“Biden’s cognition under question after latest sit-down interview”

“AG Garland Administers the Oath of Allegiance & Delivers Congratulatory Remarks at Ellis Island”

Mid-Day Snapshot · Sept. 19, 2022

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“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Demos’ Martha’s Vineyard Smokescreen

“The border is secure!” Just kidding.

Mark Alexander

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Joe Biden’s border bluff, flying about 50 illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard Island, a leftist enclave playground for the rich and famous, including Barack Obama. Consequently, the Leftmedia talkingheads and scribes have been sparing no lie portraying the reception the immigrants received from MVI residents before being booted off the island as soon as buses could be arranged.

There have been breathless media reports about how the Venezuelan immigrants endured the dangerous trip to our southern border, paying human traffickers to ensure they could take advantage of Biden’s intentional and dangerous open-border policy invitation. On Biden’s watch, more than two million illegal immigrants have flooded into our country, most swamping the towns and resources of border states resulting in a deadly humanitarian crisis. The surge across our “secure” border, as Border Czar Kamala Harris called it last week, set new records in August, and there are many more who cross undetected. That surge includes criminals who are bringing record amounts of deadly fentanyl into the country, resulting in record deaths of American citizens.

With that backdrop, among many other media sources obscuring the MVI immigrant arrival with a political smokescreen, CNN reported, “Donations poured in and volunteers rushed to help: Here’s how Martha’s Vineyard communities responded to the arrival of migrants.” In another article, CNN profiled how Vineyard residents gave the immigrants a warm reception — until they could deport them to Cape Cod. Local man Sean O’Sullivan claimed, “We’re used to dealing with people in need and we’re super happy — like they enriched us, we’re happy to help them on their journey.”

Reality check: I have friends who were in Edgartown on MVI where the immigrants were detained for 44 hours. They report that the newcomers were cordoned off by police in a one-block area and not allowed to leave that area until arrangements could be made to get them bused off the island. While people were kind, as we all would be, there were no leftist celebrities opening their homes or making any attempt to keep them on the island, despite the fact that there are plenty of fine accommodations available. Additionally, there are “Now Hiring” and “Help Wanted” signs in every business window given that seasonal high school and college kids have departed, but no jobs for the immigrants — as soon as funding was available, they were deported.

Instead, laughably, Martha’s Vineyard officials declared a “humanitarian crisis,” prompting DeSantis to respond: “The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they go berserk. … Their virtue-signaling is a fraud. Now what would be best is for Biden to do his damn job and secure the border.”

“Humanitarian crisis”?

For the record, Martha’s Vineyard has an off-season population of 17,000 — more than 90% of whom are white privilege residents, and 90% of them voted for Biden. However, its summer seasonal population accommodates 180,000 visitors, which means that in September, when the 50 immigrants arrived, the island had abundant capacity to provide housing and resources.

To put this “humanitarian crisis” into perspective, National Review’s Brittany Bernstein notes, “More than 24,000 illegal immigrants would need to arrive on the island for it to equally share the burden faced by Del Rio, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border.” That same comparison is applicable with many other border state towns.

Finally, Biden protested: “Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props. What they’re doing is simply wrong. It’s un-American. It’s reckless.” Actually, Biden is the nation’s most notorious “human trafficker,” and the Democrats’ deceitful open-border policy is “simply wrong … un-American … reckless.”

In 2021 alone, Biden authorized almost 1,000 large charter “ghost flights” to many U.S. locations, including planes loaded with children — most under cover of darkness. (I have videos of them arriving at an FBO in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last summer.) Notably, Biden sent 70 flights to Florida.

Political analyst Katie Pavlich observed, “The White House is actually trying to argue sending illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard is far more cruel than emboldening a $1 trillion trafficking and smuggling cartel industry that thrives under Biden’s open border policies.”

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‘The Pandemic Is Over’ and Other Biden Misadventures

The president bungled his “60 Minutes” interview and had White House staffers scrambling.

Nate Jackson

Joe Biden would like to tell you a story of victory. His victories, he and his media lackeys have spent the last month or so telling us, include a roaring economy, lower gas prices, passing infrastructure spending and gun control and the Inflation Reduction Act, offering student loan “forgiveness,” taking out our terrorist enemies, and more heroic efforts. To that list of fables we can add his Sunday boast about the coronavirus: “The pandemic is over.”

“We still have a problem with COVID,” the president said during a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday. “We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing.” Oh, people are still wearing masks out there, Joe. Some people are in the at-risk categories for whom that’s understandable. Others are, well, Biden voters.

For those of you who quit upending your life over COVID two years ago, Biden’s comment may seem oddly late to the game. To Democrats and the Leftmedia, however, his pre-midterm election proclamation about beating the pandemic is not something they’re quite ready to admit.

That’ll change over the next six weeks as the Left revamps COVID messaging so as to win the election.

Taxpayer-funded NPR worries that “there are still thousands of cases being detected every day, and many estimates could be off, as many cases are going unreported.”

The Washington Post harrumphed that Biden’s “off-the-cuff remarks” come “even as hundreds of Americans continue to die of covid each day,” and the paper frets that Biden’s comments “may complicate [the] White House struggle to secure additional funding for coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments.” How, after all, can the administration extend the public health emergency next month if the pandemic is over? The Post adds that Biden’s statement “came as a surprise to administration officials.”

The 79-year-old president is indeed cognitively impaired and routinely makes bungled statements (more below, in fact) that contradict his own White House policy. But we’re not sure we buy it in this case. Again, this is calculated to make voters feel like he and his party brought them through an awful pandemic.

For example, here he is boasting about vaccination: “When I got in office, when I got elected, only two million people had been vaccinated. I got 220 million — my point is it takes time. We were left in a very difficult situation. It’s been a very difficult time. Very difficult.” According to Biden, Donald Trump left the nation in a bind. According to a stubborn thing called reality, Trump aided greatly in getting vaccines ready in record time, all while Democrats sowed doubt and distrust about them. The only reason Biden can claim so many more vaccinated people on his watch is that it wasn’t available for public consumption until after he was elected. His scummy efforts to claim credit for the vaccines date back to the spring of 2021.

The vaccines have, of course, proven to be less than advertised. So much so that the CDC even recently discovered natural immunity — unfortunately only after countless unvaccinated people lost their jobs thanks to Democrat vax mandates, including hundreds more in New York City just this past week.

Where do they go for recompense now that “the pandemic is over”?

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has quietly dropped efforts to discharge unvaccinated Marines making religious objections to the jab. Falling woefully short of recruitment goals will cause some reevaluation.

Biden wasn’t done saying dumb stuff in his “60 Minutes” interview.

“We’re growing the economy, and it’s growing in a way that it hasn’t in years and years,” he said, including a promise that “we’re gonna get control of inflation.” In fact, he declared, “I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time.” Well, it is almost October before an election.

The truth? The U.S. is technically in recession after two consecutive quarters of negative GDP.

His comments regarding foreign policy certainly muddied the waters.

Scott Pelley: “Would U.S. forces defend [Taiwan against China]?”

Joe Biden: “Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack.”

Pelley: “So, unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. forces, U.S. men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?”

Biden: “Yes.”

That is not U.S. stated policy, the White House immediately clarified after the interview, though it’s not the first time Biden has asserted it. Trump expertly put his opponents on the ropes with strategic ambiguity. Somehow we don’t think that’s what Biden is doing.

Finally, inquiring minds including Pelley want to know if Biden will run for reelection in 2024. “My intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,” Biden answered. “But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”

He’s a definite maybe, he says. The rest of the nation knows there’s no way on God’s green earth that this man has the capacity to run again. The biggest problem for Democrats is that Kamala Harris is not an obvious successor, but it sure isn’t going to look good shoving a black woman to the side so a white guy like Gavin Newsom can take her place. Identity politics is a cruel mistress.

But hey, the pandemic is over. Right? Right?

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Executive News Summary

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, USAF has a critical pilot shortage, Putin and Xi pledge unity against the U.S., and more.

Thomas Gallatin & Jordan Candler

Cross-Examination

  • Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: After lying in state at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, the funeral for Britain’s longest ruling monarch is today. The ceremony held in Westminster Abbey will be filled with the royal pageantry expected and required for the occasion. Of roughly 2,000 guests attending, there will be heads of state from across the globe including Joe Biden. The ceremony will mark the final act of the queen as the head of state, now replaced by her son, King Charles III. Typical of the British and the queen herself, the whole funeral will be quite a formal affair, as this event is less about her immediate family and more for the country. After her 70 years on the throne, royal author Duncan Larcombe observes: “There is something quite majestic and almost mystical about the fact that the British royal family not only still exists, but they appear to still be incredibly loved and incredibly relevant to British society. And no one could have really predicted that. I mean, that’s possibly one of the biggest achievements for Queen Elizabeth at this stage.”
  • USAF has a critical pilot shortage: One of the biggest problems with the woke agenda is that it prizes equity over and against equality. And when it comes to racial diversity, the ends justify the means, even if that proves to weaken America’s national security by negatively affecting U.S. military readiness. All the branches of the U.S. military have been struggling to meet recruitment goals. For the U.S Air Force, which celebrated its birthday just yesterday, that means a troubling pilot shortage. In 2021, the total Air Force was short 1,650 pilots, and that shortage is expected to grow. Unfortunately, the USAF’s woke mindset is only making matters worse, as leaders insist on fewer white male pilots. “Inside our cockpits is where we have the greatest disparities and opportunities for improvement,” said USAF recruiting head Major General Ed Thomas in late 2020. “In all, 86% of our aviators are white males. Less than 3% of our fighter pilots are females. This is why we established a detachment within the Air Force recruiting two years ago charged with improving diversity for those who wear flight suits. The mission of Detachment 1 is to bring a singular focus to recruiting qualified women and minorities who have not always felt they belonged.” To meet these diversity goals, the USAF has announced that it will reduce its number of white officers from 80% down to 67.5%. While that may be a winning formula for scoring woke accolades, focusing on sex and skin color is not a formula for winning wars. Or, evidently, recruiting pilots.
  • Putin and Xi pledge unity against the U.S.: At a summit last Thursday between the heads of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping expressed their intention to build stronger ties between the two nations, specifically to challenge the “threat” from the West. Speaking in euphemistically loaded language, Xi declared, “China is ready to work with Russia in extending strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.” He added, “In the face of historical changes in the world and times, as major countries, China is willing to work together with Russia to play a leading role and to inject stability into the turbulent world.” Of course, the leading contributors to the most recent turbulence in the world are both China and Russia. China is responsible for unleashing the COVID pandemic, and Putin launched his war against Ukraine. As the West has turned against him, raising severe economic sanctions and helping to arm the Ukrainians, Putin is apparently becoming increasingly desperate for international support. Xi’s willingness to publicly agree to get closer to Putin, especially as the war is going badly for him, signals that Xi is expecting a lot in return. Is it just oil? Retired Navy Captain Jim Fanell warned, “The larger strategic impact is that this new alliance represents a ‘two-front’ confrontation, or war, against the United States and its allies.” Downplaying this growing alliance between Russia and China “would be a deadly mistake,” Fanell noted. “It’s time for American leaders of all stripes to return to the Cold War standard of having the capability and capacity to support two major theater wars simultaneously.”

Headlines

  • Illegal immigrants get the boot after one day on Martha’s Vineyard (Free Beacon) | Obama, Martha’s Vineyard celebs silent on opening up island homes to illegal immigrants (Fox News) | “Just the beginning”: DeSantis pledges more shipments of migrants to blue-state locales (Washington Times)
  • The founder of Patagonia is giving his company away to help fight climate change get a sweet tax deal (NPR)
  • Josh Hawley got a Facebook exec to admit they censor constitutionally protected speech at the behest of the White House (Not the Bee)
  • Democrats are still out here firing people for not getting the jab: NYC is axing 850 more teachers and aides (Not the Bee)
  • Study finds veteran suicide 1.37 times greater than VA reports (DW)
  • Ontario high school defends trans teacher for wearing giant prosthetic bosom, because gender identity (Twitchy)
  • Policy: Here’s what a realist foreign policy requires to take on China (The Federalist)
  • “Satire”: Martha’s Vineyard lovingly welcomes immigrants to any other part of America (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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Ranked Choice Voting Is a Rotten System

When Democrats push changes to election laws, you can bet it’s to boost their chances of victory.

Lewis Morris

Ranked choice voting is embraced by its supporters as a means of cutting through the hyper-partisan political atmosphere and electing consensus candidates rather than populist extremists. But enough of the propaganda from Democrats and their establishment Republican pals who stand to benefit most from this process. What exactly is ranked choice voting, and what are its consequences?

In a ranked choice election, voters are encouraged to rank all the candidates on the ballot from favorite to least favorite. First-place votes are counted, and if one candidate emerges with at least 50%-plus-one of the vote, then that person is declared the winner and the election is over. However, if no clear winner emerges, then another round of vote counting takes place in which the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated. The votes of those who cast their ballot for an eliminated candidate instead go to their next choice. This process continues until only two candidates remain, with the winner being the one with the most votes in the final round.

If this sounds convoluted and confusing and ripe for fraud and complete misrepresentation of the will of the voter, then you understand ranked choice voting better than you think you do. In fact, the whole process is so cumbersome that it can’t even be conducted without computers. That alone should be a red flag to anyone wondering about the wisdom of ranked choice voting. Any voting process that’s meant to select a human candidate should be simple enough to be conducted by humans.

Ranked choice voting raises other red flags, too. Consider urban elections, which predominantly feature Democrat candidates because their platform seeks out and appeals to urban voters. In a ranked choice election, the few Republicans who have the resources to get on the ballot aren’t likely to survive the first round of voting. The election quickly devolves into a one-party exercise in which an entire bloc of voters is rejected along with their issues of concern. Likewise, any election in which several well-known (read: establishment) candidates, regardless of party affiliation, suck all the oxygen out of the room leaves lesser-known candidates to languish without having a chance to reach voters.

Ranked choice voting is dangerous to the electoral process because it subverts the will of the voter. It is mathematically possible in some instances for a candidate who is no one’s first choice to end up winning an election. It is also similarly possible for a candidate who pulls more votes on the first ballot to lose.

To see the failure of ranked choice in action, we need look no further than the recent Alaska special election to fill the vacant House seat of the late Don Young. In its first test of ranked choice elections in one of the reddest of red states, Democrat Mary Peltola was victorious over former Republican Governor Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III, who ran as a Republican despite coming from a Democrat political family. Among Republicans, Palin represented the populist vote, and Begich represented the establishment vote. We don’t have final tallies, and we may not get them, but it is highly likely that many loyal Republican voters who ranked Palin first also ranked Begich second. But, since things turned out the way they did, it would appear that a large portion of Begich voters were closet Democrats who ranked Peltola second. By the way, Peltola finished fourth in the first round of voting with 10% of the vote. Palin finished first with 27%.

Peltola, Palin, and Begich will be doing this all over again in November to determine who represents the state in Congress for the next full term. And it looks as if the same scenario may play out all over again. Democrats have a vested interest in seeing Begich lose in the hope of making the election a referendum on Palin, who is a prime target of hate among Democrats and certain to stir their base to turn out to vote.

Ranked choice voting allows candidates and their political party backers to game the system, as parties can encourage loyal voters to throw their support in targeted ways in early rounds to shape the final ballot. Additionally, voters are given repeated bites at the apple after backing losers, while those who remain committed to one candidate are penalized.

Ranked choice voting does not improve our election process. It subverts it by forcing voters to pledge support to candidates they would never consider in a winner-take-all race and by silencing anti-establishment candidates seeking to shake up the status quo — which is something we sorely need these days. If the people are to have faith in their electoral process, they must be allowed to vote for a single candidate of their choosing. Any other system should be viewed with suspicion.

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Orthodox Jewish University Forced to Have LGBTQ Club

SCOTUS majority sends the case back to the lower courts to exhaust options.

Emmy Griffin

New York City’s Yeshiva University, one of the oldest Jewish universities in the nation, is under attack. As an Orthodox Jew-professing university, it has some scripturally based objections to homosexual lifestyle choices. But there is a group of Yeshiva students that has filed a Rainbow Mafia lawsuit to force the school to allow and accept an LGBTQ+ club called Yeshiva University Pride Alliance.

The university has fought this lawsuit in the lower courts and lost. The school sought an emergency stay from the Supreme Court so that the club couldn’t be forced upon it while it was filing appeals and trying to bring its case to the highest court in the land.

Interestingly enough, SCOTUS initially did grant the emergency petition, and it was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who granted it. Sadly, on Thursday, the Court decided in a 5-4 decision that SCOTUS would not keep the emergence stay. The majority — which consisted of Justices John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Katanji Brown Jackson — explained that Yeshiva University still had litigation it needed to pursue in the lower courts in terms of appeals.

Katie Rosenfeld, the attorney who is representing the LGBTQ+ club students, said, “We are confident that we will continue to overcome the administration’s aggressive litigation strategies against its own LGBTQ+ students, who choose to attend Yeshiva University because they are committed to the school’s mission.”

The school’s stated mission is to bring wisdom to its students through academic excellence but also through “the ethical and moral values that will make them truly admirable people.” The school adds, “It is our dual emphasis on professional excellence and personal ethics that give our graduate students the wisdom to succeed in both their professions and their lives.” An LGBTQ+ lifestyle is not moral by Jewish teachings (and Christian teachings as well). Rosenfeld must not be very familiar with the moral and ethical teachings of Orthodox Judaism.

Those justices in the minority — Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch — were adamant that Yeshiva University deserved an emergency stay because New York’s courts were flagrantly infringing on the school’s First Amendment rights. Alito wrote the dissent, saying that the First Amendment “guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion, and if that provision means anything, it prohibits a State from enforcing it’s own preferred interpretation of Holy Scripture. Yet that is exactly what New York State has done in this case, and it is disappointing that a majority of this Court refuses to provide relief.”

This is not the final say in this debate. There is a chance that Yeshiva University, should it complete the remaining appeals and attempts at stays through the lower courts (and be denied them as is expected), can bring its case back to SCOTUS. In the meantime, the lower courts’ decisions force Yeshiva to accept this club that is diametrically opposed to Orthodox Judaism. New York is wrongly forcing its progressive liberalism worldview on this university.

Yeshiva’s case has major implications for the rest of the country. Mark Rienzi, president of the Becket Fund, which is representing Yeshiva, stated the situation perfectly: “The stakes couldn’t be higher, not just for Yeshiva but for the country. That’s why people of many different faiths filed briefs asking the court to protect Yeshiva. If Yeshiva can’t even make religious decisions on its own campus, then no religious group is safe from government control.”

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The Decline of Christianity in the U.S.

Pew Research shows that Christians will be in the minority in the not-so-distant future.

Thomas Gallatin

A recent Pew Research Center study estimates based on various scenarios that Christians in America will become a minority in the next two to five decades. Since the 1990s, the study notes, the number of Americans leaving Christianity has been accelerating, as the number of those identifying as nonreligious or “nones” has ballooned over the last couple decades.

Pew reports, “The projections show Christians of all ages shrinking from 64% to between a little more than half (54%) and just above one-third (35%) of all Americans by 2070.” Furthermore, “Over that same period, ‘nones’ would rise from the current 30% to somewhere between 34% and 52% of the U.S. population.”

Evaluating a different scenario, Pew notes, “If the pace of switching before the age of 30 were to speed up throughout the projection period without any brakes, Christians would no longer be a majority by 2045.”

Of course, Pew is quick to point out that these projections are based upon current trends that could change. That said, the news is disconcerting for Christians, but even more so for our nation.

As all genuine Bible-believing Christians understand, their ultimate home and eternal destination of Heaven is secure, thanks entirely to the work of Jesus — His death and resurrection on their behalf. Yet while the future on this side of Heaven is difficult, a Christian’s hope never rests in this world.

The deeper question the Pew research raises may be less obvious, though it should seem quite apparent. If the number of people leaving the faith has been increasing steadily for the past three decades, then the number of genuine Christians must have fallen off long before.

In other words, how many of these “Christians” were nominally so because of their cultural upbringing? If they grew into early adulthood and left the faith, did they ever really believe in the first place? Are we simply witnessing the ripples of a rock that sank long ago?

That said, America, by God’s grace, has known times of spiritual revival. And rather than fearing a potential loss of cultural influence, Christians should remind themselves of the Lord’s sovereign rule over all of history. This presents an opportunity to shine brightly the good news of the Gospel before a darkening world. Jesus did warn His followers of the opposition and trouble they will face: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

News like this should encourage all Christians to pray for God’s mercy on our nation — that He would send another revival and that He would embolden Christians to speak the truth and share the Gospel of salvation. For the power for anyone to change, repent, and believe ultimately comes from God.

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On the Web

VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight

“A society is in decay, final or transitional, when common sense has really become very uncommon. Straightforward ideas appear strange or unfamiliar, and any thought that does not follow the conventional curve or twist, is supposed to be a sort of joke.” —G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Re: The Right

“‘Cheering on’ the Dobbs decision was completely worth it. Just as cheering the overturning of Dred Scott v. Sanford or Schenck v. United States was worth it. Not everything is about short-term partisan gain. You might also cheer because if someone had told you 10, or even five, years ago that Roe would be overturned, you wouldn’t have believed them. Roe has been treated as a sacred text for over 50 years, not only by the press but by most of our institutions. The ‘right’ to terminate life for convenience’s sake had been irrecoverably tethered to feminism and progress. For millions, it probably remains the only SCOTUS decision they can name. And once the left procures a new ‘right,’ it rarely relinquishes it. The prospect of there being six justices willing to uphold the Constitution in the face of this immense pressure was improbable, to say the least. So, yes, cheer.” —David Harsanyi

“Even if we accept everything we’re hearing about the political fallout over Dobbs, the blowback is quite underwhelming. If a two-point swing in the presidential approval rating during a midterm election is the price for overturning Roe, then it was maybe the greatest bargain in history. Just because Dobbs was ‘worth’ celebrating doesn’t mean Republicans shouldn’t have been better prepared for the probable outcome. It always amazes me how timid and ineffective Republicans are at making the pro-life case, which makes me suspect many of them are unhappy that pro-life legislation is no longer just a theoretical proposition.” —David Harsanyi

“If Republicans truly believe that they can’t defend a 15-week ban, maybe they are right to find any excuse to try not to talk about abortion. But that path leads, ultimately, to implicit surrender. You can’t blame Lindsey Graham for wanting his party to do better.” —Rich Lowry

The BIG Lie

“[The Inflation Reduction Act] helped reduce inflation at the kitchen table.” —President Joe Biden

The BIG Lie Enabler

“[The] Inflation Reduction Act — so beautifully named.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Arbiters of “Truth”

“I think there is a risk when you’re talking to certain politicians if you’re willing to say what you’re saying is not true, and sometimes you have to risk looking partisan by doing that. But I think we can’t bow to that threat. I mean, as long as I’m confident when I am that we’re arguing about facts, undisputable facts, I have no problem saying, ‘You’re not telling the truth.’ Even if that causes somebody to say, ‘You’re just being a political hack.’ You have to do that. That’s what we have to stand up for as journalists — right and wrong; fact, not fiction.” —ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos

Hot Air

“We didn’t have any blackouts in California. Ron DeSantis, you were wrong again. You made it up. Lot of people made it up. Folks on Fox, you made it up. I know you wished it happened — trust me, many of them did because they want to kill our green energy transition. They want to double down on stupid and continue to drill and actually do more damage.” —California Governor Gavin Newsom

Just the Facts?

“Locked in a tight race with Rep. Val Demings, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) trots out a transphobic attack on the CDC for using the term ‘pregnant people.’ ‘Pregnant men … I can assure you that’s never happened,’ Rubio says, which is factually inaccurate.” —The Recount, which apparently embraces the gender confusion of females who identify as “males”

Huh?

“Racism, discrimination & human cruelty have played a pivotal role in how immigrants are received at our borders. [Governor Greg Abbott] is without shame or humility. Chicago has been a sanctuary for thousands of newcomers, and we will not turn our backs on those who need our help the most.” —Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot protesting busloads of illegal immigrants from Texas being sent to Chicago (“Migrants are being shipped out of the sanctuary city of Chicago to the suburbs.” —Matt Finn)

Non Compos Mentis Awards

“These vulnerable migrants were reportedly misled about where they were heading; told they would be headed to Boston; misled about what they would be provided when they arrived; promised shelter, refuge, benefits, and more. These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala.” —White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

“We’re not a border town. We don’t have a infrastructure to handle this type of and level of immigration to our city.” —DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

Village Idiot

“This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook. This is what’s so disturbing about [Ron] DeSantis — is to use human beings, to weaponize human beings, for a political purpose. It’s like when somebody disagrees with him in Florida — like The Walt Disney Company — he punishes them. This is not the actions of a person participating in a democratic process in which there’s an exchange of ideas. This is about punishing political enemies, putting on shows, political shows, political theater. And in this case, this is with the lives of human beings.” —filmmaker Ken Burns

And Last…

“Martha’s Vineyard’s response to 50 illegals being sent to them was to declare a humanitarian emergency, activate 125 National Guard soldiers, and shipping them out of their town in less than 24 hours. You literally can’t make it up.” —Michael Seifert

“Martha’s Vineyard couldn’t handle 50 illegal immigrants for even 24 hours. They called in the buses and deported them from the island. But I thought left wingers loved diversity?” —Clay Travis

“‘Stop moving people around for political stunts!’ said the people who support an open border policy that involves shipping hundreds of thousands of people to small towns and cities across America.” —Ben Shapiro

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com/2022/09/19/mid-day-snapshot-%c2%b7-sept-19-2022/

Biden Media ‘ruined’ careers of border agents falsely accused of whipping migrants

www.worldtribune.com

by WorldTribune Staff, July 11, 2022

A false narrative of border agents on horseback whipping migrants attempting to cross the U.S. southern border was spread like wildfire by legacy media in September of last year and amplified by Joe Biden, who claimed the migrants had been “strapped” by the agents and vowed “those people will pay.”

An internal review released on July 8 by Customs and Border Protection found “no evidence” that Border Patrol agents on horseback had “struck any person, intentionally or otherwise.” Federal prosecutors declined to charge any of the agents involved.Border Patrol agents on horseback / Video Image

Biden and his team have not apologized for falsely accusing the border agents.

Even though they have been cleared of wrongdoing, the border agents targeted by Team Biden and its allies in the media say their careers have been “ruined.”

Calling what his team believed happened “outrageous,” Biden said: “I promise you, those people will pay. They will be — an investigation is underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences. It’s an embarrassment. But beyond an embarrassment, it’s dangerous; it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”

“Their careers were ruined by this president,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

“The president accused them of a criminal act. He has not apologized for that,” Judd told The Epoch Times.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is demanding Team Biden apologize for falsely accusing four mounted Border Patrol agents of whipping Haitian migrants at the southern border with Mexico last year.

“There’s no doubt this was political,” Paxton told Fox News Friday. “And it’s really unfortunate that these border agents who’ve given their lives to securing our border and defending American are being punished; they should be rewarded.”

The four agents are still facing disciplinary charges, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus told reporters during a briefing on July 8. The “disciplinary charges” reportedly will cover the agents’ alleged unprofessional behavior for shouting at migrants and using profanity.

The Border Patrol union is representing three of the agents; the fourth is a supervisor.

Judd said he fears investigators “had no choice but to find some sort of fault” given the quick condemnation from Biden, Kamala Harris, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“And the fault that they found is some of the flimsiest I’ve ever seen in my 25-year career. In seeing disciplinary proposals time and time again, I have never seen a more flimsy proposal,” Judd said.

He said the situation has been “absolutely demoralizing” to agents because the agents involved were performing a legitimate law enforcement operation.

A Border Patrol agent in the Del Rio Sector, speaking on condition of anonymity because of fear of repercussions, told The Epoch Times that agents on the ground were set up by leadership for failure in a “no-win situation,” because of a lack of manpower and capability to effectively handle the flood of illegal aliens who were entering the United States on the day in question.

“With regard to the horse patrol, we know what happened. Agents know what happened. Leadership knows what happened. And instead of backing their agents for doing the best they could with what little they had, our leaders ‘Monday morning quarterbacked’ from their comfy offices and went on a fishing expedition, looking for reasons to get agents in trouble to appease those in this administration,” the agent said. “Our leaders need to quit saying Honor First and start living Honor First.”


Action . . . . Intelligence . . . . Publish

  Biden ‘ruined’ careers of border agents falsely accused of whipping migrants, Border Patrol, open borders, Team Biden, WorldTribune.com

Related

After months of media coverage, border agents completely cleared of 'whipping' migrants

After months of media coverage, border agents completely cleared of ‘whipping’ migrants

by WorldTribune Staff, April 15, 2022 U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback, who were accused of “whipping” Haitian migrants and convicted in the court of public opinion by leftist media and Democrat politicians, including Joe Biden, have been cleared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). After playing a clip…

Kansas Sen. Marshall: Biden 'replacing American cities one caravan at a time'

Kansas Sen. Marshall: Biden ‘replacing American cities one caravan at a time’

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, June 9, 2022 A massive caravan of up to 15,000 migrants is heading for Team Biden’s open border. The caravan on Monday departed Tapachula on the Mexico-Guatemala border, according to local reports. Many of the migrants are from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

https://www.worldtribune.com/biden-media-ruined-careers-of-border-agents-falsely-accused-of-whipping-migrants/

30+ Maps Of America That Will Make You Question Everything You Know About The USA

www.visualchase.com

Lily Tredwell

1. Think The Drive Through Is Open?

After any big night out on the town, it is imperative to grab some grub on the way home. But which are the most frequented establishments to go to late at night in order to quench this craving?

This all depends on where we find ourselves. As great as some late-night hashbrowns and fries could be, few things are better than a nice greasy spoon breakfast, like the one we would find down in the South.

2. Shakin’ All Over

From icy Alaska down to sunny California, one reason for not living on the West Coast of the States could be the very healthy fear of being caught in an earthquake. In reality, no matter where in America you live you run the risk of getting caught in an earthquake.

That being said, there is a dramatic difference between a massive 9.2 magnitude quake and a smaller 4.7 one. Frequency also plays a role, so keep that in mind when picking where to live!

3. With or Without Pulp?

A nice glass of freshly-squeezed OJ is always nice with breakfast. It might be surprising to learn which is the only state increasing its annual orange production.

Even the orange production is bigger in Texas. Out of the three main states that produce oranges each year only Texas has shown an increase in production.

4. Life’s Tough

Depression is a real problem amongst people of all ages and from all walks of life. Let’s have a look at which parts of America are affected the most.

It may be the lack of a winning sports team or maybe it’s the weather, but for some reason, the North-West and the Mid-West seem to have the largest issues with depression.

5. Barking Up The Wrong Tree

It’s not just the diversity of its people that makes America so unique. Whether it’s for building a tree fort or for getting maple syrup there is a tree for everyone.

With over a hundred different species of trees in some parts, the eastern coast of the States sports the most diverse tree population. However, with more than one thousand species of trees scattered across the country there is something for tree enthusiasts everywhere.

6. If A Tree Falls And No One Is Around To Hear It…

To answer the age-old question…yes it still makes a noise. All because no one is around to hear the tree fall that doesn’t mean no one is listening. If Orwell taught us anything, someone is always listening.

Natural loudness is measured in decibels by the noises of the wild. This could be the sound of the wind, the water, the birds, and yes, even the sound of a tree falling in the forest with no one around.

7. Big City Folk

We have just seen that mother nature on the east coast has caused more natural noise pollution than elsewhere in the country. It is now time to see where the majority of all noise pollution in America comes from (not just the natural kind).

It does not come as any surprise that the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas produce a lot of noise, however, they don’t call New York ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ for nothing.

8. Higher Education

Graduating from college is meant to be a celebratory occasion for a new graduate. After all, even though ‘the future is now’ it often starts with crippling debt.

Upon graduating, most graduates owe more in college debts than the average American earns in one year.

9. Moving To The Midwest Then Huh?

It is crazy to think that the average annual salary needed to buy a house in New York City is almost double that of being a homeowner in sunny Tampa Bay. But that’s nothing compared to the prices out west.

For all those who are eventually looking at retiring out west think again. An average annual salary of over $100K is needed in almost every major western city. And don’t even think about the move to San Jose unless the family is bringing in at least a quarter of million dollars annually.
 

10. Two Creams And One Sugar Please

Over the past few decades, coffee culture is something that has taken the world by storm. For any Canucks heading down the east coast on a road trip, feel free to dunk those donuts but don’t expect to find too many Tim Horton’s around.

Starbucks has not only put itself at almost every major street corner and petrol station across the United States, it has also created its own coffee language. According to the map the majority of Americans do prefer their tall, non-fat, extra hot, no foam, one pump vanilla lattes.

11. Left Out In The Cold

It is a privilege to be able to go home at the end of a long hard day but not everyone is so lucky. This is one of those maps that helps to remind us just how fortunate we all are.

Over 150,000 homeless people live in California and almost 100,000 in New York alone. That is almost a quarter of a million homeless individuals in just two states.

12. Expansion

Presidents are constantly attempting to leave their marks and cement their legacies. Some of them are just better at the ‘Art of the Deal’ than others.

Andrew Johnson purchased Alaska for only 7.2 million dollars in the year the first Canada Day was celebrated in 1867, and the Louisiana Purchase cost Thomas Jefferson a whopping 15 million dollars in 1803.

13. That Sure Is Quite The Load

The great American railroad system has been moving supplies across the country for almost two hundred years, but these days it does not deliver the goods quite like it used to.

Out east, the waterways and highways take the majority of the loads down the coast. Out west one can always see a large number of cargo trucks hauling supplies along the national highway. It simply reaches more places these days than the railway does.

14. Mind The Bears

The American landscape is vast and beautiful. No matter where one goes in the country there are spectacular sites to be seen.

Planning an Appalachian trail walk or cross country skiing through the Rockies? Fear not, this map has it all. Just steer clear of Yetis and keep away from those picnic baskets.

15. ‘Isn’t The Speed Limit 55?’

Driving along an empty highway road with music blaring and the wind blowing through our hair can be quite a freeing experience, as long as it is done within the confines of the laws of course.

Most states do have a similar maximum speed limit but it is always better to check first before going on a road trip. Being pulled over by a state trooper is a great way to ruin a vacation.

16. Route 66 Anyone?

Now that we know where the national parks are and how fast we can go, let us have a look how to get to them.

Connecting Americans with each other far and wide, the National Highway Services helps to unite all parts of America, with over 164,000 miles of roads that stretch all across the country.

17. Soy Latte Please

Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in alternative eating habits and soybeans have been the base of a lot of these products.

Thanks to the American prairies’ production of soybeans for her soy latte, ‘Starbucks Karen’ will have one less thing to complain about.

18. Healthy Eating

Continuing along the lines of healthy eating, a lot of people seem to have grown tired of eating foods covered in pesticides and other chemicals for some reason.

Organic foods could cost an arm and a leg but it sure is nice to know that there’s nothing toxic being sprayed onto our food.

19. Everyone’s Guilty Of Something

We all have that one vice that is just so hard to ignore sometimes. Let’s take a look at which states are the most angelic as well as the most sinful.

If the movie ‘Seven’ taught us anything, it’s that giving in to temptation could get us into a lot of trouble. The bottom corners of the country sure do look like a lot of fun though.

20. Did You Want Fries With That?

We have already seen that McDonald’s is the most popular place for people to go for some late-night drunk food, but we all have our own favorite burger place to go to if given the opportunity.

Here we see that McDonald’s may be everywhere but it is not the only option. Burger King and the Queen of Dairy remain towards the top of the charts and Texans have made Sonic burger their choice.

21. And He’s In For The Touchdown

It is absolutely no surprise that the highest-paid public employees in America are connected to sports. The success of a college or high school sports team is paramount to a town’s happiness and it shows in how much they are willing to pay their coaches.

A high school football coach makes an average of around $45K a year which is not too bad at all, but it’s no wonder the end game is to coach college. The average salary for a college football coach is 2.7 million dollars a year. Talk about scoring.

22. A Different View Point

The map that is used in Alaskan schools has Alaska in the center and North America to the East. This is just a fun one for a bit of a different perspective.

With how secluded it is from the rest of the country it’s no wonder Alaska sees the rest of America as ‘that place down there’.

23. Poached Or Fried?

As long as people are eating breakfast there will be a demand for eggs. More than fifty billion eggs are laid in America each year and Iowa unexpectedly leads the way in production.

Fun uneggspected fact: brown eggs come from hens with red feathers and red ear lobes while white eggs come from hens with white feathers and white ear lobes.

24. Tis The Season

It is Christmas tradition for many families to pack themselves into the family car and head out looking for the perfect tree. Even the desert states have at least a couple of Christmas tree farms

Considering the enormous fines one would get for cutting a tree down off the side of the highway for Christmas, it’s probably for the best to know where the local farm is for the holidays.

25. ‘I’ll Get A Litre O’ Cola’

Some people call them chips and others call them crisps. Some call them cookies while others call them biscuits. But what happens when the chips and biscuits make us thirsty. What do we ask for?

Depending on where we find ourselves on this cross country road trip of ours, the answer may vary. Just don’t walk into a place on either coast and ask for some pop or the locals will be able to spot the tourists.

26. Need A Roommate?

New York and California maybe two of the more desirable places to live in America but that may change once learning the cost of any apartment bigger than a shoebox.

Better start looking for a roommate. With an hourly wage of under $25 an hour don’t even bother looking for a place with more than one room.

27. A Job’s Job

When immigrating to a new country an individual knows that they may need to work a job that they are not too fond of. It is a sacrifice that is made with the ‘American Dream’ in mind.

It is no big surprise to see here that most immigrants start off in a more subservient occupation, as these are the less desired jobs. A job is a job though.

28. Locked And Loaded

It is amazing to see the percentage of Americans who have decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

For all those who are against guns, maybe just steer clear of the entire center of the country.

29. ‘Wanna Play A Game?’

Here’s a fun one for the horror buffs out there. From the Texas Chainsaw Masacre’ to ’30 Days of Night’, horror films have taken place in every state right across the country.

It’s time to use that map of the interstate highways to get us the heck away from the midwest. And no summer camps either!

30. Cold War Era

Because of the fears that they would defect, it was very difficult in the times of the Soviet Union for Russians to gain permission to leave their own country. Even when they were able to leave there were limits on where they would be allowed to go once in the other countries.

From the late 50s until the end of the cold war the places in red on this map were actually the places where Soviets were not allowed to go. Kind of takes the fun out of an American vacation doesn’t it.

31. Don’t Forget The Stuffing

About a month before Christmas every year Americans all over the country tell their loved ones about all the things they are thankful for. Without these next farms a lot of people would be a lot less thankful every November.

Turkey farmers right across the middle eastern part of the United States work hard every year to ensure that every little pilgrim out there has the thanksgiving they deserve.

32. Locked Up

Almost every state in the country has at least one federal prison. Whatever happened to those maximum security prisons in the middle of the mountains that we see in the movies?

After seeing how many federal prisons there are in America just imagine if the funding for even a third of those prisons would go into rehabilitation instead of imprisonment.

33. Self-Haters

Sometimes where we come from defines who we are, alternatively, it sometimes defines who we don’t want to be. One either has pride for their own state or they do not.

That pride runs in their veins otherwise they usually have an escape plan. Maybe it’s because of all the noise pollution out East that’s causing the lack of state pride and desire to pack up.

34. Origins

As we know, hundreds of years ago the United States of America was built by the hard work of immigrants from all over the world who were trying to find a better life for themselves and their families.

In the hundred years between 1820 and 1930 more than 6 million germans and 4.5 million Irish made the long journey by boat from Europe to the New World. That makes up almost 10% of the entire population of America in 1930.

35. Where’s That Name From?

Now that we know where the majority of Americans’ ancestry lies let’s have a look at where the individual states’ names originated.

It is no big shock to see that the majority of the States’ names are derived from Native words. What is a little amazing to learn however, is that the number of states with names of English origin is less than a dozen.

36. 3D Map of Population Density

This map is another of those which gives a bit of a different perspective on the country.

Much like the numerous tall buildings that reside there, New York’s population density also towers over that of the other states.

37. Time To Head To The Coast

We are very lucky to be living in such a scientific age. As science and medicine progress, life expectancy has been on the rise.

With all the nice weather and oranges around for vitamins, it is no wonder why California and Florida are sporting two of the higher life expectancies in America.

38. Land Distribution

We’ve now seen where in the States the soybeans are grown and even where the majority of eggs and turkeys come from, but ever wonder how much of America is protected federal wilderness or used to make maple syrup? Well, it’s definitely not as much there should be.

Believe it or not, there is more land dedicated to cow farming and their pastures than any other industry in the United States.

39. Final Resting Places

Some presidents have been put to rest in the Arlington National Cemetary while others have been laid to rest in their own hometowns. Let’s take a brief look at the distribution of the burial plots for the Commander in Chiefs who are no longer with us.

Scattered across eighteen different states in addition to the District of Columbia, the deceased former presidents of the United States may be gone but they are surely not forgotten.

40. Family Matters

We have now seen where all the highways and national parks are across the country and we know how fast we are allowed to drive in each state. We even know where most people go for food after a big night out. Now let’s have a look at whose family road trip will have the most cramped car.

As we can see by this map even the family sizes are bigger in Texas. Families right across the southern part of America will have to jam pack themselves into the family car with not much leg room to spare.

https://www.visualchase.com/en/make-usa-maps?ly=native_one&mbid=m2qqibebae&twclid=2-6y0qg5q76jn2b577f7ah75xzb&utm_campaign=create&utm_medium=paid&utm_source=twitter

House poised to deny driver’s licenses for asylum seekers, undocumented residents in state – New Hampshire Bulletin

newhampshirebulletin.com

By: Amanda Gokee – March 30, 2022 3:57 pm

The House is set to vote on three bills Thursday that home in on who gets to have a driver’s license in New Hampshire. The answer the Republican majority is pushing for would exclude people who are seeking asylum or are undocumented.

They say granting a driver’s license in these instances would open the door to voter fraud, although certain noncitizens can already get a driver’s license in New Hampshire if they are here legally for work, business, or school. And those who register to vote are required to prove their citizenship, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Immigrants’ rights advocates have spoken against what they call the misplaced fear of voter fraud, pointing instead to the benefits of allowing increased access to driver’s licenses, which they say would boost public safety and the well-being of immigrant families. 

That’s what House Bill 1666 would do, in their view, by allowing people without a Social Security number, including people who are undocumented, to get a driver’s license. An estimated 14,660 undocumented people live in New Hampshire. The bill would prevent the Department of Transportation from sharing information with federal immigration enforcement agencies conducting civil investigations, another reason House Republicans on the committee recommended killing the bill, 10-9.

House Bill 1093 aims to add asylum seekers to those who could apply for a license while waiting for their paperwork to process, given how long it can take to process an asylum application. It comes to the House floor with a 10-9 party-line recommendation from committee that the chamber kill the bill.

House Bill 1463 – which would extend Real ID to people who aren’t citizens but are in the country legally – received the same recommendation out of committee and for a similar reason. 

In the majority report, Rep. Ted Gorski, a Bedford Republican, called it bad public policy to grant driver’s licenses and ID cards to asylum seekers and people who are undocumented. He claimed – with the backing of committee Republicans – that this would facilitate further illegal conduct, arguing that the doors opened by possessing a driver’s license should remain closed to these people.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

https://newhampshirebulletin.com/briefs/house-poised-to-deny-drivers-licenses-for-asylum-seekers-undocumented-residents-in-state/

Biden Builds a Growing Immigration Consensus … Against Him

www.immigrationreform.com

Bob Dane

President Joe Biden is changing America’s views on immigration — but not the way he intended. Last year, Gallup polling showed a public that equally favored increases and decreases in immigration. Now the number of people who want less migration has nearly doubled, while calls for more immigration have dropped.

One way or the other, 58 percent of the surveyed voters say they are dissatisfied with how the White House is handling immigration.

“Biden has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle for his border policy, and his approval ratings on immigration have been more negative than positive, with declining approval from Democrats,” Gallup reported. Among six major policy categories, Biden has his highest disapproval ratings and lowest approval scores on immigration.

The president’s current negatives on immigration among Republicans (87 percent) are three points above the previous high recorded in 2015, the last time a Democrat occupied the White House.

While a bare majority (52 percent) of Democrats remains satisfied with current immigration levels, Independents, including Libertarians, are more than three times as likely to say they want them decreased rather than increased.

Another survey – the weekly Rasmussen Immigration Index – has registered consistent public support for lower immigration levels since Biden took office. The index is now more than 15 points below where it was in late October 2020, meaning voters want tighter immigration controls.

Fifty-six percent of likely U.S. voters surveyed told Rasmussen this month that Washington is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Seventy-six percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Independents say not enough is being done. Thirty-four percent of Democrats took that position.

Ominously for the president, he is even under water with Latino voters. Citing a Quinnipiac Poll last fall, FAIR noted, “Despite the shrill rhetoric of lavishly funded organizations that purport to represent the interests of Hispanic-Americans, a mere 23 percent of Hispanic voters who were polled approve of President Biden’s immigration policies.”

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About Author

Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)’s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

https://www.immigrationreform.com/2022/02/17/gallup-poll-biden-immigration-immigrationreform-com/

Poland prepares for ‘up to a million’ refugees fleeing Ukraine as Russian threat continues: report

An instructor trains members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine's army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion. 

The majority of Ukraine’s borders are vulnerable to an invasion by Moscow as roughly half of the country shares a border with Russia.

www.foxnews.com

Caitlin McFall 4 – 5 minutes

Poland has braced itself to receive “up to a million refugees” fleeing Ukraine if Russia invades the former Soviet nation.

“If there was a war in Ukraine, we must take into account the influx of real refugees – people who flee the fire, people who flee from death, who flee from the atrocities of war,” Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wąsik told Polish Radio late last month. 

“We must be prepared for the black scenario,” he added. 

An instructor trains members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine’s army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

UKRAINE DEFENSE CHIEF URGES ‘CALM’ AS FEARS OF RUSSIAN INVASION BUILD

But the threat of an incursion goes beyond Ukraine’s proximity to Russia.

The Kremlin has not only amassed roughly 100,000 troops on its southern border but deployed an additional 30,000 troops to neighboring Belarus – whose border is less than a three-hour drive to Kyiv. 

“If our country faces an aggression, there will be hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers here, who will defend this sacred land together with hundreds of thousands of Belarusians,” Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned in late January.

The U.S. and its NATO allies have responded to the increased military presence surrounding Ukraine by deploying additional troops to countries like Poland and Romania – both of which sit west of Ukraine. 

BIDEN MOVING US TROOPS IN EASTERN EUROPE WON’T PREVENT RUSSIAN INVASION, EXPERTS AGREE

Local residents train close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. Russia's foreign minister claims that NATO wants to pull Ukraine into the alliance, amid escalating tensions over NATO expansion and fears that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine. In comments on state television Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also challenged NATO's claim to be a purely defensive structure. 

Local residents train close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. Russia’s foreign minister claims that NATO wants to pull Ukraine into the alliance, amid escalating tensions over NATO expansion and fears that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine. In comments on state television Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also challenged NATO’s claim to be a purely defensive structure. 

But the threat of conflict has caught the attention of nearly every surrounding Eastern European nation and NATO has considered sending a small contingency of troops to Slovakia.

Moldova, which sits under Ukraine, declared independence from the USSR in 1991 but shares a complex past with Russia. 

A small fraction state called Transdniestria broke away from Moldova in the early 90s and politically aligns itself with Russia. 

Neither the United Nations, Moldova nor Russia recognize the breakaway state, but Russia has placed roughly 1,000 troops in the region for military drills – a move the Moldovan government has condemned

Russia continues to allege its troop movement is not an indication that Moscow intends to invade Kyiv should the U.S. and NATO not adhere to its demands regarding missile placement and NATO membership.

Russian tanks T-72B3 take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia, Jan. 12, 2022. Amid a buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine, Moscow has denied planning an attack on Ukraine but urged the U.S. and its allies to provide a binding pledge that NATO won't expand to Ukraine and won't deploy military assets there - a demand rejected by the West.

Russian tanks T-72B3 take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia, Jan. 12, 2022. Amid a buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine, Moscow has denied planning an attack on Ukraine but urged the U.S. and its allies to provide a binding pledge that NATO won’t expand to Ukraine and won’t deploy military assets there – a demand rejected by the West. (AP Photo, File )

In a Tuesday tweet the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed, “NATO has designated Russia an adversary.”

“While advancing its military infrastructure very close to our border, NATO and its member states believe that they have a right to teach us where and how we can deploy our armed forces,” the statement added.

The U.S. and NATO have condemned these comments and warned that Russia could look to fabricate an excuse to justify its invasion of Ukraine.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/poland-million-refugees-fleeing-ukraine

ICE denies it organized charter flights to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport

www.thetimes-tribune.com

ERIC MARK STAFF WRITER 4 – 5 minutes

Questions arose Monday about which government agency organized charter flights filled with minors that landed at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport four times this month.

Jim Gallagher, president of Aviation Technologies Inc., the airport’s fixed-base operator, said Sunday the flights were listed as “ICE flights” by private charter companies.

“ICE” stands for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

However, ICE spokeswoman Mary Houtmann said Monday the agency did not organize flights that landed at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Dec. 11, 17 and 25.

“These are not our flights,” Houtmann wrote in an email.

The flights might have been organized by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, she wrote.

Attempts to verify that with Health and Human Services on Monday were unsuccessful.

Gallagher stuck by his assertion that he was informed the flights were “ICE flights.”

“The airline that contacts us sends us paperwork,” Gallagher said. “The paper trail doesn’t lie.”

Gallagher said his company provided service for previous ICE flights, but prior to this month all of those flights involved prisoner transport.

The charter flights that originated in Texas and landed at the airport in December were filled with children who did not speak English, accompanied by adult chaperones and translators rather than guards, Gallagher said.

“We had never seen an ICE flight that wasn’t deporting people rather than bringing them further into the country,” he said.

Another wrinkle arose when a charter flight scheduled to land Dec. 30 that had originally been listed as an ICE flight was changed to a passenger charter service, Gallagher said.

A plane from the same company — World Atlantic Airlines — landed at the airport on Christmas Day and dropped off minors and chaperones who boarded buses bound for an undisclosed location, Gallagher said.

Some answers

Gallagher provided a partial answer to a question frequently asked as news of the charter flights spread via social media: Where were the children taken after boarding buses at the airport?

The flight on Dec. 11 landed at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after it was diverted from a New York airport, Gallagher said.

Passengers from that flight boarded buses bound for Brooklyn, New York, he said.

However, Gallagher said he did not know the final destination of passengers who landed on the Dec. 17 flight, or on two flights that landed Dec. 25.

After all of the charter flights, passengers disembarked and boarded buses, Gallagher said.

Gallagher disputed reports posted to social media that some passengers on the Christmas flights were adults.

Those flights were filled with teenagers accompanied by adult chaperones, Gallagher said.

The earlier flights, on Dec. 11 and Dec. 17, included younger children and chaperones, he said.

Airport board reaction

The airport is directed by a bi-county board that includes Lackawanna County commissioners Chris Chermak, Jerry Notarianni and Debi Domenick, as well as Luzerne County Council members Tim McGinley and LeeAnn McDermott and acting county Manager Romilda Crocamo.

McGinley, Crocamo, Notarianni and Chermak said they were not informed of the charter flights in advance.

The board does not normally get involved in day-to-day operations of the airport, Crocamo and McGinley said.

Notarianni called it “more of a federal issue than it is a local issue.”

Chermak said the federal government should have notified local officials of the flights and of where the passengers will ultimately end up.

“That’s not fair to the residents of our counties that they’re sneaking these people in,” Chermak said. “We don’t know who they are. We don’t know if they’re vaccinated (against COVID-19). We don’t know anything.”

Jeff Horvath, staff writer, contributed to this report.

Contact the writer:

emark@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2117

https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/ice-denies-it-organized-charter-flights-to-wilkes-barre-scranton-international-airport/article_44e368eb-c068-5d39-bd8f-2ff35060c588.html

Mexico Received $50 Billion in Remittances from the United States – Why Don’t We Tax It?

www.immigrationreform.com

About Author Preston Huennekens 4 – 6 minutes

Mexicans living in the United States are on pace to send more than $50 billion in remittances to people still living in Mexico, according to data from the World Bank and Bank of Mexico. Border Report noted that this is a record amount of money sent back to Mexico, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic issues in the United States.

Remittances are money sent to countries overseas, often using money-wire services such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Remittances account for a significant quantity of some countries’ gross domestic product, including those in Central and South America. Immigration analyst Andrew Arthur noted that “remittances significantly subsidize the economies in those countries, and each would be hard pressed to replace the lost GDP if its nationals were to stop migrating, or even worse, return to those countries.”

In 2020, remittances accounted for 24.1 percent, 14.7 percent, and 23.5 percent of the GDP of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras respectively. Other countries dependent on remittances in the Americas also have a large number of nationals residing in the U.S. such as Haiti (23.2 percent), Jamaica (22.2 percent), and Nicaragua (14.7 percent).

The federal government does not tax remittances flowing out from the United States to foreign countries. This leaves billions of dollars of potential tax revenue on the table. An additional and significant harm of large-scale remittances is that it represents money that does not remain in local economies, creating businesses and jobs and generating recurring revenue flows to local governments.

This is a colossal error on the part of our government, and one that Congress could – and should – address.

Look no further than the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is the only state in the country that taxes wire-transfer fees, at a rate of 1 percent. In a 2018 post on the subject, Center for Immigration Studies analyst David North noted that the state’s collections from this tax increase each year by about 10 percent.

Imagine if Congress levied a tax on wire transfers, the majority of which are remittances flowing out of the United States. A mere 1 percent tax on remittances to Mexico this past year alone would yield $500 million dollars. According to the World Bank, $69.9 billion flowed out of the U.S. as remittance payments in 2020. Taxing that figure at 1 percent would yield almost $700 million in revenue for the U.S. Treasury, with the possibility that revenues continue increasing year after year.

During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump proposed using a remittance tax (or the threat of one) to encourage Mexico to pay for his promised Southwest border wall. Authors pointed out that taxing remittances and using it on wall construction could fund most if not all of the proposed construction. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated that preventing 160,000 to 200,000 illegal crossings over 10 years would offset projected costs to build the wall over a 10 year period.

Using remittances to build the wall never ended up happening, and President Trump resorted to using an emergency declaration to build sections of it. When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he ended that emergency order and halted construction of the wall.

A future policy taxing remittances need not limit itself to the construction of a border wall. Even with a wall in place, asylum abuse will continue to be the top driving factor contributing to the illegal alien population in the United States. Instead of proposing a remittance tax to chase a specific construction project, Congress should install a remittance tax to raise funds in order to address changes to our immigration system in a broad sense.

Funds from a remittance tax could go towards an “immigration enforcement fund.” The government could use such a fund to hire more immigration judges and enforcement agents, build facilities needed to detain illegal aliens, and fund needed sections of the wall where necessary. Because this fund would be the result of legislation – rather than executive action – it would be much harder to end through executive fiat. This is a common sense and low-impact proposal that would go a long way in helping secure our southern border.

https://www.immigrationreform.com/2021/12/16/mexico-got-billions-remittances-2021-immigrationreform-com/

Biden to raise number of guest worker visas, with more for Haiti, Central America

www.reuters.com

December 20, 20211:37 PM ESTLast Updated 3 hours ago 2 – 3 minutes

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees watch from a window as activists hold the “Shutdown ICE” rally in Washington, U.S., July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

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NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The United States will make 20,000 additional visas available for seasonal, non-agricultural guest workers through March 31, including 6,500 visas for workers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti, in an effort to encourage legal migration, a U.S. official told Reuters.

The extra H-2B visas would be in addition to the annual allotment of 66,000 visas for the fiscal year, the official said, adding an announcement was set to be made Monday.

The expansion of the H-2B visa program, used to employ landscapers, housekeepers, hotel employees and construction and carnival workers, among others, comes as the U.S. labor market continues to face shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The White House has touted efforts to create legal pathways for migrants to come to the United States as record numbers of migrants have been arrested at the southern border under Biden.

Still, even if all 6,500 visas are used, it represents just a fraction of migrants trying to reach the United States. U.S. Border Patrol made more than 700,000 arrests of migrants from those four countries in fiscal 2021.

The additional 20,000 visas are a slight drop from the 22,000 made available for the second half of fiscal 2021.

The administration of U.S President Joe Biden set aside 6,000 H-2B visas for the three Central American countries during the second half of fiscal 2021, which ended Sept. 30, but fell short of filling all of those slots.

The addition of Haiti follows Biden’s decision to deport some Haitians after thousands arrived in southern Texas in September. The country has faced political instability and violence following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July as well as natural disasters.

Reporting by Ted Hesson in New York; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Bernadette Baum

https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/biden-raise-number-guest-worker-visas-with-more-haiti-central-america-2021-12-20/

Refugee aid groups in Washington region overwhelmed by Afghan caseloads

www.washingtonpost.com

Antonio Olivo

Refugee resettlement groups in the Washington region are scrambling to keep up with a huge influx of Afghan evacuees, leaving families waiting for housing and other services in a situation that could soon worsen as U.S. officials prepare to shut down temporary housing sites in military bases.

Since the historic airlift out of Kabul in August, more than 3,700 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in the District, Maryland and Virginia, the bulk of them arriving under “humanitarian parole” and their future in the country uncertain.

Resettlement agencies say the floodof Afghans that federal officials have sent to the region — primarily Northern Virginia — has been faster than expected, putting a strain on caseworkers and other personnel whose numbers were cut during the Trump administration, when the number of refugees allowed to enter the country was steadily reduced to historical lows.

Before the Kabul airlift, “We had the staffing level to serve 500 people a year,” said Kristyn Peck, chief executive of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), one of three local resettlement groups serving Northern Virginia.

Peck has hired 35 additional workers since July — but, she said, “You can’t go to a staffing level to serve 500 people a month overnight.”

“We just know that at this volume, frankly, our quality is suffering,” she said.

Federal and state officials have tried to ease the burden by imposing some restrictions on who can receive aid in areas that already have a high number of evacuees, an attempt to also control the impact on schools and the supply of affordable housing.

For example, resettlement agencies in Northern Virginia — a magnet for evacuees because of the region’s already large Afghan population, but with a costly housing market that has made finding permanent homes challenging — are now assigned cases only where the evacuees have a family connection in the region who can temporarily house them.

Evacuees who show up to their offices without first being assigned to their organization by the U.S. State Department are either being turned away or provided with limited aid, such as food stamps and basic medical care.

“We’re not stopping anybody at one point or another from coming to Virginia,” said Seyoum Berhe, the state refugee coordinator through the Virginia Department of Social Services. “But if we’re going to provide services, you must have a family connection. We want to do the best job we can but have to take numbers that we can at least attempt to manage.”

The evacuees are each entitled to receive $2,275 in federal support that is meant to cover housing costs, job training and other expenses over a three-month period once they are matched with a resettlement agency.

The high demand for such aid was on display inside the LSSNCA’s office in Annandale one recent morning. Clusters of evacuees arrived to an increasingly full lobby to see case managers who were already busy with other clients.

Nahzatullah Wror, 29, didn’t have an appointment that day. But after arriving in the United States the week before, he traveled an hour from his uncle’s home in Loudoun County to see what kind of help his family of four could get after not hearing from their overburdened case manager. The case manager showed up at Dulles International Airport 2½ hours late the day the Wror family arrived from Poland, where the family spent three months at a hotel.

“This is not the way that we should be treated,” said Wror, who has a special immigrant visa after working with U.S. officials as a psychological operations specialist for the former Afghan National Army.

“I know that I am a load on my uncle,” he said. “We’re 10 people living in two bedrooms. That’s really difficult.”

Federal officials say they are working to spread the evacuees to different parts of the country as they begin to shut down the temporary housing camps at seven military bases that are still home to 34,000 Afghans. The process is expected to be completed by mid-February.

For example, the evacuees are being offered free housing in Oklahoma, officials said. They are also pointed to other parts of the country with more job opportunities.

“We are tying to implement a system here that allows for the successful permanent resettlement of our new Afghan neighbors across the country in places that meet their needs,” said Curtis Ried, deputy to former Delaware governor Jack Markell, the White House’s point person on Afghan resettlement. “But we also don’t want to overwhelm any one area.”

But not everyone wants to disperse to parts unknown in the country. One is a 32-year-old man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern for his family’s safety.

Last month, he and his wife took their three children out of the U.S. Air Force’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey when it appeared likely that they would be paired with a resettlement group in a different part of the country.

They arrived in Alexandria and — borrowing from friends in the area — rented a $2,000-per-month apartment with no means of keeping the home. The man traveled from resettlement agency to resettlement agency in the region in search of long-term aid before finding help at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.

“They will send you to Alaska or Arizona,” he explained about his move, while his wife baked Afghan bread in their newly renovated kitchen. “I don’t have support there. I don’t know the culture there.”

Local resettlement agencies say they’re seeing the effects of that desire to stay in the Washington region.

Peck said her organization initially committed to serving 1,775 evacuees during the federal fiscal year that began in October. Then, the Biden administration asked the organization to increase that number to 2,400, assigning those extra evacuees to the LSSNCA within two weeks with the understanding that more will come, she said.

The Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) committed to serving 400 evacuees at its main office in Arlington County, also more than the group initially told federal officials it would be able to handle, said Emily Gilkinson, a group spokesperson. More than 200 of those evacuees have already shown up, with the rest expected within the next two months, she said.

“Our Arlington office and other offices are all staffing up,” said Gilkinson, adding that the ECDC expects to serve a total of 6,000 evacuees at its 21 sites nationwide. “They are receiving more than double the number of cases that they received in all of 2021 in just a few months, so the challenge is immense.”

Complicating matters is the fact that many of the evacuees arrived in the United States without IDs or other documents proving who they are, making it harder to set them up with homes and work authorization, aid groups say.

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, chief executive of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the LSSNCA’s parent organization, said that issue points to a longer-term problem for the Afghans who arrived under humanitarian parole. The designation grants them permission to remain and work in the United States for two years, with no path to U.S. citizenship.

Many might want to apply for asylum, a lengthy process requiring a lot of documentation that they didn’t consider when they were destroying their IDs and other records on their way out of Afghanistan to avoid being targeted by the Taliban, Vignarajah said.

“But that same documentation that might be a death sentence in Afghanistan could be the key to win an asylum case here in the U.S.,” she said. Vignarajah, along with other advocates, has been pushing for Congress to pass an Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow evacuees to apply for lawful permanent residence, eliminating the need for an asylum application.

The Biden administration has also been pushing for such a law while steering more funds toward Afghan resettlement. Since September, an additional $13.3 billion has been authorized for that effort.

Berhe, the refugee coordinator for Virginia, said the extra funds — amounting to $30 million in his state over a three-year period — will help with mental health counseling, job training and, more urgently, emergency housing assistance.

That could help the scores of evacuees who have shown up to the region from the military bases with no guarantee of local aid and no job prospects.

Bita Golshan Lotfi, director of the Immigrant and Refugee Outreach Center, said her McLean-based nonprofit has helped nearly 60 such families connect with a resettlement group while supplying them with donated clothes and food.

“They’re coming without a resettlement agency, without furniture, without anything,” she said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/12/12/afghan-refugees-washington-virginia-cases/

Democrats make last effort to keep immigration reforms in social spending bill – Los Angeles Times

www.latimes.com

Andrea Castillo

WASHINGTON — 

House Democrats last month passed legislation that would offer protection from deportation for millions of immigrants for the first time in more than 35 years.

The immigration provisions — part of a $1.85-trillion social spending bill — probably represent Democrats’ last chance to achieve reforms to the nation’s immigration system before the 2022 midterm election. After that, if Republicans gain the majority in Congress, the possibility of winning any protections for immigrants would probably drop exponentially.

The measures now face an uphill battle in the Senate, which is expected to take up the legislation this month, and they could be stripped by the Senate parliamentarian well before that. Adding to the challenges there, immigrant advocates are at odds over provisions that would provide work permits to nearly 7 million immigrants living in the country without authorization. The protections would provide temporary respite from deportation but not a path to citizenship.

Some immigrants and their allies say the provisions are a desperately needed start, while others call them unacceptable, a divide that echoes a long debate over whether immigrants should conform to some immediate protection from deportation or hold out for permanent legal status.

The bill, which Democrats call “Build Back Better,” would also help immigrants living in the country legally but who are stuck in a years-long green card backlog, and it would beef up the cash-strapped federal Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.

Gabriel Valladolid, 47, said essential workers like him deserved a pathway to citizenship. But Valladolid, who works tomato fields in San Joaquin, Calif., longs to visit the two adult children in Mexico he hasn’t seen in 17 years.

He recalled when California lawmakers extended driver’s licenses to undocumented residents and some people complained because they couldn’t be used for air travel and were marked differently than regular licenses. Valladolid said the licenses were better than nothing — immigrants were used to having their cars impounded with every traffic stop. He feels the same way now.

“Whatever they want to give us,” Valladolid said. “The BBB is a good start. Adelante, pero ya.” We want it now.

The centerpiece of the bill’s immigration provisions givesqualified immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since January 2011 the chance to apply for temporary work permits and protection from deportation under a process called “parole.”

Nearly 60% of immigrants in the country without authorization would be eligible for the protections — some 6.5 million people, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis. The work permits would last five years and could be renewed once, extending protections into 2031. Those eligible could also access federal benefits including Medicare and Medicaid, and receive permission to travel outside the country.

An estimated 3 million of those immigrants, according to the CBO, are the immediate relatives of adult U.S. citizens and could eventually apply for green cards once granted parole.

The legislation also seeks to modernize the system to better reflect current immigration trends. It would expand processing capacity by adding $2.8 billion to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And it would enable the agency to “recapture” hundreds of thousands of visas that have gone unused each year since 1992 because of administrative complications, helping more than 5 million immigrants — mostly from India — who are stuck in the green card backlog.

The parliamentarian’s position

The nonpartisan CBO said the bill overall would add $160 billion to the deficit over a decade. The White House estimates that the bill would reduce the deficit.

To get the legislation through the Senate, Democrats are using a procedure called reconciliation that allows them to pass the bill with 50 votes plus the tiebreaking vote of the vice president. But the process requires all measures be directly related to the federal budget.

Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough determines whether policies pass muster. Senate Democratic aides met with MacDonough on Nov. 23 to discuss the plan for work permits, and she did not immediately rule it out, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

Next MacDonough will formally assess whether the plan complies with the so-called Byrd rule, which requires that the legislation’s impact on government spending or revenue outweigh any “extraneous” policy changes. That assessment could come this week.

This is the third attempt by Senate Democrats to add protections for immigrants to the bill. MacDonough rejected the previous two.

The first offered a path to citizenship for certain immigrants without lawful status, including those who were brought to the country as children, temporary protected status holders, farmworkers and other essential workers.

The second sought to allow immigrants who entered the country before 2010 to obtain residency if they were currently without lawful status.

“Changing the law to clear the way to [lawful permanent resident] status is tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact,” MacDonough wrote of the first proposal.

‘A permanent underclass’

Democratic Reps. Lou Correa of Santa Ana, Adriano Espaillat of New York and Jesús “Chuy” Garcia of Illinois all staked their votes for the broader bill on the immigration provisions and had advocated for the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship. Those lawmakers signed a letter, along with dozens of others, calling on Senate leaders to disregard MacDonough’s opinion, but the effort lacks wide support.

If Democrats are hoping the failed attempts will mollify advocates, they may be disappointed. Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA, or the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, said anything less than a path to citizenship is unacceptable.

Salas said offering work permits would put millions more people on the same roller coaster that those with temporary protected status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection have faced. Both programs, administrated by the executive branch, were rolled back under the Trump administration, but legal battles kept the protections in place.

“This is just about the Democrats,” she said. “If they can’t fight for citizenship in Build Back Better, tell me how they’re going to fight for our folks afterward and try to say that we’ll get it through another process that is dependent on Republicans? They can’t defraud our community again. I don’t want to be satisfied with such low expectations.”

But Giev Kashkooli, political and legislative director at United Farm Workers, called the current immigration package substantial. The chance for millions of immigrants to work legally, visit family members they’ve been separated from for decades, and for some to access a pathway to citizenship through immediate U.S. citizen family members — all represent a significant step forward, he said.

“It’s the least that the women and men who feed us deserve. But they are significant — people do not have them now,” he said.

Kashkooli said that immigration wins have always been challenging. He pointed to 2012 when President Obama announced the creation of DACA, and the following year the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with 15 Republican votes that ultimately failed in the Republican-controlled House.

“Winning a breakthrough, even when you fall short on what you’ve won before, doesn’t mean you can’t build on that breakthrough,” he said.

But Patrice Lawrence, co-director of UndocuBlack, argued that accepting the current plan and advocating for a more permanent solution later is unrealistic.

“What worries me the most is that we will be creating a permanent underclass of undocumented people and they will be locked into that underclass for a long time,” Lawrence said. “The window for Congress to act is very slim. The reconciliation package is it because next year is an election year and other things become more pressing.”

Times staff writer Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-12-01/dems-make-last-effort-to-keep-immigration-in-social-spending-bill-advocates-split-over-proposals

BorderReport

Migrants leave Ulapa, Chiapas state, late Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. The migrant caravan heading north in southern Mexico has so far been allowed to walk unimpeded, a change from the Mexican government’s reaction to other attempted mass migrations. (AP Photo/Isabel Mateos)

www.borderreport.com

by: Associated Press

Posted: Nov 9, 2021 / 10:50 AM CST / Updated: Nov 9, 2021 / 10:50 AM CST

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — The leader of an effort by Central American migrants to walk across southern Mexico said Monday the group will now head to the U.S. border, rather than Mexico City as originally planned.

Leader and immigration activist Irineo Mujica said in a video that he will try to organize another caravan of thousands of migrants to reach the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, where both groups will join up and set out for the border.

The apparent change in plans comes after Mujica said the group has been pursued and harassed by Mexican government officials. Relations deteriorated after a group of migrants pelted officers of Mexico’s National Guard with a hail of rocks Thursday, injuring five guard officers.

The change of plans may be an act of desperation: the group is dwindling after more than two weeks of walking through punishing heat, and now may number as little as 1,300 people. It had once been as large as 4,000.

The group of mainly Central American migrants got a cold welcome Monday when they entered the state of Oaxaca; the town of Chahuites initially refused to let them enter for fear of spreading COVID-19.

Adrián Aguirre, a migrant from Nicaragua, said when they arrived in Chahuites, “There were municipal police cars blocking the way, and then later we entered.” But many of the town’s stores closed when they saw the migrants coming, meaning they couldn’t buy food or drink. They settled in a park to spend the night.

The Mexican government has been attempting to discourage the march, saying the poor conditions are putting the migrants’ lives at risk. The National Immigration Institute said six cases of the tropical fever dengue had been detected among members of the migrant march, but had not previously mentioned cases of coronavirus.

The National Guard officers were tailing the march Thursday and had apparently tried to detain some of the mainly Central American migrants, when a group of 100 to 150 males started throwing rocks at two truckloads of guard officers equipped with plastic shields and helmets.

The Guard said in a statement that four male officers and one female officer suffered “considerable” injuries, and were hospitalized. It said that “at no time did the officers respond to the attack.”

National Guard officers have been wary of confronting migrants since a shooting incident the previous Sunday left one migrant dead.

Confrontations between law enforcement and migrants had been relatively rare in Mexico, but National Guard officers opened fire on a pickup truck carrying migrants Sunday when the vehicle tried to avoid an immigration checkpoint; the Guard said it had tried to ram a patrol vehicle.

A Cuban migrant was killed and four other migrants were wounded.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador later said the shooting was unjustified, and that the pickup — apparently driven by a suspected migrant trafficker — had simply tried to run past the checkpoint, not ram the Guard vehicle. The guard officers involved are now subject to a federal criminal investigation.

An estimated 4,000 migrants set out from the city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border, on foot on Oct. 23. They have made slow progress trudging along highways amid the brutal heat of the region, advancing only about 95 miles (150 kilometers) in almost two weeks.

Much larger caravans crossed Mexico in 2018 and 2019, but those migrants never tried to walk the whole distance. They usually caught rides aboard passing trucks.

But Mexico has told truckers not to pick up migrants, saying they could face charges of migrant trafficking.

A National Guard officer was killed by suspected immigrant traffickers in September. And a dozen members of an elite police force in the northern border state of Tamaulipas are on trial for allegedly killing 14 Guatemalan migrants and five other people, whose bodies were found shot and burned near the U.S. border in late January.

Frustration has been growing for months among the thousands of migrants waiting in Tapachula near the Guatemala border. Mexico’s strategy had been to contain migrants in the south, far from the U.S. border, while allowing them to apply for asylum in Mexico.

But Mexico’s asylum system has been overwhelmed and the slow process led many to decide it was not worth waiting.

https://www.borderreport.com/hot-topics/immigration/migrant-caravan-organizer-says-group-headed-to-u-s-border/

Afghan evacuees start to leave U.S. military sites as part of new resettlement phase

USA flies Afghans out of Germany

www.cbsnews.com

Camilo Camilo

October 21, 2021 / 7:00 AM / CBS News

The U.S. has begun discharging thousands of Afghan evacuees from military facilities and placing them in communities across the country as part of the new phase of a massive, nationwide resettlement effort, the latest government figures show.

In recent weeks, 6,000 Afghan evacuees have left temporary housing sites at U.S. military installations to start new lives in America with the help of nonprofit refugee resettlement agencies, according to Department of Homeland Security data. Another 3,000 U.S. citizens, green card holders and Afghans with close ties in America have left the facilities on their own.

Nearly 4,000 Afghan evacuees were resettled in U.S. communities during the past week alone.

More than 55,000 Afghans, half of them children, remain at eight U.S. military sites in Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin. Another 5,000 evacuees housed at overseas military bases are waiting to be placed on U.S.-bound flights, according to the DHS statistics.

The pace of relocations from the military sites has ramped up in recent days after the U.S. completed a campaign to vaccinate evacuees against COVID-19 and other diseases. The number of arrivals has also increased after the U.S. lifted a three-week pause on evacuation flights earlier this month.

More than 10,000 evacuees have arrived in the U.S. since the flights resumed, bringing the total number of people relocated since mid-August to more than 75,000, DHS figures show. Roughly 89% of the evacuees are Afghans, while the rest are U.S. citizens or green card holders.Afghan families walk through the waiting area for departure to the U.S. On the wall of the tent is written “Welcome to the USA.” Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Before the mass evacuations started in August, the U.S. government relocated thousands of Afghans who were determined to be eligible for Special Immigrant Visas because of their assistance to American military forces.

A senior Biden administration official, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said the government is working to process evacuees as quickly as possible, while making case-by-case decisions on which U.S. communities can receive them.

“It’s not easy to move large groups. Our overall goal is to get the balance right here,” the official told CBS News. “We certainly could just move people to a big housing facility somewhere. But we’re really keen to move people to their final resettlement destination and a place that meets the needs of their family.”

U.S. Army at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin shelters Afghan refugees

Resettlement officials said a major hurdle in getting Afghans out of the military bases more expeditiously is the limited housing in U.S. communities where many of evacuees have family ties, including northern California and the Dallas, Houston and Washington, D.C., suburbs. 

“The bottom line is that housing is and will remain a major stumbling block, especially in these preferred destinations,” Erol Kekic, a senior vice president at Church World Service, one of the nine national resettlement agencies, told CBS News.

The administration official acknowledged the housing shortage, saying the government is encouraging evacuees to move to states like Oklahoma, which has offered to subsidize their housing for more than a year. The state is set to host the third-largest number of Afghan arrivals during the first resettlement phase. Volunteer Sandra Hoeser plays frisbee with Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy U.S. Army base, in Wisconsin, U.S., September 30, 2021. Barbara Davidson/Pool via POOL / REUTERS

The administration has also allowed resettlement groups to place Afghans with family members living in the U.S. and outside the typical 100-mile radius limit from a local resettlement office, the official noted. It is also working to identify short-term housing options in popular destinations.

“It’s not ideal to not put people in their final homes right from the very beginning. But in some of these areas where it’s busier, I think it’s probably better to get them at least off the bases, into some kind of housing. Their kids can be registered in their ultimate school, etcetera,” the official said.

Before boarding flights to the U.S, Afghans have been subjected to biometric and biographic security screenings conducted by multiple law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including DHS and the FBI. 

Flights of Afghan evacuees were suspended in September after several cases of measles were identified among the new arrivals. Before lifting the suspension in early October, the U.S. vaccinated 49,000 Afghans at the military sites against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. 

Under the terms of their entry into the U.S., Afghan evacuees are also legally required to receive vaccines against polio and COVID-19. As of October 15, approximately 98% of the evacuees had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to DHS data.

As part of a pilot program, personnel at the military sites have been asking evacuated Afghans about their skills and education and whether they speak English. Officials are then including their information in a database that prospective employers can use to hire them, the senior Biden administration official said.  Afghan flights halted over measles 05:14

At the military facilities, adult evacuees have access to English classes and children are receiving ad hoc educational services, the administration official said. Evacuated Afghans are also getting help filing immigration paperwork, including applications for asylum and Special Immigrant Visas, the official added.

The Biden administration has determined that at least 50% of the at-risk Afghans relocated to the U.S. are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas because they aided American forces during the 20-year war in Afghanistan, according to the DHS. Special visa holders become permanent U.S. residents.

Those who do not qualify for the special visas — like journalists, activists and humanitarian aid workers — don’t have a pathway to secure permanent U.S. legal status. Unless Congress legalizes them, they will likely have to seek U.S. status though the backlogged asylum system.  

Many Afghans evacuated to the U.S. have family members in Afghanistan or in neighboring countries like Pakistan whom they believe could be harmed by the Taliban. Refugee advocates have urged the administration to set up a process for these individuals to request U.S. resettlement.

The senior Biden administration official said the government will try to make parole — a humanitarian process that authorizes the entry of immigrants without visas — available to certain Afghans overseas, particularly immediate family members of evacuees in the U.S.

“Family reunification for children with parents is always going to be an immediate priority,” the official said. “That is one thing we’re looking at parole for.”

According to internal notices sent this month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees have been asked to volunteer to help process “an increasing number of requests for parole for Afghan nationals outside the United States.”

Eleanor Watson contributed to this report.

Camilo Montoya-Galvez

Camilo Montoya-Galvez

Camilo Montoya-Galvez is the immigration reporter at CBS News. Based in Washington, he covers immigration policy and politics.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghan-evacuees-start-to-leave-u-s-military-sites-as-part-of-new-resettlement-phase/#app

Afghan refugee charged with rape in Montana, governor says, demanding resettlement halt

www.foxnews.com

Adam Shaw


An Afghan refugee has been charged with the rape of a woman in Missoula, Montana, the state’s governor said Thursday – and he called for the Biden administration to halt all refugee resettlements until assurances are made about the vetting process.

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office said in a statement that an Afghan male placed in Montana by the U.S. State Department was charged with sexual assault. 

The Missoula Police Department told Fox that Zabihullah Muhmand was arrested after they received a 911 call from the victim and a local motel about concerning behavior. Muhmand, 19, is now being held at the Missoula County Jail on charges of sexual intercourse without consent and the case is being investigated by detectives – but did not confirm his evacuee status. The local court told Fox News that there is a federal hold on Muhmand. 

OVERSIGHT REPUBLICANS URGE DHS OIG TO INVESTIGATE AFGHAN REFUGEE VETTING, RESETTLEMENT

The victim says she met Muhmand, who asked her to go back to her hotel room, but she said she did not want anything to happen, court documents reviewed by Fox News show. The victim was later seen in the lobby visibly upset and called 911, according to those documents. Authorities found the victim’s bra and socks in Muhmand’s room. The man said the incident was consensual.

Zabihullah Muhmand is charged with sexual intercourse without consent. (Missoula Police Dept.)

Zabihullah Muhmand is charged with sexual intercourse without consent. (Missoula Police Dept.)

The incident was first reported by local outlet KGVO

In a statement, Gianforte said that while he welcomes “full-vetted Afghan allies to Montana, this situation and others across the country raise serious concerns about whether the Biden administration is meeting its obligations to fully vet Afghans prior to resettlement.”

“I’m calling on President Biden to immediately halt resettlements to Montana until federal agencies provide me with adequate assurance that Afghans coming to Montana are fully-vetted in accordance with federal law,” he said.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said the suspect was admitted to the United States and placed in Montana under humanitarian parole, and backed stopping resettlements.

“The fallout and consequences from President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan continue,” he said in a statement. “While I support assisting our fully-vetted Afghan allies who served alongside our armed forces, President Biden has failed to provide answers as to who has come into the country or if they have been fully vetted according to what’s required by law. I’ve spoken to Gov. Gianforte about this situation, and I stand with him in calling on President Biden to stop all Afghan resettlements to Montana until we get answers.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., who has expressed concerns about the vetting of nationals for weeks, and has introduced legislation on the matter, said the national was paroled into the country without proper screening. The Department of Homeland Security, which is overseeing Operation Allies Welcome, did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment.

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“These unvetted Afghans do not share our culture and our values, and as this horrific incident shows they represent a serious risk to our communities,” said Rosendale. “We cannot allow this administration to continue to jeopardize the safety of our communities and the security of our nation in the name of empathy.”

He also urged a halt to the resettlement of nationals, and called on Biden to “begin to remove Afghan evacuees that have been resettled from the United States.”

The Biden administration has been bringing tens of thousands of Afghan nationals into the country in the wake of the U.S. drawdown. It has said the process is multilayered and officials say screening and security are conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism officials from multiple agencies.

ASSAULT ON FEMALE US SERVICE MEMBER BY MALE AFGHAN REFUGEES AT FORT BLISS UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION 

“We screen and vet individuals before they board planes to travel to the United States and that screening and vetting process is an ongoing one and multilayered,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last month.

But Republicans have raised concerns about the vetting process, and pointed to a number of cases in which Afghans have been accused of serious crimes – although administration officials have noted that they are still relatively few considering the numbers that have come in.

A female soldier at Fort Bliss in New Mexico reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by a group of male evacuees – an incident being investigated by the FBI. That was after Bahrullah Noori, a 20-year-old Afghan evacuee, was charged with attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor using force against that person, along with three other counts of engaging in a sex act with a minor, at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. 

Another evacuee at Fort McCoy, 32-year-old Mohammad Haroon Imaad, was charged with assaulting his wife by choking and suffocating her on Sept. 17.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/afghan-refugee-charged-rape-montana-governor-demands-resettlement-halt

This must really upset the Democrats now they won’t be able to force them to get a abortion to use in stem cell research