Who has the “right” to work in the United States? According to Congress, those who are lawful citizens or lawful immigrants. According to Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, illegals also have the right to work. Come again?
Let’s unpack this whole right to work thing. What exactly is a right in the first place? According to the dictionary, the pertinent definition of right is “a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.” So a right is a moral or legal entitlement.
We obviously cannot consider work opportunities for illegals a “legal” entitlement. Such a pronouncement completely contradicts the basic definition of, well, every word involved here. But is the opportunity to work a “moral” entitlement? What does that even mean? Are we saying that the opportunity to work is a natural right applying to all people regardless of legal position? That is, frankly, absurd.
The real question here is, “Do lawful citizens even have a right to work?” Sure, they have the right to pursue a job. They have the right to hold a job that has been given them by an employer. But should illegals have the same access to jobs that lawful citizens and immigrants have? I think not. Morally and legally speaking.
Employers might prefer hiring illegals for numerous reasons. They can pay them less, work them longer hours, pay them under the table, and fire them at will. I think the real solution here is to force the civil government to butt out of voluntary arrangements between workers and employers, so that lawful citizens can determine for themselves what they are willing to do to have a job. It might even be that we streamline the immigration process.
But the answer is decidedly not to just make legal immigration and citizenship meaningless by proffering the same rights and privileges, that citizens and legal immigrants enjoy under the law, to basically anyone, whether or not they are under the law.
The bottom line here is that, in terms of the civil government, rights have to be defined legally. They are often also moral rights. But the civil government’s primary provenance is legality. Illegals are just that—illegal. They have no rights in the United States other than those natural inalienable rights endowed to them by God by nature of their humanity. The opportunity to pursue employment illegally is not one of those rights, however. If they want legal entitlements, they ought to bring themselves into accord with the law. That seems like a no-brainer.