Posted tagged ‘Trump and illegal immigration’

House passes Kate’s Law, as part of illegal immigrant crackdown

June 29, 2017

House passes Kate’s Law, as part of illegal immigrant crackdown, Fox News, June 29, 2017

(What’s the problem in the Senate? — DM)

While gaining support in the Senate for similar legislation will be a tough road, Trump called for Congress to act quickly.

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House Republicans took action Thursday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the cities that shelter them.

One bill passed by the House would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities and another, Kate’s Law, would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States.

Kate’s Law, which would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States and caught, passed with a vote of 257 to 157, with one Republican voting no and 24 Democrats voting yes.

Kate’s Law is named for Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman killed by an illegal immigrant who was in the U.S. despite multiple deportations. The two-year anniversary of her death is on Saturday.

“He should not have been here, and she should not have died,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, in a final push for Kate’s Law, an earlier version of which was blocked in the Senate last year.

“Our job here is to make sure that those professionals have the tools that they need and the resources that they need to carry out their work and to protect our communities. That is what these measures are all about,” added Ryan.

The other bill, which would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities, passed with a vote of 228-195 with 3 Democrats voting yes and 7 Republicans voting no.

The brutal murder of Steinle catapulted the issue of illegal criminal aliens into the national spotlight. Alleged shooter Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions.

On Wednesday, President Trump highlighted other cases during a White House meeting with more than a dozen families of people who had been victimized by illegal immigrants, including Jamiel Shaw Sr.

Shaw’s 17-year-old son Jamiel was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in California in March 2008..

“He was living the dream,” Shaw said during the meeting. “That was squashed out.”

The second measure, “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” would cut federal grants to states and “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with law enforcement carrying out immigration enforcement activities.

“The word ‘sanctuary’ calls to mind someplace safe, but too often for families and victims affected by illegal immigrant crime, sanctuary cities are anything but safe,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asserted in the pre-vote press conference.

“It is beyond my comprehension why federal state and local officials … would actively discourage or outright prevent law enforcement agencies from upholding the laws of the United States,” he added.

While gaining support in the Senate for similar legislation will be a tough road, Trump called for Congress to act quickly.

Trump called on the House and the Senate to “to honor grieving American families” by approving a “package of truly key immigration enforcement bills” so that he could sign them into law.

“I promise you, it will be done quickly.  You don’t have to wait the mandatory period. It will be very quick,” promised Trump.

Earlier on Wednesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas D. Homan and U.S. Attorney for Utah John W. Huber made their case for the bills during the White House press briefing.

Huber said 40 percent of Utah’s current felony caseload involves criminal alien prosecutions and the number is increasing.

The bills, Huber asserted, would “advance the ball for law enforcement in keeping our communities safe” and “would give officers and prosecutors more tools to protect the public.

Many immigration rights groups have characterized efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities as “anti-immigrant,” but Attorney General Jeff Sessions says it is not sound policy to allow sanctuary cities to flout federal immigration laws.

According to Homan, ICE already has arrested nearly 66,000 individuals this year that were either known or suspected to be in the country illegally. Of those arrested, 48,000 were convicted criminal aliens.

“The practices of these jurisdictions are not only contrary to sound policy; they’re contrary to the law enforcement cooperation that is carried out every day in our country and is essential to public safety,” Sessions wrote in a Fox News op-ed backing the bills.

Trump Admin Rescinds DAPA Amnesty Program

June 16, 2017

Trump Admin Rescinds DAPA Amnesty Program, Daily CallerPeter Hasson, June 15, 2017

The Trump administration has fulfilled another one of Donald Trump’s campaign promises by rescinding the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program implemented under Barack Obama that could have allowed as many as five million illegal aliens with children who are citizens or lawful permanent residents to remain in the country if they met certain criteria.

DAPA was blocked by the courts from implementation, which the Department of Homeland Security cited as a reason for rescinding the program. A DHS press released said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum rescinding DAPA on Thursday because “there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.” (RELATED: Texas AG Says Trump Has Done More To Stop Illegal Immigration Than Anyone In World History)

The program had been challenged by 26 states after Obama issued it in November 2014. The Supreme Court deadlocked when ruling on the constitutionality of the program in June 2016, splitting the vote 4-4 due to the empty seat at the time left by late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

One of Trump’s signature campaign promises was that he would rescind both DAPA and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program if elected president.

The DHS press release added, however, that the June 2012 Obama memorandum creating DACA will remain in effect. That program applies to certain illegal aliens in the U.S. who arrived as children and met specific criteria.

DHS Shuts Down Anti-Deportation Office

June 13, 2017

DHS Shuts Down Anti-Deportation Office, BreitbartNeil Munri, June 13, 2017

Analysts estimate that roughly 11 million illegal aliens are living in the United States. Roughly 8 million of the illegals hold jobs, which adds up to one job for each of the four million young Americans who turn 18 each year.

The illegals’ inclusion in the nation’s labor pool makes it harder for young Americans to get well-paid jobs, and annually transfers roughly $500 billion from employees to employers, according to George Borjas, a Harvard professor.

In addition, illegal immigrants inflict a huge number of crimes on Americans.  For example, almost one-quarter of a million aliens were registered at Texas jails from June 2011 to May 2017. Their convictions included 496 murders, 26,000 assaults, 8,400 burglaries, 246 kidnappings and 2,900 sexual assaults.

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President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security has deep-sixed an Obama-era program to have 21 taxpayer-funded agency officials cooperate with anti-deportation, pro-amnesty groups.

“The [21 officials’] job was to go meet politicians, Congress people, advocate groups, and local law enforcement,” complained Sarah Saldaña, a top DHS official from 2014 to early 2017.  “Let them see you as a person, as opposed to big, bad ICE,” said Saldana, who created the cooperation program when she ran DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division from 2014 to 2017.

Trump’s DHS executives “really are taking away the [21 officials’] ability to go out in the community and do what it is that we were hoping they would get done,” Saldaña told Foreign Policy magazine. The “we” in her comment refers to the Democratic Party, which replaced by the pro-American Trump administration on January 20.

The 21 employees assigned to the program have now been assigned to Trump’s new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office, which helps Americans recover from the huge number of crimes inflicted by the illegal aliens who were allowed into the country during President Barack Obama’s eight-year tenure.

VOICE is just a “report your local illegal” program, Saldana responded. “From what I understand is being reported, it’s: ‘Oh, I see my next-door neighbor’s landscaper. He looks Mexican. I want to report him. Maybe someone ought to pick him up,’” said Saldana, who told a Capitol Hill panel in 2015 that ICE’s job was “public safety,” not actual enforcement of the nation’s popular immigration laws.

According to Foreign Policy:

Saldaña maintains that before Trump’s election ICE was poised to greatly expand the outreach program and “remove the curtain” from immigration enforcement activities. Community relations officers were being trained to assuage fear in immigrant communities with facts about the agency’s priorities and activities.

Since 2014, ICE’s focus has changed [from deporting illegals] to deporting violent criminals, gang members, and recent arrivals. Saldaña said this policy opened the door to building trust with a variety of community groups, encouraging them to report serious criminal activity …

“I was trying to go out to the communities and explain: ‘We are interested in criminals, not in the family of four who has been here 40 years and has not broken any other laws,’” Saldaña said.

Under Obama, federal officials slashed efforts to repatriate illegals and even foreign criminals.

DHS Secretary John Kelly directed the new policy change in a February 25, 2017 memo, where he said:

 I direct the Director of ICE to immediately reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens (except as necessary to comply with a judicial order) to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.

Analysts estimate that roughly 11 million illegal aliens are living in the United States. Roughly 8 million of the illegals hold jobs, which adds up to one job for each of the four million young Americans who turn 18 each year.

The illegals’ inclusion in the nation’s labor pool makes it harder for young Americans to get well-paid jobs, and annually transfers roughly $500 billion from employees to employers, according to George Borjas, a Harvard professor.

In addition, illegal immigrants inflict a huge number of crimes on Americans.  For example, almost one-quarter of a million aliens were registered at Texas jails from June 2011 to May 2017. Their convictions included 496 murders, 26,000 assaults, 8,400 burglaries, 246 kidnappings and 2,900 sexual assaults.

DHS Officers Humiliate Judges by Enforcing Immigration Laws, Declares Judge

June 5, 2017

DHS Officers Humiliate Judges by Enforcing Immigration Laws, Declares Judge, BreitbartNeil Munro, June 5, 2017

(Poor baby. Since he is humiliated by doing his job, perhaps he would prefer to be appointed Supreme Rules of the Universe. — DM)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Reinhardt’s intemperate language, said Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge, suggests that the court’s decisions are political biased. “There is no ‘cold neutrality’ in the Ninth Circuit’s ruling,” Arthur wrote about the court’s preliminary ruling in the Hawaii case. “It is personal, visceral, and vindictive.”

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Judges are humiliated and dehumanized whenever they must enforce the nation’s immigration laws, according to a senior judge on the far-left Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge’s cry of outrage came when he could not block the orderly repatriation of an illegal immigrant who has two drunk driving convictions, plus a U.S. wife and three children.

“We are unable to prevent [Andres] Magana Ortiz’s removal, yet it is contrary to the values of this nation and its legal system,” complained Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who wishes to extend citizens’ rights to illegal foreign migrants. He said:

We are compelled to deny Mr. Magana Ortiz’s request for a stay of removal because we do not have the authority to grant it. We are not, however, compelled to find the government’s action in this case fair or just. …

The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz diminishes not only our country but our courts, which are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice. Magana Ortiz and his family are in truth not the only victims. Among the others are judges who, forced to participate in such inhumane acts, suffer a loss of dignity and humanity as well. I concur as a judge, but as a citizen I do not.

The judge, who is married to a former top leader in the ACLU, also lamented the authority of ordinary DHS agents to enforce the law despite protests from well-paid, high-status “civil rights” lawyers:

On January 25, 2017, the President [Donald Trump] signed a series of executive orders dismantling the system of priorities that had previously guided Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol in determining whom to deport. The orders also gave far greater authority to individual agents and officers, who are now removing non-citizens simply because they are here illegally, regardless of whether they have committed any offense. In light of the breadth of these orders and the lack of any apparent limit on agents’ discretion, the undocumented must now choose between going to work, school, hospitals, and even court, and the risk of being seized.

In contrast, the new Supreme Court Justice appointed by Trump, Neil Gorsuch, has a more humble vision of his job as a judicial referee, saying in a 2013 award ceremony that:

As my daughters remind me, donning a [judicial] robe doesn’t make me any smarter … It serves as a reminder of what’s expected of us—what [Irish philosopher Edmund] Burke called the “cold neutrality of an impartial judge.” It serves, too, as a reminder of the relatively modest station we’re meant to occupy in a democratic society. In other places, judges wear scarlet and ermine. Here, we’re told to buy our own plain black robes — and I can attest the standard choir outfit at the local uniform supply store is a good deal. Ours is a judiciary of honest black polyester.

The judges on Reinhardt’s Ninth Circuit are expected to release soon a decision blocking Trump’s Executive Orders limiting the entry of people from six terror-prone Muslim countries. The decision is based on a Hawaiian case, in which an Egyptian-born Islamic cleric claimed his constitutional rights were infringed by Trump’s efforts to reduce Islamic jihad in the United States.

The court’s decision may have been delayed by the Islam-inspired bloody attacks in Manchester and London, at least one of which was conducted by the sons of Muslim refugees and migrants from Libya.

Reinhardt’s intemperate language, said Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge, suggests that the court’s decisions are political biased. “There is no ‘cold neutrality’ in the Ninth Circuit’s ruling,” Arthur wrote about the court’s preliminary ruling in the Hawaii case. “It is personal, visceral, and vindictive.”

Byron York: While other controversies rage, work on border wall moves forward

May 30, 2017

Byron York: While other controversies rage, work on border wall moves forward, Washington Examiner, May 29, 2017

(Please see also, FULL MEASURE: May 28, 2017 – Price of Power on how Congress “works.”  — DM)

New revelations come almost by the minute in the Trump-Russia affair. The White House moves into full-defense mode. The Trump agenda stalls on Capitol Hill.

A reasonable observer might conclude that is all that is happening in the Trump administration. But even as those troubles fill news sites and cable TV, administration officials are quietly moving ahead on one of the president’s top campaign promises: the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Although it hasn’t received much attention relative to the president’s many problems, extensive planning for the wall is under way, officials are evaluating specific proposals, sites are being studied, and yes, there is money available to get going.

The work is being done under President Trump’s executive order of Jan. 25, which declared the administration’s policy to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall …” The order went on to set a high standard of effectiveness: “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States” along the border. Finally, the order cited an existing law, the Secure Fence Act, which in 2006 called for the construction of “at least two layers of reinforced fencing” and “additional physical barriers” on up to 700 miles of the 1,954-mile border.

“The executive order calls on the authority in the Secure Fence Act for us to begin immediately,” said a senior administration official who recently provided an extensive update on the state of the wall project. In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent out a request for proposals for companies to bid on the construction of prototypes — not little models to sit on someone’s desk, but full-scale sections of proposed wall designs that will be put in place on the border. So far, Border Protection has received more than 100 proposals.

“We are evaluating what started out as a solicitation to industry and request for proposals — 18 to 30 feet high, concrete, impenetrable, hard-to-scale, the correct aesthetics,” the official said. “We’ve tried to capture the intent [of the executive order] in the requests for proposals, and those proposals are being evaluated now.”

There are some important points to remember before going any further. First, there is no intention to build a wall to stretch the entire border, from San Diego, Calif., to Brownsville, Texas. In his campaign, the president made clear that the wall need not cover every mile of the border. Certainly, no expert who supports more barriers at the border believes it should, either.

And the wall does not always mean a wall. The Jan. 25 executive order defined “wall” as “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous and impassable physical barrier.” Planners say that in practice, that will certainly mean extensive areas with an actual wall. But other areas might have the type of fencing outlined in the Secure Fence Act, or some other barrier yet to be designed.

And that leads to a third point: The border barrier will not look the same at all points along the border. The terrain of the border is different — some parts are so imposing they don’t need a barrier at all — and officials plan to design walls and barriers that fit each area, rather than one long, unchanging structure.

Right now, officials are studying how many “buildable miles” will need a barrier. Whatever the precise number, it will be big. In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security told Congress that, of the 1,954 miles of border, 1,300 miles, or 66.5 percent, have no fencing or barriers at all; 299.8 miles, or 15.3 percent, have vehicle fence; and 316.6 miles, or 16.2 percent, have pedestrian fence. Only 36.3 miles, or 2 percent, have the kind of double-layer fencing required by the Secure Fence Act. (The law was passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, but neither Bush nor Congress really wanted to build the fence. So they didn’t.)

“We’ve asked the nine sectors on the Southwest border, if you have to meet the standards in the executive order and the Secure Fence Act, where is it that barriers are required to complete the task?” said the senior administration official. “We’ve then evaluated those areas where the traffic [of illegal border-crossers] is highest.” Planners are considering those factors in light of the executive order’s “prevent all entries” standard — administration officials are taking that edict very seriously — to come up with areas in which a wall would be the best solution, or where some other type of physical barrier would do the job better.

At the moment, planners believe that about 700 “buildable miles” of the border will require a wall or other barrier. That just happens to be about the same amount called for in the Secure Fence Act.

Does the government have that much land available? The answer is mostly yes. Remember, from the numbers cited above, that there are more than 650 miles along the border with something on them — vehicle fence, simple pedestrian fence, whatever. That means the government has already gone through the land acquisition and approval process required to erect a barrier. “It’s federal property now because we’ve either condemned it or purchased it,” said the official.

There’s no doubt that hundreds of miles of truly impenetrable barriers would have a huge effect on illegal border crossings. Talk to some experts who favor tougher border enforcement, and they will say that even as few as 100 well-chosen miles of barrier would make a difference.

In any event, there is a significant amount of border land that is already in government hands. “West of El Paso, a lot of the land is public,” the official noted, while “as you go further east from El Paso towards Brownsville, a lot of that land is private.” Going through the process of condemning or buying land — with all the legal and financial issues involved — will depend “on how we choose the priorities.”

Once planners decide where to build, there will then be the question of what to build. If the decision is to build a wall, then the question is: a wall of what? Planners have decided that concrete will definitely be involved, even though it hasn’t played much of a role in earlier barriers. Why concrete? “It’s an interpretation of the vision,” the senior administration official explained. By “vision,” he meant it is a way to make Trump’s oft-repeated promise of a “big, beautiful wall” a reality. Trump didn’t mean a fence.

On the other hand, using concrete presents one obvious problem. Whatever barrier is built, Border Protection agents on the U.S. side need to be able to see through it. That’s always been a requirement with earlier barriers. So now, officials are looking for creative ideas for a wall that will still allow them full sight of the Mexican side.

That touches on the most important consideration for planners. A wall isn’t just a wall. It is a system — a “smart wall,” as they call it. It involves building a barrier with the monitoring technology to allow U.S. officials to be aware of people approaching; to be able to track them at all times; to have roads to move people around; the facilities to deal with the people who are apprehended; and more. “It’s not just a barrier,” noted the official. (Last year, with the Obama administration still in office, a number of Border Protection officials traveled to Israel to study that country’s highly effective barriers; they came home big believers in a smart wall.)

At this point, it’s impossible to say what building a smart wall will cost, because officials haven’t yet decided on a plan. But how much money does the administration have to get started now? Begin with money that was already to available to the Department of Homeland Security.

“Congress gave us a re-programming for money we were planning to do other things with — mostly technology — to get us through this request for proposals and to get the prototypes underway immediately,” the senior administration official said. “That has happened already. We found $20 million to get that effort underway.”

“Then, the 2017 budget resolution gives us substantial money to continue doing real estate and environmental planning and design, and then replace some fencing,” he continued. “That’s in the neighborhood of $900 million.”

“You won’t get a lot of new fence for that,” the official conceded. “You’ll get some upgrades. But you’ll get some behind-the-scenes work underway — engineering, design, real estate acquisition, title searches, the kinds of things that have to happen to make it work.”

That is a start. Republicans on the Hill argue that they got as much money in the recent spending bill as they could for the project, given that they had to work with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown and fund the government through Sept. 30. “We weren’t going to get anything passed that said, quote-unquote, ‘wall,'” noted one GOP staffer.

The next funding hurdle will come when Congress considers spending for 2018. Most House and Senate Democrats appear determined to stop a border barrier. They say it will be expensive and ineffective, while some Republicans believe Democrats oppose the wall mainly because they fear it will work.

After the recent spending bill passed, some opponents of the wall declared the project dead. (Sample headline: Vanity Fair’s “How Trump’s Wall Failure Will Forever Doom His Presidency.”) But any victory dance right now is premature. Yes, it’s certainly possible the wall won’t be built. But it’s also possible it will be built, or that significant parts of it will be built. The work is already under way.

Salvadoran Officials Overwhelmed by Returning Deported Gang Members

May 29, 2017

Salvadoran Officials Overwhelmed by Returning Deported Gang Members, Breitbart, Ryan Saavedra, May 28, 2017

Officials in El Salvador held emergency meetings after seeing a sharp increase in the number of violent gang members being deported back to the country from the United States under the Trump administration.

Salvadoran authorities have held emergency meetings and proposed new legislation to monitor returning criminals and gang members that are returning to El Salvador after deportation, according to the Washington Post.

The move by Salvadoran officials comes as a direct result of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration and efforts to deport more criminal illegal aliens from the U.S.

This year the U.S. has already deported 398 gang members back to El Salvador – compared to only 534 for all of 2016.

It is due to this rapid increase in deportations that Salvadoran officials like Héctor Antonio Rodríguez, the director of the country’s immigration agency, are worried about the impact the returning gang members will have in the country.

“This clearly affects El Salvador. We already have a climate of violence in the country that we are combating,” Rodríguez said. “If gang members return, of course this worries us.”

Many of the returning gang members belong to MS-13, a notoriously violent street gang that has plagued communities throughout the U.S. with horrific acts of violence. Although MS-13 started out in Salvadoran communities in Los Angeles sometime during the 1980’s, lax immigration policies and weak border security helped the gang explode in size as MS-13 originated from illegal immigrants, Breitbart Texas reported.

The recent murders of four teens in New York City have put MS-13 in the national spotlight with Attorney General Jeff Sessions declaring that U.S. authorities are going after the gang.

“The MS-13 motto is kill, rape, and control,” Sessions said. “I have a message to the gangs that are targeting our young people: We are targeting you. We are coming after you.”

Speaking at a rally in April, President Trump highlighted the importance of removing illegal alien MS-13 gang members from the U.S.:

At the heart of my administration’s efforts to restore the rule of law has been a nationwide crackdown on criminal gangs, and that means taking the fight to the sanctuary cities that shield these dangerous criminals from removal. The last very weak administration allowed thousands and thousands of gang members to cross our borders and enter into our communities, where they wreaked havoc on our citizens. The bloodthirsty cartel known as MS-13 has infiltrated our schools, threatening innocent children.

We have seen the horrible assaults and many killings all along Long Island where I grew up. We are seeing the vicious spread of transnational gangs into all 50 states and the human suffering they bring with them. I have been with the parents. It is devastation. A very respected General recently told me that MS-13 are the equivalent in their meanness to Al Qaeda. My administration will not rest until we have dismantled these violent gangs, and we are doing it rapidly, and we are sending them the hell out of our country.

On Wednesday, Breitbart Texas reported that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said recently obtained documents from a whistleblower show that the Obama administration knowingly admitted 16 MS-13 gang members in 2014.

President Trump and Pope Francis Meet Face-to-Face

May 25, 2017

President Trump and Pope Francis Meet Face-to-Face, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, May 25, 2017

(Please see also, Catholics Respond to Pope Francis’ ‘One-Sided, Misleading’ Message to Donald Trump. — DM)

[I]t is the fight against climate change that remains his top concern, which is of little comfort to the survivors and families grieving over their loved ones killed or injured in the Manchester slaughter. The same is true about those who suffered from the Islamic terrorist slaughter at a Coptic Christian church in northern Egypt on Palm Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

[I]n the spirit of moral relativism so prevalent today, Pope Francis has declared: “There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia. By confronting terror with love, we work for peace.”

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President Trump and Pope Francis held a half-hour private meeting at the Vatican on Wednesday. Despite their sharp differences on climate change, redistribution of wealth, the handling of refugees and other key global issues, the two men were at least outwardly cordial. Both clearly wanted to avoid anything that could be perceived as confrontational, which had characterized remarks each had made about the other on prior occasions.  However, Pope Francis used the occasion of the meeting to deliver a message to President Trump about the importance of remaining committed to the fight against climate change. He even decided to give the president a copy of his 2015 encyclical on saving the environment.

The meeting occurred only two days after the horrific suicide bombing in Manchester, England that claimed at least 22 lives, including an 8 year old girl, and injured many more. Yet fighting against the foremost evil of our day, Islamic terrorism, did not appear to be foremost on Pope Francis’s mind at his meeting with President Trump.   A message had been previously issued in Pope Francis’s name, stating that he was “deeply saddened” by the “barbaric attack” in Manchester and extending his condolences. However, it is the fight against climate change that remains his top concern, which is of little comfort to the survivors and families grieving over their loved ones killed or injured in the Manchester slaughter. The same is true about those who suffered from the Islamic terrorist slaughter at a Coptic Christian church in northern Egypt on Palm Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

“With Allah’s grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester,” ISIS declared in a boastful statement. ISIS threatened more attacks to come against “the worshippers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah’s permission.” Children specifically will be targeted. A May 4th article entitled “The Ruling on the Belligerent Christians” previewed what lay ahead, declaring that the “blood” of women and children “is not protected” since they have not embraced Islam.

The Middle East and “the protection of Christian communities” did come up during the meeting between Pope Francis and President Trump, according to a statement released by the Vatican. However, they may well have been talking past each other.

When the Pope thinks of Christian communities, he tends to focus on what he considers to be the compassionate duty of Christians to reach out to the poor, including to care for the world’s many refugees and other migrants. Indeed, in February 2016, Pope Francis sharply criticized then candidate Trump for his views on immigration. “A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the Pope said. On another occasion, speaking to Catholics and Lutherans in Germany last October, Pope Francis said, “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help…”

Pope Francis has acknowledged the “serious harm to the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, where many brothers and sisters are oppressed because of their faith, driven from their land, kept in prison or even killed.” However, he has failed to single out for condemnation those responsible for such suffering and their animating ideology – radical Islamic terrorists, whose hateful ideology is rooted in their literal reading of the Koran and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and actions. Instead, in the spirit of moral relativism so prevalent today, Pope Francis has declared: “There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia. By confronting terror with love, we work for peace.”

Terrorism, according to Pope Francis, feeds on “fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration.” End economic inequality, the Pope believes, and voilà – love replaces hatred and terrorism gives way to peace. “This is no time for denouncing anyone or fighting,” he declared. In the Pope’s reckoning, Christian minorities will be safe if we can just all agree to get along and share the wealth.

President Trump, on the other hand, is a realist. He recognizes the clear and present danger to Christian communities, particularly in the Middle East, from genocide committed by Islamic terrorists. These terrorists are not especially motivated by poverty. Indeed, some have been very well-off, including the late Osama bin Laden. As President Trump realizes, they are motivated by their hateful supremacist radical Islamic ideology, which spurs them on to attack the “Crusaders” wherever they can be found. They seek to make their fundamentalist form of Islam the only legitimate religion in the world.  The rest of us either have to convert, pay a tax to live as a dhimmi, or die.

In a major speech on terrorism that Donald Trump delivered last August while running for the presidency, he described the atrocities committed in the name of “the hateful ideology of Radical Islam.” These atrocities included, he said: “Children slaughtered, girls sold into slavery, men and women burned alive. Crucifixions, beheadings and drownings. Ethnic minorities targeted for mass execution. Holy sites desecrated. Christians driven from their homes and hunted for extermination. ISIS rounding-up what it calls the ‘nation of the cross’ in a campaign of genocide.”

This genocide is a product of fundamentalist Islam-inspired ideology, which cannot be fought “with love,” as Pope Francis would like us to believe. Nor would the West’s “warm human welcome” and “authentic hospitality” to all refugees provide “our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism,” as Pope Francis would also like us to believe.

Again, President Trump is a realist. His policies towards refugees, which Pope Francis evidently thinks are heartless, aim to protect Americans from jihadists seeking to enter the United States from the most terrorist-prone countries in the world. The president sought to reverse Barack Obama’s discrimination against Christian refugees – the truly persecuted victims of radical Islamic genocide in the Middle East – and was called an Islamophobe and worse for his efforts. Pope Francis should be standing up for what President Trump tried to accomplish in this regard. But he hasn’t. In fact, the Vatican expressed concern about President Trump’s first executive order suspending travel and entry of refugees from certain countries, which had included a provision providing preferential treatment for persecuted religious minorities such as Christians.

President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II successfully worked together, projecting military and spiritual power respectively, to defeat the evil of their day – communism and the Soviet Union. The evil of our day is radical Islamic terrorism, not climate change. Will Pope Francis follow in the footsteps of Pope John Paul and work with President Trump to help save Christians and other civilized people from this evil source of mass slaughter? Based on his record so far, it is doubtful, but we shall have to wait and see.