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Tag Archives: immigration

Pope Gives Sustenance to Dems and Mods

Pope Francis injected the papacy directly into U.S. politics on Thursday, cautioning Americans against being “fearful” of foreigners and implicitly questioning the values of those who want to limit immigration.

Since Donald Trump entered the Republican presidential race in June vowing to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, the immigration issue has roiled the campaign. It has divided the GOP between those who would accommodate the influx and others, like Trump, who support stopping it in its tracks and sending illegal immigrants home. And it has provided Democrats with a cudgel with which to whack Republicans as intolerant and even racist.

Francis, who appeared before a joint meeting of Congress, cast immigration and many of the other issues on which he sided with moderates and the Left in moral terms, giving conservative opponents — whether Democrats or some Republicans running for president — a heightened platform from which to condemn the policies of the right.

“Grateful for the inspiring words of @pontifex,” tweeted GOP candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “People of good will must work together to advance the common good.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the pontiff’s remarks “extraordinary,” saying Thursday was a “Day of profound joy.”

Pope Pelosi

Socialist Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont tweeted out his joy: “He forces us to address some of the major issues facing humanity such as war, income and wealth inequality, poverty, unemployment and greed.”

Francis held nothing back on immigration, associating those who hope to limit immigration with the ignoble actions of earlier generations who have inflicted violence and other “sins” against the newly arrived.

“Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected,” he said. “Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our neighbors and everything around us.”

The opposition to massive immigration, he suggested was based on “fear,” and we need not concern ourselves with the hordes that are entering.

“We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners,” he said. “We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.”

As expected, the pope warmed Democrats’ hearts by pressing U.S. action on global warming, adding a moral imperative to the plea by linking it to care for the poor.

“In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity,” Francis said. “Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”

The pope mostly kept away from the hot-button issue of abortion. Conservatives on Capitol Hill are on the cusp of initiating a government shutdown over government funding for Planned Parenthood.

Francis used the sanctity of life argument instead to make a much more explicit case rapping the United States for allowing the death penalty, which he, like many Democrats, wants abolished.

“The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,” the pope said in a partial allusion to abortion. But he then made the reference apply explicitly to abolishing death penalty.

“This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty,” he said. “I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.”

GOP presidential hopeful Texas Sen. Ted Cruz rebutted the pontiff.

“I believe the death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life, that for the most egregious crimes, the ultimate punishment should apply,” he said.

While the pope’s remarks generally tilted left — sometimes emphatically so — when he turned toward his concern for the traditional family, it was Democrats, and not Republicans, who could be seen sitting on their hands.

“How essential the family has been to the building of this country!” he said. “And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without.”

And he put in a word for business, even while warning that politics must not be a “slave” to finance.

“Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world,” he said. “It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.”

A version of this story first appeared in PoliZette, which I also edit.

Jeb Gets Edgy at the Border

Jeb Bush arrived on Monday at the Mexican border hoping to reclaim the immigration issue — and the campaign narrative — after two months of domination by fellow GOP presidential contender Donald Trump.

The former Florida governor reminded people of his “comprehensive” immigration strategy and showed off his fluency in Spanish. But even as he sought to shine the spotlight on himself, it was obvious that Trump had followed him to McAllen, Texas.

Bush was dogged by continued questions over his use of the term “anchor babies,” which some consider pejorative but which has been employed unabashedly by Trump. And Bush dropped race into the mix by noting that “Asian people” were more often guilty of the practice.

Bush grew impatient when asked about his use of “anchor babies.”

“My background, my life, the fact that I’m immersed in the immigrant experience — this is ludicrous for the Clinton campaign and others to suggest that somehow I’m using a derogatory term,” the former Florida governor said. His wife, Columba, was born in León, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Bush said he used the phrase to refer not to immigrants, but to specific instances “of fraud” in the form of “organized efforts” to take advantage of birthright citizenship.

“Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people,” he said.

Bush then added what appeared to be a prepared remark, an apparent effort to associate himself with Trump’s rebellion against political correctness. “And by the way, I think we need to take a step back and chill out a little bit as it relates to the political correctness — that somehow you have to be scolded every time you say something,” he said.

Even as he derided political correctness, Bush took a page out of the PC playbook, making most of his remarks in Spanish.

Bush continued his recently launched line of attack against Trump, asserting that the businessman’s immigration strategy was neither practical nor conservative.

“Mr. Trump’s plans are not grounded in conservative principles,” Bush said. “His proposal is unrealistic. It would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It will violate people’s civil liberties.”

Trump responded on Monday by assailing Bush for his 2014 comment that illegal immigration was an “act of love,” a stand from which Bush has declined to back away.

“Well, I think it’s great that he’s going to the border, because I think he’ll now find out that it is not an act of love,” the real estate mogul said during an appearance on Fox News. “I was down on the border. It’s rough, tough stuff. This is not love, this is other things going on. And I think he’ll probably be able to figure that out, maybe.”

A version of this piece first appeared in LifeZette Tuesday morning.

Court Refuses to Allow Obama Amnesty to Proceed

A panel of a federal appeals court Tuesday declined to reverse a district court judge’s ruling that blocked President Obama’s plan to grant temporary amnesty for some 5 million illegal immigrants, saying that overriding the ruling could force states to take irreversible actions that would become illegal if the challenge to Obama’s action prevails.

According to the 2-1 ruling:

A stay would enable DAPA beneficiaries to apply for driver’s licenses and other benefits, and it would be difficult for the states to retract those benefits or recoup their costs even if they won on the merits. That is particularly true in light of the district court’s findings regarding the large number of potential beneficiaries, including at least 500,000 in Texas alone.

Obama’s amnesty is seen by opponents as a rank end-around of Congress, granting legal status and benefits to millions of illegal immigrants by simply making them a low priority for prosecution. How a decision to defer prosecuting an illegal immigrant gives them legal rights is something I have never understood.

Now, it appears, the courts may be having trouble with it too.

The administration will no doubt appeal, but it’s unclear whether it will go directly to the Supreme Court.

Obama’s two most significant policies – this and Obamacare – hang by legal threads. It’s indicative of the divisive, imperious nature of this presidency that Obama governs by such questionably legal means.

Judge to DOJ: “Like an Idiot,” I believed you

What? The Obama administration lie? I’m sorry – misstate the truth?

Judge Andrew Hanen, who blocked President Obama executive amnesty order, waited until mid-February to do so because he was assured by Justice Department attorneys that they wouldn’t be doing any amnesties until then.


According to National Review:

Early this month the government’s attorneys admitted that they misled Judge Hanen. Between November 20, when President Obama issued his fiat, and February 16, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted approximately 100,000 applications for deferred action under the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created in DAPA.

Did the government’s lawyers lie? Or did they make a months-long mistake? That was the question posed to the DOJ’s legal team by a visibly angry Judge Hanen in a hearing in Brownsville, Texas, last Thursday.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Hartnett could not explain why multiple DOJ lawyers — herself included — told the court multiple times over two and a half months that DHS would not be accepting requests for deferred action under the challenged order until mid February . . .

It seems clear what Hanen thinks happened: “When I asked you what would happen and you said nothing, I took it to heart. I was made to look like an idiot,” Hanen told Hartnett. “I believed your word that nothing would happen. . . . Like an idiot, I believed that.”

Let me help poor judge Hanen out. From the works of Saul Alinsky:

The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles.

Yes, judge, you were made into an idiot. A useful idiot.

Federal Judge Blocks Obama Immigration Order

For today, at least, we return to being a nation of laws.

A federal judge in Texas Monday issued an injunction that would temporarily block President Obama’s unilateral immigration amnesty.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville indicated that Obama had acted unconstitutionally by circumventing Congress, saying that no law permits illegal immigrants to stay.

Actually, “the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed,” Hanen wrote.

A portion of the amnesty, that which would expand non-deportability to more illegal aliens whose parents had brought them to the United States, was scheduled to go into effect Wednesday. It appears that will now be delayed.

This is pretty significant. Do I know that because I an immigration lawyer? No. But I can tell because the White House released a statement at 2:30 in the morning vowing to appeal the decision.

Order blocking Obama plan to defer deportation

Federal Judge: Obama Immigration Order Unconstitutional

In the first court opinion on the issue, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled that President Obama’s immigration actions are an unconstitutional abuse of presidential power.

U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote the opinion in relation to a criminal case he was reviewing. It appears to me he was looking to weigh in the matter, and the opinion may have little practical effect other than to raise awareness that the immigration fiat might be challengeable in court.

According to Fox News:

(Schwab) wrote that the action goes beyond so-called “prosecutorial discretion” — which is the “discretion” the administration cites in determining whether to pursue deportation against illegal immigrants . . .

Schwab . . . wrote that this “systematic and rigid process” applies to a “broad range” of enforcement decisions, as opposed to dealing with matters on a “case-by-case basis.”

Further, he wrote that the action goes beyond deferring deportation by letting beneficiaries apply for work authorization and allowing some to become “quasi-United States citizens.”

He also cited Obama’s argument that he was proceeding with executive action after Congress failed to act on comprehensive immigration legislation, and countered: “Congressional inaction does not endow legislative power with the Executive.”

Levin’s Epic Rant Rips the Republican RINO Establishment

Radio talk show host Mark Levin went on an epic tear last night, searing a verbal gash into the deserving folks who lead the Republican Party.

You can listen to Levin’s criticism here. It comes at the beginning of the December 15th show. Levin says he is “an inch away” from leaving the Republicans. I don’t think he’ll do that, because there’s nowhere else to go. But I don’t doubt his sincerity or blame him for his frustration.

You see, Levin’s point is very straightforward, even though its seems mysterious to most Republicans: The people have handed the GOP – I hesitate to use the initials, since it certainly is an old Party, but not acting very grand – an historic victory, an opportunity, and even a responsibility. And yet they squandered it so everyone could go home and decorate their Christmas trees.

To have gained power without even a symbolic effort – other than that waged by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, which just pissed everyone off – to take down President Obama’s immigration order or stop his $1.1 trillion spending eruption is a disgrace.

As I’ve written before, I believe Americans will understand that if you are really angry about something, really passionate about something, you don’t put off for months your effort to combat it when an opportunity, however quixotic, arises.


And it will take passion, irrational commitment, and an understanding of the stakes involved for Republicans to make any progress at all in repairing the damage Obama has done. The GOP leadership’s determination to fold on these issues is a sure sign they don’t get that even as they ascend to authority, their power is being ripped from them by a president determined to rule, when he wants to, on his own.

The Republicans, with their vow to take care of business in . . . February  . . .  bring to mind this skit from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Think of Obama as the marriage counselor, Republicans as Arthur Puty, and Deidre Puty as Article I of the U.S. Constitution. You’ll get what I mean.

Cruz Puts GOP Leaders on Notice

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, put Republican leaders on notice Friday that he intends to hold them to their word that they will seek to scuttle President Obama’s executive amnesty next year, forcing the Senate into an unwelcome Saturday workday and a symbolic vote related to the amnesty. Senators thought they had a deal to finish… Continue Reading

The GOP Takes Obama’s Bait; to be Reeled in Next Year

By not making a stand against President Obama’s amnesty fiat now, Republicans have made a critical tactical mistake that could ruin their chance to seriously oppose the greatest un-Constitutional presidential power grab in memory. Unless, of course, House Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell are fully aware of the consequences of their decision and aren’t making… Continue Reading

WH: Obama Spoke “Colloquially” on Changing Immigration Law

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today tried to claim President Obama was speaking “colloquially” when he said last week that he had taken action to “change” the immigration law. Obama of course when he’s on script says he is not lawmaking, merely exercising “prosecutorial discretion,” or some such thing. Alternatively, Earnest said Obama was referring… Continue Reading