Archive for the ‘Immigration laws’ category

Promises to Keep

February 13, 2017

Promises to Keep, Front Page MagazineMichael Cutler, February 13, 2017

(“And miles to go before I sleep.” — DM)

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During his campaign for the presidency Donald Trump frequently disdainfully scowled when he spoke about how most politicians were “All talk and no action.”

Candidate Trump promised that immigration would be a primary focus of his administration.

President Trump has indeed focused on multiple aspects of the immigration crisis that go well beyond building a wall along the U.S./Mexican border.

His selection of Senator Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General was the best possible choice for this important position.

Sessions had chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

Consider that on February 25, 2016 that subcommittee conducted a hearing on the topic, “The Impact of High-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Workers.”

When the Obama administration conducted meetings for “Stakeholders” on the immigration issue corporate leaders were invited to attend as were immigration lawyers representing illegal aliens and special interest groups that advocate for illegal aliens.

However, no one in attendance represented the “average American.”

Even the union leaders representing the Border Patrol, ICE agents and the adjudications officers were barred from participating in those meetings.

On February 9, 2017 President Trump held a news conference in the Oval Office to conduct a public swearing in ceremony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Immediately after Vice President Pence swore in Jeff Sessions, President Trump signed three executive orders:

Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking

Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers

Presidential Executive Order on a Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety

President Trump promised to be the “Law and Order” President and he has certainly hit the ground running.

His executive order to prevent violence against law enforcement officers is tangible evidence of his keeping his promise to look out for law enforcement officers.

Let’s next consider how he articulated the purpose for his executive order on enforcing federal laws to attack transnational criminal organizations:

Section 1.  Purpose.  Transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations, including transnational drug cartels, have spread throughout the Nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens.  These organizations derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct, including acts of violence and abuse that exhibit a wanton disregard for human life.  They, for example, have been known to commit brutal murders, rapes, and other barbaric acts.

These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery.  In particular, the trafficking by cartels of controlled substances has triggered a resurgence in deadly drug abuse and a corresponding rise in violent crime related to drugs.  Likewise, the trafficking and smuggling of human beings by transnational criminal groups risks creating a humanitarian crisis.  These crimes, along with many others, are enriching and empowering these organizations to the detriment of the American people.

A comprehensive and decisive approach is required to dismantle these organized crime syndicates and restore safety for the American people.

That statement underscores his understanding of how important immigration law enforcement and border security are to combatting transnational criminals.

What is unfathomable is how many politicians who have to understand this issue have opposed Trump at every opportunity.  Only they can explain their conduct.  However, I have to conclude that those who would oppose President Trump’s efforts to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws are siding with the cartels and transnational criminal organizations.

This certainly apply to mayors of “Sanctuary Cities” and governors who want to create “Sanctuary States.”

Sanctuary Cities should be called “Magnet Cities” because they attract criminal aliens including members of transnational gangs, fugitives and international terrorists.

The politicians’ claims that by shielding vulnerable illegal aliens from immigration law enforcement they would be willing to come forward when they fall victim to criminals is a blatant lie that ignores that Sanctuary Cities Endanger – National Security and Public Safety.

Sanctuary policies attract more violent criminals who are likely victimize members of the ethnic immigration communities.  However the false narrative serves to vilify valiant ICE agents who go in harms way every day they report for duty, seeking to protect national security and innocent lives.

Statutorily, U Visas are available for victims of human trafficking and other crimes if they come forward and assist with law enforcement efforts to apprehend the criminals.  Similar visa programs are available for illegal aliens who provide assistance to criminal investigations.

If those duplicitous politicians really wanted to assist illegal alien victims of crimes they would bring them to immigration offices and urge them to cooperate with the investigations of their criminal assailants.

That way everyone would win.

But then the politicians would not get their campaign contributions from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a host of special interest groups, and who know who else, who are literally and figuratively making out like bandits by exploiting the immigration system.

In continuing to consider Trump’s executive order on trafficking I call your attention to two of the key elements of this executive order are proverbial “music to my ears.”

(e)  develop strategies, under the guidance of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, to maximize coordination among agencies — such as through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Special Operations Division, the OCDETF Fusion Center, and the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center — to counter the crimes described in subsection (a) of this section, consistent with applicable Federal law; and

(f)  pursue and support additional efforts to prevent the operational success of transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations within and beyond the United States, to include prosecution of ancillary criminal offenses, such as immigration fraud and visa fraud, and the seizure of the implements of such organizations and forfeiture of the proceeds of their criminal activity.

I speak from extensive experience when I say that this task force approach to identifying, investigating and dismantling international drug trafficking organizations is extremely effective.  I spent the final ten years of my career with the INS as a Senior Special Agent assigned to the OCDETF program in New York City.

As for immigration fraud and visa fraud, these two issues are elements of “Extreme vetting” that Trump promised when he campaigned for the presidency.

On May 18, 2004 I testified at a hearing by the House Immigration Subcommittee on the topic of Pushing the Border Out on Alien Smuggling: New Tools and Intelligence Initiatives that addressed the issues of visa fraud and also the strategy of providing visas for illegal alien informants.

On May 20, 1997 I testified before the House Immigration Subcommittee on the topic, Visa Fraud And Immigration Benefits Application Fraud.

That hearing was predicated on two deadly terror attacks carried out in 1993 at the CIA and first World Trade Center Bombing.

In one way or another, all of those involved with those attacks had gamed the visa system and/or the immigration benefits program.

The Clinton administration’s failures to address these vulnerabilities of visa fraud and immigration fraud that enabled these two deadly attacks to be conducted on American soil literally and figuratively, left the door open to the deadly terror attacks of 9/11.

The report, “9/11 and  Terrorist TravelStaff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” included this excerpt found on pages 46 and 47:

In addition, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the attack, and Ahmad Ajaj, who was able to direct aspects of the attack despite being in prison for using an altered passport, traveled under aliases using fraudulent documents. The two of them were found to possess five passports as well as numerous documents supporting their aliases: a Saudi passport showing signs of alteration, an Iraqi passport bought from a Pakistani official, a photo-substituted Swedish passport, a photo-substituted British passport, a Jordanian passport, identification cards, bank records, education records, and medical records.6

“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.

In the years since the terror attacks of 9/11 more terror attacks were carried out in the United States while other attacks, for one reason or another, failed.  Most of those attacks involved aliens who committed visa fraud and/or immigration fraud.

Trump’s executive orders address our immigration vulnerabilities and Attorney General Sessions will provide the legal horsepower.

All Americans should be thrilled that this President is keeping his promises.

A Maniac is Running Our Foreign Policy! (It’s Not Trump)

February 9, 2017

A Maniac is Running Our Foreign Policy! (It’s Not Trump), Front Page MagazineAnn Coulter, February 9, 2017

(There has been much criticism of President Trump’s rather mild criticism — please see also, A Strange Ruling from a Strange Judge —  of  “so called” Judge Robart. I disagree with the notion that Judges should be immune to criticism regardless of the stupidity demonstrably erroneous natures of their rulings, while other officials nominated by the President and approved by the Senate are fair game. From whence and why did that notion arise? Do judges assume a civil divinity when confirmed? When they don black robes? Had President Trump referred to the Judeo-Christian God as a “so-called God,” I suspect the outrage would have been less vocal and widespread. Perhaps only a similar reference to Allah would have been equally vocal and widespead.– DM)

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When Arizona merely tried to enforce the federal immigration laws being ignored by the Obama administration, the entire media erupted in rage at this incursion into the majestic power of the president over immigration. They said it was like living in Nazi Germany!

The most reviled section of the act, melodramatically called the “Papers Please” law, was upheld by the Supreme Court. But the other parts, allowing state officials to enforce federal immigration laws, were ruled unconstitutional. A president’s policy choice to ignore immigration laws supersedes a state’s right to enforce them.

The court conceded that hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens were arrested in Arizona each year, that they were responsible for “a disproportionate share of serious crime,” and that illegals constituted nearly 6 percent of Arizona’s population.

But Arizona was powerless to enforce laws on the books — if those laws happened to be about immigration. The president’s authority over immigration is absolute and exclusive, as part of his authority over foreign policy.

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If only we were able to deport citizens, we could use Trump’s new policy of excluding those who are “hostile” toward our country to get rid of Judge James Robart.

Judge Robart’s veto of Trump’s travel ban notwithstanding, there is not the slightest question but that the president, in his sole discretion, can choose to admit or exclude any foreigners he likes, based on “the interests of the United States.”

The Clinton administration used the executive branch’s broad power over immigration to send a 6-year-old boy back to a communist dictatorship. The courts were completely powerless to stop him.

As explained by the federal appellate court that ruled on Elian Gonzalez’s asylum application: “It is the duty of the Congress and of the executive branch to exercise political will,” and “in no context is the executive branch entitled to more deference than in the context of foreign affairs,” which includes immigration.

The court acknowledged that Elian might well be subjected to “re-education,” “communist indoctrination” and “political manipulation.” (Then again, so would enrolling him at Sidwell Friends.) It didn’t matter! Sending little boys back to communist dictatorships was the policy of the Clinton administration.

The Obama administration’s immigration policy was to ensure that millions of poverty-stricken foreigners would come here and help turn our country into a Mexican version of Pakistan.

When Arizona merely tried to enforce the federal immigration laws being ignored by the Obama administration, the entire media erupted in rage at this incursion into the majestic power of the president over immigration. They said it was like living in Nazi Germany!

The most reviled section of the act, melodramatically called the “Papers Please” law, was upheld by the Supreme Court. But the other parts, allowing state officials to enforce federal immigration laws, were ruled unconstitutional. A president’s policy choice to ignore immigration laws supersedes a state’s right to enforce them.

The court conceded that hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens were arrested in Arizona each year, that they were responsible for “a disproportionate share of serious crime,” and that illegals constituted nearly 6 percent of Arizona’s population.

But Arizona was powerless to enforce laws on the books — if those laws happened to be about immigration. The president’s authority over immigration is absolute and exclusive, as part of his authority over foreign policy.

To review:

— When the president’s immigration policy is to promote international communism: The president wins.

— When the president’s immigration policy is to transform America into a different country: The president wins.

— But when the president’s immigration policy is to protect Americans: Some piss-ant judge announces that his authority exceeds that of the president.

This is exactly what I warned you about in Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World HellholeNothing Trump does will be met with such massive resistance as his immigration policies.

The left used to attack America by spying for Stalin, aiding our enemies, murdering cops and blowing up buildings. But, then liberals realized, it’s so much more effective to just do away with America altogether!

Teddy Kennedy gave them their chance with the 1965 immigration act. Since then, we’ve been taking in more than a million immigrants a year, 90 percent from comically primitive cultures. They like the welfare, but have very little interest in adopting the rest of our culture.

In many parts of the country, you’re already not living in America. Just a few more years, and the transformation will be complete. There will be a North American landmass known as “the United States,” but it won’t be our country.

The only thing that stands between America and oblivion is a total immigration moratorium. We are well past the point of quick fixes — as Judge Robart’s delusional ruling proves.

The judiciary, both political parties, the media, Hollywood, corporate America and approximately 1 million lobbying groups are all working frantically to bring the hardest cases to our shores. Left-wing traitors, who used to honeymoon in Cuba and fight with peasant revolutionaries in Peru, toil away, late into the night, to ensure that genocidal Rwandans can move to America and immediately start collecting food stamps, Medicaid and Social Security.

No matter how clearly laws are written, government bureaucrats connive to import people from countries that a majority of Americans would not want to visit, much less become. Federal judges issue lunatic rulings to ensure that there will never be a pause in the transformation of America.

Congress could write laws requiring immigrants to pay taxes, learn English, forgo welfare and have good moral character. It could write laws giving the president authority to exclude aliens in the public interest.

Except it already has. Those laws were swept away by INS officials, federal judges and Democratic administrations — under ferocious pressure from America-hating, left-wing groups.

The country will not be safe until the following outfits are out of business:

The ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project; the National Immigration Forum; the National Immigration Law Center; the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild; the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; the Office of Migration and Refugee Services; the American Immigration Law Foundation; the American Immigration Lawyers Association; the Border Information and Outreach Service; Atlas: DIY; the Catholic Legal Immigration Network; the Clearinghouse for Immigrant Education; the Farmworker Justice Fund; Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees; the Immigrant Legal Resource Center; the International Center for Migration, Ethnicity and Citizenship; the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force; the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service; the National Association for Bilingual Education; the National Clearinghouse on Agricultural Guest Worker Issues; the National Coalition for Dignity and Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants; the National Coalition for Haitian Rights; the National Council of La Raza; and the National Farm Worker Ministry.

And that’s only a small fraction of the anti-American immigration groups assiduously dragging the Third World to our shores — while you were busy working.

Look at that list — look at Judge Robart’s ruling! — and ask yourself: Is it possible that anything short of a total immigration moratorium can save this country? Only when there is no immigration to bellyache about will these nuts be forced to think of a new way to destroy America.

President Trump’s Immigration Challenge

January 4, 2017

President Trump’s Immigration Challenge, Front Page MagazineMichael Cutler, January 4, 2017

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On January 20, 2017 President Trump can and likely will end all of Obama’s illegal immigration executive orders, but he needs to do more.

For decades the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws was hobbled by lack of resources in general and a particularly devastating failure to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

For decades the Border Patrol was perceived as the primary enforcement arm of America’s immigration laws and for the Border Patrol this worked out fine.  They got the lion’s share of publicity and, far more importantly, the funding while INS special agents and the interior enforcement mission were all but ignored

When the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) was created in the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11, the former INS was dismantled and broken into several components of the DHS and mixed in with other agencies, principally the U.S. Customs Service.

Bad as it was for INS agents to operate in the shadow of the Border Patrol, the creation of the DHS was disastrous and caused many of the INS agents nostalgic for “the good old days.”

On May 5, 2005 the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims conducted a hearing on the topic, “New ‘Dual Mission’ Of The Immigration Enforcement Agencies.”

I was one of four witnesses who testified at that hearing.  In point of fact, I testified at several hearings that sought to understand the challenges that the creation of the DHS created for the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.

In my testimony I clearly articulated my concerns about the myriad issues created when the DHS was established and the former INS was dismantled.

Consider this excerpt from the testimony of then-Subcommittee Chairman John Hostettler in which he articulated the importance of immigration law enforcement and that was, however, hobbled by the creation of the DHS:

The first two Subcommittee hearings of the year examined in detail how the immigration enforcement agencies have inadequate resources and too few personnel to carry out their mission. The witnesses mentioned the lack of uniforms, badges, detention space, and the inevitable low morale of frontline agents who are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming illegal aliens. If this were not enough, these ”immigration enforcement” agencies also face internal confusion resulting from dual or multiple missions in which immigration has all too often taken a back seat. Sadly, contrary to Congress’ expectations, immigration enforcement has not been the primary focus of either of these agencies, and that is the subject of today’s hearing.

The Homeland Security Act, enacted in November 2002, split the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS, into separate immigration service and enforcement agencies, both within the Department of Homeland Security. This split had been pursued by Chairman Sensenbrenner based on testimony and evidence that the dual missions of INS had resulted in poor performance.

There was a constant tug-of-war between providing good service to law-abiding aliens and enforcing the law against law-breakers. The plain language of the Homeland Security Act, Title D, creates a ”Bureau of Border Security,” and specifically transfers all immigration enforcement functions of INS into it. Yet when it came down to actually creating the two: new agencies, the Administration veered off course. Although the service functions of INS were transferred to USCIS, the enforcement side of INS was split in two, what is now Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to handle interior enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to guard our borders.

ICE was given all Customs agents, investigators, intelligence and analysis-from the Treasury Department, as well as the Federal Protective Service to guard Federal buildings, and the Federal Air Marshals to protect our airplanes, and finally the INS investigators.

CBP was given all Treasury Customs inspectors at the ports-of-entry, Agriculture Inspector from the Department Of Agriculture, and INS inspectors.

At no time during the reorganization planning was it anticipated by the Committee that an immigration enforcement agency would share its role with other enforcement functions, such as enforcement of our customs laws. This simply results in the creation of dual or multiple missions that the act sought to avoid in the first place.

Failure to adhere to the statutory framework established by HSA has produced immigration enforcement incoherence that undermines the immigration enforcement mission central to DHS, and undermines the security of our Nation’s borders and citizens.

It is not certain on what basis it was determined that customs and agriculture enforcement should become part of the immigration enforcement agency, except to require Federal agents at the border to have more expertise and more functions.

It is also unknown on what basis the Federal Air Marshals should become part of this agency, especially since it has been revealed that the policy is not to apprehend out-of-immigration status aliens when discovered on flights. If the mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to protect the homeland, it cannot effect its mission by compromising or neglecting immigration enforcement for customs enforcement.

The 9/11 terrorists all came to the United States without weapons or contraband—Added customs enforcement would not have stopped 9/11 from happening. What might have foiled al Qaeda’s plan was additional immigration focus, vetting and enforcement. And so what is needed is recognition that, one, immigration is a very important national security issue that cannot take a back seat to customs or agriculture. Two, immigration is a very complex issue, and immigration enforcement agencies need experts in immigration enforcement. And three, the leadership of our immigration agencies should be shielded from political pressures to act in a way which could compromise the Nation’s security.

It was clear that the Bush administration was eager to de-emphasize immigration law enforcement.  What was not noted in the testimony is that most of the management at ICE came from Legacy Customs and not from Legacy INS.

Atbashian: Ohio State U Terror Attack is the Story of Immigration

November 29, 2016

Atbashian: Ohio State U Terror Attack is the Story of Immigration, Truth Revolt, Oleg Atbashian, November 29, 2016

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A rant by an America-loving immigrant.

Ohio State University jihadist, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was not just a Muslim immigrant from Somalia. He had the coveted refugee status, which means the US government provided him with food, shelter, and education grants. What made him so mad at Americans that he went on an indiscriminate killing rampage? Was it something he heard from ISIS – or was it the school-approved “social justice” rhetoric about how much he suffered in this country as a Muslim? It could be both, not necessarily in that order.

The University police officer who shot and killed him, Alan Horujko, is another young man from an immigrant family. His ancestors hailed from Ukraine or any of the bordering areas in Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, or another Eastern European country. They’d be shocked to hear that someday the U.S. government would feed and house immigrants – especially the types of immigrants that have a proven record of going on murderous rampages and indiscriminately killing and maiming Americans simply for being Americans.

Based on these two examples, which type of immigration is beneficial to America and which one is harmful?

The answer is obvious, but here’s the kicker: current immigration laws, as written by the late Senator Ted Kennedy, make it next to impossible for any European to obtain a green card (it took me 20 years to get mine). Instead, the law focuses on “multiculturalism” and “diversity,” which means the preference is given to immigrants from the Third World countries who are least likely to assimilate. By now the entire world is aware of the benefits that come with the “refugee status”; for many it is the equivalent of winning a life lottery: guaranteed food stamps, subsidized housing, free healthcare, grants, and other perks on the taxpayer’s dime.

If today’s laws were in existence at the time when the Horujkos came to America, there would be no Alan Horujko around to stop the jihadist because his ancestors would be turned away. America itself would also be different, looking more like a Third World country in its ways, culture, and system of government. Terror attacks would be the norm and human life would have as little value as it has in Somalia.

Knowing this, any sensible American would demand an urgent overhaul of these insane immigration laws. Unfortunately, proponents of the existing system have been able to condition American conservatives to see red at the very mention of “immigration reform” because it sounds like a “liberal” idea. By and large, traditional conservatives seem to have convinced themselves that all that’s needed is simply to “enforce the existing laws,” oppose “illegal immigration,” proudly support “legal immigration,” and forget about any reforms. By doing that they effectively support a continuation of multiculturalism that precludes assimilation and renders the proverbial “melting pot” obsolete.

Indeed, any reform conducted by a leftist government is likely to make things worse. But the leftist hold on the U.S. government will be over as early as January. Once the Trump administration takes office, we should demand a completely new set of immigration laws based on a cardinally different philosophy.

This is not an argument to filter people by race or ethnicity, but rather by their individual readiness to assimilate into the American culture by accepting American values and American way of life.

It’s not racist to want your children to be safe when they walk the streets, ride the trains, or, in this case, go to school after a Thanksgiving break. We need an immigration system that would let more Horujkos in and keep Abdul Razak Ali Artans out.

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On another note, three weeks ago I was arrested for hanging these anti-terror posters on George Mason University campus. Given today’s terrorist attack on Ohio State campus, these posters turned out to be prophetic (PBUH).

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Will the George Mason authorities apologize to me now and drop the charges? I have three more hashtags for them:

#IToldYouSo
#TheIrony
#IDontHoldMyBreath

In the meantime, the Muslim Students’ Association at Ohio State is promoting such events as “The Trump Era: Battling Normalized Islamophobia” under this completely non-violent banner:

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And on December 2 they have a scheduled Discussion with OSU Police Department:

“We will have a discussion about the police relations with the muslim (sic) community and how we can adress (sic) distrust. In a time where bigotry against minority communities is prevalant (sic) it is important for our community to have friends within the Law Enforcement Community.”

Why do bad things always happen to their community?

Perhaps, if only their community could meet with the other community to talk about their communities sooner, much bigotry could have been prevented – and a community of 11 random non-Muslim students wouldn’t be in the hospital today with stab wounds and fractured skulls. And Abdul Razak Ali Artan would have abandoned the jihadi community and set his mind on helping the Catholic community that took care of him when he first came to join the American community. Or maybe not.

* * *

On yet another note, if Abdul Razak Ali Artan voted for a U.S. president this month, who did he vote for? In Ohio, according to reports, Somali immigrants are being driven to the polls by the van load, while many of them don’t even speak English, which makes them unlikely citizens. Abdul is said to have been a “permanent resident,” which comes before citizenship. So if he did vote, can we now chuck his vote from the much discussed “popular vote” number? In fact, how many more votes like his are there in the “popular vote” of which Hillary is so proud?

From The People’s Cube

Why did Obama Shut Down a Successful Aerial Surveillance Program Along the U.S.-Mexican Border?

November 25, 2016

Why did Obama Shut Down a Successful Aerial Surveillance Program Along the U.S.-Mexican Border?, Front Page MagazineAri Lieberman, November 25, 2016

(Please see also, DHS shuts down aerial surveillance on border. — DM)

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Operation Phalanx may have worked too well for the administration’s tastes.

President-elect Donald Trump has made the construction of physical barriers along the border with Mexico, immigration reform and the dissolution of sanctuary cities the cornerstone of his campaign but it appears that in its twilight weeks of office, the Obama administration is intent on making that lofty goal as difficult as possible. According to the government oversight group Watchdog.org, the Department of Homeland Security has recently and inexplicably shut down Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program established in 2010 which aimed to interdict drug trafficking and illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexican border. 

Phalanx authorized the allocation of 1,200 soldiers and airmen from the U.S. Army’s National Guard to assist U.S. customs and border patrol agents along the border. The program also employed advanced UH-72 helicopters to supplement other aerial surveillance platforms.

The move to terminate the project is in line with the Obama administration’s lackadaisical approach to illegal immigration and serves to underscore attempts by the administration to make the transition more difficult for the President-elect. In February 2016, the Obama administration cut funding to Operation Phalanx by 50 percent even though the project had been fully funded by Congress and was by all accounts, demonstrably successful.

But therein lies the problem. Operation Phalanx may have been too successful for the administration’s tastes. According to Watchdog.org, in the Laredo sector alone, “Operation Phalanx accounted for 10,559 apprehensions and 4,007 ‘turnbacks’ from March 2012 to December 2015. Phalanx was credited with seizing 12,851 pounds of narcotics during the period.”

While the Obama administration authorized Operation Phalanx, one cannot discount the possibility that the establishment of Phalanx was designed to placate Congress rather than to address a serious border problem. Once realizing that the project was showing positive results and making a dent, albeit a miniscule one, on illegal activities on the border, the administration decided to terminate Phalanx.

Already, the DHS announcement to terminate Phalanx has been met with fierce bipartisan criticism. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, has promised to challenge the DHS action claiming that the project was “fully funded” for 2017. He plans to enlist the support of other congressional lawmakers including Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Reps. Mike McCaul, R-San Antonio, and John Carter, R-Round Rock.

Led by their chief executive, there appears to be a deliberate and concerted effort on the part of most Democratic lawmakers to subvert any attempt to enforce the rule of law along the U.S.-Mexican border and remove sanctuary cities – the asinine practice of shielding undocumented immigrants from federal enforcement. The tragic case of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, murdered by a multiple deportee and illegal immigrant with a lengthy felony rap sheet underscores this point. Following her murder, congressional efforts to redress some of the most absurd and egregious practices adopted by sanctuary cities in shielding felonious illegals have been stymied by the administration’s allies.

Kate’s Law, a bill that would mandate minimum prison sentences for returning deportees and would revoke federal grants to cities that failed to comply with federal law in detaining illegals, failed to garner the requisite 60 Senate votes required to move the bill along for presidential approval. Even if it had garnered the requisite number, it is a virtual certainty that Obama would have vetoed the bill.

The termination of Operation Phalanx and subversion of Kate’s Law must be viewed in the wider context as part of a continuous and concerted effort on the part of the Obama administration to undermine the rule of law. Phalanx was showing results and therefore had to be stopped even though the requisite funds for the project had already been appropriated. Kate’s Law would have brought some order to disorder and was therefore viewed as dangerous by many Democratic lawmakers.

Any serious effort to implement immigration reform must begin with the construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border. The U.S. can model its effort based on the experience of other nations that faced and rectified similar infiltration problems.

Israel has erected a sophisticated barrier along its border with Egypt to thwart the flow of illegal African infiltrators and drug smugglers. A similar barrier was erected in central Israel to prevent Arab terrorist infiltration. Utilizing a network of concrete walls, razor wire, watchtowers, electrified fencing, electronic sensors and other forms of sophisticated surveillance equipment, the Israelis have managed to completely thwart illegal infiltration and have frustrated efforts by Palestinian terrorists to launch attacks.

The 2,000 mile stretch of border between the U.S. and Mexico is dangerously vulnerable and eight years of deliberate neglect by the Obama administration has not helped matters. If Trump is serious about addressing this clear and present danger – and it appears that he is – he should look to Israel for some advice.

Sessions will make a fine attorney general

November 22, 2016

Sessions will make a fine attorney general, Washington Examiner, November 21, 2016

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Whenever there is a chance to publish an inflammatory piece about Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the New York Times and left-wing politicians make sure to use his full name, filled as it is with references to the Confederacy.

But Sessions, like Barack Hussein Obama and all the rest of us, did not choose his first, middle or last names. And like all of us, he has nothing to be ashamed about.

What he does have is the right experience and temperament to serve as attorney general. Even if we disagree with him on some issues, he represents a reassuring choice by President-elect Trump, who considered others who were less suited for the role.

Sessions served as an Army Reserve captain during the Vietnam War era. He is a former country and city lawyer in private practice. He also served as a U.S. attorney and as Alabama’s attorney general, which means that he understands the obligations that go with the role of a top prosecutor.

He knows that these are distinct from the skill set required to win elections as a vote-hungry politician, which sadly is not a given for all public servants nowadays.

Even as a politician, Sessions is not known as a big self-promoter. He is amicable with reporters, but it’s also safe to stand between him and the nearest camera, which cannot be said of others. And he would be the last person one might expect, in a highly divided and partisan nation where this is an issue, to wield the tools of law enforcement in a petty or vindictive way.

Some will oppose Sessions because they disagree with his conservatism and support of Trump. That’s fair game. But it is deeply unjust that a lame joke he once told about the Ku Klux Klan changed the course of his career, excluding him from the federal bench and tarring him as a racist. People have been prone to hurl that rhetorical grenade at him without checking the origin of the claim.

Sessions quipped to a colleague that he turned against the KKK only because he discovered some of its members smoked pot. His interlocutor understood it was a joke, but Sens. Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy, two of the most disingenuous and partisan pols ever to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, seized on it as a pretext for torpedoing his nomination ahead of an anticipated fight over the Supreme Court.

Sessions has been praised by several civil rights leaders. His only known interaction with the Klan was his oversight, as Alabama’s attorney general, of the execution of the KKK boss in the state.

It was the first execution of a white man for murdering a black man in Alabama in more than 80 years, and the only case in the entire nation in which a KKK member was executed for killing a black man in the 20th Century.

We disagree with Sessions for his opposition to sentencing and criminal justice reform, and also to his support of civil asset forfeiture, by which members of the public neither convicted nor even charged with a crime can be deprived of their property.

But Sessions’ opinions on these matters will matter less than those of his new boss, which remain unclear. The senator’s departure from the Senate Judiciary Committee might even expedite some positive reforms.

In terms of experience, fairness, and administrative capability Sessions is a fine candidate for attorney general. He is sure to emphasize workplace enforcement of immigration laws and to enforce the laws on the books against sanctuary cities. These were near to the top the agenda on which Trump was elected, and his voters will get their way.

The Department of Justice’s reputation is in tatters after its embarrassing and deadly Operation Fast and Furious scandal, to say nothing of its gymnastics in protecting Hillary Clinton during the election. Sessions’ leadership can only make things better.