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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, June 22, 2018

Media Separated from Reality at Border

by Tony Perkins: It's one thing to tell a story that tugs on people's heartstrings. It's quite another to manipulate that story to color people's view. Of course, the liberal media knows a thing or two about twisting the truth to suit their narrative. And, after days of posting gut-wrenching photos of children at the border, the facts are finally catching up with them. Turns out, the faces of the immigration debate aren't faces from this crisis at all!

Time magazine is one of the biggest offenders. Its latest cover, a crying toddler staring up at President Trump, was never separated from her mother at all. In what is turning out to be a major embarrassment for Time and the far-Left, the little girl's father went to the press to correct the story, insisting that she and her mom were never separated at the border. To its credit, the Washington Post outed the magazine and pointed out that, "The heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of rel="nofollow" target="new">international newspapers. It was used to promote a Facebook fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families."

And Time isn't the only outlet taking liberties with the truth. Other outlets have been forced to apologize on air for using a photo of a caged little boy, after describing him as "ripped from the arms of their mother" by the president's immigration policy. The propaganda is so out of control that the New York Times took the rare step of shaming the Left in a column, "How Liberals Got Lost on the Story of Missing Children at the Border." Using a picture of two little boys in a cage as an example, reporter Amanda Taub explains, "This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration's cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014."

The real irony is this -- no one needs to manipulate the truth to horrify Americans about the situation. There are more than enough nightmarish stories to compel anyone to act -- and we should. You'd have to be the Tin Man not to be moved by what's happening to children before they even get to our borders. People at ground zero, like National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera, have seen enough to keep them awake every night of the week. On CNN, he explained the absolutely devastating impact our lawlessness has had on families.

"I don't think everybody understands what's happening down here. You know, a lot of these kids that are coming here, and put through terrible, terrible situations by their parents...When you see a 12-year-old girl with a Plan B pill, or their parents put her on birth control because they know getting violated is part of the journey, that's just a terrible way to live. When you see a four-year-old girl traveling completely alone with just her parents' phone number written across her shirt. I mean, come on now... We had a nine-year-old boy last year have heat stroke in front of us and die with no family around..."Why? Because our refusal to enforce our laws has encouraged parents to gamble with their children's lives. And despite the media's anti-Trump drumbeat, the majority of Americans still hold the parents responsible. When families are arrested and separated after attempting to enter the United States illegally, Rasmussen reports, "54 percent of likely U.S. voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law... [O]nly 35 percent believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent are not sure."

In the wake of President Trump's executive order, which makes clear that compassion and upholding the law are not incompatible, you would think there would be political goodwill that could be used to address the overarching issue. Not so. Congressional Democrats aren't interested in a solution. They're interested in bypassing immigration laws altogether, regardless of the lives it costs and the havoc it wreaks.

But if they think the American people are on board with that approach, they're mistaken. By a 3-to-1 margin, they reject Obama's "catch and release" program, which essentially apprehends people at the border and then releases them into the country with a court date that they may or may not ignore. Even Democratic voters don't agree with the idea, barely giving it 30 percent support.

The compassionate solution is not the status quo. This has, as Donald Trump pointed out, been going on for many decades. "Whether it was President Bush, President Obama, President Clinton -- same policies. They can't get them changed because both sides are always fighting... This is maybe a great chance to have a change." He's right -- if liberal leaders will set aside their political games long enough to pursue it.
Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Media, Separated from Reality, The Border To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Beginning the Innovation Agenda

by Newt Gingrich: The massive deregulation effort and the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have done wonders for the U.S. economy.

There are more open jobs than there are unemployed people in America. Wages are increasing, and consumer and business confidence are rising with them. Economic analysts are forecasting second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be near 4 percent (some predict it might be even higher). More and more, Americans are starting to see and feel the real benefits of the Trump-Republican agenda – bigger paychecks, lower taxes, and more opportunities.

Deregulation and the tax cuts have become two important legs supporting the overall Trump-Republican agenda. However, Republicans need a third pillar to make their platform rock solid. This pillar should focus on innovation – both in enabling the private sector to find new breakthroughs to make our lives better and in making government more capable of harnessing innovation to become more efficient and effective. I talked about this Thursday on a Facebook Live webinar.

Notice, I did not say we need to simply make government smaller. The bureaucratic systems we have across government are designed to grow and perpetuate themselves. Shrinking these systems would only render them underfunded and ineffective. We need to instead replace them with modern systems that are lean, responsive, and effective.

Here’s an example: The Pentagon opened in 1941 to house nearly 30,000 people who were managing a global war with manual typewriters, carbon paper, and filing cabinets. There were no copiers or fax machines. Generating a single report required a group of people to draft it, a group to type copies, a group to distribute the copies, and a group of people to file them in the appropriate filing cabinets.

Now, consider how many people should get cut out of that process when you replace manual typewriters, carbon paper, and filing cabinets with iPads or personal computers. Yet, there are still nearly 30,000 people working in the Pentagon today. The technology has changed, but the Pentagon system has not innovated. The bureaucracy is still the 1941 size, moving at the 1941 pace. Figuratively speaking, we should be able to turn the Pentagon into a triangle, and 40 percent of the building should be turned into a national defense museum. The result would be a leaner, more responsive defense apparatus that would make Americans safer at a lower cost to tax payers.

Republicans could also greatly improve the lives of Americans and save a tremendous amount of money (in that order) by seeking out and supporting innovations in health care. For starters, we need to change the way we think of biopharmaceuticals. Instead of thinking of new medicines and medical research as being costly, we need to think about the economic benefit of curing expensive illnesses.

Simply put, healthy people are more productive. Consider the following:
  • From 1970 to 2000, treatment for coronary heart disease has greatly improved. As a result, more than 1 million peoples’ lives were saved, and they have added $1.6 trillion per year to our economy. This means that the additional economic output generated from coronary heart disease treatment improvements alone is 50 percent more than total health care spending in the United States (public and private).
  • Every time we decrease cancer mortality by 1 percent, it amounts to $500 billion in increased productivity, decreased treatment costs, and other savings. Curing cancer is worth $50 trillion.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is one of our most expensive challenges. If we were able to find treatments that would even delay the onset of the disease by five years by 2025, we would reduce the per year cost of treating it by $376 billion by 2050. By the way, there are 105 new Alzheimer’s drugs currently in testing.
Republicans could support and accelerate some of these medical breakthroughs by finding new, innovative ways to approach pricing for important new drugs that aim to treat our most costly illnesses. Congress should put in place laws or mechanisms to allow for the high costs of developing these drugs to be amortized or otherwise defrayed. Additionally, we should enable value-based contracting for government and private health care providers, align incentives toward good outcomes, better health, and lower costs, and truly standardize electronic medical records across all health systems.

I discuss more of these ideas in my New York Times bestselling book, Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback.

The Republican innovation agenda is important because it will make life better for Americans, and it will provide a path toward a balanced budget. I have only mentioned innovations in health care (which makes up 27 percent of the federal budget) and national defense (16 percent of the federal budget). There are many other opportunities to streamline, innovate, and improve across the entire federal system.

The good news is, I believe Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is on exactly the right track. His plan to reorganize the executive branch is incredibly promising.

President Trump and Republicans should fully adopt the innovation agenda and make it a part of everything they do. Every congressman and senator should find the most innovative companies in his or her state and work to help those businesses succeed. They should also find the most pressing problems in their states and districts and focus on ways to find solutions.

If Republicans can solidify themselves as the party of making lives better for Americans, 2018 will be the beginning of a long period of prosperity in America.
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, Beginning the Innovation Agenda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Border Bills, Voters Side With Trump, Left-wing Hate, Goodbye Charles

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Border Bills - President Trump's executive order ending family separations at the border will not solve all the problems caused by massive illegal immigration.  So the president has been pushing Congress to act.

And I'm sure you've heard the old joke:  What is the opposite of progress?  Congress!

The deep divisions over immigration policy were on full display yesterday in the House of Representatives.  A so-called "hardline" bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was defeated 193-to-231.  No Democrats supported the bill and 41 Republicans opposed it.

Most of the Republicans against the bill were moderates, who have been pushing for a huge amnesty.  But at least 10 good conservatives opposed the Goodlatte bill because there were things in it that they felt amounted to amnesty.

That said, it seems hard to imagine that a majority of House Republicans would back anything that was significantly weaker.  And, not surprisingly, Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to delay a vote on a compromise bill until next week.

It could all be an exercise in futility.

Chuck Schumer is already on the record saying, "There's no need for legislation."  So even if all Senate Republicans stick together, we're still nine votes short of overcoming a Democrat filibuster, which means nothing will pass the Senate.

But worse than that, Schumer also warned House moderates against making any compromises.  Once again, Democrats have dug in on their open borders agenda.

If Democrats won't budge on border security and common sense reforms, why would any Republican risk voting for another amnesty?

If 200,000 people with their kids in tow start marching north to our border this summer, it won't be Donald Trump's fault.

It will be the left's fault.  Progressive Democrats have refused time and again to do anything to secure the border.

Voters Side With Trump - In spite of the media's hysterical coverage, the left is overplaying its hand.  Two recent polls show that the public sides with President Trump when it comes to illegal immigration.

For example, an Economist poll found that:
  • 58% of voters say illegal immigration is a serious problem.  But 55% of Democrats disagree.
  • When asked how illegal immigrant families should be managed at the border, only 19% of voters supported the left's "catch and release" policy, while 64% supported some form of detention.
A Rasmussen poll finds that 54% of voters say the illegal immigrant parents are responsible for creating this crisis at the border, while only 35% of voters blame the federal government for enforcing the law.  But among self-identified Democrats, 60% blame the government for enforcing the law.

The poll also found that 54% of voters liked President Trump's pledge to prevent the United States from becoming "a migrant camp" or "a refugee-holding facility."  Only 30% opposed his statement.

By the way, did you see that viral image of the little crying girl who became the face of the "resistance" this week?  Well, it's fake news.  She was never separated from her mother.

Something To Think About - We've just endured several days of the left screaming about the immorality of separating families.  But liberal politicians are doing everything they can to prevent religious groups from providing adoption and foster care services.

The left's hypocrisy and religious bigotry are disgusting!

Left-wing Hate - Earlier this week, I wrote about how unhinged the left had become and warned that its rhetoric would lead to violence.  Well, that wasn't hyperbole.

A Democrat activist and Planned Parenthood volunteer is under arrest for threatening to kill the children of Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).

A manhunt is underway for Shawn Cristy of Pennsylvania, who threatened to put a bullet in Trump's head.  He threatened Sarah Palin in 2010.

Occupy Wall Street tweeted out a post this week encouraging illegal immigrants to murder ICE agents by cutting their hearts out.  (I'm not joking.)

It's going to be hard for Kathy Griffin or Peter Fonda to top that, but I suspect they will try.

Goodbye, Charles - During dinner yesterday, we got news that we were dreading.  Conservative icon Charles Krauthammer had passed away after battling cancer.

Charles had a remarkable life.  In the 1970s, he was a student at Harvard Medical School with a promising career ahead.  But in one split second everything changed.

He dove into a pool and suffered a terrible spinal injury.  He was paralyzed from the neck down, with limited use of one arm.  Yet those closest to him say they never saw in him any bitterness or sense of self-pity.  In fact, he graduated on time with the rest of his Harvard class.

While Krauthammer was a hero to many conservatives, he did not start out that way.  He once said that he used to be a "Great Society liberal."  In 1980, he was a speechwriter for Walter Mondale.  He once served as the editor of the left-wing New Republic, way back in the day when it was still a strong voice on defeating Soviet Communism.

But the issue that drove his political transformation was foreign policy.  Charles felt that the political left had abandoned everything presidents like Truman and Kennedy once stood for when it came America's leadership in the world.

In fact, it was Charles Krauthammer who coined the term "the Reagan Doctrine" when it came to fighting communism overseas.  And like Ronald Reagan, Charles Krauthammer was a strong believer in American exceptionalism.  Here's what he said about it:

"America is the only country ever founded on an idea. . . and the idea is liberty. That is probably the rarest phenomena in the political history of the world; this has never happened before.  And not only has it happened, but it's worked. We are the most flourishing, the most powerful, most influential country on Earth with this system, invented by the greatest political geniuses probably in human history."

In 2016, Krauthammer was not a huge fan of Donald Trump.  But during the Trump presidency, Charles was supportive of many things Trump did, particularly his strengthening of our alliance with Israel.

Over the years, Carol and I had the opportunity to be at many social events with Charles and his wife, Robyn.  It was always striking what a gentleman he was.

Please join me in praying for the Krauthammer family, in appreciation for all Charles contributed to the conservative movement.  If there was a Mount Rushmore of conservative commentators and intellectuals, he would be on it.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Border Bills, Voters Side With Trump, Left-wing Hate, Goodbye, Charles Krauthammer To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Proposed Ethics Revisions for Arkansas: Improvements & Weaknesses

by David Ferguson: INTRODUCTION Due to mounting criticism because of continuing corruption cases involving state Senators, Senate leadership is proposing changes to the Arkansas Senate’s Code of Ethics.

There are several good changes being proposed.

This is a review of the proposal. I have divided the subject as follows:
  • Congratulations on improvements proposed
  • Needs further work
  • Glaring omissions
  • Ironic circumstances
I previously reviewed the part of the proposed rule changes taking away jurisdiction from the Senate Rules Committee and giving it to a small handpicked committee appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. This power grab negates much of the improvements being proposed in provisions on conflict of interests and financial disclosure. I will not be reviewing the power grab in this article because it was covered in (Senate Ethics Rule Removes Role of Senators Critical of Business As Usual).

This article is written primarily for political insiders. If it reads too much like “inside baseball” for your taste feel free to skip down to the section on ‘Glaring omissions” or “Ironic circumstances.”

  1. Additional disclosure amount. Under the current ethics law, Senators report sources of income as either being over $1,000 or over $12,500. That leaves a big gap in information. You can’t tell whether a Senator received $12,501 or $500,000 plus World Series Tickets. The proposal is an improvement because it adds a new reporting category of sources from which the Senator received $50,000 or more.
  2. Quarterly updates. Under the ethics law, the Statement of Financial Interest is filed only once a year. The proposal requires Senators to update the Senate report quarterly.
  3. Conflict statement. If a Senator has a financial conflict on legislation, before he or she can participate in committee or on the floor of the Senate, the Senator must file a written statement of conflict and the statement is to be read publicly by staff.
  4. Closing reporting loopholes. The proposal closes some reporting loopholes existing in the current rules. In particular, it closes a loophole allowing a Senator who is an attorney or consultant to avoid disclosing that their actions benefit their clients when the legislator’s actions also benefited a segment of the population in general.
  5. Financial interest expanded. The proposal expands the definition of financial interest by including an interest by the Senator or his family if one of them is an employee or consultant. Currently “financial interest” only includes situations in which the Senator or his family is an officer, director, or owns more than a 10% interest.
While improvement is made, some of the changes would benefit from further revision before rushing in to pass the proposal and declare victory.
  1. Availability of reports. While the proposal adds to the information required to be filed, there is nothing in the rules to ensure easy access to the information. Financial disclosure and conflict of interest statements are to be filed with the Secretary of the Senate, but this likely means the documents will be put in a filing cabinet and not made available electronically. A requirement should be added to require the Secretary of the Senate to post the documents on the Senate website. Sure a few reporters and blog writes will make FOIA requests to get the information, but the public should not have to rely on the media’s report or have to individually file their own FOIA information requests.
  2. Employment by an individual not included. The proposal deals with actions or financial interests advantageous to a business in which the Senator has a financial interest, but not every employer is a business. Why should the rules apply when you work for a business but not apply when you are working directly for the billionaire who owns the business?
  3. Consultant narrowly defined. Improvement is made by including work as a consultant within the definition of financial interest, but the definition is more narrow than you might expect. Consultant is defined as “a person who provides expert or professional advice.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it by including “professional advice or services.” Some consultants provide expert opinions and highlight the reasons to take or not take a course of action without the next step of giving advice. For example, a former legislator avoided the two-year ban on lobbying by calling himself a consultant. In avoiding being labeled a lobbyist it is likely he avoided the next step of saying “I advise you to do….” The consultant who explains the technical side of a proposal can be quite effective for a business group in tandem with a lobbyist, who is responsible for pushing for a course of action. (And yes, the legislature should consider closing the loophole that lets a former legislator avoid the ban on lobbying by being a consultant.)
  4. No conflict rule when working behind the scenes. The proposal requires a written disclosure of some conflicts before participating on a bill in committee or on the floor of the senate. But much of the work of a senator on passing or defeating a bill is done outside the committee room or Senate chamber. Under the proposal, a Senator could heavily lobby his colleagues to vote for or against a bill and not have to disclose a conflict as long as he didn’t participate in committee or on the floor. And if the goal of the Senator is to kill the bill there is not a need to cast a vote against a bill – a non-vote is just as effective as a “No” vote in stopping the other side from getting the needed majority.
  1. Medicaid business interests.Missing is Senator Bryan King’s proposal to require reporting of business relationships between legislators and Medicaid providers. King’s proposal is more important than ever because of the expanding story of Medicaid corruption involving Senators. King’s bill put the burden of reporting on the Medicaid providers and that cannot be done by Senate Rule, but the same can be accomplished by having the Senators report their business dealings with Medicaid providers.
  2. Senator who is an attorney or consultant. The proposal also fails to address Senator Linda Collins-Smith’s bill to prohibit attorney-legislators and consultant-legislators from representing clients before the Senate. While the proposal improves the disclosure requirements for attorney/consultant legislators, that is a far cry from prohibiting attorneys and consultants from essentially using their practices as lobbying businesses under the guise of professional services. With Senator Jeremy Hutchinson’s retainers from Preferred Family Healthcare being called bribes this is no small issue.
LACK OF SENATE OPENNESS If the Senate is to begin building public trust it must change the way it does business in the shadows.
    (A) Video archive. If you are going to improve the ethics of the Senate the very first step is to make its proceedings more accessible to citizens. Videoing and archiving the video of Senate proceedings including Senate committees are needed to repair the public perception of the Senate as a body that tries to hide from the public. Unfortunately, many Senators (public servants) prefer to have an audience primarily of lobbyists and school children on a Capitol tour.
    (B) Publishing committee roll call votes. If you are determined enough, you can get a copy of a roll call vote taken in a Senate committee, but they don’t make it easy. The committee roll call votes and other committee actions should be posted as part of the bill history on the General Assembly’s webpage. This would not impede Senate operations because automation and posting can easily be handled by the staff of the Bureau of Legislative Research. 
    (C) Record all votes. How did your Senator vote? Many votes are taken by voice vote leaving you with no idea how your Senator voted. Recording all votes would not be a burden to the Senate. Committee roll calls are quick since there are only eight Senators on subject matter committees. In the Senate chamber an electronic voting system to record all votes should speed up Senate proceedings by not spending as much time on calling the roll. An electronic voting system for the Senate is not an issue of cost or difficult technology. A more likely impediment to progress is the fact the current system allows Senators to spend time out of the chambers without the public being aware.

    Ethics course in between lobbyist events. The proposal requires senators to take a Senate approved ethics course after the elections. (By the way, the Arkansas Ethics Commission has always been available to assist.) Here is the irony. The ethics course is likely to be taught when the Senate has its organizational meeting/orientation, which is packed with lobbyist events providing Senators free lobbyist meals and drinks. Yes, it would be the full training experience! 
    Handling the ethics rule announcement. Senate leaders unveiled their ethics proposal … in the smallest, most out of the way committee room in the Capital. Did the Senate provide a video of the press conference? No. A video exists from Kenneth Wallis but without it the Senate was happy for you not to see. Can you read the proposal on the Senate website? No. I found a copy posted in an article by Max Brantley on the Arkansas Blog, a liberal publication. Thanks Kenneth and Max for doing the job the Senate fails to do.

  1. The proposed rules on conflicts of interest and financial disclosure are improvements. But the proposal needs work to address some weaknesses.
  2. The number of Senate ethics issues not addressed is disappointing. Not incorporating legislation from Senators King and Collins-Smith ignores the current woes in the Senate.
  3. The power grab to give the President Pro Tempore and a few of his allies control over the ethics process is embarrassingly bad.
David Ferguson is a former Director of Arkansas’ Bureau of Legislative Research, having a thirty-two-year career as an attorney for the Arkansas legislature. After retirement from state service his primary focus has been beef cattle farming. He is also a former officer of Conduit for Action.

Tags: David Ferguson, Conduit for Action, Proposed Ethics Revisions, Arkansas, Improvements, Weaknesses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Lobbyists Influencing Arkansas Legislation Through Employment Opportunities

by Conduit for Action: From FBI investigations, we have learned that lobbyist Rusty Cranford built special relationships with legislators through jobs. But we know the practice is not just limited to Cranford.

Senator Jon Woods – Cranford had Preferred Family Healthcare hire the fiancée of Senator Jon Woods. She was paid $70,000-a-year and the job was given only two months after Woods got PFH a state grant. After she left the job her replacement was paid only $35,000 a year. [Source]

Senator Linda Chesterfield – In 2016, Cranford hired Senator Linda Chesterfield to be a diversity consultant for Preferred Family Healthcare. Her Statement of Financial Interest only shows she was paid more than the threshold of $12,500. According to the Arkansas Times Blog in 2015 Senator Chesterfield had awarded $25,000 in General Improvement Funds to Preferred Family Healthcare.[Source]

Senator Jeremy Hutchinson – Although not an employment, Cranford arranged for Senator Jeremy Hutchinson to be hired as an attorney for Preferred Family Healthcare. Hutchinson was paid a retainer from $9,000 a month to $7,500 a month. Senator Hutchinson was instrumental in handling some legislation for Cranford.[Source]

Representative James Sturch – Cranford wasn’t the only lobbyist handing out jobs to legislators. Lobbyist Chadwick Gallagher hired Rep. James Sturch sometime in 2014 apparently after his election was secure and Sturch continued to have a position with Gallagher in 2015 and 2016. Gallagher’s holdings and property business for which Sturch received income has the same address and is in the same house as Gallagher’s lobbyist business. The business is located in DeQueen over 230 miles from Sturch’s town of Batesville.[Source]

We know about Cranford’s connections because of the FBI investigation into his activities. We know about Gallagher’s employment of Sturch because at least by 2016 Batesville residents began asking why Sturch’s employer was in DeQueen.

The bigger questions are: Is this just the tip of the iceberg? How many legislators now have lobbyist sponsored positions?
Conduit for Action promotes freedom and free enterprise policies by effective action that will create a better life for all Arkansas citizens.

Tags: lobbyists, influencing, Arkansas legislation, through eEmployment opportunities, Conduit for Action To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!


by Shorty Dawkins: If a million, or more, armed men crossed our border, or any border, it would be considered an invasion, yet if the same number of men, women and children illegally cross our borders, unarmed, seeking our wealth and playing upon our kindness, we are expected, by the Leftists, to welcome them with open arms.

The waves of illegal immigrants entering the USA are an invasion. These illegal immigrants seek to benefit from the generous social welfare benefits handed out to them. Few of them are fleeing persecution. Most are simply economic migrants looking for a better life.

The Globalist/Leftists want them to come here to swell the ranks of voters on their side. That is the plan they openly admit to, yet there is a darker side to their plan. The Far Left, funded by George Soros and other moneyed Globalist Oligarchs, has as one of its goals the destruction of the USA from the inside, by overwhelming the social welfare system, the hospitals, the criminal justice system and the educational system. Overwhelming the System with a huge volume of needy people is their goal. They do not desire to solve problems. They seek to create problems. From the chaos they create, they expect to gain eventual complete power. That is their game plan.

As the rich Oligarchs fund the massive influx of immigrants, they build walls around their own homes. While they seek to disarm us, they are protected by armed guards. They demand we accept these immigrants into our communities, yet wall them from their gated communities. They accept these immigrants into their communities only as low paid servants, gardeners and nannies. They do not treat them as equals.

In the Globalist businesses, they hire the illegal immigrants as new, lower paid employees to replace higher paid employees.

The Open Borders plan is simply a plan to eliminate National Sovereignty, which stands in the way of the Globalist One World Utopia. National Sovereignty must be eliminated if their Utopia is to be achieved. Any individual, or group, opposed to their Globalist Utopia must be marginalized or destroyed. Since they are not moral people, they use immoral means to gain their objectives. They promote every kind of perversion and debauchery. They have no compulsion against lying, or destroying the lives of those who oppose them through deception. They seek to win, at all costs.

In Central Europe, there are nations proudly proclaiming their sovereignty, and standing up for their cultures and traditions. They are refusing to accept migrants who do not wish to assimilate into their cultures. Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and now Austria and even Italy, are refusing to accept the waves of immigrants who the Globalists want to dump into their countries. Angela Merkel, in Germany, is losing support and is in danger of her coalition collapsing.

The tide is turning against the Globalists. Still, they hold economic power, even as their political power is waning.

If we are to ever free ourselves completely from the clutches of the Globalists, we must free ourselves from the Central Banks, the World Bank, the International Monetary System (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). These institutions create the money and control the economies of the world’s nations. The common people do not benefit from these institutions. Only the Globalist Oligarchs benefit. It is how they control us, along with the surveillance apparatus.

Here in the US, we need for the Treasury Department to take over the powers delegated to the Federal Reserve System. Rather than bring money into existence as instruments of debt, it can be spent into existence without incurring interest. We should then withdraw from the IMF, the World Bank and the BIS. With these actions, we can break the power of the Globalists. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. If we have the courage to do so?
Shorty Dawkins writes for Oath Keepers. Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians.

Tags: Invasion, illegals, crossing border, Shorty Dawkins, Oath Keepers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Rift Grows Between Congress And Pentagon Over Weapons Transfer To Turkey

. . . Fate of American pastor and purchase of Russian SAMs among concerns raised by lawmakers.
by Ari Lieberman: Turkey received its first two F-35 fighter jets on Thursday. The Muslim nation and NATO partner has ordered 100 of the aircraft. Lockheed Martin conducted a rollout ceremony at Fort Worth, Texas to commemorate the milestone. From there, the two jets will follow-on to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where they will pair up with Turkish pilots and maintenance personnel for what a Pentagon spokesman described as “flight academics.”

Despite the rollout, it could take more than a year before the planes are sent to Turkey. This is due to the extensive training period Turkish pilots and support personnel will be required to undergo while in the United States.

The F-35 is a fifth generation fighter-bomber equipped with highly advanced avionics and stealth properties. Much of the technology incorporated into the F-35 is top secret. Russia and China have also developed fighter planes incorporating stealth technology stolen from the United States. But despite the theft, experts consider the F-35 to be far superior to the Russian and Chinese models.

The transfer of sensitive technology to Turkey has rankled members of Congress, who are disturbed by the unhinged actions and statements of its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Senate lawmakers have sought to stop the sale citing Turkey’s unlawful detention of American pastor, Andrew Brunson, on trumped up terrorism charges, and Turkey’s pending acquisition of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, which are not compatible with NATO platforms. Some lawmakers have questioned whether Turkey can be trusted to safeguard the F-35’s technology and raised the disquieting prospect of Turkey allowing the Russians to have access to the plane.

The Senate is moving to block the sale through language incorporated in the National Defense Authorization Act, a mammoth defense spending bill that also sets guidelines for defense policy. The Senate version of the bill expresses concern over Turkey’s illegal detention of Andrew Brunson and Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400. The bill also calls on Secretary of Defense James Mattis to submit to Congress “a plan to remove the Government of the Republic of Turkey from participation in the F-35 program,” and to list “steps required to prohibit the transfer of any F-35 aircraft currently owned and operated, by the Government of the Republic of Turkey, from the territory of the United States.”

The Senate and House versions of the NDAA have to reconcile before the bill is passed along to President Donald Trump for signing. Despite some differences between the Senate and House versions, there appears to be wide bipartisan support for blocking the transfer of the F-35 to Turkey. This rare bipartisan agreement on Turkey is unsurprising even in today’s charged political climate.

Turkey’s authoritarian and increasingly paranoid leader has given Congress ample reason to be wary. In addition to the S-400 acquisition and the detention of Andrew Brunson, Turkey has repeatedly pursued foreign policies that are inconsistent with NATO’s. It has invaded two of its neighbors, waged war against Kurdish militia fighters allied with NATO, threatened to flood NATO countries with Muslim migrants from Iraq and Syria, circumvented sanctions against Iran, and even supported the emerging Islamic State in its nascent state.

Turkey’s deleterious actions have been met with equally shrill and belligerent rhetoric from its leaders. When Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that he would move to shut down mosques and expel radical foreign-funded clerics, Erdoğan warned that Kurz's actions would bring the world “toward a war between the cross and the crescent.” That language mimics the rhetoric employed by ISIS, al-Qaida and other radical Islamic terrorist groups.

Turkey’s conspiracy prone leaders routinely spew the most outrageous conspiracy theories which are often laced with deeply anti-Semitic overtones. Erdoğan often compares Israel to Nazi Germany, claimed that Israel has committed genocide against the Palestinians, alleged that Israel engineered the coup that saw the overthrow of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Morsi, and accused the international “interest rate lobby,” a euphemism for rich Jews, of fomenting the 2013 Gezi Park riots.

The most recent conspiracy gem emerging from Ankara involves Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who claimed that this year’s Eurovision song contest was rigged by “imperialists” who engineered the Israeli win to “sow strife between religions.”

Despite Turkey’s deeply problematic behavior, there are those within Washington who are still advocating for the sale and chief among them is Defense Secretary Mattis. Mattis has been engaging with Congressional leaders in an effort to have them remove language from the NDAA that seeks to block the sale.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been more equivocal. He has raised concerns about Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 and can act to block the sale under legislation recently passed by Congress that calls for sanctions against purchasers of certain Russian military platforms, including the S-400. In a May appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Pompeo acknowledged that some of Turkey’s actions were cause for concern and raised some eyebrows when he stated that he wants Turkey to “rejoin NATO.”

Mattis’ advocacy on behalf of the paranoid Islamists running Turkey is both perplexing and troubling. Turkey’s drift out of NATO’s orbit and into the orbit of America’s strategic enemies should be cause for great concern. The transfer of sensitive U.S. technology to the Erdoğan regime under the current circumstances would represent the epitome of foolhardiness and would end up costing America dearly. Mattis would be wise to defer to Congress on this one.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region. He is an author at FrontPage Mag an outreach of the the David Horowitz Freedom Center. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Rift Grows, between Congress and Pentagon, Over Weapons Transfer, to Turkey, Ari Lieberman, Front PageMag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Supreme Court's 'Bartleby' Redistricting Decision

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: "I would prefer not to." That was the invariable reply of the title character of Herman Melville's 1853 story "Bartleby, the Scrivener," when asked by his employer to perform a task.

It's also a phrase you might use to describe the opinion of the Supreme Court in its latest redistricting -- or gerrymandering -- case, Gill v. Whitford. This was expected to be a closely divided case and one that many observers hoped would establish a clear legal standard to overturn partisan gerrymanders.

But all nine justices concurred in the central point of Chief Justice Roberts' opinion, that the plaintiffs lacked standing -- harm that affects them "in a personal and individual way" -- needed to bring the case. Evidently, they "would prefer not to" resolve the issue of when partisan district drawing violates voters' constitutional rights.

It's an issue the court first grappled with in 1973, less than a decade after its 1964 decisions requiring equal-population congressional and legislative districts. Back then, the court conceded that redistricting "inevitably has and is intended to have substantive political consequences." And when examining an obviously partisan Republican districting plan in Pennsylvania in 2004, eight justices were deadlocked 4-4, while Justice Anthony Kennedy found no constitutional violation but no remedy.

"There are yet no agreed upon substantive principles of fairness in districting," he wrote. His concurrence in Gill v. Whitford suggests he hasn't found one in the intervening 14 years.

The plaintiffs, Wisconsin Democrats, who thought they'd found one, must be disappointed. Their theory is that a districting plan should give each party the proportion of legislative seats identical to its proportion of the total votes for legislature statewide. They objected that Republican districters prevent this by "packing" (putting too many Democrats in some districts) and "cracking" (putting just enough Republicans in some districts to win). They complained that leaves many Democrats' votes "wasted."

There are some obvious problems here. Some candidates, even in this straight-ticket era, run well ahead of their parties. And over the 10-year period between censuses, some voters switch parties, such as in 2006 and 2008 and perhaps this year. Plus, how does a court judge that too many votes are wasted and decide how much reverse cracking and packing is necessary to compensate?

More fundamentally, requiring courts to attempt to equalize each party's number of "wasted" votes amounts to saying that the Constitution requires proportionate representation of the sort specifically imposed in many countries. But the Constitution explicitly leaves Congress free to decide that, and since 1842, Congress has chosen instead to require single-member districts with equal population.

Justice Elena Kagan, in a concurring opinion endorsed by the three other Democratic-appointed justices, takes the view that the Wisconsin plaintiffs could prevail in the lower court to which the chief justice remanded the case if they present their case more strategically. She argues that the chief justice ignores precedents that suggest harm to a political party and not just individual plaintiffs violates a First Amendment right of freedom of association, recognized by Justice Kennedy in 2004.

But like many Democratic politicians and commentators, Justice Kagan overstates the evils of partisan district drawing. "More effectively every day, that practice enables politicians to entrench themselves in power against the people's will," she writes.

This ignores the redistricting legerdemain of Democratic Rep. Phillip Burton, whose hand-drawn redistricting plans gained more than a dozen House seats in California and other states in the 1970 and 1980 election cycles. Liberals didn't think gerrymandering imperiled democracy back then.

The Democrats' current problem is not just that Republicans controlled districting in more states than Democrats after the 2000 and 2010 Census; it's also, as the court and the Wisconsin plaintiffs recognized, that Democratic voters are demographically clustered in central cities, sympathetic suburbs and university towns, while Republican voters are more evenly spread around.

A party whose voters are demographically clustered is at a disadvantage in any legislature with equal-population single-member districts. One solution for Democrats is to try to appeal beyond their current redoubts, as President Bill Clinton did in the 1990s. That might even neutralize Republicans' redistricting advantage after the 2020 census.

Gill v. Whitford suggests the courts won't bail the Democrats out if they don't. Justice Kagan and her colleagues may be eager to help, but they don't have a fifth vote in sight. And Chief Justice Roberts and four of his colleagues seem to be saying, "I would prefer not to" -- and that the equal-population requirement effectively limits political gains from partisan redistricting.
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel and ;Washington Examiner contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

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Has the West the Will to Survive?

by Patrick Buchanan: “If you’re … pathetically weak, the country is going to be overrun with millions of people, and if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart, that’s a tough dilemma. … I’d rather be strong.”

So said President Donald Trump, on issuing his order halting the separation of children from parents caught breaking into the country. Trump’s enemies are celebrating a victory. Yet the issue remains.

Under U.S. law, teenagers and tots cannot be detained for more than 20 days and must be held in the least-restrictive facilities. But if the children cannot be separated from the parents as they await trial, both will have to be released to keep families together.

We are back to “catch and release.”

When that welcome news hits Central America, the migrant stream moving north will become a river that never ceases to flow.

The questions America and the West face might thus be framed:

Is there a liberal, progressive, Christian way to seal a 2,000-mile border, halt millions of migrants from crossing it illegally, and send intruders back whence they came? Or does the preservation of Western nations and peoples require measures from which liberal societies today reflexively recoil?

Does the survival of the West as a civilization require a ruthlessness the West no longer possess?

Consider what our fathers did to build this country.

The English settlers brought in 600,000 slaves, ethnically cleansed the Indians, joined their cousins in a war to expel the French, then revolted and threw out those cousins to claim all the land to the Mississippi for ourselves.

Jefferson grabbed the vast Louisiana Territory for $15 million from Napoleon, who had no right to sell it. Andrew Jackson drove the Spanish out of Florida, sent the Cherokee packing on the Trail of Tears, and told a dissenting Chief Justice John Marshall where he could go.

Sam Houston tore Texas away from Mexico. “Jimmy” Polk took the Southwest and California in a war Ulysses Grant called “the most unjust ever fought.” When the South declared independence, Lincoln sent a million-man army to march them back in a war that cost 600,000 lives.

William McKinley sent armies and warships to seize Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines. The indigenous peoples were not consulted. “God told me to take the Philippines,” said McKinley.

The conquest and colonization of the New World and the creation of the United States and its rise to world power required acts of aggression and war of which many among our elites are ashamed. They exhibit their guilt by tearing down the statues of the men who perpetrated the “crimes” that created America. But of these elites, it may be fairly said: they could never have built a nation like ours.

Which brings us again to the larger questions.

While our forefathers would have not hesitated to do what was needed to secure our borders and expel intruders, it is not a settled matter as to whether this generation has the will to preserve the West.

Progressives may parade their moral superiority as they cheer the defeat of the “zero tolerance” policy. But they have no solution to the crisis. Indeed, many do not even see it as a crisis because they do not see themselves as belonging to a separate tribe, nation or people threatened by an epochal invasion from the Third World.

They see themselves as belonging to an ideological nation, a nation of ideas, whose mission is to go forth and preach and teach all peoples the gospel of democracy, diversity and equality.

And this is why the establishment was repudiated in 2016. It was perceived as too elite, too liberal, too weak to secure the borders and repel the invaders.

“If you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country is going to be overrun with millions of people,” said Trump Wednesday. Is he wrong?

Since the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has grown apparent that the existential threat to the West comes not from Czar Vladimir’s Russian divisions returning to the Elbe.

The existential threat came from the south.

Half a century ago, Houari Boumedienne, the leader of a poor but militant Algeria, allegedly proclaimed at the United Nations:

“One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”

This is the existential crisis of the West.

Thus, Trump seeks to build a wall, turn back the intruders, and bring Vladimir Putin back into the Western camp, where Russia belongs. Thus the new populist regime in Rome blocks boats of refugees from landing in Italy. Thus Angela Merkel looks like yesterday, and Viktor Orban like tomorrow.
Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, the West, Will to Survive To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Picture Perfect . . .

. . . The mainstream media along with the Democrats are quick to call Trump Hitler using 2014 Obama era photos as their proof. Oops!
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Picture Perfect, mainstream media, Democrats, call Trump Hitler, using 2014 Obama, era photos, as proof, Oops! To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

American Creed

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: What is the American Creed? That is a question David Gelernter asks in his book, America-Lite. He has been on my radio program to talk about his book and his op-ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

He is a fascinating individual. He received two degrees in classical Hebrew literature, but then became a professor of computer science at Yale University. Some have called him a “rock star” in the world of computing. You might also remember that he was one of the people who was critically injured when he opened a mail bomb sent by “the Unabomber.”

He believes that we need to return to the principles that made this country great. Unfortunately, he says “many of us don’t know what they are, or think they can’t work.” He blames the public schools and the academy for this failure to pass on the basic ideals that have served America so well for centuries.

He laments that “Almost no one believes that our public schools are doing a passable job of teaching American and Western civilization.” Textbooks and class lectures in our education system today often start with the assumption that America and Western ideals are bad for civilization. He concludes that “Many American children have never heard a good word for the United States, the West, Judaism, or Christianity their whole lives.”

He also laments that our “American culture is in the hands of intellectuals” which he says are usually people “born with high IQ and low common sense.” He gives lots of examples of this. You can probably think of many other examples of people that are very bright but lacking in basic common sense.

America’s creed is quite simple: “Freedom, equality, democracy, and America as the promised land.” The early founders believed in America as a city on a hill, as did many presidents right up to President Reagan.

It is time to use our American creed to evaluate those who are teaching our kids and those who are leading our nation.
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, David Gelernter, American Creed To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Don’t Bring Pepper Spray to a Gun Fight

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “My students are my kids . . . and I want to be able to protect them just like I would protect my own son,” says the Oho teacher, who participates in a program called FASTER Saves Lives. (“FASTER” stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response.)

Since 2013, FASTER Saves Lives has trained teachers and other school employees to carry and shoot firearms. Although many lawmakers and school officials around the country oppose letting teachers bear arms in the classroom, a growing number sanction the practice.

It makes sense. Is there any better way to prepare for the possibility of having to defend your life and your students’ lives against an armed assailant bent on mass murder? (We can set aside the notion that aspiring murderers will scrupulously respect gun-control laws.)

People do have counterproposals. Congressional candidate Levi Tillman urges arming teachers with pepper spray. Well . . . there are problems, as blogger Tom Knighton elaborates. How do you get close enough to use the pepper spray before the killer squeezes the trigger again? What if he sees you coming?

And suppose you do spray the attacker? He won’t be immediately incapacitated. He may even be unaffected.

Some brave people have stopped a gunman by tackling him in mid-rampage. Great . . . if you have the ability and opportunity to do that.

On the other hand, suppose you’re neither strong nor nimble but can shoot, carry a gun, and shoot back — when the assailant is on the floor, bleeding: no more threat.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacob is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Pepper Spray,Gun Fight To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Families of Victims of Illegal Aliens Tell of ‘Permanent Separation’ From Children, Being Ignored by Media

by Fred Lucas: With President Donald Trump still facing criticism over separating migrant families who illegally crossed the border, other families met with the president Friday to share their stories of “permanent separation” from children killed by illegal immigrants—and to complain of being ignored by the news media.

Among those family members were Laura Wilkerson, who recalled the 2010 slaying of her son Josh.

“He was brutally tortured, strangled over and over. He was set on fire after death. His last hours were brutal,” Wilkerson said, standing on a stage at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Trump, administration officials, and family members of 13 other victims of crimes by illegal immigrants.

They were among the “Angel Families” advocating for strong enforcement of immigration laws.

Wilkerson contrasted their situation with those of illegal-immigrant parents who can communicate with the children they’ve been separated from on Skype.

“As with everyone standing up here, none of our kids had a minute to say goodbye. We weren’t lucky enough to be separated for five days or 10 days,” she said. “We were separated permanently. If we want to be close to our kids, we have to go to the cemetery. We can’t speak with them. We can’t Skype with them.

“You guys know the permanent separation. It’s the media that won’t share it with other people. It’s permanent. We can never have him again on this earth. Thankfully, I’ll see him again in heaven,” she said.

Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to halt the separating of migrant parents and children caught illegally crossing the southern border.

“We’ll not rest until our border is secure, our citizens are safe, and we end this immigration crisis, once and for all,” Trump told the families. “Your loved ones have not died in vain.”

Other officials at the event included Vice President Mike Pence and Thomas Homan, who is retiring at the end of the month as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones,” Trump said. “The word you have to think about is ‘permanently.’”

Steve Ronnebeck, whose 21-year-old son, Grant, was fatally shot over a pack of cigarettes, criticized the news media for ignoring thousands of Americans killed by illegal immigrants since 9/11 amid the virtually nonstop news coverage regarding the separating of illegal-immigrant families.

“You don’t hear these stories. Some of our media won’t talk to you about it,” Ronnebeck said. “I wish some of our media had the same integrity as our president, our vice president, Director Homan, all of you in law enforcement.”

Maryann Mendoza’s son—Mesa, Arizona, Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza—was killed in 2014 in a vehicle accident with an illegal alien who was allegedly driving with a blood-alcohol level at three times the legal limit.

“As you know, they could fill this stage up every day for the next five months of victims of illegal-alien crime, and it would just keep going,” Mendoza said. “Unfortunately, we are members of a club of our children or loved ones who have been killed by illegal aliens.

“But there are hundreds of thousands who are affected by illegal-alien crime, rape, assault, identity theft. These are things that go unreported, unchecked,” she said.
Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH) is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal.

Tags: Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal, Families, Victims of Illegal Aliens, Permanent Separation From Children, Being Ignored by Media To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Who’s Responsible for Separating Alien Kids From Their Parents? Many People, but Not Trump

Demonstrators protest against
family separations at the border.
by Hans von Spakovsky: Who truly is responsible for the 2,000 alien kids who, according to the Associated Press, recently have been separated from their detained illegal alien parents?

There is a lot of blame to share. That includes President Bill Clinton and the alien parents themselves, as well as the courts and immigration policies foolishly created by the Obama administration. The perverse incentives in those policies have endangered the lives and safety of children and helped fund the deadly Mexican drug cartels that run the trafficking networks on our southern border.

You would not know that based on the absurdly biased coverage and virulent protests that have occurred. The Trump administration is simply doing what it is constitutionally charged with doing—enforcing the law.

The president on Wednesday issued an executive order that directs the Department of Homeland Security to keep illegal alien families together “to the extent permitted by law.” That is the crux of the administration’s problem: the extent to which the government is permitted to keep families together while they await removal proceedings.

In 1997, the Clinton administration entered into a settlement agreement in Flores v. Reno, a lawsuit filed in federal court in California by pro-illegal immigration advocacy groups challenging the detention of juvenile aliens taken into custody by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The Clinton administration agreed to settle this litigation despite the fact the Supreme Court had upheld the Immigration and Naturalization Service regulation that provided for the release of minors only to their parents, close relatives, or legal guardians.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Flores agreement allows the agency to detain unaccompanied minors for only “20 days before releasing them to the Department of Health and Human Services which places the minors in foster or shelter situations until they locate a sponsor.”

But in a controversial decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the most liberal in the country, has interpreted the settlement agreement to apply to “both minors who are accompanied and unaccompanied by their parents.”

In other words, it is the 9th Circuit’s misinterpretation of the Clinton administration’s settlement agreement that doesn’t allow juvenile aliens to stay with their parents who have been detained for unlawful entry into the country.

Of course, if those parents would simply agree to return to their home countries, they would be immediately reunited with their children. So those who come here illegally are themselves to blame for their children being assigned to foster care or to another family member or sponsor who may be in the country.

The executive order signed by President Donald Trump directs the attorney general to file a request with the federal court in the Flores case to modify the settlement agreement to allow the government “to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.”

Of course, the administration’s critics know about this settlement and know it limits the ability of the administration to keep alien families together. The point of their propaganda war is to force the Trump administration to terminate its zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting all adult aliens for illegal entry, stop all detentions, and return to the “catch and release” policies of the prior administration.

The executive order did not indicate the president was in any way relaxing the zero-tolerance policy. Unfortunately, an unconfirmed news report the day after the executive order was signed cited a “senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection official” as claiming the Department of Homeland Security was “suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units until ICE can accelerate resource capability to allow us to maintain custody.”

If this is accurate, then many illegal aliens currently in detention will be released because of a lack of adequate family detention centers.

“Catch and release” was the policy of giving illegal aliens a court date and then releasing them, a practice which enables many of them to disappear into the vast interior of this country. Such a policy is not a viable option.

As Mark Metcalf, former immigration judge, points out, for example, after 9/11 the number of aliens who failed to show up for their immigration hearings reached 58 percent in 2005 and 2006. Over the past two decades, 37 percent of all illegal aliens released pending an immigration hearing fled and never showed up for trial.

The Obama administration provided a huge incentive for illegal aliens to smuggle children across the border, since a child acted as a get-out-of-jail-free card for avoiding detention and prosecution for the adult accompanying the child. As the Department of Homeland Security correctly says, this policy “incited smugglers to place children into the hands of adult strangers so they can pose as families and be released from immigration custody after crossing the border, creating another safety issue for these children.”

In 2013, a federal judge issued a searing indictment of the Obama administration’s policy of reuniting children with their illegal alien parents in the U.S. who had paid human traffickers to smuggle the children into the U.S. and taking no action against the parents.

As Judge Andrew Hanen said in a case against a human trafficker who was caught with a 10-year-old girl, the administration’s policy was to complete “the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.” He called the policy “dangerous and unconscionable” because it encourages illegal aliens to place their “minor children in perilous situations subject to the whims of evil individuals.”

Hanen listed the crimes he had seen committed against illegal aliens by traffickers, including assault, rape, kidnapping, and murder, and catalogued the “violence, extortion, forced labor, sexual assault, or prostitution” to which the aliens were subjected. Funds paid to these human traffickers by illegal aliens directly fund dangerous drug cartels such as Mexico’s Los Zetas.

Another reason for the current separation problem is illegal aliens trying to take advantage of our generous asylum law. If an alien follows the law by presenting himself at a port of entry with his family and claiming asylum, then his claim will be reviewed and his family will stay together.

It is when aliens are caught illegally crossing the border and then claim asylum that they have put themselves into the situation of being prosecuted for illegal entry. They are then separated from their children because of the Clinton-era settlement.

Something else to keep in mind when it comes to the credibility—or lack of credibility—of many asylum claims these days is that many aliens pass through countries with their own asylum laws on their way here—including Mexico. If an alien doesn’t claim asylum before he gets to the U.S., that is a pretty good sign his reason for coming to the U.S. is more about economics than asylum.

This issue of alien children being separated from their parents who are being prosecuted for illegal entry also should be kept in perspective. Our justice system doesn’t refuse to arrest, prosecute, and jail citizens when they break the law because they happen to have children.

As Peter Kirsanow, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, points out, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that more than 20,000 children were placed in foster care in 2016 because of “Parent Incarceration.”

None of those protesting against the Trump administration seem concerned that 10 times more American children than the 2,000 alien children cited in the Associated Press report were separated from their parents in 2016 because of violations of the law by their parents.

As Kirsanow says, it is “regrettable” children are separated from their parents. But “people who cross the border illegally have committed a crime, and one of the consequences of being arrested and detained is, unfortunately, that their children cannot stay with them.”

It is not Trump who is responsible for this.
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans con Spakovsky

Tags: Hans von Spakovsky, The Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, Who’s Responsible, Separating Alien Kids From Their Parents? Many People, but Not Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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