Who cannot cobble together a definition of “woman,” or “man” for that matter? Who, from young childhood up does not know the differences between male and female, and can’t express those differences in some reasonably coherent way? Who, even ignorant of science, can’t describe the observable physical, behavioral characteristics of women as compared to men?
Which political parties Americans identify with shifted wildly over the course of 2021, Gallup polling throughout the year found, as adults became more likely to identify with Republicans than Democrats as the year went on and President Joe Biden’s approval rating fell—a trend that could prove important as the 2022 midterm elections approach. the hair of President Donald Trump during a demonstration against Washington state’s stay-home order in Olympia on April 19, 2020.
In the first quarter of 2021, 49% of U.S. adults identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic versus 40% who sided with Republicans, according to Gallup, which polled 12,416 respondents over the course of the year.
By the fourth quarter of 2021, 47% of respondents identified as Republicans while only 42% said they were Democrats.
Democrats’ advantage over Republicans at the beginning of the year was the biggest they’ve held since the end of 2012, when former President Barack Obama won reelection, according to Gallup, while Republicans’ fourth-quarter lead was their largest lead since 1995.
The biggest shift was among Independents: the share of Democratic-leaning Independents went from 19% to 14% over the course of 2021, while those identifying as Republican-leaning Independents went up from 15% to 19%.
More Americans still identified as Democrats or said they lean Democratic than as Republicans on average in 2021—with 46% versus 43%—though that’s slightly closer than in 2020, when 48% were Democrats and 43% were Republicans.
Most Americans identified as Independents when that was included as an option, however: 42% considered themselves an Independent on average in 2021, versus 29% Democrat and 27% Republican.
While more Gallup respondents leaned Democratic than Republican on average in 2021, a larger share of respondents also categorized their views as “conservative” rather than “liberal.” A 37% plurality of Americans said they held “moderate” views in 2021, but 36% said they’re either conservative or “very conservative,” while 24% were liberal or “very liberal.” Those numbers are similar to 2020, when Democrats also had an advantage in party affiliation.
What To Watch For
How Americans’ party affiliations will change in 2022. Gallup notes that surveys conducted in December found Americans ended the year a bit more balanced, with 46% Republican or Republican-leaning versus 44% Democratic.
Americans have traditionally leaned more Democratic than Republican since Gallup started surveying party leaning in 1991, the pollster notes, with the exception of 1991, when Republicans held a significant advantage. The two parties also registered “roughly equal levels of support” in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010 and 2011, Gallup reports. Americans’ dramatic shift in their party affiliation over 2021 may have been linked to presidential approval rating, the pollster speculated. GOP President Donald Trump left office in January with a record low approval rating of 34%, according to Gallup, while incoming President Joe Biden had a 57% approval rating as of January 2021. Biden’s approval rating has plunged over the course of the year, however, as issues like the president’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan and the administration’s Covid-19 response resulted in an approximately 43% approval rating as 2021 came to an end, per Gallup. The increasing share of Republicans was also reflected in the 2021 elections, which saw Republicans winning major races like Virginia’s gubernatorial race and a closer-than-expected Democratic win for governor in New Jersey.
What We Don’t Know
How Americans’ partisan leanings will affect the 2022 midterms, which will determine which party controls Congress along with gubernatorial races across the country. Republicans so far hold a narrow advantage on the generic congressional ballot, which broadly asks people whether they’d support the GOP or Democratic candidate. As of January 16, 42.4% of respondents said they’d back Republicans versus 41.8% supporting Democrats, according to an aggregate of polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight.
New York City lawmakers approved a bill that will let more than 800,000 residents who aren’t U.S. citizens vote in municipal elections, becoming the largest city in the U.S. to grant access to the polls to noncitizens.
The Democratic-led City Council on Thursday voted 33-14 for the measure, which if enacted would take effect for council races in 2023. It has prompted legal questions as well as concerns from Republicans.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wouldn’t veto the legislation but didn’t commit to signing it before he leaves office at the end of this month. A bill becomes law if the mayor doesn’t sign or veto it within 30 days of passage.
New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Democrat from upper Manhattan who immigrated to the city from the Dominican Republic, said his personal history informed the legislation. He wondered why, as a teacher working with a green card, he would pay taxes but not be granted a say in municipal-spending decisions.
“I believe that my contributions were equal before and after I became a U.S. citizen,” he said.
The measure would let lawful permanent residents or those authorized to work in the U.S. to vote in city elections if they have lived in the five boroughs for 30 days or more and meet the other requirements for voting. It wouldn’t grant voting rights to immigrants who entered the country illegally.
About 10% of the city’s 8.4 million inhabitants have status as lawful permanent residents, mostly with green cards, according to an April report by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. There were an estimated 476,000 undocumented immigrants in the city in 2019, the report said. The top countries of origin for foreign-born New Yorkers are the Dominican Republic, China and Jamaica, the report said.
The New York Immigration Coalition has pushed for the enactment of such a law for more than 10 years and hoped its passage in New York would spark more action around the country, said Anu Joshi, the advocacy group’s vice president of policy.
A smattering of other municipalities currently allow noncitizens to vote in local elections, Ms. Joshi said. They include Takoma Park, a Maryland city that borders Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, which allows residents to cast ballots in school-board elections regardless of their citizenship status.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat whose advisers say is considering a run for governor, said he wouldn’t veto the legislation if it reached his desk but that he had concerns about its legality.
“In the end, I want to make sure that citizenship, which people work so hard to achieve, is valued and is given its full weight,” the mayor said in late November during an interview on NY1.
The New York state Constitution says that all citizens over age 18 shall be eligible to vote, but, Mr. Rodriguez said, it doesn’t say anything that would prohibit noncitizens from gaining access to the ballot box in local elections.
City Councilman Joseph Borelli, a Republican from Staten Island, said he would vote against the measure. He said that he believed the state constitution would need to be amended for the measure to be enacted and that it would be challenged in court. He said noncitizens in New York weren’t disenfranchised because they were eligible to vote in other countries, noting that candidates for office in places like the Dominican Republic come to New York to campaign for votes.
“I think there’s a number of people looking at lawsuits,” Mr. Borelli said.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps has threatened to sue those who use the “Let’s Go, Brandon” slogan on merchandise featuring the NASCAR’s trademarks and has condemned the use of the slogan, claiming that NASCAR does not want to be associated with politics.
Phelps … said NASCAR will pursue action against any illegal use of its trademarks on merchandise boasting the slogan. Retired baseball star Lenny Dykstra posted a photo on Twitter this week of a man eating breakfast at a New Jersey hotel wearing a black “Let’s go, Brandon” shirt alongside NASCAR’s trademarked color bars.
“We will pursue whoever (is using logos) and get that stuff,” Phelps said. “That’s not OK. It’s not OK that you’re using our trademarks illegally, regardless of whether we agree with what the position is.”
The slogan started last month at a NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama when NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing driver Brandon Brown after he won the race.
As Stavast interviewed Brown, “F*** Joe Biden” chants broke out in the stands, but Stavast claimed that they were chanting “Let’s go, Brandon.”
The “Let’s Go, Brandon” slogan has since become code for “F*** Joe Biden” and is commonly used at sporting events and various other locations.
“I feel for Brandon,” Phelps said. “I think unfortunately it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the Left or the Right. We obviously have and we’ve always had, as a sport, tremendous respect for the office of the president — no matter who is sitting.”
“Do we like the fact that it kind of started with NASCAR and then is gaining ground elsewhere? No, we’re not happy about that,” Phelps added. “But we will continue to make sure that we have respect for the office of the president.”
The move by Phelps to condemn the chant and to claim that NASCAR wants to stay out of politics comes after NASCAR embraced leftist social justice causes last year and this year.
As a new season begins Sunday with the Daytona 500, a new era of social consciousness has enveloped the sport and NASCAR is committed for the long haul. … In fact, NASCAR President Steve Phelps cited a brand tracking study by Directions Research that found that 1,750 self-identified “avid NASCAR fans” overwhelmingly supported the sanctioning body’s stance on social justice in 2020.
“It was a moment in time back in June that seemed, for us, it was the right time to act. I think it was the right time for our country. I think it was the right time for our sport. The response to that was fantastic,” Phelps said. “What we do in the areas of social justice and diversity equity inclusion is going to be authentic to who we are. May not be the right thing for the NBA, but it’s going to be the right thing for us.”
“There was a question at the time: Social justice, is that something a sport should do, NASCAR should do?” Phelps added. “Do we have permission to do it? The answer is yes.”
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Green cards are typically awarded to immigrants who have family ties to the U.S. or are being sponsored by an employer. In many categories, such as for employment-based applicants, the overall number of green cards handed out per year is capped, and unused slots expire at the end of each year.
The U.S. also limits the number of green cards it hands out to nationals of each country, meaning applicants from countries with high levels of immigration to the U.S. may wait years to become a permanent resident. For Indians being sponsored by their employers, and family members of U.S. citizens from countries including Mexico, China and the Philippines, the wait can last decades.
In all, about four million people sponsored by a family member are in line for a green card that will allow them to come to the U.S., according to government figures. About 1.2 million more people who are sponsored by an employer—and typically already here on temporary visas—are also waiting for a green card.
The proposed measure would recover about 400,000 green cards, slightly over half for families and the rest for employers, according to a Congressional aide familiar with the estimate. Additional measures would allow immigrants to jump ahead in line for an extra fee.
Though Democrats agree the backlogs of green-card applicants are a major problem—in some cases driving people to immigrate illegally—solving the issue is now caught up in the broader party push to pass new protections for millions of immigrants in the country illegally, while Democrats control both chambers of Congress.
The measure still faces multiple hurdles.
It must meet the strict criteria that govern the Senate budget process, and so allow Democrats to pass their package under the chamber’s so-called reconciliation procedure. That allows passage with just 51 votes rather than the usual 60, meaning they won’t need any Republican support. To qualify, a measure must have a significant impact on the federal budget.
Two previous immigration proposals weren’t allowed by Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, but Congressional aides say they believe the green-card provision is likely to survive. Ms. MacDonough said such measures are “distinguishable” from the path to citizenship she ruled out in an opinion earlier this month. In 2005, the Senate used the reconciliation procedure to pass a bill to recycle unused visas, though the measure never passed the House.
Democrats were hoping to include the immigration measure in the broader bill to create a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, including Dreamers, who were brought to the country as children. If the parliamentarian allows the green-card provision but rejects the path to citizenship, Democrats will have to decide whether to move forward.
Some, including Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), have suggested they would be loath to endorse proposals they believe would help business interests—such as making more employment-based green cards available—if they are unable to help immigrants without a permanent legal status. Immigrant communities form a core constituency for Democrats.
Supporters of addressing the green-card backlog are dissuaded by that argument.
“I’m always concerned about the immigration culture war swallowing up this issue,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D., Ill.), an advocate in Congress for Indians caught in the backlog of employment-based green cards. “To me, it’s just as important as the Dreamers and the essential workers and others are, because these are folks who add to the vibrancy and economic prosperity of America.”
On Tuesday, 95 organizations led by the American Immigration Lawyers Association wrote a letter to House and Senate Democrats urging them to move ahead with the green card measure no matter the outcome of the parliamentarian’s ruling on legal protections for other immigrants.
“The visa-related provisions…would be a significant victory for immigrant communities across the country and will help to ensure a more fair and efficient immigration system,” the groups wrote.
Biden Faces Strategic Challenges in Immigration-Reform Effort
Politicians from both parties have attempted to address the green-card backlog for years, though they generally disagree on how. Republicans have advocated a strategy of simply lifting the per-country cap on employment-based green cards. Currently, 140,000 such green cards are handed out each year, and under that scenario, they would go to applicants first in line, many of them Indian.
The need for the measure became more acute with the coronavirus pandemic, which shut immigration offices around the country and U.S. consulates around the world, halting visa and green-card processing. About 240,000 family-based green cards went unused in the past two years, and about 62,000 employment-based green cards went to waste in the past year when a U.S. immigration agency failed to process them in time.
One family that could benefit are Sunny Jha and his wife, Niharika Juwarkar, both doctors in northern Ohio who have a 6-year-old son who was born in the U.S. Dr. Jha moved to the U.S. from India in 2008 for his psychiatry residency before relocating to a small community hospital in Sandusky. He and his wife both applied for green cards in 2014.
While they wait, they remain in the U.S. on H-1B visas, which restrict their ability to change jobs and prevent them from leaving the country, for fear they could lose their place in line.
That hit hard in 2015, when Dr. Jha missed the funeral of his grandfather, with whom he had felt particularly close.
“Had I known that I would have been in such a backlog, I would have never come here,” he said.
Biden is in Europe for the G20 meeting and climate summit. Psaki did not go on the trip.
On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership at the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel on the foreign trip with the President due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19. Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, today, I tested positive for COVID. While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday — and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency. I last saw the President on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six-feet apart, and wore masks outdoors and at a distance.
Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms which has enabled me to continue working from home. I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the ten day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution.
Psaki posted the statement to Twitter, adding, “Sharing full statement and grateful I am vaccinated and for the amazing Biden team.”
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The decision was hailed by open-borders enthusiasts like Julian Castro. Obama’s former secretary of Housing and Urban Development asserted that the law “has an incredibly racist history,” and tweeted, “I doubt the Biden DOJ [Department of Justice] will want to defend it in the appellate court.”
But failing to challenge Judge Du’s ruling will only raise questions about the seriousness and efficacy of Biden’s airlifts out of Texas. If the White House were truly committed to removing illegal aliens, and keeping them out, wouldn’t it want the penalties for returning to remain in force?
The question is somewhat rhetorical, given Team Biden’s dismal enforcement record. Earlier this month, DOJ lawyers persuaded an appellate panel to uphold narrow and selective criteria that have curbed deportations. February-July removals fell 33 percent from the same period last year, while the Border Patrol let 50,000 illegal aliens into the country without even handing them notices to appear in immigration court. It all makes this summer’s handful of “fast-track” deportation flights to Central America pale into insignificance.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sounded unequivocal this week when he declared: “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned.” But that was countered by other U.S. officials who reported that Haitians are being released on a “very, very large scale.” The figure is said to reach into the thousands.
This administration’s tough talk rings hollow because it has created any number of loopholes and exclusions to limit or altogether halt deportations. As Mark Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies noted, deportations are possible unless …
You bring a kid with you,
You say you’re under 18,
Your smuggler provides you with a minimally believable story to pass a credible fear interview,
You get into the interior U.S. where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rarely deports,
You claim ‘sanctuary’ in a church,
You get front-page media coverage.
Is it any wonder that migrants keep coming in droves?
Kamala Harris Wants Biden Administration Investigated for Failed Border Policies She is in Charge of – The Last Refuge
It might sound like a weird headline, but the currently installed occupant of the White House specifically put Kamala Harris in charge of the southern border issues.
After several months of doing nothing, likely coordinating with the Obama crew that operates almost exclusively in her background, Kamala Harris pokes her head out of her bunker today and demands an investigation into issues at the border she personally is supposed to be in charge of. Not surprisingly, the ideological media who travel with her don’t even recognize the stupidity of what the appointed border czar Harris just said.
Yeah, you can’t make this stuff up. WATCH:
Wait until someone reminds her she’s in charge of it….
Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott sent a letter to Senate leadership warning that the agency is losing its ability to police the southern border amid an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration.
Scott, who served in Border Patrol for nearly 30 years before stepping down in June, also warned the situation is a national security threat, according to his Sept. 11 letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as well as Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
“As Chief, I was the most senior official responsible for border security between ports of entry,” Scott wrote in part. “I witnessed the [unprecedented] seismic shift in border security and immigration policy that was initiated on January 20, 2021.”
“I believe this policy shift and the associated public statements created the current border crisis. Of greater concern, I also witnessed a lack of any meaningful effort to secure our borders. Contrary to the current rhetoric, this is not simply another immigration surge. This is a national security threat,” he continued.
Contrary to the current rhetoric, this is not simply another immigration surge. This is a national security threat.— Retired Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott
Scott went on to say he has been “sickened by the avoidable and rapid disintegration of what was arguably the most effective border security in our Nation’s history.” He blamed the deteriorating conditions on inexperienced political appointees in the Biden administration, who he claimed are ignoring the advice of seasoned professionals and giving false information to Congress and the public.
SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 25: Rodney Scott, chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, stands for a portrait near the border wall on April 25, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
“In my professional assessment, the U.S. Border Control is rapidly losing the situational awareness required to know who or what is entering our Homeland,” Scott warned. “The ability of USBP to detect and interdict those that want to evade apprehension is being degraded daily.”
Warning that the porous border is unsustainable and that transnational criminal organizations are taking advantage of it, Scott urged congressional leadership to convene a hearing to assess the extent of the threat.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency which oversees U.S. Border Patrol, declined to comment.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., whose office provided Fox News with a copy of the letter, said: “CBP Chief Scott is a career, non-partisan civil servant who worked tirelessly to secure our borders and keep America safe. That he felt compelled to write this letter, which warns of the significant national security risks this administration is creating, should concern every American. I hope the Biden administration and Congress will heed his fervent warning.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday that the administration was moving to address the most recent challenge, thousands of Haitian immigrants huddled in the outdoors after trekking across the border.
“We certainly are experiencing a challenging situation, but we are surging resources and we have a multipronged approach to this,” Mayorkas told CNN on Sunday. He said that so far the administration had added 600 agents as part of a surge in the region and was working with American Red Cross and World Central Kitchen to bring supplies and food to people.
Democratic President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to double the number of refugees admitted into the United States despite the full-blown national security and humanitarian crisis that has erupted on the southern border under his administration.
The State Department said in a press release that the administration “recommends an increase in the refugee admissions target from 62,500 in Fiscal Year 2021 to 125,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 to address needs generated by humanitarian crises around the globe.”
“A robust refugee admissions program is critical to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security objectives, and is a reflection of core American values,” the administration claimed. “The United States has long been a global leader in refugee resettlement. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) reflects our tradition as a nation that has long welcomed immigrants and refugees. It is an important, enduring, and ongoing expression of our commitment to international humanitarian principles and reflects the best of America’s values and compassion.”
This is the same administration that told Cubans who were hoping to make a sea voyage to the U.S. in an attempt to flee the oppressive communist regime, “if you take to the Sea, you will not come to the United States.”
The announcement from the administration comes as they have faced a historic crisis on the U.S. southern border with hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens pouring into border states every month.
The administration faced an additional crisis on the border as thousands of Haitians illegally entered the U.S. in the small Texas border town of Del Rio in a matter of several days. The situation in Del Rio is so dire that Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX) said that there have been footage shortages at local grocery stores.
The new crisis in Del Rio comes amid back-to-back months of Border Patrol recording well over 200,000 apprehensions of illegal aliens on the U.S. southern border. CNN reported earlier this year that the U.S. was on track to make contact with a record 2 million illegal aliens on the southern border, a number greater than the populations of Alaska, Wyoming, and Vermont — combined.
“Speaking to Border Patrol agents, the worst is yet to come; they’re worried about what is behind here; they’re worried about coordination with Mexico,” Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) told Fox News on Saturday. “It’s worse than you could imagine.”
Pfluger also expressed concern about the security situation on the border, telling the network that a majority of the roughly 15,000 illegal aliens were military age males.
“If they decided to riot or if unrest happened, it would be a terrible situation,” he said. “It is ripe. It is 100 degrees outside right now and you literally have 14,878 people here — this is how serious the situation is.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.
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