Posted tagged ‘Trump and immigration’

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.

Did Gorsuch Blunder?

February 9, 2017

Did Gorsuch Blunder? Power LineJohn Hinderaker, February 9, 2017

(Please see also, A Maniac is Running Our Foreign Policy! (It’s Not Trump). — DM)

Newspaper headlines across the country are blaring Judge Neil Gorsuch’s characterization of President Trump’s criticism of Judge James Robart as “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” This is one more in a long series of anti-Trump propaganda victories for the Democrats:

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has said he found the president’s attacks on the judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing,” according to a Democratic senator.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut disclosed the comments from Judge Neil Gorsuch after meeting with the nominee Wednesday, as the candidate for the high court vacancy paid a series of courtesy visits to senators.

In a tweet this past weekend, Trump lashed out at Judge James Robart after he issued a stay on the president’s refugee and immigration ban.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Trump tweeted.

I wouldn’t take far-left Senator Blumenthal’s word for it, but the AP tells us that “Gorsuch’s confirmation team confirmed the judge’s comments.”

What to make of these statements by Gorsuch? I think they betray a serious lack of judgment and, perhaps, loyalty. Trump’s reference to Judge Robart, who violated his judicial duty by issuing a political opinion that he didn’t even attempt to justify with facts, law or logic, as a “so-called judge,” was arguably apt. In any event, if Gorsuch really would be “demoralized” by such a mild rebuke as “so-called judge,” he lacks the stomach to sit on the Supreme Court.

It would have been easy for Gorsuch to deflect Blumenthal’s question about the president’s tweet by saying that it was nowhere near as harsh as what Barack Obama said about the Supreme Court. If pressed, he could have added that judges in a democracy are not above criticism, and in fact, they are often criticized. Gorsuch must understand that he is engaged in a political process. So why would he sell out the man who has just appointed him to the Supreme Court?

A friend emailed a different perspective on Gorsuch’s criticism of Trump:

I think Gorsuch’s comment to Blumenthal was a very clever effort to lure Dems into thinking he may be more on their side than they think. It’s a gambit to get sixty votes.

Maybe, but I am not so sanguine. I fear it is a sign that Gorsuch lacks the tough-mindedness that we need in conservative Supreme Court justices.

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)

judge-james-robart

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.

Trump vs. Globalists

February 7, 2017

Trump vs. Globalists, Front Page MagazineMichael Cutler, February 7, 2017

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President Donald Trump has been confronted by unprecedented demonstrations not only in the United States but even in foreign countries.

President Trump’s support of Brexit and his promises to secure our border with Mexico and subject aliens seeking entry into the United States to “extreme vetting” runs contrary to the Globalists goals. Consequently they fired up the mobs even before Trump’s inauguration.

Globalists are behind the vilification of President Trump and anyone who supports effective immigration law enforcement. 

Globalists abhor the notion of national sovereignty and see secure borders as impediments to their wealth and consequently are doing everything possible to create Immigration Failure — By Design.

Globalists have support “Sanctuary Cities” ignoring the nexus between terrorism, enclaves and sanctuary cities.

For decades globalists and their “front groups” such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have foisted their lies on Americans, through what I have come to refer to as the immigration con game.

News organizations have, all too often, become venues for the disbursement of propaganda.

Consider how the seven countries whose citizens are being temporary barred from entering the United States have been described in the media as “Muslim majority countries.”  Yet there is nothing in Trump’s executive orders that mention Islam but rather focus on how the list of  countries was compiled by the Obama administration because of their links to terrorism and the inability to vet citizens of those countries.

Obviously the Democrats have been publicly leading the charge to vilify President Trump.  Trump upset their plans to coronate Hillary and were stunned by her defeat.  In response Democrats tried every possible strategy to delegitimize the outcome of the election and, by extension, the Trump presidency.

However, it is impossible to ignore that many journalists and politicians have, marching lockstep with the globalists, accused Trump of not really being a Republican but of being a “Populist”

Populism has been defined as:

 support for the concerns of ordinary people: it is clear that your populism identifies with the folks on the bottom of the ladder | the Finance Minister performed a commendable balancing act, combining populism with prudence.

the quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people: art museums did not gain bigger audiences through a new populism.

Those journalists and politicians, upset over the notion of a President of the United States being a “Populist,” must not have read the Declaration of Independence that begins with the phrase, “We the people…”

You have to wonder what the Founding Fathers and especially what Thomas Jefferson would say about all of this.

In order to block the implementation of Trump’s immigration policies crafted to protect national security and the lives of Americans, the Democratic Party went “Judge shopping” and came up with James Robart, a jurist who, the media has been quick to report, had been, in fact, appointed by President George W. Bush.

CNN provided a thumbnail sketch about James Robart: 5 things to know about judge who blocked travel ban that noted that Judge Robart sided with “Black Lives Matter” over the police in Seattle, Washington in a case last year, involving an allegation of excessive force by police.

The CNN report also noted that Judge Robert had also provided pro bono assistance to refugees.

My recent article on President Trump’s Immigration Challenge  noted that the President not only has to undo the catastrophic damage done to immigration law enforcement by the Obama administration but also deal with the very structure of the Department of Homeland Security, the agency created by the Bush administration in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 to address vulnerabilities in the immigration system identified by the 9/11 Commission.

My article noted that I testified at a hearing on May 5, 2005 conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims conducted a hearing on the topic, “New ‘Dual Mission’ Of The Immigration Enforcement Agencies.”

Of particular interest is the statement made by the then-chairman of that subcommittee, Rep. John Hostettler who, in part said in his prepared statement:

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.

Separating the former INS into two separate agencies to separate the immigration benefits program from the law enforcement elements of the former INS was a strategy I had strongly advocated in my testimony for the 9/11 Commission and during my discussions with members of the Congress as well as in my testimony at several hearings.  However, when the DHS was created, the immigration enforcement components of the DHS were split up and combined with other, non-immigration law enforcement agencies, thereby severely hobbling efforts at immigration law enforcement.

Consider this additional excerpt from Chairman Hostettler’s testimony:

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 impossible to believe that this was done by accident.  Clearly the Bush administration opposed securing our borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws.

Today Democrats such as Chuck Schumer have seized every opportunity to bash Donald Trump over his immigration policies.  Of course, during the Obama administration it was Schumer who called for a suspension of the admission of Syrian refugees because of concerns that it was impossible to vet these aliens, a concern raised by no less an authority than John Brennan, the Director of the CIA who had been appointed by Obama.

As the Washington website, The Hill, reported on November 17, 2015, Schumer: Refugee pause may be necessary.

What a difference a year (and and administration) can make!  You have to wonder if Schumer’s own words back then, bring tears to his eyes today.

However, now that President Trump is giving Schumer what he asked for in 2015, pausing the admission of refugees who cannot be vetted, to protect Americans lives and national security, Schumer has taken to shamelessly bashing the President.

On January 27, 2017 CBS reported, Sen. Menendez Slams Border Wall, Trump’s Other Immigration Plans that included this excerpt:

Menendez called the Mexican border wall a “wall of hate.” He said further that Trump’s plan to fund it violates national agreements, and will ultimately cost American jobs.

“So this is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in the incipiency of a new administration that only creates a major diplomatic and trade challenge with one of the most significant front door neighbors that we have in the western hemisphere,” Menendez said.

Menendez’s statements are nonsensical.  The purpose of the wall is to prevent the entry of criminals, terrorists and illegal aliens who displace American and lawful immigrant workers by evading the inspections process at ports of entry.

The purpose of the wall is to prevent the flood of narcotics into the United States.  Indeed, as Menendez made that statement, El Chapo” was being held in a jail in lower Manhattan.  Perhaps Menendez should read the January 20, 2017 press release“Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera Faces Charges in New York for Leading a Continuing Criminal Enterprise and other Drug-Related Charges” and check out the links it contains to the Detention Memo and the Indictment

Furthermore, the wall that President Trump is determined to build would not block access to our ports of entry along the U.S./Mexican border, just make certain that all movements across that violent border take place at those ports of entry and not between those ports of entry.

The only commerce that would be blocked by that wall would involve the influx of massive quantities of drugs and illegal aliens including criminals and terrorists.

However, Menendez is a Democrat.  It is clear where the Democrats stand on all of these issues.

The question that has to be raised, however, is why Republicans such as Lindsay Graham and John McCain would stand should to shoulder with Menendez and Schumer on virtually every single issue where immigration and border security are concerned.

The answer is not difficult to find- they were all members of the “Gang of Eight” or, as I prefer to refer to them, “The Eight Gangsters.”

If the Republican Party is to continue to meet the rational and reasonable demands of the citizens of the United States and maintain its majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives, it will need to purge the globalists from their ranks, who have far more in common with today’s Democrats than with the goals of the Trump administration and “We the people.”

The Globalists are betraying America and Americans.

This is not about “Left” or “Right” but about right or wrong.

RIGHT ANGLE: Blame Who’s Responsible

February 2, 2017

RIGHT ANGLE: Blame Who’s Responsible, BillWhittledotcom via YouTube, February 1, 2017

 

Mexico: Blame Canada

January 31, 2017

Mexico: Blame Canada, Strategy Page, January 31, 2017

(Endemic corruption, cartels, crime, an unpopular president and other bad stuff in Mexico? It must be imperialistic America’s fault. Therefore, remittances should be encouraged and all U.S. border controls eliminated. At least Obama would agree. — DM)

The government announced it would spend $50 million to hire lawyers in the United States to defend Mexican citizens there illegally and faced with deportation. This is all about money and a lot more than $50 million. The Mexican central bank tracks how much money Mexicans abroad send home and in 2016 it was $25 billion, almost all of it from Mexicans in the United States and much of it from Mexicans in the United States illegally. That remittance cash accounts for more foreign exchange than Mexican oil exports. The remittance income is rising. It was nearly $22 billion in 2013 and is expected to rise to $28 billion in 2017, unless the United States enforces its immigration laws like Mexico does. Mexico has for decades tolerated illegal migration to the United States because the corruption and bad government in Mexico did little to provide jobs for the growing number of unemployed Mexicans and created a lot of potentially troublesome young men and women. Tolerating and, for many Mexican politicians, openly supporting the illegal migrants, was a popular policy and the government came to regard it as a right. But it was also about money and the remittances created a huge source of foreign currency flowing back to Mexico.

There’s more to it than money. After years of being accused of permitting the abuse of Central American migrants who enter Mexico the government agreed pay more attention to border security on its own southern border. Many of the illegal migrants from Central American are heading for the United States and that was not seen as a Mexican problem. But criminal gangs increasingly robbed and kidnapped the migrants and the government did very little to stop that. The gangsters often attacked Mexican citizens as well. Mexico has more severe laws against illegal immigration and illegal migrants than the U.S.  It also enforces them more vigorously than does the U. S. By mid-2014 Mexico agreed to undertake Operation Sur which was supposed to curb illegal Central American migrants from entering Mexico. Operation Sur increased surveillance operations along Mexico’s southern border and improved border inspections. The government also tried to improve registration of legal migrants. In addition to the criminals, local police forces in southern Mexico have been accused of extorting money from illegal migrants and police corruption has long been a major problem. Despite Operation Sur, Mexico did little halt illegal migration across its northern border.

All this was noticed in the U.S. and politicians there found themselves under increasing pressure to enforce American migration laws as vigorously as Mexico (and Canada) did. By 2016 that brought to power an American government that seemed serious about applying Mexican practices to illegal migrants and actually did so. That was unpopular in Mexico and will probably lead to unexpected changes inside Mexico. But the practice of blaming your northern neighbor for your problems is losing its punch even in Mexico.

January 28, 2017: Police discovered the decapitated corpses of three policemen from the town of Huimanguillo (Tabasco state). The victims were slain near the border with Veracruz state.

January 27, 2017: In the south (Yucatan state) the government announced the arrest of three men suspected of smuggling drugs for the Sinaloa cartel. One of these, Roberto Najera Gutierrez, was described as a senior cartel leader and one of cartel boss Joaquin Guzman’s top lieutenants. The other two individuals are also Sinaloa cartel operatives. Gutierrez has directed drug trafficking operations from Central American countries and he has been especially active in Chiapas and Yucatan states.

January 24, 2017: The government confirmed the January 19 arrest (in Sinaloa state) of Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon, the son of a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel. Monzon is suspected of investing cartel funds in real estate in Mexico as well as being involved in violent crimes in Baja California state.

January 23, 2017: Colima state had 607 murders in 2016 versus 189 in 2015. That is a 220 percent increase. A turf war between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels is engulfing the state, with the seaport of Manzanillo the prize. Around 700,000 people live in Colima. The 2016 summary was announced just before state security officials said it believed that that Jalisco New Generation cartel gunmen were responsible for the murders of a dozen people in the state between January 19 and 23. Seven headless corpses were found near Manzanillo on January 21.

January 19, 2017: The government announced that Sinaloa cartel commander Joaquin Guzman had been extradited to the U.S. Media called the unexpectedly rapid extradition a “surprise.” In U.S. federal court in New York Guzman pled not guilty to a 17-count indictment. He faces narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges. He is also accused of ordering murders and kidnappings in the U.S.

January 17, 2017: Oil theft continues to plague the national oil company, Pemex. Attempts to sue U.S. oil companies that sold stolen petroleum products have not been successful. Pemex lost a lawsuit in December 2016 that ultimately involved 23 U.S. companies and several individuals. It was trying to recover money from the sale of stolen products. Cartels sell the stolen oil and (in some cases) refined products to all buyers, including buyers in the U.S. Pemex’s suit failed because the defendants successfully argued they did not know the oil was stolen.

January 16, 2017: Government once again said that foreign companies should not fear investing in Mexico due to fear of violence.

January 14, 2017: A Mexican federal court ordered a drug lord to pay around $1 million in indemnities for the 1985 murders of a Mexican pilot and a U.S. DEA agent. The criminal ordered to pay was identified as Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, a co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel. The murdered DEA agent was Enrique Camarena and his family will receive around $465,000.

January 11, 2017: The price of tortillas is once again increasing. They have gone up almost 20 percent in the last six months. When the price of corn and other staple goods increase, the government faces instant criticism. For the record, the price of eggs and milk has also spiked. President Enrique Pena’s poll ratings are already miserable. The majority of Mexican citizens believes his government is corrupt. Pena is trying to blame macro-economic and a new administration in the U.S. Fuel prices have increased and the peso has slipped against the dollar.

January 10, 2017: Security official said that police used surveillance photos from a parking lot to identify and then arrest Zia Zafar. Is accused of shooting and wounding U.S. consular official in Guadalajara on January 6. Zafar is a U.S. citizen from California and was extradited to the U.S. on January 9.

January 8, 2016: Protests continue over the rise in gas and diesel prices. Prices have increased 20 percent since January 1 when the government began reducing fuel subsidies. Authorities now estimate 1,500 people have been arrested for looting businesses and attacking gas stations.

January 6, 2017: Police in Ciudad Juarez broke up a gas price increase protest demonstration that tried to block the international bridge to El Paso, Texas. On the evening of January 5 demonstrators occupied customs offices on the international bridge. A government spokesman in Mexico City said that at least four people have died in violence related to gasoline price increase protests.

Los Zetas cartel gunmen ambushed a senior state prosecutor and three police officers in Tamaulipas state. Ricardo Martinez Chavez was the regional director of the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office. The attack occurred near the town of Nuevo Laredo.

January 2, 2016: Protests against the increase in fuels prices are spreading throughout the country. The fuel price increase kicked in on January 1 and the violence began on January 2nd. The government is trying to create a competitive energy market. Protestors are using the term “gasolinazo” to describe their gripe. The term translates as “gasoline-punch.” A group of protestors in Mexico City noted that President Enrique Pena promised that prices would drop after competition was introduced. However, in the initial phases of the program, prices are increasing.

December 31, 2016: The government is saying that reports are false that gunmen in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel threatened to burn down gas stations to protest impending price increases. However, for some 24 hours the claim raced around the internet and the Jalisco Attorney Generals Office began an investigation of the allegation.

December 30, 2016: Los Zetas cartel gunmen in Nuevo Laredo kidnapped four Mexican citizens who had just been deported from the U.S. The four men were rescued by Mexican Army soldiers who stormed the house where the victims were being held for ransom.

Flashback: Obama Stranded Legal Cuban Travelers in Airports on Last Week in Office

January 30, 2017

Flashback: Obama Stranded Legal Cuban Travelers in Airports on Last Week in Office, BreitbartFrances Martel, January 30, 2017

(But that was different! Cubans fleeing persecution in the Castro Brothers’ Cuba weren’t potential terrorists and might become good American citizens and even vote Republican. — DM)

As the radical left organizes obstructions of airport terminals to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order enacting new security measures for travelers visiting from turbulent countries, few appear equally outraged that his predecessor, Barack Obama, issued a similar directive specifically targeting Cubans.

During his last week in office, President Obama repealed a long-standing executive order known as “Wet Foot/Dry Foot,” which allowed all Cubans legally touching U.S. soil to stay here illegally. The objective of the executive order was to give sanctuary to Cubans risking their lives on makeshift vessels trying to sail to the United States and escape the oppressive communist regime that has governed there for over half a century.

The move did not trigger widespread national protests in defense of the Cubans affected, even as U.S. immigration officials – confused by the lack of direction in Obama’s order – detained and interrogated countless travelers possessing legal visas to enter the United States. Many of these were elderly individuals, traveling to visit their children with no intention of stay.

The only activists who spoke up for them were members of the Cuban exile community, who told their stories to local press. Democracy Movement leader Ramón Saúl Sánchez – who the Obama administration threatened with deportation after 49 years in the United States – told Miami’s El Nuevo Herald that the individuals he was advocating for were stuck in airport interrogation rooms, their families panicked and receiving few updates.

“These Cuban travelers have tourism visas. They are being detained or deported,” Sánchez said on January 15. “Those being detained within the airport include people of advanced age, including one blind man, many of them ill.” He added that many elderly Cubans with whom he spoke after being released from interrogation were threatened with being detained in an immigration center, leaving them thinking, “if you’re going to throw me in jail just send me back.”

Relatives of those detained told their stories to the media. 67-year-old Justina Barroso Rodríguez, who suffers from hypertension, was placed in a jail awaiting deportation upon arriving in the United States on January 13. Her son, Danilo Alemán, told the Diario Las Americas that he had received little information on the matter, only that the repeal of “wet foot/dry foot” led to her detention.

“I would like to know, how would President Obama feel if it was his mother in the conditions my mother is currently in?” Alemán asked.

A 73-year-old Cuban woman who was fortunate enough to be released told Miami’s América TeVe that she was kept in isolation an entire day without foot. She refused to give the network her name and said she did not know when she had been initially detained, though she estimated it had occurred around 10AM local time and she had been released long after the sun had set. She possessed a legal visa, and said her crime was to mention the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act to an immigration official.

Those flying into Miami were among the luckiest Cubans following President Obama’s directive, even as their legal U.S. visas were not enough to prevent them from being detained. Cubans who had begun their journey to the United States through Central America and Mexico – who would have been able to enter the United States and legally stay there before President Obama’s last week in office, are now stranded throughout the region, held in dilapidated detention centers and threatened with deportation back into a communist autocracy.

In Panama, 18 Cuban refugees declared themselves on hunger strike this week, protesting the government’s refusal to grant them access to an attorney and forcing them into conditions with little food or basic hygienic necessities. The protest triggered another hunger strike at a detention center in Panama by anti-communist activists who fled Cuba to avoid becoming prisoners of conscience. “We are taking this measure for our freedom, because we cannot return to Cuba,” one of the individuals said in a statement.

The protesters alleged that Panamanian authorities had confiscated their passports and abandoned many in the dense forestry near the Colombian border. “They are putting us on trucks and letting us loose in the middle of the jungle,” one protester said, while another noted that those abandoned in such a way are left “without food, without water, they do not care if we are sick or injured.”

In Mexico, a country with a record of treating migrants inhumanely, Cubans seeking to cross the northern border into the United States are also stranded. “Many of us will die if we were to go to Cuba,” refugee Rodolfo Muñoz told local outlet KVUE this week. He and his wife, like many Cubans, are stranded in Nuevo Laredo, where the U.S. government has refused to let them pass. U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined an interview on the subject with the broadcast station. In a widely distributed statement, the agency said that Cubans have the option of filing a petition the enter the country based on a political asylum claim, but they risk months in a “detention facility” if they express their fear of political persecution to authorities.

Mexico has already begun to deport dozens of refugees back to Cuba, where the government executes thousands of politically-motivated arrests annually. Mexican authorities deported 70 Cuban refugees last Wednesday, with many more expected to be repatriated soon.

This appears to have been the Obama administration’s intended result. “We will have to get involved with the Central American and Mexican governments to promote the idea of a secure, orderly, legal migration or restricting or repatriating irregular immigrants,” an unnamed State Department official told El Nuevo Herald in July 2016, referring to the refugees as “immigrants.”

Some of those stranded in Mexico and Central America have protested that the treatment of Cubans under the Obama administration, which differed significantly from the welcoming attitude the administration had towards other Latin American immigrants, was a result of Cuban-Americans’ embrace of conservative values. A result of a combination of factors – from the massacre of Cuban patriots under Democrat John F. Kennedy at Bay of Pigs to the Democratic-majority Congressional Black Caucus’ embrace of Fidel Castro – Cuban-American voters are largely conservative on foreign policy issues and lean Republican. The final tally of November election results showed Cubans more likely to support Republican candidate Donald Trump than even non-Hispanic white Americans. These facts were not lost on some refugees traveling north.

“Obama, because he is leaving, suddenly takes up the idea of repealing a law that has been enforced for many years and has favored many Cubans. I think he got angry with the Cubans,” Cuban refugee Jose Enrique Manresa said, shortly after President Obama’s move prevented him from entering the country. “It is a reprisal.”

Adding insult to injury, the Obama administration presided over an unprecedented surge in recent years in Cuban refugee flows into the United States, a direct result of his policy of appeasement towards the Castro regime. In his last days in office, President Obama also signed an agreement emboldening the Cuban Coast Guard to conduct joint “rescue” operations in international waters, despite Havana’s multiple mass murders of refugees and Cuban-American activists at sea.