigrants to attain legal status and apply for citizenship under certain conditions.
Click here to read the entire article and see video clip of Holder's remark.
Photo of Attorney General Eric Holder at top: AP Images