Florida’s Multi-System Failures and the broken ‘Baker Act’

Everyday in Florida, the sun does not shine on the multitudes involuntarily confined via the innocuous-sounding “Baker Act” … the multitudes of harmless elders, in particular. What can cause the sudden detention of an elderly man, 89 years old, inside a metropolitan Florida hospital mental ward?

In the case of my Father, Al Katz was determined to be a threat to others because he pushed his walker against someone, known as “walker abuse,” not normally lethal or catastrophic. Although Al Katz, a Holocaust Survivor of seven years of slave labor in temperatures reaching 52 degrees below zero, had never harmed another human being or himself, the Manatee County judge sentenced my Dad to three weeks of involuntary commitment with a no-contact order placed upon him. Al Katz was prohibited thereby from receiving from or sending to his family any communications of any kind.

Al Katz’s involuntary confinement in the gruesome underground psychiatric ward in Manatee Memorial Hospital would have lasted by law 72 hours, but instead, Al Katz was detained without further court hearings for three weeks, isolated from his family waiting to see him just on the other side of the electronic metal doors guarded by armed officers. Al Katz was re-living the Holocaust, surrounded by men in uniforms with guns and unable to communicate with the ones he loved.

The threshold for Baker Act commitments of elders in Florida is extremely low. For the most minimal of reasons, elders are imprisoned in hospitals and psychiatric facilities for days, reaping enormous funds for these providers of makeshift jail cells, where grandmas and grandpas barely able to walk are kept off the streets as threats to society.

Al Katz could barely walk, could not drive, had no weapons of any kind, and had lived 89 years as an admirable asset to his community, but the court found that he posed a threat to himself or others, purportedly necessitating the Baker Act. On the other hand, Florida’s infamous school mass murder suspect, who shall remain unnamed herein, posed low risk of harming himself or others, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which had visited the suspect and his family following his Internet postings of self-mutilation and express keen interest in buying a gun. DCF records state that the suspect “plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for.”

What else did DCF and multiple other agencies know about the suspect or should have known? He was on medications for A.D.H.D., seeing counselors, and a client at a number of mental health facilities. He was referred for a “threat assessment” due to his long history of fights with teachers and frequent profanity directed against school staff. He posted on the Internet photos of dead and mutilated animals that he had killed; had a Nazi symbol on his book bag; was prohibited from carrying a backpack at school; harassed his neighbors; was investigated or visited by law enforcement nearly 40 times in eight years; attended numerous schools, including a school for students with emotional problems and an alternative high school for at-risk youths; was regularly disciplined for disobedience; made a false 911 call; posted “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” on the Internet using his real name; was uncomfortable with his Hispanic heritage; was suspended multiple times in the 2016-17 school year; shared photos of small animals he had shot; bragged about his intent to bring guns to school; was found with bullets in his backpack; kicked out a glass window at his middle school; had frequent prolonged, unexplained absences from school; had made numerous Internet postings of guns, knives, and other ominous images; and had been referred to a mental health center to be detained under the Baker Act, which center determined that the suspect was not a threat after visiting him at his home and giving him a safety contract to sign.

Al Katz never had a mental health counselor visit him at his home, never was given a safety contract to sign, and was illegally held in the Baker Act for many weeks without the mandatory court hearings. Al Katz never had any warning signs that he would pose a threat to society; the suspect had every warning sign that he would “be a professional school shooter,” including his own word on it signed with his own uniquely-spelled name.

Could dozens of murders have been prevented in Florida? Yes. How are mass detentions of elders in sunless cages lowering the societal threat? How many detained grandmas and grandpas would ever commit a mass murder?

This past summer, I once again alerted the Florida and Indiana authorities about another young man with a violent history who has made foreboding Internet postings for years, including videos of simulated decapitations with blood spurting out of the necks, photographs of assault weapons, and his own ominous poetry reminiscent of past mass murderers, but the evidence and I are invariably ignored. The clock is ticking with his rage, but no one will listen. Previously, this convicted serial predator mutilated the genital area of one of his victim’s dolls and set it on fire to “release his anger.”

Again, the clock is ticking with his rage, but no one will listen … just like the Florida school shooting case, with flagrant warning signs unheeded. Said the shooting suspect’s public defender:

This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter. If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multi-system failure…

When harmless elders are locked up, this too is a multi-system failure that any decent society cannot condone any more than a mass murderer walking its streets or a serial predator lurking.

BREAKING: Mueller investigator Andrew McCabe altered his summary of the Mike Flynn interview

It has always been painfully obvious that disgraced FBI special investigator Andrew McCabe didn’t resign over some cheezy anti-Trump texts to his adulteress mistress. Now it all makes sense.

FYI: A FD-302 form is used by FBI agents to “report or summarize the interviews that they conduct” and contains information from the notes taken during the interview by the non-primary agent. It consists of information taken from the subject, rather than details about the subject themselves.


There has been rumors ‘independently’ from Sara Carter and others that FD-302s May have been altered and she pointed out it may be McCabe that told others to do it. This was heard right on the day he stepped down. They didn’t say to whom they were altered against if it was true but this possibly lines up with this! If true then Flynn plea will be rescinded and charges dropped and possibly Mueller team will be in trouble if they KNEW that these 302s were changed and didn’t informed Flynn until they were forced to by the new judge, Sullivan

Conservative Treehouse:

Corrupt FBI Officials Fight Back Against Intelligence Oversight Memo…

House Intelligence Committee Releases Transcript of Monday Night “Memo Meeting”… 

Robert Mueller Requests Postponement of General Mike Flynn Sentencing…

Posted on by sundance

Against a newly discovered likelihood the Robert Mueller investigation began under false pretenses; and against the backdrop that FBI surveillance and wiretaps were obtained through materially (intentionally) false representations to the FISA court; and against the backdrop the original Flynn plea judge (Contrereas) was also the approving FISA judge; and that judge ‘was summarily recused’ from the case; and against increasing evidence that Mike Flynn was set up by a terminal animus, and politically-motivated investigative rogue unit, operating within the FBI; and against surfacing IG Horowitz evidence that FBI investigators manipulated (lied on) their FD-302 interrogation documents; and understanding those falsified 302’s were used in the Mueller/Flynn charging document…

…Special Counsel Robert Mueller now asks for postponement of sentencing:

(pdf link)

Both parties did not ‘request‘ a postponement; both parties ‘agreed‘ to a postponement.  The motive for the request (Mueller) is entirely divergent from, yet complimentary to, the motive to agree to the request (Flynn).

This is all beginning to go backwards.

It is not coincidental that Brandon L Van Grack is the signatory to the delay request by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s request to the new Judge, Emmet G Sullivan.

If, as has been reported, Inspector General Michael Horowitz now has evidence the FBI manipulated their FD-302 (interrogation and questioning) documents, as also admitted by FBI agent Peter Strzok in related matters regarding Clinton…

…. and those manipulated or falsified FBI 302’s (containing FBI investigative notes of Michael Flynn’s questioning during the January 2017 interview), were used in the actual Flynn charging documents.

Michael Flynn FBI Charge Lying to Investigators by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd

View this document on Scribd

Well, then the underlying evidence presented to the initial judge, Ruben Contreras, in the December 1st plea hearing, were materially misrepresented.

With the IG exposing falsified and manipulative investigative practices by the FBI, Mueller would have no alternative but to throw the brakes on.  This whole thing is turning into a sh*t-show of epic proportions. EARLIER WE DISCUSSED

The Robert Mueller lawyer, the Special Counsel attorney that signed General Flynn’s Statement of Offense filed in U.S, District Court 12/1/2017 was “Brandon L Van Grack”. [See page #5]

When Trump transition team lawyer Kory Langhofer (Trump for America transition organization) contacted the special counsels office about the illegal and unethical way they retrieved transition team emails from the GSA. Who was he put in contact with?

It was Brandon L Van Grack who was in communication w/ the Trump for America transition organization; and, according to the documents on this topic (attached), misrepresented (ie. lied about) the Special Counsel access to the GSA emails on 12/12/2017. (Pdf Link)

Questions: A) What reason would Van Grack have for taking the call from the transition attorney in the first place? and then, B) what reason would he have for lying about the information that was requested?

It is my belief, based on mounting evidence, a specific cast of characters -within the Mueller “Russia Election Interference” probe- were placed there to protect the people behind the FBI’s 2016 counterintelligence operation against Trump.

I suspect the same FBI and DOJ “small group”, the team who worked diligently to ensure Hillary Clinton was never found culpable in the 2015/2016 email investigation, later worked on the 2016 Trump counterintelligence operation (FISA wiretapping surveillance etc).

That same “small group” within the FBI and DOJ were then given the task in 2017 of covering both prior operations: A) *Clear Hillary Clinton, and B) *Counterintel op on Trump.

To cover, cloud and protect the DOJ and FBI officials engaged in both operations, the “small group” is now assembled within Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team.

Inside Mueller’s crew, the “small group” essentially works to watch over what information the Trump officials or congress could possibly be discovering…. under the auspices of investigating ‘Muh Russia’ etc.

If the “small group” comes across a risky trail being followed, they work to impede, block, delay or deflect anyone from that trail.

That’s why the Special Counsel attorney that signed General Flynn’s Statement of Offense filed Dec. 1, 2017, was the same attorney who responded to the Trump transition team inquiry. Brandon L Van Grack.

This “small group” are essentially career DOJ and FBI staff lawyers behind and beside the visible names we have recently become aware of: Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, Lisa Page, Bill Priestap, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, James Baker etc.



By  – on 

Long, long overdue.


Aliens Who Didn’t Register Under DADA: ‘Lazy’ or Committing Fraud?

The President’s Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, recently raised some eyebrows when he postulated that many illegal aliens who could have applied to participate in the Obama administration’s illegal DACA program may have simply been too lazy to apply for temporary lawful status when the program was in effect.

Although General Kelly had a highly successful and laudable record of service to our nation in the United States Marine Corps, he never enforced nor administered our nation’s immigration laws.  His lack of experience and subsequent lack of understanding about the challenges that confront those who enforce and administer our immigration laws have apparently caused him to come to a very wrong and, indeed, dangerous conclusion, which may have influenced President Trump’s decision to provide lawful status and a pathway to United States citizenship to three times as many aliens as were covered by the Obama administration’s DACA program.

Gen. Kelly may not realize that many of those applicants may be successfully gaming the immigration system by committing immigration fraud.  They didn’t enroll not because they were lazy but because they weren’t present in the United States during the enrollment period and would falsely claim they were if a new program were to take effect.  Indeed, if this program is created, many applicants might enter the United States in the months ahead, but claim they have been here for years.

On February 7, 2018 Politifact posted an articleIn Context: John Kelly’s remarks on ‘lazy’ immigrants and DACA, that included this paragraph that was critical of Kelly and the President:

Kelly’s remarks drew criticism from lawmakers and advocates for immigrant rights who countered that the DACA population is hard-working and that the Trump administration is attempting to demonize immigrants.

That brief paragraph contains a major falsehood that, for decades, has permeated discussions and news coverage about the immigration crisis.  The article referred to “advocates for immigrant rights” who were angered by Kelly’s statement, however, illegal aliens are not immigrants.  That bit of semantic “sleight of language” of referring to all aliens as “immigrants” was devised during the Carter administration, as I noted in a previous article.  The misuse of language is not about being “politically correct,” but about being Orwellian, employing Newspeak tactics to alter understandings and thoughts by altering language.

True immigrants already have “rights” in the United States. They are lawfully present and were placed on the pathway to United States citizenship the day that lawful immigrant status was conferred upon them.  In order to qualify to become naturalized citizens, should they desire to do so, they would have to meet certain other requirements such as meeting time requirements in the United States and possessing “good moral conduct” as established in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The reporter who described the motivation behind Gen. Kelly’s statement as seeking to “demonize immigrants” was so eager to hurl criticisms at the Trump administration that she ignored that Gen. Kelly was likely simply being naive and, in that naivety, Kelly overlooked the real problem: the fact that many of these aliens may be committing fraud and were not actually present in the United States during the enrollment program during the Obama administration.

General Kelly lacks understanding about immigration, not because he isn’t intelligent, but because he lacks the experiences in immigration that my 30 years with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) have provided me.  This includes a one-year assignment to a pilot program with the unit that adjudicated the petitions U.S. citizens and resident aliens file for their alien spouses to receive lawful immigrant status in the United States.

To provide a bit of background, management at the INS in 1973 found that the number of such petitions had sky-rocketed and there were serious concerns about high levels of fraud being behind the surge in applications.  The idea behind the pilot program was to make certain the petitioners and their spouses were actually living in a marital relationship.  Aliens who were found to have been engaged in marriage fraud were immediately taken into custody and detained for deportation hearings.  Within a few months the numbers of applications plummeted as the aliens came to the understanding that there would be consequences for participating in a fraud conspiracy.  You could call this deterrence through enforcement.  Laws only matter when those who violate the law know that they will face severe consequences.

Today, however, the number of such aliens and hence the applications are so great, no in-person interviews would be possible.  No field investigations would be possible.  The Adjudications Officers would have to make their decisions solely by reviewing applications and supporting documents provided by “undocumented” aliens.  The veracity of these documents may be impossible to determine and, since nearly all of these documents do not include any biometric identifiers, it wold be all but impossible to know if the documents even actually relate to the alien applying for lawful status.

These aliens may well be imposters.

On May 20, 1997 I participated in my first congressional hearing.  The House Immigration Subcommittee conducted a hearing on the issue of Visa Fraud and Immigration Benefits Application Fraud. When the Chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Lamar Smith, asked me if I had encountered a common problem during my tenure as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Examiner (the position now referred to as Adjudications Officers) and as an Immigration Special Agent, I replied by stating that imposters were a major concern.

Here we are more than twenty years after that hearing and we still have a huge and deadly problem created by our inability to always be certain as the true identities of applicants for visas and immigration benefits.

Incidentally, that hearing in 1997 was predicated on two deadly terror attacks carried out in the United States in 1993.  In January 1993 a Pakistani national gained entry into the parking lot of  CIA Headquarters in Virginia and opened fire with an AK-47, killing two CIA officers and wounding three others.  The next month a bombing at the World Trade Center killed six innocent victims and injured more than one thousand people and inflicted an estimated half-billion dollars in damages and nearly toppled one of the 110-story buildings.

Both attacks were carried out by aliens from the Middle East who had gamed various elements of the immigration system.  The apparent ringleader of the World Trade Center attack, Mahmud Abouhalima, as the Los Angeles Times reported on March 25, 1993, was the beneficiary of the 1986 Reagan amnesty. He gained lawful status under the Special Agricultural provisions of that massive amnesty program, which as principally authored and ram-rodded through Congress by then-Congressman Chuck Schumer.

These aliens may be in their mid-30’s, hence, there would be no way of knowing if they actually entered the United States before they were 16 years of age or entered the United States recently and are simply lying about their dates of entry.  No record of entry is created when aliens evade the inspections process at ports of entry.

President Trump was absolutely spot-on in his insistence that the United States not admit aliens who cannot be vetted.  This was the fundamental concern behind his Executive Order that came to be labeled a “Travel Ban,” which should have been referred to as an “Entry Restriction.” Furthermore, these aliens are citizens from countries around the world, as reported by the DHS.

Let us not forget that aliens who run our borders do not enter “undocumented,” a term that could have been devised by Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.  These aliens enter the United States without inspection and without vetting.  Their presence in the United States remains unknown to our government until perhaps they commit a crime or participate in some other nefarious act.

Finally, an application for an immigration benefit can be approved in just minutes while the denial of an application can take days or longer.  Denied applications may be subject to an appeal and therefore denials require extensive paperwork, reviewed by government attorneys, in anticipation of such challenges. This creates a huge incentive to approve nearly all of these applications to keep up with the flood of applications.

All factors considered, as I noted my recent article, any DACA solution must heed the 9/11 Commission findings, which pointed out how our immigration system’s vulnerabilities were exploited in the 2001 terrorist attacks. Fraud that will likely be committed by future DACA applicants, especially those who mysteriously failed to take advantage of the program while it was originally in effect, is a very serious concern that must be addressed with open eyes.

RELATED ARTICLE: Immigration as a Left-Wing Political Strategy

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Front Page Magazine.

Trump Budget Proposal Projects Deficit Spending for Next Decade

President Donald Trump is proposing a 10-year spending plan that never produces a balanced budget, and increases deficit spending by $7.2 trillion over the next decade.

The White House unveiled the $4.4 trillion fiscal year 2019 budget plan on Monday.

“The first message [is] you don’t have to spend it all, but if you do, this is how you spend it,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Monday.

“The second message is: We are not condemned to trillion deficits forever. There is a way out of this.”

Trump’s first budget proposal balanced the budget over 10 years. The current Trump proposal doesn’t come near to doing so.

The White House budget director noted that last year he said the longer Congress waits to make spending reforms proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2018 proposal, the more difficult it will be to balance the budget.

“We didn’t make hardly any of the reforms. We sent up $54 billion worth of savings to the Hill last year, [and] they took about $5 billion worth of it,” Mulvaney said.

“They didn’t make any of the large structural changes we proposed. I probably could have made it balanced, but you all would have rightly excoriated us for using funny numbers, because it would have taken funny numbers to do it. These are real numbers.”

The proposal does attempt to bend the trajectory to lower deficits over 10 years by $3 trillion, according to the White House.

The White House calls the proposal “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget.”

Presidential budget proposals are rarely passed by Congress. Last week, Congress approved a two-year deal to hike spending caps by $300 billion over two years, upsetting many fiscal conservatives, as it also increases spending by $153 billion more than the previous two budget deals combined.

“It’s certainly alarming to us that the budget is not balanced at any point,” Justin Bogie, senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “The budget may not matter as a policy matter, but it demonstrates the direction the White House is striving for.”

Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute at The Heritage Foundation, called the budget a “mixed bag.”

“The president’s budget makes progress by investing in the military, eliminating numerous ineffective agencies and programs, and beginning the process of welfare and entitlement reform. However, the budget fails to balance, ever, and does not sufficiently move the country away from its currently unsustainable fiscal path,” she said.

The budget proposal fully funds the national defense strategy with $716 billion. This includes a 2.6 percent pay hike for troops.

Trump’s signature campaign issue, immigration and border security, gets a boost in the proposal at a time when Congress has started to debate how to address illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.

Mulvaney said he anticipates having a deal on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and the wall.

The budget proposal asks Congress for $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement. Of that, $18 billion goes for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Also, $782 million would go to to hire 2,750 additional officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Another $2.7 billion would go to pay for an average daily detention capacity of 52,000 illegal immigrants.

Trump is asking for $17 billion to fight the opioid abuse epidemic.

The Trump administration wants Congress to dedicate $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for medical care.

Having already done away with the individual mandate, the chief financing mechanism of Obamacare, in the tax reform package that passed in late 2017, the Trump budget seeks to take another step on health care. The proposal includes the idea of $1.6 trillion in health care block grants to states, which was part of the bill sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The budget proposal also calls for numerous civil service reforms to ensure the federal government can “hire the best and fire the worst.” The proposal largely deals with reforming the hiring system, moving to a more merit-based pay system for federal workers, and making it easier to fire bad employees. Trump already signed a similar reform in place during his first year, but it only affected the Department of Veterans Affairs. This reform is aimed across government.


Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaking during a news briefing Monday at the White House about President Donald Trump’s budget propsal for fiscal year 2019. (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom)

Saudi Graduate of al Qaeda Terror Camp Arrested in Oklahoma

On February 6, The New York Times published a chilling report on the arrest in Oklahoma of a foreign national who had attended an al Qaeda training camp. The defendant in this case is Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, a 34-year-old citizen of Saudi Arabia who has been residing in the U.S. since 2011. Allegedly he attended a terror training camp in Afghanistan in 2000 when four of the 9/11 hijacker/terrorists also attended training sessions at that very same camp.

Here is an excerpt from the Justice Department’s press release on the arrest:

According to the (criminal) complaint, the FBI found 15 of Alfallaj’s fingerprints on an application to an al Qaeda training camp, known as al Farooq, which was one of al Qaeda’s key training sites in Afghanistan.  The document was recovered by the U.S. military from an al Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan.  The document is also alleged to include an emergency contact number associated with Alfallaj’s father in Saudi Arabia.  Alfallaj is alleged to have first entered the U.S. in late 2011 on a nonimmigrant visa based on his wife’s status as a foreign student.  According to the complaint, he answered several questions on his visa application falsely, including whether he had ever supported terrorists or terrorist organizations.

The indictment returned today charges two counts of visa fraud.  Count One alleges that from March 2012 to the present, Alfallaj possessed a visa obtained by fraud.  Count Two alleges he used that visa in October 2016 to apply for lessons at a private flight school in Oklahoma.  The third count in the indictment charges Alfallaj with making a false statement to the FBI during a terrorism investigation when he was interviewed and denied ever having associated with anyone from a foreign terrorist group.

This is a “good news/bad news” story.

It is certainly impressive that our government was able to uncover the evidence upon which this criminal case is based, however, he was lawfully admitted into the United States in 2011, more than a decade after he received terror training.  He has been in the United States for about seven years and his presence in the United States only came to the attention of the FBI when he sought pilot training in October 2016.

It was discovered that he had lied when he applied for his visa to enter the United States by concealing his connection to terrorism.

This case causes me to have a sort of flashback to the congressional hearing at which I testified on March 19, 2002. The title of the hearing was the “INS’s Notification of Approval of Change of Status for Pilot Training for Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi.”

The C-SPAN video of that hearing is one that every member of Congress and the leadership of DHS, the State Department and other agencies of the Trump administration should be required to watch, especially as they contemplate calling into action a bureaucracy that continues to demonstrate its ineptitude in effectively screening aliens applicants for immigration benefits.

I have frequently noted in many of my articles and in my testimony before congressional hearings that the 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as the key entry and embedding tactic of terrorists.  This is why the second largest contingent of law enforcement personnel assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) are ICE agents.

As a former INS agent I don’t like to speculate, I certainly prefer to deal with facts, however, there are some very serious and obvious questions that the Alfallaj case raises.

While it may be that Alfallaj had no nefarious purposes for taking pilot training, it is impossible to not consider the that Alfallaj is a “sleeper agent,” that is to say, an enemy combatant who entered the United States with the ultimate goal of participating in a deadly attack.  If so, was he planning to participate in a hijacking of an airliner with others who perhaps have yet to be identified? Or was he perhaps planning to complete his flight training and then use a rented airplane as a weapon?

Having considered the case of Alfallaj, we must contemplate President Trump’s offer to provide 1.6 million DACA aliens with lawful status and pathway to citizenship.

Purportedly these illegal aliens entered the United States as children and hence had no control over their situation.  However, because they may be in their mid 30’s it is entirely possible that a significant number of them may lie about their actual dates of entry and that, although they claimed that they entered as children, they may well have entered relatively recently as adults.

Furthermore, these aliens are citizens from countries around the world, as reported by the DHS.

I addressed my misgivings about the the president’s plans in a recent articleDACA Solution Must Heed 9/11 Commission Findings. In conducting their deliberations about President Trump’s solution for DACA illegal aliens, members of Congress must take into account that the adjudications process would be conducted by a division of the DHS, along with other agencies that have failed, time and again, to properly vet aliens who have turned out to be terrorists and/or criminals.

President Trump ignited a firestorm, awhile back, when he issued executive orders to prevent the entry of aliens from countries that sponsor terrorism who could not be effectively vetted by our officials. President Trump’s stand on this issue was entirely proper and prudent, given the totality of circumstances. As I noted in an article back then, a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Title 8 U.S. Code § 1182, provides the President of the United States with the discretionary authority to imposed such restrictions even though he was enjoined by judges from implementing his orders.

The President is still very much concerned about the vetting process for aliens seeking entry into the United States to prevent the entry of terrorists and criminals. Indeed, during his State of the Union Address, when he discussed the second of his “four pillars” for reforming the immigration system, he referred to the “loopholes” by which criminals and terrorists enter the United States.  In reality, there are no “loopholes” but fraud that goes undetected and a lack of integrity of the immigration system.

Nevertheless the President is willing to rely on that same system to legalize 1.8 million DACA aliens.  It is likely that even more aliens would file applications, many laden with fraud information and claims.

After the attacks of 9/11 we were frequently told that for America to be safe, our officials had to “get it right 100% of the time” while in order for the terrorists to succeed, they only had to “get it right once.”  Every application filed by an alien for a visa or for lawful status provides terrorists with that opportunity of “getting it right.”

Consider this excerpt from Chapter 12 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

Before 9/11, no agency of the U.S. government systematically analyzed terrorists’ travel strategies. Had they done so, they could have discovered the ways in which the terrorist predecessors to al Qaeda had been systematically but detectably exploiting weaknesses in our border security since the early 1990s.

We found that as many as 15 of the 19 hijackers were potentially vulnerable to interception by border authorities. Analyzing their characteristic travel documents and travel patterns could have allowed authorities to intercept 4 to 15 hijackers and more effective use of information available in U.S. government databases could have identified up to 3 hijackers.

Looking back, we can also see that the routine operations of our immigration laws-that is, aspects of those laws not specifically aimed at protecting against terrorism-inevitably shaped al Qaeda’s planning and opportunities. Because they were deemed not to be bona fide tourists or students as they claimed, five conspirators that we know of tried to get visas and failed, and one was denied entry by an inspector. We also found that had the immigration system set a higher bar for determining whether individuals are who or what they claim to be-and ensuring routine consequences for violations-it could potentially have excluded, removed, or come into further contact with several hijackers who did not appear to meet the terms for admitting short-term visitors.

Our investigation showed that two systemic weaknesses came together in our border system’s inability to contribute to an effective defense against the 9/11 attacks: a lack of well-developed counterterrorism measures as a part of border security and an immigration system not able to deliver on its basic commitments, much less support counterterrorism.

The succession of terror attacks carried out by aliens who gamed the immigration system and acquired political asylum, lawful immigrant status and even citizenship, prove just how incapable that system is to deal with its current workload of 6 million applications annually, sounding alarms the President must hear.

False security is worse — far, far worse — than no security, particularly where terrorists are concerned.


Missouri: Muslim diversity visa recipient sent $1M to terrorist in Jordan

Just like the 9/11 hijackers, possible Saudi terrorist arrested by the FBI told his flight instructors he wanted to be a commercial pilot

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.

Trump Is Repealing Obama’s Harmful Water Rule. Why Efforts to Stop Him Are Misguided.

In 2015, the Obama administration finalized its infamous “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule—also known as the Clean Water Rule—that sought to regulate almost every type of water imaginable under the Clean Water Act.

To its credit, the Trump administration is taking action to get rid of this rule by withdrawing it and then issuing a new definition of what waters are covered under the Clean Water Rule.

This process, though, will require significant litigation as lawsuits pile up in an effort to block the administration from protecting the environment in a manner that also respects property rights, federalism, and the rule of law.

In fact, the litigation is already getting underway.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just finalized a rule that would delay the applicability date of the WOTUS rule by two years. This action helps give the agencies time to work through the regulatory process without rushing, and ensures that during this time, the WOTUS rule won’t go into effect.

The agencies explained:

Given uncertainty about litigation in multiple district courts over the 2015 rule, this action provides certainty and consistency to the regulated community and the public, and minimizes confusion as the agencies reconsider the definition of the ‘waters of the United States’ that should be covered under the Clean Water Act.

This commonsense delay, though, apparently didn’t please New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He recently announced that he was going to sue the administration for this new rule to delay the Obama administration WOTUS rule.

He explained, “The Trump administration’s suspension of these vital protections [the WOTUS Rule] is reckless and illegal.”

He also stated, “Make no mistake: Abandoning the Clean Water Rule will mean pollution, flooding, and harm to fish and wildlife in New York and across the country—undermining decades of work to protect and enhance our water resources.”

He makes it sound as if the WOTUS rule is the only thing protecting us from Armageddon. But in fact it is new policy and hasn’t even gone into effect—so how does it have anything to do with decades of environmental protection? It isn’t as though nixing the WOTUS rule means there will be no environmental protections.

It’s hard to see how a federal power grab that would regulate what most people would consider dry land is so critical to water, or why making it more difficult for farmers to engage in normal farming practices is going to be good for New York and the country.

Is the regulation of man-made ditches a must? Is it really a must for the agencies to regulate waters that can’t even be seen by the naked eye? Should the federal government act as a de facto local zoning board and intrude on traditional state and local power? Do we need to trample on property rights to protect the environment?

These are all effects of the WOTUS rule.

Maybe Schneiderman and others who want to block the administration from getting rid of one of the most egregious federal rules in recent memory think these are all good impacts. Most people, though, likely think otherwise.

There is an underlying assumption held by many of those who welcome such federal overreach: the federal government must regulate almost every water because there is no other alternative. They choose to ignore the fact that even the Clean Water Act expressly recognizes that states are supposed to play a leading role in addressing water pollution.

They see regulation as the only solution to any alleged water problems, not other government alternatives and especially not private means of protecting the environment. Respect for property rights, the rule of law, and federalism apparently are not important.

What should be important to them and certainly to most people is a clean environment. An overboard and vague rule though that seeks to regulate almost every water and ignores states is harmful to the environment, and this is precisely how to describe the WOTUS rule.

By developing a new rule that recognizes the need to work with states to address water issues, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers will be helping the environment, not hurting it. A clear and objective rule, unlike the mess that is the WOTUS rule, helps both the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers with enforcement and makes consistent compliance by regulated entities far more likely.

The Trump administration appears to recognize the importance for such a new rule. It is unfortunate that some will use lawsuits to make it more difficult for them to achieve this critical objective.

Ultimately, Congress needs to clarify in the Clean Water Act exactly what waters are considered to be “waters of the United States,” because even if the Trump administration comes up with the greatest rule in history, a future administration could easily undo that excellent work.

In the interim, though, Congress needs to step in and eliminate unnecessary obstacles for the administration as it seeks to move forward with a new rule.


Portrait of Daren Bakst

Daren Bakst studies and writes about agriculture subsidies, property rights, environmental policy, food labeling and related issues as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow in agricultural policy. Read his research. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.


Trump’s ‘America First’ Economy by Stephen Browne

“As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also,” Trump declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The numbers don’t lie, the Trump economy is the best America has had in years.

At the close of Trump’s first year in office the economy will likely have seen three percent growth for three successive quarters, which we haven’t seen for 13 years. The Dow hit 25,000 which we’ve never seen before. Wages and employment are rising, most significantly at the bottom end of the income distribution scale with most concentrated in the blue state heartland.

Moreover, the confidence of small businesses as measured by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, is the highest it’s been since they started doing the survey 45 years ago.

There has predictably been a lot of grumbling: “This is Obama’s policies finally kicking in!”

After eight years of assuring us that two percent growth is the new normal, he never achieved it.

“Almost a-quarter-million employees have been notified of plant closings and layoffs!”

That may be true – but so what?

Sorry, I know that sounds callous for those going through job loss – been there, done it; but the fact remains when the economy is expanding and employment increasing, layoffs in certain sectors means the economy is changing, not static. The slack will be taken up in new more dynamic sectors and Americans will do what we always have; move somewhere else, learn new skills, and get a new job.

So why has this happened and what does it mean? Because a great many of the ‘Wise and Wonderful’ on both the right and left predicted gloom, doom, and disaster.

In the past, when we’ve seen the economy improve with a new and more business-friendly administration, there has usually been a year’s lead time before Americans have seen improvement — but this has been immediate.

Some have proposed the first effects were largely psychological, and there is something to this. The Democrat Party is more than ever before dominated at the national level by hard leftists ferociously hostile towards free enterprise.

A change to an even tepidly pro-capitalist administration is like a shot of espresso to the economy.

And this change has been more than token. Trump promised to remove two business regulations for every one passed. At last count, 22 regulations have been removed for every single regulation imposed.

It’s not just that the regulatory burden on business is difficult and expensive, we could live with that – in fact, we have. It’s that it is so complex that it’s nearly impossible to understand.

Want to start a business or move yours into a new market? If you don’t have lots of lawyers and accountants on your payroll to navigate the regs – good luck! Complex regulations and tax laws favor “Big Business” over the little guys, and that’s how the big guys like it.

Nonetheless, “Regulation is stealth taxation,” Trump stated clearly in his Davos speech.

Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on top of massive deregulation will provide larger paychecks for American workers along with unanticipated company bonuses and pay raises that will boost the economy even more.

The White House highlighted these economic gains for American workers:

USA TODAY: Starbucks Boost Worker Pay, Gives Bonuses After Tax Cut
CNBC: 125,000 Disney Employees to Receive $1,000 Cash Bonus Due to Tax Reform
FT: Verizon To Give Most Employees Stock in Anticipation of Tax Savings
REUTERS: JP Morgan Rolls Out $20 Billion Investment Plan After Tax Gains
BLOOMBERG: Whirlpool Says It’s Adding Jobs After Trump Tariff Decision

During Trump’s first year, the Dow climbed 31 percent, according to CNBC, surpassed only by FDR, reporting that the “30-stock index has surged more than 31 percent since Trump’s inauguration.”

CNBC: The Dow’s 31% Gain During Trump’s First Year Is the Best Since FDR

“Donald Trump lifted the Dow Jones industrial average in his first year in office more than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt. The Dow has surged more than 31 percent since Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. That marks the index’s best performance during a president’s first year since Roosevelt. The Dow skyrocketed 96.5 percent during Roosevelt’s first year in office….Trump quickly moved to cut regulations enacted by previous administrations. He also successfully pushed to overhaul the U.S. tax code. That revamp included slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.”

Right, after the 1929 Wall Street Crash followed by the Great Depression, there really wasn’t anywhere else for the stock market to go but up. Elected in 1932, becoming the 32nd President of the United States, FDR saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise during his first year in office from 1933 to 1934. In fact, it took the market 25 years to fully recover from the Wall Street Crash.
He served from 1933 to 1945.

And then there’s the hot button issue, climate change.

Whatever your opinion of climate change, the fact is the proposals for addressing it these days consist almost entirely of political theater. The least burdensome proposals cripple the economy and accomplish nothing. The most radical proposals amount to dismantling industrial civilization resulting in impoverishment and mass starvation.

If we are going to find alternatives to fossil fuels the only thing that can accomplish this is a rich and dynamic economy that can support the research, development, and large-scale implementation of new technologies.

That’s a job for businessmen and engineers, not bureaucrats.

Probably the biggest thing the Trump administration has done is to remove a lot of the uncertainty of doing business. A thriving economy can stand a lot of stupid regulation, if they are consistent from day-to-day.

What the economy can’t stand is the uncertainty of a business environment where regulations are imposed capriciously by a chief executive who overturns settled law to pick winners and losers, decides who has to obey, and who gets special exemptions.

And, I must say, I did not see this unshackled vibrant economy coming. Trump seemed like the archetypal crony Capitalist, leveraging political influence for his own advantage, even to the point of trying to use eminent domain for private projects.

It never occurred to me that a player skilled in that game could still realize it is horribly bad for the U.S. economy, and once in power act on that knowledge. As a businessman, Trump has learned the economic lessons taught by Eastern Europe in their transition from socialism to market economies. And if you’d told me, I wouldn’t have believed you. What a pleasant surprise!

“As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also,” Trump declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


Stephen Browne has been a sewage treatment plant worker, a truck driver, an English teacher and a journalist. In 1991 he received his MA in anthropology and set out for Eastern Europe, which was to become his home for the next 13 years. While teaching English and working with local dissidents abroad he began to write professionally about the tremendous changes happening after the collapse of the Soviet empire. In 1997, he was elected Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. In 1998, he co-founded the Liberty English Camps in Lithuania, which teach the principles of free markets and political liberty through English-language instruction, and eventually became the Language of Liberty Institute. He returned to the U.S. to study journalism on a graduate fellowship and pay some dues in rural newspapers in the Midwest. At present he lives in his native Midwest with his two children Jerzy Waszyngton and Judyta Ilona. Mr. Browne is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

This Critical Reauthorization Will Help Keep Americans Safe

The reauthorization earlier this month of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a reaffirmation that America must continue to have the best possible tools at its disposal to counter dangerous adversaries and the evolving threats that we face in a volatile world.

Section 702 allows the government to target non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States in order to obtain foreign intelligence.

The most significant modification made to Section 702 pertains to one particular additional requirement for the FBI. That change requires that when the FBI wishes to query and potentially use Section 702 information in support of a criminal investigation, it must obtain a warrant on a case-by-case basis.

The lawful collection of communications under Section 702 of specifically identified individuals remains vital to countering the evolving threats from international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and espionage against America’s vital interests.

The reauthorization of Section 702 for six years provides the men and women of the intelligence community a tool that has proven to be one of the most critical collection capabilities available in identifying and subsequently thwarting those threats.

A few years ago, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board reported publicly that more than a quarter of our international terrorism reporting was based in whole or in part on information collected under this authority.

The new extension of Section 702 without significant amendments was opposed by some legislators for fear that this FISA provision allows the government to collect data carte blanche on U.S. persons. They remain critical of the Section 702 program because of what they claim amounts to warrantless collection against U.S. persons.

Their concerns rest on the inevitable reality that in the course of collecting information about foreign targets, the Section 702 program will also collect information about Americans as an incidental matter.

This criticism is misguided and unfair.

Under Section 702, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence jointly authorize surveillance of people who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court also plays a key oversight role. Under Section 702, it remains expressly prohibited to attempt collection of information from targets inside the U.S.—whether Americans or foreigners—or to deliberately target the collection of online communications of U.S. persons.

The law still requires the government to develop “targeting procedures”—the steps the government needs to take in order to ensure that the target is offshore at any time the electronic surveillance is undertaken.

What’s more, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must approve these procedures. A cellphone number, for example, remains the same whether the phone is physically overseas or in the U.S., and the fact that someone has a U.S. cellphone number does not necessarily indicate whether the owner or user of that cellphone is a foreigner or an American.

Therefore, there is no change in the targeting process. The targeting will still be tied to the geo-location of a phone and some knowledge about the owner/user, rather than solely the tracking of phone’s number.

In giving our intelligence community professionals the greatest amount of flexibility in collecting vital information under the reauthorized Section 702 provision, ultimately, it is the targeting procedures, not individual targets, that must be approved by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The reauthorized Section 702 did minimal damage in terms of restoring a barrier between foreign and domestic intelligence. The FBI will still be able to query Section 702 data when a national security case is being investigated by the FBI.

Placing a requirement to get a warrant for every query on the FBI would have unnecessarily created a disincentive for the FBI to query Section 702-collected information and would have introduced unnecessary delays for the FBI in addressing national security threats.

There is no other collection program with more rigorous oversight than what is in place for Section 702. Multiple layers of oversight by all three branches of government have oversight responsibilities. The reauthorization Section 702 has enhanced the whistleblower protections for those who witness unexplained collection anomalies.

The American people should be assured that their civil liberties and privacy rights are not being violated with this program. Rather, as a result of this reauthorization, Americans should have a sense that they are being better protected from foreign threats emanating from the Section 702 capabilities.

Multiple checks and balances are applied to this program, and that should give every American a sense of comfort that their Fourth Amendment rights are not being violated.


Portrait of David R. Shedd

David R. Shedd served over 30 years in various intelligence and national security positions, most recently as the acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by krblokhin/Getty Images.

Can we arrest politicians who violate the U.S. Constitution?

The U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted along party lines to release a classified memo alleging FBI abuses in the agency’s surveillance of American citizens.

The memo was sent to the White House to have President Trump, who has five days to review it, release it to the public.

After release of the memo will those named in it, especially politicians or political appointees, be arrested for violating the U.S. Constitution?

In 2013 The Next News Network interviewed Constitutional scholar Dr. Edwin Vieira who sat down with Gary Franchi and answered the question: Can we arrest politicians who violate the U.S. Constitution?

 Dr. Vieira references 18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights and 18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law. 18 U.S. Code § 241 reads:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

18 U.S. Code § 242 reads:

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

There are indications that the memo reveals how the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation misused the FISA courts to spy on American citizens, including a candidate for President of the United States of America and his campaign staff, in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Heritage Foundation Guide to the Constitution, Due Process, notes:

Both the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibit governmental deprivations of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment serves three distinct functions in modern constitutional doctrine: “First, it incorporates [against the States] specific protections defined in the Bill of Rights….Second, it contains a substantive component, sometimes referred to as ‘substantive due process.’…Third, it is a guarantee of fair procedure, sometimes referred to as ‘procedural due process.’…” Daniels v. Williams (1986) (Stevens, J., concurring).

If the memo shows that any politician deliberately and falsely denied an American citizen their due process rights under the U.S. Constitution then the answer is: Yes!

President Trump Decreased the Debt to GDP Ratio – First Time in More than 50 Years!

Gateway Pundit in an article titled It’s Official=> President Trump Decreases the Debt to GDP Ratio in His First Year in Office – First Time in More than 50 Years!  Joe Hoft reports:

The higher a country’s debt to GDP ratio, the less healthy the country’s economy.  With the GDP numbers released yesterday, President Trump’s policies have officially decreased the Debt to GDP ratio by 1.2% in the President’s first year in office.

In contrast, President Obama increased the US Debt to GDP ratio his first year in office by 14.5%.  Obama increased the rate a total of 37% over his 8 years in office.

Since his inauguration President Trump has focused his efforts on the security of the country and on the prosperity of its economy. The results of his actions are taking shape.

The US GDP has increased each quarter in 2017 with the 4th Quarter GDP increasing to $19.739 trillion – the highest GDP for any country in world history.

Read more.


He’s A Genius: Trump Bumps Tariffs Up On Solar Panels – Look What China Just Did

Media Ignorance on Capitalism Hurts Low-Wage American Workers

Trump Tower Russian Lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Exposed in Swiss Corruption Case


DACA: President Trump and Congress Must Look Before They Leap

There is a bit of sage advice that warns, “Look before you leap.”

Motorists are also warned to not attempt to drive through a flooded street because it may be impossible to know the depth of the water.

Those warnings certainly apply to any politician, President Trump included, who may be inclined to reach a compromise on DACA.

It has been estimated by the DHS that about 800,000 illegal aliens have enrolled in DACA.  The media and advocates for legalizing these aliens repeatedly describe them as having been brought here as children who, supposedly, had no control over their situation.

Most folks are not aware that in order to qualify, these aliens had to claim that they entered the United States prior to their 16th birthdays but could have applied to participate in this program if they did so prior to their 31st birthday.  Today those aliens may be as old as 36 years of age.

Now, reportedly, the administration is seeking a compromise to deal with these aliens who will begin losing their temporary protection from deportation on March 5th.

However, in the parallel world of Washington, DC, what you see may not be what you get.

On January 18, 2018 USA Today reported, “There are 3.6M ‘DREAMers’ — a number far greater than commonly known.”

That estimate, according to USA Today, was provided by the Migration Policy Institute.

Advocates for legalization of DACA aliens, who enrolled in the Obama program, are also now demanding that any aliens who claim they would have qualified as “DREAMERS” and claim they entered the United States before their 18th birthdays be granted lawful status as well.

Durbin is seeking a massive legalization program through extortion, holding the U.S. government and Americans hostage.

The December 4, 2018 Chicago Tribune report, Durbin rallying support for Dream Actincluded this sentence:

The Dream Act would grant “conditional permanent residency” to an estimated 1.8 million immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before age 18 and can meet requirements similar to those under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

According to the article Durbin, the second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, is steadfast in this demand, stating,

We have to assert ourselves in the minority and make it clear that we are not going to vote for certain legislation — and our votes are needed — unless this is included as part of the package,” Durbin said.

Even as negotiations are underway, and a supposed “compromise” is being sought, the amnesty advocates have already greatly increased the number of potential participants.

In point of fact, the number of potential applicants would be so great as to overwhelm and implode the legal immigration system and the entire adjudications processes conducted by the division of the Department of Homeland Security known as USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).  With such huge numbers, no interviews or field investigations could be conducted to verify the claims made in the applications and to seek to uncover fraud.

As you will see shortly, immigration fraud threatens national security.

We must learn the lessons history teaches us.  Consider that when President Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) into law the original estimate of roughly one million participating aliens was greatly eclipsed by the ultimate total of more than 3.5 million aliens who “emerged from the shadows.”

No one has ever explained that huge numeric discrepancy.  Was it because of undercounting?  Was it because a huge number of illegal aliens ran the borders after the cutoff date and then lied about their dates of entry?

Both are possible but unknowable.

Here is the issue that no one has addressed.  There is absolutely no way to know the true date of entry for aliens who enter the United States without inspection.  There is also no way to verify whether or not they ever left the United States since entering the United States and then, once again, entered without inspection.  This is critical because in order to be eligible for DACA in the first place, these aliens had to claim that they entered the United States prior to their 16th birthdays and must have claimed to have been continuously present in the United States since their entry.

This is why DACA (Deferred Action-Childhood Arrivals) should actually be referred to as DACCA (Deferred Action- Claimed Childhood Arrivals).

There were a number of other problems with the DACA program that I enumerated in a recent article,  DACA:  The Immigration Trojan Horse. One of the most serious problems is that DACA was an effort to bypass the Constitution by enacting the failed DREAM Act without legislation.  The goal was to pass a massive amnesty program for unknown millions of illegal aliens, by “hook or by crook.”

The DREAM Act is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, ironically legitimizing the use of the term “alien,” the very same term that would normally invoke outrage by the immigration anarchists if it was ever used in any other context except for linking it to the American Dream — for illegal aliens.

Given all that is involved, efforts to reach a “compromise” on DACA would compromise national security, public safety and the integrity of the entire immigration system.  And now it would appear that the 800,000 aliens that advocates for DACA amnesty are demanding that the number of potential participants be increased by more than three-fold.

There is absolutely no justification for any illegal alien who failed to have already registered for DACA to be considered for any benefit other than a trip home unless such alien has another means of gaining relief from deportation.

DACA amnesty makes a mockery of the legislative process and of our immigration system as it now stands.  Nevertheless it would appear that Durbin and company are determined to hold our government hostage for the legalization of a number of illegal aliens that truly has no limit.

Immigration fraud undermines the entire immigration system.   It is entirely possible that aliens who have yet to enter the United States could easily run our borders and successfully defraud the system by claiming to have been residing in the United States for many years.

As I noted previously, immigration fraud has a direct nexus to national security and terrorism.

Consider the case of one of those aliens who participated in the 1986 Amnesty, Egyptian national Mahmud Abouhalima, who was described as the “field general” behind the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing which killed six innocent victims and injured more than one thousand people and inflicted an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages.

On March 25, 1993 the Los Angeles Times reported:  “Alleged Leader in N.Y. Bombing Flown to U.S.: Probe: Mahmud Abouhalima was seized in Egypt. Fifth man is also arrested in World Trade Center attack.” The report continued:

NEW YORK — A suspect believed to be the “field general” behind the World Trade Center bombing was brought back from Egypt under tight security Wednesday to be formally charged today in one of the worst acts of terrorism in the nation’s history.

Mahmud Abouhalima, who was the focus of an international search by the FBI, was seized last week by Egyptian police in his hometown on the Nile delta as part of a crackdown on proponents of an Islamic state who are blamed for a wave of violence in that country.

The LA Times report went on to note:

Abouhalima first came to the United States in October, 1986, with a German passport and tourist visa. Four years later, he became a permanent resident by claiming that he was an agricultural worker under a special exemption for such workers in the 1986 Immigration Reform Act. U.S. officials said this exemption has often been misused.

The official report “9/11 and  Terrorist Travel had this to say about Abouhalima:

“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.”

Senator Schumer was a key architect of the agricultural amnesty provision of the 1986 amnesty when he was a member of Congress and is now a prime mover of the push for a massive legalization program under the guise of DACA.

The World Trade Center attacks of  February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 were only possible because of massive failures of the immigration system.

Other terror attacks in NYC and elsewhere have also been facilitated by multiple failures of the immigration system.

Senator Schumer and NYC’s mayor have demanded more money to protect New York from terror attacks, declaring that New York City is a prime target for terrorists, while blithely ignoring the findings of the 9/11 Commission.

Simply stated, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

RELATED ARTICLE: Culture Wars: Supporting “Them” Over “Us” Until We’re Dead

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.

High-Tax States Should Lower Their Taxes Instead of Trying to Evade Federal Taxes

High-tax states such as New York, California, and New Jersey are spending significant time and resources trying to concoct ways for their high-income residents to evade federal taxes.

This strategy is in direct response to the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which caps state and local tax deductions from federal income taxes at $10,000 per taxpayer. But legislators in high-tax states who wish to prevent the wealthy from fleeing to lower-tax states should lower the cost of local and state government instead of ducking federal taxes.

The $10,000 cap in the state and local deduction is irrelevant for most taxpayers.

For starters, 70 percent of taxpayers don’t itemize their deductions when filing their federal income taxes. These taxpayers benefit instead from the standard deduction.

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubles the standard deduction, The Heritage Foundation estimates that about 85 percent of taxpayers will not itemize deductions. And the state and local tax deduction is worth nothing to taxpayers who don’t itemize.

What’s more, the cap won’t limit many taxpayers’ state and local tax deductions because only about half of those who currently claim the deduction pay more than $10,000 in state and local taxes.

It’s primarily high-income taxpayers in high-tax states who will be affected most by the change in federal tax law. And that’s why lawmakers in those states are trying to find ways around the law.

Instead of trying to pass the buck of their big-government costs to federal taxpayers in lower-tax states, policymakers in high-tax states should just reduce their own state taxes.

As U.S. Rep. John J. Faso, R-N.Y., aptly said:

“The solution is to lower the cost of government in New York and make our state a place where businesses can create jobs so our people don’t have to flee.”

While a dollar in additional state and local tax deductions could save taxpayers as much as 37 cents in federal taxes (depending on their marginal tax rate), a dollar in state and local tax cuts would put 100 cents back into most taxpayers’ pockets.

Rather than address New York’s own high-tax problems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is proposing a new payroll tax on employers that would be deductible at the federal level.

But a new payroll tax on employers—one that would be in addition to existing income taxes—could hurt workers, businesses, and government revenues by discouraging companies from locating in New York. Such a tax would be extremely complicated and have disparate impacts on workers and businesses across the state, creating big boons for some and losses for others.

New York already has experienced the largest outmigration of residents of any state in recent years. State officials don’t need to exacerbate that with higher or more complex taxes.

Another idea being considered by states such as California and New Jersey is to circumvent the new cap on state and local tax deductions by setting up state-run charitable institutions to fund the government. Taxpayers who make donations to those institutions would receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their state tax bills.

But federal tax law specifies that donations providing a direct monetary benefit for the donor do not qualify as charitable deductions. It’s hard to contest the direct monetary benefit of a dollar-for-dollar reduction in state tax liability.

Rest assured, even if states such as New York and California manage to circumvent new federal limits on state and local tax deductions, the IRS will implement new rules to enforce the intent of the cap. Instead of reducing total taxes for residents, the result could be higher taxes because high-tax states may not fully abandon their newly generated “workaround” revenue sources.

Additional sources of tax revenues are the last thing residents in high-tax states need. Taxpayers who live in New York and who make between $75,000 and $100,000 already pay an average of $9,950 in state and local income taxes. And the average millionaire in New York pays $502,000 in state and local taxes.

These highly taxed residents don’t need their governments spending more time and resources trying to evade taxes or create new, hopefully deductible taxes. Instead, they need state policymakers to make their governments more efficient and accountable; to limit nonessential government services; and to cut out waste and redundancies.

If states reduce government costs to more reasonable levels, residents will have more money in their pockets and fewer will be affected by the new cap on state and local tax deductions.

And, as economic studies show, states with lower tax burdens have significantly better economic outlooks, including higher growth in incomes, employment, population, gross state product, and even state and local tax revenues.

It’s time for lawmakers in high-tax states to throw in the towel on their efforts to shift their high-tax burdens onto federal taxpayers in other states, and instead focus on reducing the taxes they charge their residents.


Portrait of Rachel Greszler

Rachel Greszler is a senior policy analyst in economics and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Read her research.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking in Harlem during the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Jan. 15, 2018. Gov. Cuomo is proposing a new payroll tax on employers rather than cutting the cost of government. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/Newscom)

Betsy DeVos: ‘Common Core Is Dead’

In her first major policy address of 2018, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized the education policies of the Obama and Bush administrations, and laid out plans for the future of education reform.

DeVos has made school choice and reducing the role of the federal government in education two of her priorities as the Trump administration’s education chief. She also is working toward fulfilling President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to end Common Core—the education initiative that outlines what students should know in math and language arts at the end of each year of K-12 schooling.

“I agree—and have always agreed—with President Trump on this: Common Core is a disaster,” DeVos said in recent remarks at the American Enterprise Institute.

“And at the U.S. Department of Education, Common Core is dead,” DeVos added.

“It’s about educational freedom,” she said, expressing support for school choice. Opponents of school choice could repeal every state and local school choice measure, but it “wouldn’t go away,” she said. “There would still be school choices … for the affluent and the powerful.”

DeVos said the “federal first” approach did not start with the federal No Child Left Behind law under President George W. Bush and noted how the federal government created the Department of Education under President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. She said federal mandates “distort” what the education system should be, which is “a trusting relationship between teacher, parent, and student.”

Even with the creation of the federal Education Department, she said, most classrooms today look “remarkably similar” to those of 1938, the year the American Enterprise Institute was founded. “Our societies and economies have moved beyond the industrial era, but the data tell us education hasn’t,” she said, contrasting it with how retail has changed over the past 80 years, from general stores to websites.

Each time the federal government has passed education reform legislation, such as with No Child Left Behind, which “did little to spark higher scores,” it has not changed “the system,” DeVos said. “Each attempt has really just been a new coat of paint on the same old wall.”

It’s not just the amount of education funding, either, DeVos said. “The fact is the United States spends more per pupil than most other developed countries, many of which perform better than us in the same surveys.”

Additionally, the Obama administration’s School Improvement Grants, which sought to fix targeted schools by “injecting them with cash,” cost $7 billion with little to show for it.

DeVos didn’t knock all of President Barack Obama’s policies, however. She said the Every Student Succeeds Act “charted a path in a new direction” and “is a good step in the right direction, but it’s just that—a step.”

DeVos said she thinks equal access to a quality education “should be a right for every American, and every parent should have the right to choose how their child is educated.”

She added, “I trust parents and teachers, and I believe in students.”

Commentary by:

Kyle Perisic


Red States Drop the Ball on School Choice. Here’s Why That Needs to Change.

Homeschooling Is Not a Crime

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaking during a rally to promote the importance of school choice as part of National School Choice Week, in Washington on Jan. 18. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

#SchumerShutdown Clock Launched, tick, tock! [+Video]

The House Republican Conference has launched the website SchumerShutdown.com. The website has a clock that shows the days, hours, minutes and seconds since the Schumer shutdown. The website also uses the New York Democrat’s own words on the chaos caused by a government shutdown:

As we reported in our column Whose to blame for the Government Shutdown? It boils down to the number “3”!

Who is actually responsible for this vote that stopped funding for the government? Answer: Those U.S. Senators who voted NO!

According to the vote:

  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) DID NOT VOTE due to illness.
  • Two Independents voted NO.
  • Five Republicans voted NO.
  • Forty-two Democrats voted NO.

If all the Republicans, including John McCain, and the two Independent Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King voted YES, the bill would still have failed on a vote of 57 to 43. Therefore, to pass the procedural motion required 3 more Senate Democrats to vote YES.

Recall when Senator John McCain was the vote that killed the repeal of Obamacare and Democrats Celebrated his stance? Well, three Democrats killed the procedural motion which lead to the current government shutdown.

SchumerShutdown.com notes:

 Friday night, Democrats shut down the government over deadlines that don’t exist.  Their games could kick 9 million children off of their health insurance and hurt our troops.

Text SchumerShutdown to 50589 to stay up to date on Chuck Schumer’s crusade to shut down the government.



  • 9 million children will lose their health insurance
  • This denied access could cause potentially life threatening removal of treatment


  • More than 2 million members of our military will not be paid until the shutdown ends
  • 100,000 national guardsmen will be sent home from training
  • Pilot Training will be stopped, impacting readiness
  • Training will be canceled for tens of thousands of reservists
  • 50 percent of the civilian workforce will be furloughed – impacting contracting, medical, maintenance, and morale

Burdened by Debt: The Best and Worst States at Managing Debt

How does your state rank in terms of debt management? A new study by Credible exposes where people are best (and worst) at managing their credit card bills, student loan debt, and housing costs.

Read on to see how your financial profile compares to the average person in your state—and across state borders.

Key highlights

  • Michigan, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri have the highest scores in the U.S., with low debt-to-income ratios: on average, Michigan residents in this dataset spent just 25.3% of their monthly income on credit card, student loan, and housing payments—the lowest percentage in the U.S.
  • Hawaii, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana came in towards the bottom of the list with the highest average debt-to-income ratios: Residents of Hawaii spend, on average, 36.2% of their monthly paychecks on credit card, student loan, and housing payments—the highest percentage in the nation, and over 43% more than residents of Michigan
  • Monthly credit card payments were highest in Minnesota ($241/month), Hawaii ($238), Nevada ($234), New Jersey ($231), and Connecticut ($231)
  • Conversely, those in Mississippi ($154), Louisiana ($157), Washington, D.C. ($160), Arkansas ($174), and South Carolina ($181) spend the least on paying off credit card debt
  • The data showed average student loan payments to be highest in D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, and New Jersey, and lowest in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming, and North Dakota

Map: debt and income by state

Toggle through the menu below to see the overall score, average monthly credit card, student loan, and mortgage payments, and average annual income for each state.

Financial health is relative

On average, Americans included in this dataset paid $207 on their credit card debt, $370 on their student loans, and $906 on their housing each month, while taking home an average salary of $60,671.

But what’s the special sauce that makes some states’ residents so much better at debt management than others?

Well, it depends.

In Michigan, for example, cost of living plays a large role. Low average monthly housing payments relative to average income (combined with lower than average credit card and student loan payments) push the state up the rankings.

At the other end of the spectrum, some states rank lower because of particularly high payments made in one category or another.

Residents of Hawaii, for example, pay the second highest amount on monthly credit card bills and fourth highest amount on housing costs and their average income isn’t high enough to offset those costs.


Average monthly credit card payment of all Americans included in this dataset


Average monthly student loan payment of all Americans included in this dataset


Average monthly housing payment of all Americans included in this dataset

One in five borrowers is a homeowner

Mortgage debt can increase a resident’s debt-to-income ratio. The vast majority of the 540,000 borrowers included in this analysis are not homeowners but nearly 19% have one or more mortgages.

Of that group, the average housing payment increases to $1,705, nearly double the average housing payment for all borrowers, a group that includes renters, homeowners, and people living with parents.

You are not your state

While this new ranking sheds light on how residents of various states perform in terms of debt management, keep in mind that these are average numbers — and that your debt is a personal matter.

No matter how your state ranks, find a debt payoff plan that fits your budget and lifestyle, as well as minimizes what you’ll owe in interest as you pay off each loan.

For example, balance transfer credit cards can be useful to begin paying off your credit card debt. These cards will often offer you six to 18 months of 0% APR for balance transfers, giving you some time to get your finances in order without accruing a ton of interest. If paying off credit card debt is one of your goals, Credible can help you find the best balance transfer credit cards of 2018.


We used proprietary data from over 540,000 borrowers with student loan debt from all 50 U.S. states and D.C. to calculate average monthly credit card, student loan, and housing payments as a percentage of average monthly income. Therefore, the debt-to-income ratio we used to rank all states included credit card debt, student loan debt, and housing costs (such as rent or mortgage payments).

That percentage was then assigned a normalized score from 0-100 for each state, 0 being where debt payments are the highest percentage of monthly income, and 100 being where monthly payments are the lowest percentage of monthly income.

Full rankings and data