Gabriel Calzada, the executive president of Guatemala’s Universidad Francisco Marroquín talks with Reason’s Nick Gillespie about trade restrictions and the role of higher education.
President Trump’s move to raise “barriers to people, to goods, to services,” says Gabriel Calzada Alvarez, executive president of Guatemala’s Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM), “is a danger not just for Central America [but] for the U.S. and for the world.”
The great irony, Calzada says, is that the U.S. has benefited immensely from free trade and immigration and “now wants to raise barriers.”
Calzada sat down with Reason’s Nick Gillespie at Freedom Fest 2017 to talk about the impact of trade restrictions on Latin America, the changing role of higher education, and how students are bringing capitalism to the region.
UFM, a private, secular university in Guatemala City, teaches free market economics and emphasizes the importance of intellectual debate on campus. Read the rest of this entry »
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989, died late Monday at age 83.
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela wrote in his Twitter account that “the death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history.”
Varela added, “His daughters and his relatives deserve to mourn in peace.”
Noriega served a 17-year drug sentence in the United States and was later sent to face charges in France. He spent all but the last few months of his final years in a Panamanian prison for the murders of political opponents during his 1983-89 regime.
He accused Washington of a “conspiracy” to keep him behind bars and tied his legal troubles to his refusal to cooperate with a U.S. plan aimed at toppling Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government in the 1980s.
In recent years Noriega suffered various ailments including high blood pressure and bronchitis.
In 2016, doctors detected the rapid growth of a benign brain tumor that had first been spotted four years earlier, and in the following January a court granted him house arrest to prepare for surgery on the tumor.
He is survived by his wife Felicidad and daughters Lorena, Thays and Sandra.
Following Noriega’s ouster Panama underwent huge changes, taking over the Panama Canal from U.S. control in 1999, vastly expanding the waterway and enjoying a boom in tourism and real estate. Read the rest of this entry »
Progressives and their media allies have launched a campaign to deny the ‘Ferguson effect’—but it’s real, and it’s increasingly deadly for inner cities.
Heather Mac Donald writes: Murders and shootings have spiked in many American cities—and so have efforts to ignore or deny the crime increase. The see-no-evil campaign eagerly embraced a report last month by the Brennan Center for Justice called “Crime in 2015: A Preliminary Analysis.” Many progressives and their media allies hailed the report as a refutation of what I and others have dubbed the “Ferguson effect”— cops backing off from proactive policing, demoralized by the ugly vitriol directed at them since a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., last year. Americans are being asked to disbelieve both the Ferguson effect and its result: violent crime flourishing in the ensuing vacuum.
“Baltimore’s per capita homicide rate, for example, is now the highest in its history, according to the Baltimore Sun: 54 homicides per 100,000 residents, beating its 1993 rate of 48.8 per 100,000 residents. Shootings in Cincinnati, lethal and not, were up 30% by mid-September 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.”
In fact, the Brennan Center’s report confirms the Ferguson effect, while also showing how clueless the media are about crime and policing.
“Homicides in St. Louis were up 60% by the end of August. In Los Angeles, the police department reports that violent crime has increased 20% as of Dec. 5; there were 16% more shooting victims in the city, while arrests were down 9.5%. Shooting incidents in Chicago are up 17% through Dec. 13.”
The Brennan researchers gathered homicide data from 25 of the nation’s 30 largest cities for the period Jan. 1, 2015, to Oct. 1, 2015. (Not included were San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, El Paso and Nashville.) The researchers then tried to estimate what 2015’s full-year homicide numbers for those 25 cities would be, based on the extent to which homicides were up from January to October this year compared with the similar period in 2014.
“To the Brennan Center and its cheerleaders, the nation’s law-enforcement officials are in the grip of a delusion that prevents them from seeing the halcyon crime picture before their eyes. For the past several months, police chiefs have been sounding the alarm about rising violent crime.”
The resulting projected increase for homicides in 2015 in those 25 cities is 11%. (By point of comparison, the FiveThirtyEight data blog looked at the 60 largest cities and found a 16% increase in homicides by September 2015.) An 11% one-year increase in any crime category is massive; an equivalent decrease in homicides would be greeted with high-fives by politicians and police chiefs. Yet the media have tried to repackage that 11% homicide increase as trivial.
Several strategies are employed to play down the jump in homicides. The simplest is to hide the actual figure. An Atlantic magazine article in November, “Debunking the Ferguson Effect,” reports: “Based on their data, the Brennan Center projects that homicides will rise slightly overall from 2014 to 2015.” A reader could be forgiven for thinking that “slightly” means an increase of, say, 2%.
Nothing in the Atlantic write-up disabuses the reader of that mistaken impression. The website Vox, declaring the crime increase “bunk,” is similarly discreet about the actual homicide rate, leaving it to the reader’s imagination. Crime & Justice News, published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, coyly admits that “murder is up moderately in some places” without disclosing what that “moderate” increase may be. Read the rest of this entry »
Mark Potter and Elizabeth Chuck report: A dramatic spike in unaccompanied children and families trying to slip in across the U.S.-Mexico border may be “the new normal,” officials say, with some believing the surge is linked to a federal ruling that ended long-term detentions.
“The word is, come on ahead and the border is open, the Obama administration is going to take good care of you.”
The number of apprehensions of unaccompanied minors and family units — legal guardians with children under 18 — rushing the nation’s southwestern border peaked last year, then fell off as Obama tapped the Federal Emergency Management Agency to figure out what to do about the young refugees.
“Many Border Patrol agents and officials believe there may be a link between the current surge and a federal court ruling over the summer, when U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered federal officials to change how long they detain the thousands of mothers and children who are caught crossing illegally into the U.S. while fleeing violence in their home countries.”
But in recent months, apprehensions have proliferated again: More than 10,000 undocumented children have been stopped in just the last two months, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The 10,588 apprehensions are a 106 percent increase over the same Oct. 1 through Nov. 30 period from last year, when 5,129 kids were picked up.
A large group of Immigrants, guided by two “coyotes” or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05
“We could very well be seeing the new normal.”
— Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Apprehensions of family units have jumped too, with 12,505 detentions in those two months, representing a 173 percent increase from last year’s 4,577 seizures in the same time frame.
“We could very well be seeing the new normal,” Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told NBC News.
Sources told NBC News that many Border Patrol agents and officials believe there may be a link between the current surge and a federal court ruling over the summer, when U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered federal officials to change how long they detain the thousands of mothers and children who are caught crossing illegally into the U.S. while fleeing violence in their home countries.
In a scathing ruling in which Gee said it was “deplorable” that families and young migrants are languishing in detention centers, she argued long-term detention is also in violation of an 18-year-old court settlement that restricted how long the government could house migrants while they pursue asylum. She gave federal officials until Oct. 23 to change the policy.
Under the new rules, an unaccompanied minor must be released from a federal detention center to a relative elsewhere in the U.S. after no more than five days, and their parent should be, too, so long as officials have determined they are not a flight risk. In rare exceptions, migrant children and families can be held up to 20 days, Gee ruled. Read the rest of this entry »
Stephen Dinan reports: The Southwest border has broken open in recent weeks, with non-Mexicans — and illegal immigrant children in particular — crossing at a record rate in October, according to Border Patrol statistics that suggest the administration’s victory lap earlier this year was premature.
“The greatest existential threat to this nation right now is this administration’s open-border policy. This is no longer about immigration, it’s about the president and DHS keeping open the corridors on the southern border that are accessible to anyone in the world.”
Nearly 5,000 unaccompanied children were caught in October, and nearly 3,000 more had been caught in the first half of November — a record pace for those months — and it signals just how closely smuggling cartels and would-be illegal immigrants themselves are paying attention to lax enforcement in the U.S.
“We can defend our country against another country’s navy, a missile threat and even repel a conventional military invasion. But the president’s policy of allowing anyone into the nation as students or refugees presents a serious threat.”
— Rep. Duncan Hunter
Worse yet, the increases are borderwide, with every one of the nine Southwest border sectors showing spikes in what the Border Patrol dubs OTMs, or “other than Mexicans.”
Those who track the issue said the surges show a breakdown in enforcement, and called it worrying at a time of heightened international danger.
“The greatest existential threat to this nation right now is this administration’s open-border policy. This is no longer about immigration, it’s about the president and DHS keeping open the corridors on the southern border that are accessible to anyone in the world,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who has raised concerns over national security risks at the border.
“We can defend our country against another country’s navy, a missile threat and even repel a conventional military invasion. But the president’s policy of allowing anyone into the nation as students or refugees presents a serious threat,” he said.
Some 25,000 illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have been caught in the first seven weeks of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1 — an increase of 58 percent. The number of Chinese, Brazilians, Indians and, strikingly, Cubans, has each surged by more than 100 percent, and the number from Pakistan, while small overall, has spiked from 6 at this point last year to 31 now — an increase of more than 400 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome back! The last time you were stateside—at the Sunnylands estate in California a couple of years ago—you seemed to be at the top of your game. China’s GDP was about to overtake America’s. You were cracking down on corruption, liberalizing markets, setting the pace for what you called “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Upper East Siders competed to place their toddlers in Mandarin immersion programs. Newspaper columnists fantasized about the U.S. becoming “China for one day.”
Now your stock market has fizzled, your economy is sinking under the weight of unsustainable debts and zombie companies, your neighbors despise you, and every affluent Chinese is getting a second passport and snapping up a foreign home. Even in Beijing, word is out that behind that enigmatic smile you’re a man overmatched by your job. And out of your depth.
Maybe you’re even thinking: Wouldn’t it be nice to be America for one day?
Yes, America, perhaps the only country on earth that can be serially led by second- or third-rate presidents—and somehow always manage to come up trumps (so to speak). America, where half of the college-age population can’t find New York state on a map—even as those same young Americans lead the world in innovation. America, where Cornel West is celebrated as an intellectual, Miley Cyrus as an artist, Jonathan Franzen as a novelist and Kim Kardashian as a beauty—and yet remains the cultural dynamo of the world.
America, in short, which defies every ethic of excellence—all the discipline and cunning and delicacy and Confucian wisdom that are the ways by which status and power are gained in China—yet manages to produce excellence the way a salmon spawns eggs. Naturally. By way of a deeper form of knowing. Read the rest of this entry »
Politicians who ignore this sea change in attitudes on immigration do so at their own peril.
Immigration: When Donald Trump proposed mandatory deportation of illegal aliens, pundits and politicians on both sides of the political aisle were appalled. But on this issue it looks like Trump has the public on his side.
“What’s surprising is that 59% of the overall public does as well. Mandatory deportation gets majority support in all age groups except 18-24, every income group, among both women and men, at every level of educational achievement, and in rural, urban and suburban regions.”
But the prize for overheated rhetoric goes to Hillary Clinton, who said Trump wants to “literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border.”
“More interesting still is the fact that 64% of independents and 55% of moderates support deportation. Even among Hispanics, the poll found 40% backed mandatory deportation.”
So what do these folks say about the fact that the majority of Americans back Trump on this?
The latest IBD/TIPP Poll asked 913 adults coast to coast if they “support or oppose mandatory deportation of illegal immigrants in the U.S.” Not surprisingly, 87% of Trump supporters back the proposal. Read the rest of this entry »
Predictable Catastrophe: Money Squandered as Confusing and Lenient Policies Encourage Border Crossings
Stephen Dinan reports: The U.S. government paid for a classroom full of computers in El Salvador, but the Salvadoran government never bothered to hire a teacher, investigators said Wednesday — one of a series of bungles in the Obama administration’s plan to flood Central America with U.S. money to try to stem another surge of illegal immigration.
“Carrying out ineffective campaigns could lead to higher levels of migration to the United States, which is not only potentially costly in terms of U.S. taxpayer resources but costly and dangerous to the migrants and their families.”
In an expansive report on last summer’s surge, the Government Accountability Office said confusing and lenient U.S. policies pushed illegal immigrants to make the crossing, and even cited administration officials who said President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty for so-called Dreamers did entice some of the surge.
President Barack Obama attempts to respond to Ju Hong (lower left), who began to heckle him about anti-deportation policies at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
“Initially officials blamed dangerous and economically depressed conditions in three key Central American nations for pushing illegal immigrants north, but eventually Homeland Security officials admitted that confusing and lenient policies — at least as far as illegal immigrants were concerned — were serving as a magnet to draw illegal immigrants.”
Trying to get a handle on the flood, Mr. Obama has requested hundreds of millions of dollars to try to bolster society in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the three countries chiefly responsible for the surge, but GAO investigators said corruption or incompetence among the Central American governments may hinder those efforts.
In the U.S., meanwhile, Homeland Security officials poured money into public relations campaigns to try to warn would-be crossers against attempting it, but the government has no idea if those efforts worked, the GAO said.
“The surge, which totaled nearly 70,000 children traveling without a parent in fiscal year 2014, plus more than 60,000 children and parents traveling together, overwhelmed the Obama administration, which was left struggling for answers.”
“Carrying out ineffective campaigns could lead to higher levels of migration to the United States, which is not only potentially costly in terms of U.S. taxpayer resources but costly and dangerous to the migrants and their families,” the GAO said in its report.
Both the State Department and Homeland Security admitted they need to do a better job collecting information and evaluating what they’re doing.
The report comes a year after the surge of illegal immigrant children and families reshaped the immigration debate, drawing attention to a still-porous border and helping sidetrack President Obama’s hopes of getting Congress to approve a bill legalizing illegal immigrants already in the country.
The surge, which totaled nearly 70,000 children traveling without a parent in fiscal year 2014, plus more than 60,000 children and parents traveling together, overwhelmed the Obama administration, which was left struggling for answers. Read the rest of this entry »
The Roots of the Republican Party’s Conservative-Establishment Divide, Revealed
Jay Cost writes: I had a bad dream the other night that I still cannot get out of my head. It’s January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day. The Republican candidate for president has triumphed over Hillary Clinton, ushering in the largest Republican majority since 1929. The inaugural balls are finished, the parties over.
The new president retires to the Oval Office, and sits down with the top leaders of Congress to ask: “Okay. We have the largest majority we’re ever going to see again. What do we do with it?”
“Let’s accelerate depreciation!” somebody says
“Let’s repeal the inheritance tax!” another chimes in.
The new president, nodding solemnly, responds, “Okay, okay. These are good. But what we really need to do is quadruple our guest-worker visas.”
“The last time the GOP had complete control over the government, 2003-07, it massively expanded Medicare and enacted more pork-barrel spending than any prior Congress in history.”
Nightmarish? Yes. Fanciful? Maybe a little (bad dreams are like that), but it still derives from a stark truth: the Republican Party, while far preferable to the unchecked liberalism of the Democrats, is not all that conservative.
Sure, it has conservative members, important ones who cannot be ignored. And it talks a good game about small government; just about every Republican candidate for every office is duty-bound to aver his fidelity to Ronald Reagan’s brand of conservatism.
However, if we understand conservatism as advocating smaller government that treats people impartially, many in the party struggle mightily not to act on those principles. Instead, the recent history of “conservative” governance has been one of ever-larger government, and an expansion of the cronyism and corruption built into the system. The last time the GOP had complete control over the government, 2003-07, it massively expanded Medicare and enacted more pork-barrel spending than any prior Congress in history.
“Conservatism really began to develop as a political force in the wake of the New Deal, which effectively inverted the constitutional schema. Previously, the federal government was only allowed to do what the Constitution expressly authorized…”
Political parties are not coterminous with ideologies. They are big, broad, unwieldy coalitions that contain lots of factions and varying traditions. Oftentimes, these forces are in direct conflict with one another.
“…From the New Deal onwards, the government could more or less do anything that the Constitution did not expressly forbid. This inversion gave birth to the conservative movement.”
Conservatives are part of the Republican Party, but so are other forces that—while they might call themselves “conservative”—are actually something quite different.
From Slavery Defeaters to Business Defenders
Conservatism as we know it today did not really exist before the twentieth century. Prior to that, it was just the way things were done. The powers of the federal government were limited, states and localities were dominant, and people did not look to Washington DC to solve every last problem. Granted, the scope of federal power increased during the nineteenth century—for example, during the Civil War—but conservatives today are wont to celebrate those expansions.
Conservatism as we know it today did not really exist before the twentieth century. Prior to that, it was just the way things were done. Read the rest of this entry »
The AP reported in June that the administration would not say publicly how many immigrant families from Central America caught crossing into the U.S. it had released in recent months or how many of those subsequently reported back to the government after 15 days as directed.
“We only know this information because of a leaked audio recording (kudos to the whistleblower, whoever it is) from a meeting with anti-enforcement activists undoubtedly whining about how cruel ICE is.”
— Mark Krikorian
The AP noted that senior U.S. officials directly familiar with the issue, including at the Homeland Security Department and White House, had dodged the answer on at least seven occasions over two weeks, alternately saying that they did not know the figure or didn’t have it immediately at hand. The Homeland Security Department’s public affairs office during the same period did not answer roughly a dozen requests for the figures.
WASHINGTON (AP) —Alicia Caldwell reports: Tens of thousands of young families caught crossing the border illegally earlier this year subsequently failed to meet with federal immigration agents, as they were instructed, the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged privately.
An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.
This should come as no surprise to anyone with a pulse. Yet it appears that Obama-administration officials think the released illegals are like the cowboys in Blazing Saddles, lining up to put a dime in the lone toll booth in the middle of the desert instead of just going around it. (If the Central American illegal aliens were so punctilious about obeying rules, they wouldn’t have snuck into someone else’s country in the first place.)
It’s true that ICE needs more family detention capacity, which is the reason for the planned new detention center south of San Antonio. But DHS has plans for a migration emergency such as we saw this summer, and it never activated it. They won’t say what’s in the plan, but from how Haitian and Cuban outflows were handled at Gitmo, I’d assume tent cities to enable detention of 100 percent of illegals are part of it. Once the politically appointed suits decided not to activate the emergency plan, it was inevitable that most of the illegals would simply be let go, never to be seen again.
The ICE official made the disclosure in a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocates participating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of Wednesday’s meeting and separately interviewed participants. Read the rest of this entry »
“Barack Obama’s disdain for the slow, grinding mechanisms of government has become unmistakable of late….The White House is reportedly weighing two options for executive action similar in kind to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was implemented — also by executive fiat, via memorandum — in 2012. One option would grant temporary legal status to illegal-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens, authorizing them to remain in the country and to work here. The second option would do the same for illegal-immigrant parents of DACA recipients. These actions could affect anywhere from 3 to 6 million people.
Although the specifics are unknown, any unilateral action of this magnitude and type would be unprecedented…”
Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina, left, and Honduran President Juan Hernandez, right, listen as President Obama speaks to the media, after they met on July 25 at the White House to discuss Central American immigration and the border crisis. (AP)
For The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza writes: You can understand President Obama’s current political problems — and how those problems could make things very tough for his party in this fall’s midterm election — in a single word. And that word is “competence.”
“Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question…”
Obama was elected in 2008 on a stated promise that he would restore competence to government. He pitched himself as the antidote to “Heck of a job, Brownie” and the Bush years, the person who would always put the most qualified candidate in every job in his Administration. That the basic functioning of government would never be in question.
“…and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall.”
Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall. A series of events — from the VA scandal to the ongoing border crisis to the situation in Ukraine to the NSA spying program — have badly undermined the idea that Obama can effectively manage the government. Read the rest of this entry »
For WND.com, Jerome R. Corsi writes: “I don’t usually get into the political part of it,” explained Chris Cabrera, now a vice president in the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307, “but I find it odd that their whole thing is, ‘We are going to get amnesty when we get here. Where is my permiso? Where is my permission to go north so I can get my medical care and my schooling and all that? President Obama is going to take care of us and make sure we’re all OK.’
“Whether it’s the adults or the young kids, one thing we consistently hear is, ‘Obama will take care of us,’” he explained.
He also suggested the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the United States appear to have been coached on what to say when they cross the border. Read the rest of this entry »
CNNPolitical Editor Paul Steinhauser reports: The current crisis on the nation’s southern border appears to be fueling a notable shift in American attitudes toward immigration policy with border security growing in importance, according to a new national survey.
According to the poll, 51% now say the government’s focus, when it comes to immigration policy, should be formulating a plan to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants
A CNN/ORC International poll released on Thursday also indicates that a majority of those surveyed support making it easier for the United States to return migrant youth from Central America who have surged across the U.S. border with Mexico this year.
Sixty-one percent of Democrats, but less than a quarter of Republicans, say that legal status is more important than border security. Independents are divided.
But according to the survey, a bare majority views the children as refugees rather than illegal immigrants, and most say they’d be willing to have the federal government temporarily relocate some of the children to their communities or their city.
A bare majority views the children as refugees rather than illegal immigrants,
The influx of children trying to cross the southern border, many of them unaccompanied, has been a major media story over the past month. The White House and many Democrats have clashed with Republicans in Congress and governors over who is to blame and what should be done about it. Read the rest of this entry »
The Left Hand Pretends it Doesn’t Know What the Other Left Hand is Doing
Washington Post: Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.
“Make no mistake, the president instigated the influx of illegal aliens”
Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches. As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013.
“The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials.”
The researchers’ observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally. More than 57,000 have entered the United States this year, swamping federal resources and catching the government unprepared.
The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer’s escalating crisis. Read the rest of this entry »
The panel, including Baier and Fox News contributor Mara Liasson, was discussing the influx of illegal immigrants — mostly women and children — flooding over the southern border.
Liasson explained that President Obama has always said he “wanted the flexibility to treat kids from Central America the same as Mexico” but never explicitly asked Congress to change the Bush-era 2008 sex trafficking law.
“He wanted Congress to go first,” she said. “People in the base of the Democratic party don’t want this law changed, don’t want these kids sent home faster.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Ignoring the core problem will only cause more hardship”
For the Washington Times, Jennifer Harper reports: Critics say Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to politicize the border crisis only to bolster a potential White House run in 2016. Yes, there could be some of that going on, but Mr. Perry also has a succinct reason for speaking out, loudly and often, about the surge of young illegal immigrants: The Lone Star State has already spent a half-billion dollars on the situation. Read the rest of this entry »
For the The Washington Post, Karen Tumulty and David Nakamura report: Until now, the politics of immigration have been *seen as a no-lose proposition for President Obama and the Democrats. If they could get a comprehensive overhaul passed, they would win. And if Republicans blocked it, the GOP would further alienate crucial Hispanic and moderate voters.
“Seen as” means “seen as, by the president’s supporters, senior White House staff , and Democrat-leaning members of the press”
— The Butcher
But with the current crisis on the Southwest border, where authorities have apprehended tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children since October, that calculus may be shifting.
“He can’t even go 242 miles to the Texas border? Border community leaders want to see him down there on the border.”
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)
Republicans and even some Democrats have accused Obama of being insufficiently engaged in a calamity that many say he should have seen coming.
And the president’s own party is deeply divided over what must be done now — particularly on the sensitive question of deporting children who have traveled thousands of miles and turned themselves in to U.S. authorities to escape from the desperate situations they faced in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The emergency has also renewed questions about the administration’s competence, reminiscent of those raised during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, last year’s botched rollout of the health-care law and more recent revelations of mismanagement that jeopardized care of patients at veterans hospitals. Read the rest of this entry »
As is his wont, President Obama is treating the border crisis — more than 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing illegally — as a public-relations problem. Where to photo op and where not. He still hasn’t enunciated a policy. He may not even have one.
Will these immigrants be allowed to stay? Seven times was Obama’s homeland-security secretary asked this on Meet the Press. Seven times he danced around the question.
“The only question is: How long until Obama is forced to do the obvious?”
— The Hammer
Presidential press secretary Josh Earnest was ostensibly more forthcoming: “It’s unlikely that most of those kids will qualify for humanitarian relief. . . . They will be sent back.” This was characterized in the media as a harder line. Not at all. Yes, those kids who go through the process will likely have no grounds to stay. But most will never go through the process.
“Where’s Obama’s immigration policy? Did he leave it in the other pants?”
— The Butcher
Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
These kids are being flown or bused to family members around the country and told to then show up for deportation hearings. Why show up? Why not just stay where they’ll get superior schooling, superior health care, superior everything? As a result, only 3 percent are being repatriated, to cite an internal Border Patrol memo.
Repatriate them? How stone-hearted, you say. After what they’ve been through? To those dismal conditions back home?
“Why do they come? The administration pretends it’s because of violence and poverty. Nonsense. When has there not been violence and poverty in Central America?”
— The Hammer
By that standard, with a sea of endemic suffering on every continent, we should have no immigration laws. Deny entry to no needy person.
But we do. We must. We choose. And immediate deportation is exactly what happens to illegal immigrants, children or otherwise, from Mexico and Canada. By what moral logic should there be a Central American exception?
“That’s a very good point, Dr. Krauthammer. You should write an article that says that.”
— The Butcher
There is no logic. Just a quirk of the law — a 2008 law intended to deter sex trafficking. It mandates that Central American kids receive temporary relocation, extensive assistance and elaborate immigration/deportation proceedings, which many simply evade.
“I did. Pay attention.”
— The Hammer
This leniency was designed for a small number of sex-trafficked youth. It was never intended for today’s mass migration aimed at establishing a family foothold in America. Read the rest of this entry »
A poster hanging in a migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico. The text reads “I have the right to be respected physically, sexually and psychologically,” in Spanish. – Jude Joffe-Block
“The women passing through here know that they’re going to be raped”
— Father Pedraza, director of a shelter for migrants in Altar
MEXICO CITY – For Fox News Latino, David Agren reports: As a priest in the town of Altar, near the Arizona border, the Rev. Prisciliano Pedraza sees migrants stocking up on supplies such as food, water and medicine for treacherous treks through the desert.
A rape tree is what Mexican illegals create with the panties and bras of the women they have raped along the trail to America. After they have had their way with the women and young girls, they force them to hang their panties or bras, on the trees as a trophy or a sign of their conquest.
But he sees female migrants stocking up on something else: contraceptives, which they take preventatively to protect themselves against sexual violence all too common as they make the journey through Mexico to the United States.
“Migrants are a vulnerable group, and the most vulnerable among them are women.”
Thousands of Central Americans travel through Mexico every year attempting to reach the United States. But because they make the trip illegally, they are vulnerable to kidnappings, extortion and robbery – with organized criminal groups such as Los Zetas often acting in cahoots with law enforcement authorities.
“They go to the pharmacy and buy emergency contraception for their trip to Mexico.”
In the case of women, the crimes include sexual assaults, forcing them to take precautions. They often take alternative routes through Mexico, feigning friendships with men in their group to stay safe while traveling. Increasingly, they are buying and consuming contraceptives before they make their trip.
“It’s on the increase,” says Marta Sánchez Soler, an advocate with the MesoAmerican Migrants Movement. “The first ones (doing it) were women from El Salvador, but now it’s everyone.”
Many contraceptives are sold without a prescription in Mexico, including the morning-after pill. Sánchez says some women receive injections before leaving or wear patches.
“They go to the pharmacy and buy emergency contraception for their trip to Mexico. This is they would tell us.”
Most church groups don’t supply the contraceptives – or condone what the women do, but they do help the women in other ways.
“They’re not giving it out, but they’re offering advice,” Sánchez said.
A network of shelters for migrants stretches the length of Mexico – with most run by Catholic priests and religious, who report being queried about contraceptives by women arriving as guests.
“They’ll arrive at the shelters and ask the priests or people that work there” about buying contraceptives, says Alberto Xicotencatl, director of the diocesan-run migrant shelter in Saltillo, 195 miles from the Texas border at Nuevo Laredo.
But women are less likely than men to stay at migrant shelters, which are often established near railway lines and frequented by Central Americans stealing rides on northbound trains known as “La Bestia,” or, “The Beast” – so named for the way it maims migrants who fall on the tracks and lose limbs.
Women attempt to avoid La Bestia, which organized crime now charges $100 to climb aboard, according to Xicotencatl. Criminal groups also prey on migrants while they wait in railway yards for trains to arrive.
For Breitbart.com, Tony Lee reports: On the day President Barack Obama met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry to discuss the border crisis, at least 1,300 migrants were stranded when the so-called “Death Train” derailed in southern Mexico.
Reuters reported that “a cargo train” nicknamed “the Beast,” which is “used by Mexicans and Central Americans to travel toward the U.S. border,” derailed on Wednesday in Oaxaca, Mexico.”
About 1,300 migrants, many of whom were “young people,” were reportedly stranded but not injured while riding what others have referred to as “El Tren de la Muerte,” or Death Train.
Many of these nations want their migrants to go to America so they can send back billions of dollars in remittances, which account for a significant percentage of the GDP of these nations.
As Breitbart Texas has reported, “children who travel via Death Train must jump onto a moving freight car” and “minors who cannot successfully pull themselves onto the traveling cars fall onto the tracks” and “many are left with extreme injuries,” like losing arms and legs. Read the rest of this entry »
Illegal Alien Child Trafficking “Unaccompanied minors” ride atop the wagon of a freight train, known as La Bestia (The Beast) in Ixtepec, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on June 18, 2014.Jose de Jesus Cortes Reuters
Note this revealing quote:
“By sending the request to Congress, Republicans, who are outraged over Obama’s immigration policies, will now have an opportunity to express their fury in must-sign legislation, possibly attaching policy riders or demanding budget cutselsewhere.”
Good work, Scherer. Like many of your peers, there’s a future for you in the Obama White House.
President Barack Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion Tuesday to handle the thousands of child migrants on the southern border, and he’d like lawmakers to treat the emergency request as a simple matter of human compassion.
“No matter what you call it, rapid deportations without any meaningful hearing for children who are rightly afraid of the violence and turmoil from which they fled is wrong, and contradicts the fundamental values of this nation.”
— Leslie Holman, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
“Our hope and expectation consistent with the incoming we have received from both parties is that this will be treated as the urgent humanitarian situation that it is,” said a White House official who briefed reporters about the request.
“The Speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas—which this proposal does not address.”
— Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner
But nothing is quite so simple in Washington these days. By sending the request to Congress, Republicans, who are outraged over Obama’s immigration policies, will now have an opportunity to express their fury in must-sign legislation, possibly attaching policy riders or demanding budget cuts elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
Krauthammer on Homeland Security intentionally misapplying a sex-trafficking law to justify retaining children who have illegally come to the country.
“Obama is clearly been making the statement . . . that he is opening the doors of America to this influx — it will double, it will triple.”
“He obviously was never serious. I don’t think he is lost on this — I think he knows what to do, he wants to win the political argument with Hispanics and other pro-immigration groups, and he’s doing it for political reasons very very cynically.”
MURRIETA — For Breitbart.com, Michelle Moons reports: Demonstrators opposed to illegal immigration stood their ground again at the Murrieta Border Patrol station on Monday, where U.S. Border Patrol had been scheduled to transfer a third round of buses, with approximately 140 illegal aliens aboard in total, transferred from overcrowded Texas detention facilities.
For a third time, the buses were rerouted to the San Ysidro, California Border Patrol station, near the U.S.-Mexico border, for processing. The demonstrators gathered in areas to the north and south of the Murrieta station after law enforcement blocked off the road near the station itself. Many told Breitbart News they considered their stand a success, since buses scheduled for Murrieta are avoiding it as long as demonstrators remain. Read the rest of this entry »
Organized crime groups in Central America have exploited the slow U.S. legal process and the compassion shown to children in apparent crisis
For the Los Angeles Times, Brian Bennett reports: President Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.
“The cartels have figured out where the hole is.”
— Immigration attorney David Leopold
But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.
The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.
Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America — five times more than two years earlier — began pouring across the Southwest border.
The previously unavailable deportation data are likely to fuel the political debate over whether Obama administration policies are partly responsible for the 52,000 children and teens who have surrendered to or been caught by Border Patrol agents since last October, spurring fresh concerns about U.S. border security and immigration law.
For The Daily Caller, Neil Munro writes: The vast majority of 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months have been successfully delivered by federal agencies to their relatives living in the United States, according to a New York Times article.
A second New York Times article reports revealed that officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April, and are transporting many of them to their destinations throughout the United States.
The deluge of 290,000 illegals — so far — are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.
Experts say that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to close the loopholes and is unlikely to deport more than a small percentage of the illegals, despite the high unemployment rates among American Latino, African-American and white youths, and the strapped budgets of many cities and towns.
The president’s policy has caused protests by frightened citizens in towns such as Murrieta. But Obama’s allies — such as La Raza, an ethnic lobby for Latinos — are eager to escalate the conflict and to paint the protestors as racists. Those protests may escalate before the November elections. Read the rest of this entry »
In Washington, most respectable opinion lined up, yet again, to condemn Republicans for not passing an amnesty under the guise of defunct-for-now “comprehensive immigration reform.”
“If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.”
— John Sandweg, former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Meanwhile, the crisis on the Southern border continued. A massive influx of people — largely driven by Central Americans, many of them children — drawn here in the expectation of lax immigration enforcement is overwhelming border officials and facilities.
A Wall Street Journal story about the White House reaction to the crisis was headlined, “Obama Plans Executive Action to Bolster Border Security,” which has a man-bites-dog feel to it after all of the administration’s executive actions to undermine immigration enforcement.
A leaked memo from a high-ranking Border Patrol official said that only 3 percent of non-Mexicans apprehended at the border are being returned to their native countries.
The border crisis is of a piece with a broad unraveling of the president’s policy over the past year. His erstwhile spiritual mentor might have put it under the category of “chickens coming home to roost.”
He adopted the policy of maximum risk in Iraq by pulling out all our combat troops, and Sunni jihadis are marching on Baghdad. He championed a vast new health law reliant on the smooth operation of perhaps the most complex federal website ever, and it’s still not functioning properly. He has systematically ignored the nation’s immigration laws, and tens of thousands of new illegal immigrants are showing up at our doorstep. Read the rest of this entry »
MURRIETA — For Brietbart.com,Michelle Moons reports: An American flag has reportedly been burned by pro-amnesty protesters near the Murrieta Border Patrol station on America’s Independence Day.
Breitbart News obtained the above photograph, which shows a burnt flag on the ground, from an anti-illegal immigration activist who was monitoring the pro-amnesty demonstration.
Breitbart News obtained photographs of torn-up flags that pro-amnesty demonstrators had impaled on a fence
Opponents of illegal immigration had gathered in Murrieta to stop Friday’s planned transfer of Central American illegal aliens, as they did earlier this week. A pro-amnesty counter-demonstration was organized in response.
The illegal aliens, many of them unaccompanied children, are being brought from overcrowded Texas detention facilities for processing in California. Read the rest of this entry »
U.S. Border Patrol agents are swept by dust from a helicopter while tracking drug smugglers through the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, near the U.S.-Mexico border.(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
For the Washington Examiner, Byron York writes: What, exactly, is President Obama going to do about the flood of unaccompanied children illegally crossing the southwestern border into the United States? So far, the White House has given many clues but few details, and when the president took to the Rose Garden to make a statement Monday, he spent nearly all his time talking not about the growing crisis but about his plan to make an end run around Congress on the broader issue of immigration reform.
“The problem is that under current law, once those kids come across the border, there’s a system in which we’re supposed to process them, take care of them, until we can send them back. It’s a lengthy process.”
— President Obama
There are moves the president could make that would greatly reduce the flood of children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador into Texas. But passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill is not one of them.
In the Rose Garden, Obama blamed the current “humanitarian crisis” on the U.S. immigration system. The children crossing the border “are being apprehended,” the president said, “but the problem is that our system is so broken, so unclear, that folks don’t know what the rules are.”
Photo credit: Breitbart Texas
“Every child that is here today — I cannot imagine, at least under this administration, them being removed.”
— GOP Hill aide who works on the issue
It would be more accurate to say the problem is that American law and Obama administration policy make it extremely difficult for the U.S. to send the unaccompanied children home to Central America. The parents and other family members who send the children know that and believe, correctly, that there is a very good chance the children will be able to stay in the United States permanently.
“We ought to have the same protocols that we have for Mexico and Canada for the Central American countries. Forty-eight hours — we should return them.”
For The Daily Caller, Neil Munro writes: GOP leaders say President Barack Obama will only make immigration problems worse if he goes ahead with his Monday threat to unilaterally alter the nation’s immigration laws.
“I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” Obama said in a Rose Garden speech Monday afternoon.
“Additional executive action from this president isn’t going to stem the tide of illegal crossings, it’s only going to make them worse.”
— House speaker John Boehner
Deputies will identify “actions my administration can take on our own, within my existing legal authorities, to do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as we can,” he said.
“I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay,” he said.
“If the Obama administration rewards illegality and fails to enforce the laws or secure the border, we’re going to be back at this same place in 20 years.”
— Senator Chuck Grassley
House Speaker John Boehner was quick to condemn the move. ”The president’s own executive orders have led directly to the humanitarian crisis along the Southern border,” Boehner said in a statement, “giving false hope to children and their families that if they enter the country illegally they will be allowed to stay.” Read the rest of this entry »