Why a Judge Ruled Obamacare Unconstitutional, and What Policymakers Should Do Next

A judge has declared Obamacare unconstitutional—but the case is far from over.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, granted a motion for summary judgement in favor of 20 states led by Texas that had filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act on Friday.

Now that O’Connor has ruled, the losing side is sure to appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and ultimately the Supreme Court.

However, as the case continues to wind its way through the legal system, it is imperative that policymakers pursue real health care reform. Obamacare isn’t working for too many American families and individuals slammed with high premiums and few choices. Rather than looking for ways to keep Obamacare in place amid these legal challenges, lawmakers should pursue real solutions.

The Judge’s Reasoning in Striking Down Obamacare

As part of the last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress repealed the financial penalty associated with failing to comply with the individual mandate, effective in 2019.

In 2012, in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate by the narrowest of margins when Chief Justice John Roberts, providing the deciding vote, devised a novel theory construing the penalty associated with violating the individual mandate as a tax that Congress has the power to levy under the Constitution.

Texas argues that once the penalty is reduced to $0, it can no longer be considered a legitimate tax, and that therefore the individual mandate would no longer have a constitutional leg to stand on.

Moreover, Texas argues, in upholding the individual mandate, the Supreme Court appeared to rely on the argument that Congress considered the individual mandate to be a central—indeed, indispensable—component of Obamacare that is not “severable” from the rest of its provisions, and that without it, the rest of the law should be invalidated.

A group of 17 states led by California are defending the law, arguing that even a tax of $0 is still a tax, and that it was never Congress’ intent to get rid of the rest of Obamacare when it repealed the financial penalty associated with the individual mandates as part of last year’s tax bill.

In granting the plaintiffs’ motion, O’Connor stated, showing his agreement with Texas’ argument:

The [Tax Cuts and Jobs Act] eliminated that [individual mandate] tax. The Supreme Court’s reasoning in NFIB—buttressed by other binding precedent and plain text—thus compels the conclusion that the individual mandate may no longer be upheld under the tax power. And because the individual mandate continues to mandate the purchase of health insurance, it remains unsustainable under the Interstate Commerce Clause—as the Supreme Court already held.

Finally, Congress stated many times unequivocally—through enacted text signed by the president—that the individual mandate is “essential” to the ACA. And this essentiality, the [Affordable Care Act’s] text makes clear, means the mandate must work ‘together with the other provisions’ for the Act to function as intended. All nine justices to review the [Affordable Care Act] acknowledged this text and Congress’s manifest intent to establish the individual mandate as the [Affordable Care Act’s] ‘essential’ provision. The current and previous administrations have recognized that, too. Because rewriting the ACA without its ‘essential’ feature is beyond the power of an Article III court, the Court thus adheres to Congress’s textually expressed intent and binding Supreme Court precedent to find the individual mandate is inseverable from the [Affordable Care Act’s] remaining provisions.

What Should Be Next

But the legal fight aside, we need a better health care solution than Obamacare.

One of Obamacare’s core conceits was that what (allegedly) worked in Massachusetts would also work on a national scale. That hasn’t borne out.

Instead, Obamacare led to years of increasing costs and decreasing choices. Premiums doubled in the first four years of the program. Millions lost the coverage they used to have. Americans found it harder to pick the right plan and doctor, as health plan choices declined and provider networks narrowed. Frustrated providers are drowning in red tape and increasingly feeling burned out. Meanwhile, taxpayers are on the hook for the money needed to paper over Obamacare’s flawed structure.

Those who seem to benefit most from Obamacare are big insurance companies that embraced the law and receive a steady stream of taxpayer subsidies and politicians who made endless promises to reform Obamacare but failed to deliver.

Real Solutions for Pre-Existing Conditions

Regardless of these facts, expect many in Congress to call for immediate restoration of Obamacare in the name of protecting the sick and people with pre-existing conditions.

Some on the left claim Congress must protect Obamacare because only Obamacare allows Americans with pre-existing conditions to get coverage. That’s an irresponsible, false dilemma and Congress should reject it.  

There are steps that states can take right now to ensure people with pre-existing conditions are protected, even if Obamacare ultimately goes away.

Congress should let states review their health care regulations and pursue innovative ways to make coverage more affordable and accessible to Americans—regardless of their income or medical status.  Every state legislature is about to go into session in early 2019, so this is both a desirable and possible approach.

Empower the States

Congress does have a role to play in helping families and individuals get the quality private coverage they want, and helping health care professionals meet their needs. Conservatives have a proposal to achieve this: the Health Care Choices Proposal, which undoes Obamacare’s damage by letting states innovate.

Under Obamacare, insurance companies receive taxpayer subsidies dollar for dollar as they raise prices.  This proposal does away with that flawed spending scheme.

Instead, it would convert existing Obamacare spending into a grant that states would use to ensure chronically-ill patients have access to the health coverage of their choice. Greater flexibility and resources to the states means that all Americans, even those who are chronically sick, would have access to more health plans at better prices.

The Health Care Choices Proposal would lower premiums up to an estimated 32 percent and ensure that everyone can access a quality private coverage arrangement of their choice.

And everyone who gets a subsidy could decide what coverage to use it for, including private or employer-sponsored health insurance.

Individuals and families would be able to decide what coverage arrangement works for them, and decide whether to work directly with a doctor for primary care and buy catastrophic coverage, or get a plan that covers more costs up front. The proposal would be especially helpful to the working poor, who may want to have private coverage but lack the means to pay for it.

For most people, this is a much better option than what happens today: being pushed onto a government-controlled plan a bureaucrat thinks is best for them.

This proposal would build on a promising, emerging trend already happening in the states. When states have been given even a little bit of freedom from Obamacare’s mandates, they’ve been able to lower premiums using tools that ensure that the sick still retain access to care.

Politicians have long promised to replace Obamacare with solutions that help everyone. It’s time to deliver—no matter which way the courts go.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Marie Fishpaw

Marie Fishpaw

Marie Fishpaw is director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.

Portrait of John G. Malcolm

John G. Malcolm is the vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, overseeing The Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: The Right Way to Overhaul Our Health Care System


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Photo: Paul Hennessy/Polaris/Newscom.

Sign Petition to Uphold the Scientific Definition of Sex in Federal Law and Policy

A petition has been created to define gender as immutable and binary. The on-line form of this document may be signed by anyone in agreement with its contents.


You may sign the petition here.


RELATED ARTICLE: Misguided Proposal From Christian Leaders and LGBT Activists Is Anything but ‘Fairness for All’

Full text of the petition:

December 4, 2018

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, U.S. Department of Justice

Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Secretary Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department of Education

Dear Mr. Whitaker, Secretary Azar, and Secretary DeVos,

We, the undersigned medical, legal, and policy organizations and individuals applaud the Trump Administration’s intention to uphold the scientific definition of sex in federal law and policy, such that girls and women will regain their sex-based legal protections, and the human rights of all will be preserved.

On February 22, 2017, the Department of Justice, in conjunction with the Department of Education, sent a Dear Colleague letter rescinding unprecedented “guidance” the previous administration had issued to expand the definition of sex in Title IX to include gender identity. On October 4, 2017, the Department of Justice issued a Memorandum regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to clarify that gender identity is not legally included in the definition of sex, pointing out that the ordinary meaning of “sex” is biologically based. The New York Times article on Oct. 21, 2018 regarding a leaked memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leads us to believe that HHS is continuing this trend and leading an effort to have a uniform, scientifically based, definition of sex across the various agencies. We write to applaud and encourage this effort.

Not only is an expanded definition of sex unscientific, but it has also proven harmful, as we detail below.

According to the Institute of Medicine, sex is a narrowly defined biological term. Sex is a biological trait that defines living things as male and female based on the complement of sex chromosomes and the presence of reproductive organs.[i] The American Psychiatric Association defines sex similarly as the “biological indication of male and female (understood in the context of reproductive capacity), such as sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and nonambiguous internal and external genitalia.” [ii]

Human sex is a binary, biologically determined, and immutable trait from conception forward.The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design for the obvious purpose of the reproduction of our species. This principle is self-evident. “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of male and female, respectively, and are found in every cell of the human body including the brain. Sex is established at conception, declares itself in utero, and is acknowledged at birth.

Sex differences are real and consequential. The Institute of Medicine recognized the singular importance of sex to health and the field of medicine nearly two decades ago. Sex chromosomes impart innate differences between men and women in literally every cell of our bodies.[i] There are over 6500 shared genes that are expressed differently in human males and females.[iii]These differences impact our brains, organ systems, propensity for developing certain diseases, differential responses to drugs, toxins and pain, differential cognitive and emotional processes, behavior and more.[i]

Individuals who identify as transgender deserve optimal medical treatment which is influenced by biological sex. In reality, an individual who identifies as transgender remains either a biological male or female. This objective biological fact has bearing upon their health even beyond sex-specific illnesses.

Diseases that affect both sexes often have different frequencies, presentations and responses to treatments in males and females; therefore, different preventative, diagnostic, and treatment approaches may be required for males and females. Doctors and scientists unconstrained by transgender politics know full well that were we to treat patients in accordance with a discordant gender identity, instead of their real sex, the results could be catastrophic.[i] For example, the heart medication, Betapace, is three times more likely to cause a lethal heart rhythm called torsades de pointes in women than it is in men.[iv]

Sex is not a spectrum; congenital disorders are not additional sexes. The final result of sex development in humans is unambiguously male or female over 99.98 percent of the time. “Intersex” is a term that encompasses a variety of congenital disorders of sex development that result in sex ambiguity and/or a mismatch between sex chromosomes and appearance.These disorders occur in less than 0.02 percent of all births.[v][vi] A spectrum is defined as “a continuous distribution” or a distribution in which “no specific outcome is more likely than others.” [vi] Clearly, the existence of rare disorders of sex development do not constitute a sex spectrum.

As evolutionary biologist Dr. Colin Wright of University of California, Santa Barbara recently penned, “The claim that classifying people’s sex upon anatomy and genetics ‘has no basis in science’ has itself no basis in reality, as any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98 percent would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences.” [vi]

The use of congenital disorders to advance the myth that there are a multitude of human sexes which exist on a spectrum is ideological and political activism, not science.

Gender identity is not an immutable trait found anywhere in the body, brain, or DNA.[vii] Gender identity is an awareness of, and comfort level with, one’s physical body. Gender identity may be factually correct or factually incorrect, and, unlike sex, may change. Children with gender dysphoria, for example, will come to identify with their biological sex in 61-98 percent of cases by adulthood.[viii] There is also a rise in the number of adults who seek surgery to reverse their past sex reassignment surgeries.[ix]

The claim that upholding the scientific definition of sex will increase suicide among transgender identifying people is false. Individuals who identify as transgender may have mistaken beliefs about themselves and their bodies. They suffer real emotional distress and are at a higher risk for mental illness, including suicidal ideation, as compared to the general population. Social and medical “gender transition and affirmation,” however, is not proven to decrease suicide rates.

The rate of suicide attempts among transgender identified individuals has been estimated to be almost 9 times that of the general population.[x] Sweden is a transgender affirming country that has adopted laws and policies conflating sex and gender-identity. Nevertheless, a study conducted by researchers there in 2011 found the rate of completed suicides among surgically “gender-affirmed” adults to be 19 times greater than that of the general population.[xi] Clearly, transgender affirmation does not prevent suicide, and may paradoxically worsen the emotional health of these individuals in the long term.

Upholding the scientific definition of sex in law and policy protects everyone’s right to privacy, protection and equal treatment, especially that of girls and women. It is impossible to protect girls’ and women’s rights unless the law defines them solely according to objective biological reality and not according to subjective gender identity. When gender identity is erroneously treated as equivalent to sex in law and policy, then a male may at any time demand the rights, protections and access afforded to females. This automatically strips girls and women of their right to sex-based privacy, protection, and a proper playing field to compete equally. Transgender ideology thereby transforms all that was once reserved for females alone into another male prerogative.

Boys, for example, are literally running away with state level championship titles in girls’ sports because they identify as transgender.[xii] How is it just to award honors – which could include athletic college scholarships – reserved for female high school athletes, to boys who are innately biologically bigger, stronger and faster?

Of greater concern, gender identity has been used to allow biological males in spaces previously reserved for women. As a result, girls and women are suffering sexual assaults at the hands of biological men in women’s shelters,[xiii][xiv] women’s prisons [xv] and even elementary school girls’ bathrooms.[xvi]

As the biological men and women they are, transgender-identified individuals possess the same human dignity and right to the equal protection of the law as all Americans. For the law to respect the human dignity of all Americans, including those who identify as transgender, it must be based on biological truth; not on ideological falsehoods at the expense of children and women’s rights, health and well-being.

For all of these reasons, it is with unwavering conviction that we urge the Trump Administration to uphold the original scientific meaning and legal intent of the term “sex” in federal law and policy.

Please note that university and hospital affiliations are for identification only and do not imply institutional endorsement.

Sincerely,

Michelle Cretella, M.D.
Executive Director, American College of Pediatricians

Quentin Van Meter, MD
President, American College of Pediatricians
Pediatric Endocrinologist

Donna Harrison, M.D.
Executive Director, American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Peter Morrow, M.D.
President, Catholic Medical Association

Stephen M. Krason, Ph.D.
President, Society of Catholic Social Scientists

Paul McHugh, M.D.
University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Michael K. Laidlaw, M.D.
Endocrinologist and member of gdworkinggroup.org

Craig Stump M.D., Ph.D., FACE
Endocrinologist, University of Arizona College of Medicine

Paul W. Hruz M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Endocrinologist, Physician-Scientist, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Professor of Cellular Biology & Physiology

Angela Lanfranchi M.D. FACS

Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Susan J Bradley, M.D., FRCP(C)

Professor Emerita, University of Toronto

J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology Northwestern University

Marie T. Hilliard, MS, MA, JCL, Ph.D., RN
The National Catholic Bioethics Center

Mary Lou Singleton, MSN, FPC-BC

Christopher Doyle, LPC
Co-Founder National Task Force for Therapy Equality

David Pickup, LMFT
Co-Founder National Task Force for Therapy Equality

Laura Haynes, Ph.D., California Licensed Psychologist
USA Representative, International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC.org)

Michael Farris, J.D.
President, CEO, & General Counsel
Alliance Defending Freedom

Matthew D. Staver, Esq.
Founder and President, Liberty Council

Charles LiMandri, J.D.
Founder and President, Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund

Robert J. Muise, Esq.
Co-Founder, American Freedom Law Center

Gerard V. Bradley, J.D.
Professor of Law University of Notre Dame

Steven D. Smith, J.D.
Warren Distinguished Professor of Law University of San Diego

Maimon Schwarzschild, J.D.
Professor of Law University of San Diego

Larry Alexander, LL.B.
Warren Distinguished Professor of Law University of San Diego

Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council

Frank Cannon
President
American Principles Project

Matthew J. Franck, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Witherspoon Institute

Sharon Slater
President, Family Watch International

Austin Ruse
President, Center for Family and Human Rights

Allan C. Carlson, Ph.D., Editor,
The Natural Family: An International Journal of Research and Policy

Patrick Lee, Ph.D.
McAleer Professor of Bioethics
Center for Bioethics, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Christopher Wolfe, Ph.D.
Distinguished Affiliate Professor, University of Dallas
President, American Public Philosophy Institute

Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Sociology and Director, Leo Institute for Catholic Social Research, The Catholic University of America

Robert G Kennedy, Ph.D.
Department of Catholic Studies University of St. Thomas

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Founder and President, The Ruth Institute

References

[i] Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter? In: Wizemann TM, editor; Pardue ML, editor. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2001.

[ii] American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5 (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013), p. 829.

[iii] “Researchers Identify 6,500 Genes That Are Expressed Differently in Men and Women,” Weizmann Wonder Wander (Weizmann Institute of Science), May 3, 2017, online at: https://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/life-sciences/researchers-identify-6500-genes-are-expressed-differently-men-and-women; reporting on: Moran Gershoni and Shmuel Pietrokovski, “The landscape of sex-differential transcriptome and its consequent selection in human adults,” BMC Biology 15:7 (2017), which says, “[T]here are over 6500 protein-coding genes with significant SDE [sex-differential expression] in at least one tissue.” Online at: https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12915-017-0352-z.

[iv] Lehmann MH, et. al. Circulation. 1996 Nov 15;94(10):2535-41. Abstract available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8921798

[v] Sax L. “How Common is Intersex? A Response to Anne Fausto-Sterling,” Journal of Sex Research 39:3 (August 2002), pp. 174-178. Online at:

http://www.leonardsax.com/how-common-is-intersex-a-response-to-anne-fausto-sterling/.

[vi] Wright C. “The New Evolution Deniers.” Quillette. Nov 30, 2018. Available online at: https://quillette.com/2018/11/30/the-new-evolution…

[vii] McHugh PR, Mayer LS. “Sexuality and Gender findings from the Biological,Psychological and Social Sciences.” The New Atlantis. Fall 2016. Available onlineat: https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/introd…

[viii] Ristori J, Steensma TD. Gender dysphoria in childhood. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2016;28(1):13-20.

[ix] Borreli L. “Transgender Surgery: Regret Rates Highest In Male to Female Reassignment Operations.” Newsweek. October 3, 2017. Available online at: https://www.newsweek.com/transgender-women-transge…

[x] Haas AP, Rodgers PL & Herman J. “Suicide Attempts Among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults: Findings of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, January 2014. Available online at: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu

[xi] Cecilia Dhejne, et al., “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden,” PLoS ONE 6 (2011); online at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885.

[xii] Mayer R. “Transgender Track Athlete Wins CT State Championship, Debate Ensues.” June 13, 2018. CBS News. Available online at: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/06/13/transgende…

[xiii]Hoggard, Corin. “Shelter forced women to shower with person who identified as a transgender woman and sexually harassed them, lawsuit says.”ABC 30 Action News, Fresno, CA, May 23, 2018; online at: https://abc30.com/homeless-women-harassed-in-showe…

[xiv] Sam Pazzano, “Predator who claimed to be transgender declared dangerous offender,” Toronto Sun, February 26, 2014; online at: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/02/26/predator-who-claimed-to-be-transgender-declared-dangerous-offender.

[xv] Janet Fife-Yeomans, “Sex change killer Maddison Hall to be free as a bird,” Daily Telegraph, April 2, 2010; online at: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sex-change-killer-to-be-free-as-a-bird/news-story/b1fecc9a9a4717607de6e980980e0ba5?sv=e95663cd723e2f8ffa0caa3329e03203.

[xvi] Alliance Defending Freedom, “US opens investigation into sexual assault of minor child in Georgia, violation of Title IX,” Press Release (October 3, 2018); online at:

http://www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/99205?search=1.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Ken Treloar on Unsplash.

How School Districts Weaponize Child Protection Services Against Uncooperative Parents

Parents are increasingly required to obey, to conform to a school’s demands even if they believe such orders may not be appropriate for their child.


Schooling is adept at rooting out individuality and enforcing compliance. In his book, Understanding Power, Noam Chomsky writes:

“In fact, the whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on—because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.”

This filtering process begins very early in a child’s schooling as conformity is rewarded and divergence is punished.

Most of us played this game as schoolchildren. We know the rules. The kids who raise their hands, color in the lines, and obey succeed; the kids who challenge the rules struggle. The problem now is that the rules are extending beyond the classroom. Parents are increasingly required to obey, to conform to a school’s demands even if they believe such orders may not be appropriate for their child.

In my advocacy work with homeschooling families across the country, I frequently hear stories from parents who decided to homeschool their kids because schools were pressuring them to comply with various special education plans, push medications onto their children, or submit to other restrictive procedures they felt were not in their child’s best interest. Even more heartbreaking is the growing trend of school officials to unleash child protective services (CPS) on parents, homeschooling or not, who refuse to give in to a district’s demands.

An investigative report by The Hechinger Report and HuffPost released last month revealed that schools are increasingly using child protective services as a “weapon” against parents. It said:

Fed up with what they see as obstinate parents who don’t agree to special education services for their child, or disruptive kids who make learning difficult, schools sometimes use the threat of a child-protection investigation to strong-arm parents into complying with the school’s wishes or transferring their children to a new school. That approach is not only improper, but it can be devastating for families, even if the allegations are ultimately determined to be unfounded.

More troubling, these threats disproportionately target low-income and minority parents. According to the report:

Such families also have fewer resources to fight back. When a family in a wealthy Brooklyn neighborhood learned roughly two years ago that their child’s school had initiated an ACS [New York’s Administration for Children’s Services] investigation against them, they sued the city education department. Parents from lower-income, majority-black and Latino neighborhoods, few of whom can afford that option, say such investigations can be a regular, even expected, part of parenting.

For parents who are unhappy with their child’s school and decide to withdraw their child for homeschooling, threats of child welfare investigations can sometimes turn to actions. In Massachusetts, a mother is reportedly suing the Worcester Public Schools after school officials called the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) on her for alleged “educational neglect,” even though the mother contends that she dutifully filed her homeschooling paperwork for her eight-year-old son mid-year.

Brian Huskie, a public high school teacher and homeschooling father in New York, noted a similar case last year with one of his students. Dissatisfied with the school, the parents decided to remove their daughter from the district, filed the necessary homeschooling paperwork, and were soon visited by child protective services investigating “educational neglect.” Huskie detailed the incident on his blog, writing that the school made a “decision to weaponize CPS against a district family.”

Parents who push back against a district’s recommendations or withdraw their child from school for homeschooling are often trying to ensure their child’s well-being. Questioning various educational interventions and examining alternatives is part of a parent’s job. They should be praised for looking out for their child’s best interest, while schools should be sure that they use social services agencies to investigate serious claims of abuse and neglect—not just district snubs or paperwork quarrels.

If, as Chomsky suggests, many of us have grown acquiescent to power due to our successful schooling, it can be hard to challenge authority. It can be even harder when that authority is strengthened by government force and when we may not have the resources to fight it.

Supporting parents, broadening their education choices, and respecting their decisions are crucial steps in liberating families and curbing government coercion.

COLUMN BY

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald (@kerry_edu) has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Kerry is the author of the forthcoming book, Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press). Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.

RELATED VIDEO: Child protection services “Legally Kidnapped.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

Suspected Terrorist Leading Migrant Group Demanding Entry Into U.S.

A suspect in a 1987 bombing that wounded six American soldiers in Honduras is leading a group of migrants demanding entry into the United States.

Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa organized a march of approximately 100 migrants to the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico, on Tuesday, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Ulloa delivered a letter to the consulate on behalf of the migrants, asking for either entry into the U.S. or a payment of $50,000 per person.

“It may seem like a lot of money to you,” Ulloa told the Union-Tribune. “But it is a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras.”

Ulloa has lived in Mexico since 1987 after fleeing Honduras in the wake of a bombing that wounded six soldiers. Ulloa was suspected of planting a bomb in a Chinese restaurant, but received asylum from Mexico, whose government described the suspected terrorist as a “freedom fighter.”

An appropriations bill passed by Congress in December 1987 included Congress’s findings that “the bomb was directed at American soldiers and did in fact wound American soldiers and an American contractor.” The report noted that Ulloa was a suspect in the bombing.

Ulloa has posted on Facebook about his role in organizing the migrants in Mexico, which he is open about, and the accusations against him from 1987, which he denies.

Ulloa posted a video on Tuesday of the migrants marching to the consulate. He described the group as a “caravan” of Honduran migrants.

WATCH:

Ulloa posted a lengthy diatribe about the 1987 bombing to Facebook in June 2017.

In the post, Ulloa again denied any role in the bombing, though he admitted to being a member of Popular Revolutionary Forces-Lorenzo Zelaya — a now-defunct left-wing group whose members claimed responsibility in 1982 for hijacking a plane and taking hostages, including eight Americans.

report published by the U.S. government in April 1990 described the group as one of several “leftist guerrilla groups [in Honduras] that have resorted to terrorist tactics in the past.”

Ulloa also railed against the presence of American military members in Honduras and called on “gringo trash” to leave the country.

COLUMN BY

Peter Hasson | Reporter

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

RELATED ARTICLES:

Why Our Country Needs the Wall, and Now

Trump: Mexico Is Still Paying For The Wall

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Major Concerns with Florida’s Marjory Douglas Stoneman HS Public Safety Law (SB 7026)

Florida Senator Kelli Stargel

Winter Haven 912 is meeting with Florida Senator Kelli Stargel on December 17th, 2018 and to say the least, we feel the same way as she does.  We citizens feel totally betrayed by the passage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act.  We all feel strongly about this law, but personally I am now and have been outraged since this law was even brought out of committee.

I am providing a pre-meeting discussion sheet (below), which may interest you. 

You are welcome to post it and or send it to your Florida state legislators and other activists to use as they see fit in order to trigger grassroots activism. It is imperative that legislators feel the ire of Floridians who support the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment and make serious changes to this law or better yet, scrap it and start over.


Concerns with (SB 7026) Marjory Douglas Stoneman HS Public Safety Law

The citizens of the Winter Haven 912 are extremely concerned about SB7026. We have openly expressed our concerns about this law since it was introduced. This law directly violates the Constitutional rights of citizens and we are frankly amazed that legislators who we knew to be conservatives, voted yes without serious scrutiny/work to make corrections before voting.  When SB 7026 was introduced, we (foolishly) assumed such a blatantly offensive law would never be considered in a strong Republican-led legislature.

The Constitutional rights that have now been compromised for law abiding citizens due to the paid-for riots of high school youth allowed to take over the Capitol in Florida is unimaginable. We now have $400,000,000 added to the Florida budget, ANOTHER bureaucracy that now saddles Florida taxpayers, bad law that will likely be struck down in court, and waste money and time after a law-abiding citizen’s rights are blatantly violated by law enforcement thanks to legislators that were once trustworthy in our eyes.

It has been obvious that something needed to be done about school security and ensuring that law enforcement, school boards and lawmakers do their jobs. The Parkland massacre although unimaginably tragic, provided an excellent opportunity to create a sensible piece of legislation that could TRULY make Florida kids safe in school. Politicians threw this opportunity away like trash.

An organized “movement”, driven and paid for by left-wing activists manipulated and used the children of Florida to move us a step closer to the socialist dream of gun control. The Left had a field day and used our children as tools to achieve their end – to the everlasting shame of Florida. The leftists who paid for this outrage could care less about those kids. They do not care about the children who died or were injured during the Parkland event. They have a political agenda and that is all they care about.

The left demonstrated that organized rioting works with weak politicians in the State of Florida.  Rather than taking charge of the situation and leading, Republicans in Tallahassee bent to the will of socialists focused on the destruction of a Free American Society. It is rumored that the bill was already written by leftists anticipating a horrific event, that educational policies put in place by leftists led to this incident, and the Parkland Shooting triggered the filing of this bill. Republican politicians in Florida bent to the will of socialism.

We are aware that most democrats voted against this legislation. Their reasoning was the bill was not restrictive enough. We were horrified to see this bill even make it out of committee. Law abiding citizens across Florida are now being punished for the failures of government in the egregiously corrupt Broward county. A republican legislature passed SB7026 and a Republican Governor signed it.

Republican legislators correctly assuming they would win the November election, betrayed supporters that believed in them and trusted their judgment but as it turns out conservatives were sadly mistaken. Florida lawmakers could have called a special session to deal specifically with this law and created a model for the nation, instead they abused our trust and failed the citizens of Florida.

It is our contention that this legislation caused the near destruction of the Florida elections in November.  There is no doubt that if Florida Republican lawmakers had voted this law down solidly, taken leadership in this situation and come out with a SERIOUS BILL in special session that would ACTUALLY SOLVE PROBLEMS rather than exacerbate them, Republican support across Florida would have been overwhelming and we would have seen a very different election season.

One can assume that Florida Republican leaders are not truly interested in protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens in Florida given consistent failures of a Republican led legislature to put in place SOLID safety measures for children, failure to expand 2nd Amendment rights in Florida and habitually put people in key leadership positions who block 2nd Amendment measures from reaching the floor.

Florida conservatives are looking for leaders, thinkers, problem solvers with a spine, not politicians who bend to the political will of socialists who have nothing but the destruction of Florida and the nation on their mind. The excuse that the “pressure” was serious to “do something” is simply that – an excuse. Legislators are LEADERS and expected to do their job on behalf of citizens-not work against them because they are “under pressure”.  Politicians that voted yes on this bill had no problem listening to rioting children acting like wild animals, but there was NO legislative request for input from conservative voters, the driving force for putting them into office. Passing this law was a betrayal to conservative citizens, the backbone of support for the Republican party.

Our concerns with this law are as follows:

  1. We are not aware of statistics on the practice of this law although it is quite clear that seizures are taking place especially in Broward and Polk Counties. We would like to know the following:
  • How many RPO seizures to date have occurred across the state?
  • How many seizures have proven unfounded?
  • How many unfounded RPO’s came about as the result of false allegations?
  • How many engaged a lawyer?
  • Did damage occur to defendant’s property during seizure process?
  • How long before weapons were returned?
  • Did they lose work time or experience other damage to reputation, etc?
  • In what condition were weapons returned?

Sheriff Judd provided the 912 group a series of six cases where he saw seizure of weapons as necessary, however there have been 152 seizures to date since this law was enacted in Polk County alone. Polk is outpaced only by Broward County. For the purposes of transparency FDLE website statistics regarding RPO seizures should be available.

  1. We have not heard any updates on progress of the ongoing investigation into the Parkland shooting. We would like to know when the investigation is expected to end, how much it has cost tax payers to this point and who is being investigated.
  2. How has the $400,000,000 been spent thus far and what are plans for this money and the new bureaucracy that is now in place. Citizens apparently have no say so in how this bureaucracy will be conducted.
  3. We are concerned about the Constitutional Violations that are blatant in this bill, including infringing the rights of individuals otherwise considered adults to purchase long guns, privacy rights and due process rights of every gun owner in Florida. We would like to know what plans are in the works for the 2019 Legislative Season to make corrections to these violations.
  4. Who authored this bill? Who introduced it for consideration? Who sponsored it?
  5. Was there discussion regarding the flagrant violation of Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens during discussion of this bill before voting? How many legislators read this bill before voting for it?
  6. How many County or City entities across Florida have their Policy and Procedure in place for the practice of this law as required by 1/1/2019? Are these entities including measures that protect the rights of citizens who are subject to this law?
  7. In RPO situations, why, if this is a civil action as described by Sheriff Judd, do targets of seizure have their information registered on a national criminal database? How are targets then assured that name has been removed from this database post RPO? It is well known that the federal government collects/ retains information that it is not legally allowed to possess.
  8. Is there opportunity given to targets for a hearing prior to seizure unless the target is openly acting in a threatening manner, has violated injunctions, etc.

We recommend that this law be repealed and re-instituted in a way that will truly protect the children who attend school in the State of Florida, protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and deal effectively with people who suffer from mental illness/become a threat to society. Each of these concerns is better dealt with individually.

Suggested solutions from our group.

  1. The law is written much too ambiguously leaving room for abuse by law enforcement personnel, lawyers, politicians with a grudge against a citizen or political enemy, exes angry with an ex, neighbors who don’t like the politics of their neighbor, etc. The RPO law should be completely re-written with complete protective measures in place for innocent/law abiding citizens.
  2. There should be no seizure of weapons for anyone who has no law violation record without evidence presented by a complainant, an attachment presented to the judge showing absence of any prior law violations on the part of the defendant, statements by requesting officer and supervisor stating why they believe a seizure is necessary in this case and a full hearing before the seizure hearing to determine whether the seizure hearing is necessary, and whether other remedies could be taken into consideration.
  3. There should be penalties in place that are equitable for both complainants and defendants. The law states at this time that a false accusation by a complainant can result in a 1st degree misdemeanor. A violation of a seizure order by a defendant will result in a 3rd degree felony, effectively ruining the defendant’s life. This is NOT equal treatment under the law and another violation of Constitutional rights.
  4. Complainants who provide false accusation, should receive stiff punishment. Complainants including LEO, politicians, and anyone who files false information for RPO seizure should receive a felony charge, up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The complainant may also be subject to paying reparations should the defendant lose his/her job, hire an attorney, or otherwise incur damages. The State of Florida should provide settlements for making victims of law-abiding citizens who have their weapons wrongly removed. If a defendant has weapons seized and it is found later that the weapons were wrongly seized, the seizing agents did damage to the location the weapons were seized from or weapons returned are damaged or not properly cared for, the State of Florida should make reparations to the defendant.
  5. There are currently no guidelines in place for jurisdictions throughout Florida to create policy/procedure for the seizure process. This is another ambiguous problem with SB7026 that will create trouble for law-abiding citizens across the state. Policy between jurisdictions should be reasonably similar to prevent unnecessary seizures or the courts will soon be laden with cases of suits by people who had weapons seized when they believed they were exhibiting reasonable behavior. These cases will waste time and resources in overcrowded courtrooms and damage Florida citizens.

Law enforcement now has the ability to create whatever RPO procedures they wish without informing citizens of nearby jurisdictions. We can be sure that this problem will mushroom and become a very effective deterrent for law-abiding citizens who have followed every letter of the law in carrying and transporting their weapons. A solution will be to provide guidelines as to what actions different jurisdictions are RESTRICTED to concerning the RPO process. The Polk county process laid out by Sheriff Judd would be a good basis for these guidelines. The process to be Constitutionally based, should provide the highest level of protection for law abiding citizens and place necessary restrictions on LE, Lawmakers and officials to deter them from attempting to use the law as a personal or political weapon, or to further infringe on the rights of citizens because of the personal beliefs of the person/people authoring the policy/procedure.

  1. If RPO is a civil action, then information should not be entered into a federal criminal database. There can be no assurance from the State of Florida that this information is removed from federal databases when requested. RPO information should not be entered into a federal system unless a person having had weapons seized is clearly shown to be a threat to him/herself and/or others. The State of Florida can hold information at the State/FDLE for cases that are resolved within 30 days with no further action necessary. Those who are determined to be a threat after 30 days can have their information entered into a national database until they are deemed safe to operate in society again.
  2. Measures that will truly protect children as they attend school should be enacted into law and NOT left up to School Boards. Specific guidelines on how and what schools will do to provide adequate security should be in writing and enforced by FDLE. School boards that fail to meet these standards should be removed from their seats and/or brought up on charges should a child or school employee be injured or killed because standards set by FDLE were not being practiced as outlined by Florida law.
  3. Teachers and other school personnel should be allowed to be highly trained and armed as they wish. Security guards should be hired at every school in the state and funds should be provided by the FL DOE to pay these guards. Highly trained/armed school personnel in schools during operational hours and hired security teams present during key times, such as opening and closing hours, will minimize the chance of another Parkland type incident.
  4. Money from the $400,000,000 should be dedicated to physical security including fences, locked gates, security measures for classrooms such as bulletproof barriers that can be quickly erected by classroom attendees and training for students including reacting to volatile situations in a calm manner to save lives, effective self defense and reacting to terrorist incidents.
  5. There should be NO students in public schools who have dropped out/are attempting to obtain GED, committed a felony, become a parent, or bullied others. Such students should be relegated to tightly controlled classrooms where parents are required to be heavily involved in the education, discipline and life skills training of their child. Parents should also be required to stand with their child at disciplinary hearings and subject to arrest/prosecution if they are found to have neglected the educational requirements of their child. All students in this environment should undergo periodical mental health evaluations provided by the school system to determine mental state. They should be required to undergo regular drug tests as should their parents. There should, under any circumstances, be NO students in Florida schools who cannot prove citizenship.

Students who engage in problem behavior should be moved from the main population of the school and sent to an environment within the school heavily monitored by security personnel and/or SRO and subject to arrest if they cause problems in class. Parents should accompany them to and from school and stand with them during disciplinary hearings. Should unacceptable behavior continue, the student should be relegated to the environment stated above. Discipline in schools should be reinstated in an effective manner and the rules for such discipline should be outlined by the State Dept of Education NOT local school boards.

  1. Sheriff Judd stated that most of the cases of weapons seizures he encounters could also be considered Baker Act Material. Most of these cases have long histories of mental health problems and long histories of improper attention from authorities. In the Parkland Case, the school system and law enforcement failed at every level to react to a credible threat. Other law enforcement agencies and education systems should be put on notice, in writing that they will be held accountable if they fail these children and the citizens of Florida. Procedures should be put in place for dealing with these cases up to the point where it becomes necessary for procedures such as the RPO to be put in place. If this happens, we will have very few cases become necessary for Baker Act and/or RPO in the future. If we create truly safe and secure learning environments, we will never have another Parkland type incident in Florida.

Those who do not like these standards put in place to protect Florida Citizens who wish to live under the law and provide a safe, good and effective education for their children are welcome to leave the state and go to a State that does not care about these things and REPUBLICAN/CONSERVATIVE lawmakers should be proclaiming this publicly and loudly while they right this wrong they have done to Florida citizens.

For conservative voters across Florida the answers to these questions and attention given to this law in the upcoming legislative session will give considerable weight to who wins primaries and who retains or gains seats in offices that come up for election.  It is a tragedy that citizens in a nation like ours are forced to keep a watchful eye on a government that cannot be trusted to defend our rights. We faithfully elect Republicans because we believe that they will protect our Constitutional rights. We understand inherently that democrats have little to no interest in protecting citizen rights unless the exercise of those rights will cause destruction i.e. paid rioters in the Capitol, destroying property and causing bodily harm, which is the reason they are not in power in the State of Florida.

Signs The Global Financial Reset Has Begun

The reset has already begun and once implemented will have a profound impact on each and every one of us, here and across the globe. I have written about the Global Financial Reset before and have provided links to these and related articles at the bottom of this post. We will see in this post, the Signs The Global Financial Reset Has Begun. This content below in this post was contributed by my good friend Dr. Kirk Elliott, PhD, ThD

SIGNS THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL RESET HAS BEGUN

Dr. Kirk Elliott, PhD, ThD

I recently read an article by market analysts Jim Willie.  He is a brilliant analyst, and I wanted to pull out a few things from his research that stood out to me in regards to a global financial reset.  I went back to the source documents behind some of his projections and I concur with his analysis.  Links to the source documents are provided below.

After and economic recession/depression DEBT IS ALWAYS REDUCED.  In the US, the recession of 2009 did not eliminate debt, in fact the opposite—IT EXPLODED not just in the US but globally.  In fact, debt has been exploding since then and REAL GDP has been CONTRACTING by -2 to -4% a year in real terms according to John Williams of Shadow Stats.

SOURCE: https://www.silverdoctors.com/headlines/world-news/jim-willie-the-global-currency-reset-has-begun-now-watch-these-two-key-events/

CIPS (Cross Border Interbank Payment System (started Oct 2015), but is now gaining much momentum.  Now commands $6-$8 TRILLION portfolio of funded projects.  This is designed to replace the SWIFT system in the eastern hemisphere.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-Border_Inter-Bank_Payments_System

MARCH 2018 the Chinese rolled out a new gold-backed yuan oil contract next month as part of its attempt to replace the US dollar’s dominance of that commodity trade.  This could spell the end of the petro dollar trade.  This built in demand for the US$ is pretty much all the demand there is for it.  In time, the dollar sinks, and an alternative petro-dollar HAS ALREADY BEEN FORMED—no need to even speculate.

SOURCE: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4148232-yes-petro-yuan-threat-u-s-dollar

BRICS 2.0.  By this time everyone is aware of the BRICS nations and the coalition to form a strength based union to counteract the west.  BRICS 2.0 is that movement on steroids.  Gold is one of the last commodities controlled by the west (NY and LONDON exchanges).  This initiative will co-align the BRICS nations to replace that as well.  This is my opinion is not a bad thing, as London has allowed naked shorts on futures contracts of metals for a long time, thus limiting the growth through manipulation.  People who own gold and continue to acquire it should benefit AMAZINGLY as a true market will be established without the manufactured suppression of prices. Sadly, for us as Americans, this one is on us.  Our regulators allowed the manipulation to happen, and people seek truth and transparency. This is another nail in the coffin of US financial dominance.

SOURCE: https://www.miningreview.com/brics-gold-new-model-multilateral-cooperation/

WHAT TO LOOK FOR MOVING FORWARD FOR FURTHER SIGNALS

According to market analyst Jim Willie, he has categorized upcoming triggers that would indicate that a global financial reset will be here before any of us could possibly imagine.  Look out for any of these events:

LIST OF POTENTIAL KEY EVENTS

VERY SERIOUS MAJOR GLOBAL GAME CHANGERS

  • Deutsche Bank failure, talk of restructure, with rupture of derivative complex
  • Italian banking system collapse, complete with numerous bank runs
  • Italian sovereign currency announced as new Lira currency in EU exit
  • London Metals Exchange launches RMB-based metals contracts
  • COMEX & LBMA rupture from lost control of integration with oil & currencies
  • Formal launch of Gold Trade Note atop the Shanghai G-O-R contracts
  • Saudi oil sales in RMB to China, adopted by other Arabs and other Asians
  • London flips East, with RMB Hub development, following their AII Bank membership

DEEP IMPACT DISRUPTIONS

  • Flourishing non-USD platforms, led by Chinese design and efforts
  • Germans and French formally end Russian sanctions, thus flipping East
  • CIPS bank transaction system gains wider adoption, even among Western nations
  • BRICS Gold Platform announces conversion of sovereign bonds to Gold
  • China pre-announces gold-backed Yuan in form of convertible Gold Trade Note
  • China announced Yuan backed by basket of currencies, Gold, other commodities
  • Introduction of a new IMF SDR basket that includes gold, crude oil, iron
  • EU opens door to Euro payments in external trade with trading partners
  • Emerging Markets rupture on debt defaults, due to currency crisis
  • NATO fractures in the open and EU pursues independent military security

SOURCE: https://www.silverdoctors.com/headlines/world-news/jim-willie-the-global-currency-reset-has-begun-now-watch-these-two-key-events/

The time is now to prepare and safeguard your assets.

Closing Comments

John Michael Chambers

The Global Financial Reset is not some conspiracy theorists fantasy but rather a currency, monetary, financial and economic fact. It is one in a series of must occur events if we are to truly MAGA. There are many players involved in this great change. And with this change we shall see changes made to the Federal Reserve (finally) as well as the Rothschild World Banking Cartel and others. Dangerous indeed. But there is a plan.

Now we cannot prevent this great and perhaps long and painful transition from occurring but we can continue to remain informed. And like a category five hurricane coming into town, you just don’t operate business as usual. You plan and prepare to minimize the damage. There is a category five economic hurricane rapidly approaching. The time for such planning is now. You can survive and perhaps thrive.

Dr. Elliott’s firm will be holding a series of live Roundtable Public Briefings in the state of Florida in 2019 of which I will be a co-presenter. Perhaps we will meet somewhere out there on the road. Please visit these informative articles linked below.

Dr. Kirk Elliott, PhD, ThD

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Posted in Financial and tagged 

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Who Are the Most Powerful People in America?

The genius of America is that it was set up as a representative government, but increasingly, Americans are ruled over by leaders who are unelected, and very powerful. Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger unmasks the people who are really ruling our lives.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with video is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Alex Iby on Unsplash.

Money, Support for Migrant ‘Caravans’ Flow Through Chicago

Advocates of open borders quoted in media coverage of the migrant “caravan” moving north through Mexico are part of a network of U.S.-based groups funded in the past by left-leaning foundations, according to tax and financial records.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a Chicago-based nonprofit whose name means People Without Borders, is widely credited with organizing the caravans of migrants that traveled from Central America on trains and buses and on foot this year and last.

Two United Methodist churches in Chicago appear to be bases for People Without Borders, which is led by one of the pastors, documents show.

Several organizations are “consistently connected on various websites” and “have overlapping people, most notably Emma Lozano,” said Hayden Ludwig, a research analyst at Capital Research Center, naming the Chicago pastor.

Capital Research Center, a Washington-based nonprofit that examines how foundations and charities spend money, analyzed tax and financial records related to People Without Borders. The Daily Signal reviewed this analysis and related documents and websites.

Information on the website and Facebook page of People Without Borders indicates that the advocacy group played a key role for at least the past decade in forming caravans that typically got started in Honduras or El Salvador before entering Guatemala to the north.

In April, a few hundred migrants traveled north together with support from People Without Borders, but they largely disbanded in Mexico City.

The latest caravan, which originated in Honduras in October before crossing into Guatemala and breaking through barriers to enter Mexico illegally, has ranged in size from a few hundred at its inception to several thousand. Twitter feeds from reporters covering the caravan in person estimated it was about 2 miles long.

When the caravan first arrived in Mexico, U.N. officials estimated roughly 7,000 migrants were heading north. A few days ago, many left Mexico City.

Media reports estimated that 4,000 to 5,000 migrants are heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border. In mid-November, dozens of migrants began arriving by bus near the U.S. border in Tijuana, some climbing the fencing. In the days since, hundreds of migrants have overwhelmed that city’s resources.

Supporting the Caravan

People Without Borders has avoided claiming a leadership role in the caravans, but its Facebook posts make clear that the group was coordinating logistical and financial support for migrants attempting to reach the U.S.

A woman at Chicago’s Lincoln United Methodist Church who identified herself as Cecilia Garcia told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that two different but allied groups are called People Without Borders, one domestic and based in Chicago and the other international.

“Our group has nothing to do with the caravan, but we are very supportive of the migrants,” Garcia said.

People Without Borders lists a “Caravan Support Fund” on Facebook. Several members have been quoted in both the American and Mexican press while traveling with the caravan.

They include Denis Omar Contreras, described in an Associated Press report as “a Honduran-born caravan leader.” Contreras has been quoted widely disputing allegations from President Donald Trump and other U.S. leaders who say the caravan may harbor terrorists and criminals.

Another activist with People Without Borders, Irineo Mujica, is quoted in the same story insisting that the caravan is a benign movement of people fleeing from violence and dire economic conditions in Central America.

Mujica, a Phoenix resident who is a dual citizen of Mexico and the U.S., is director of People Without Borders in Mexico. Last month, Mexican officials arrested Mujica in Ciudad Hidalgo, a town in the southern part of the country. He was accused of property damage and resisting arrest, according to media reports.

Ludwig, the research analyst at Capital Research Center, has kept tabs on People Without Borders, its network of activists, and its relationship with the caravans of migrants. (The Contreras surname, Ludwig notes, sometimes is spelled Contera in media reports, such as one in the Los Angeles Times.)

Other open-borders activists affiliated with People Without Borders and participating in the caravan include Rodrigo Abeja, who has been quoted by NBC News, USA TodayThe Washington Post, and other news outlets. In statements to the media, Abeja joined other activists in denying that gang members or terrorists have infiltrated the caravan.

The Daily Signal sought comment from Alex Mensing, listed as a U.S. contact for People Without Borders. At publication time, Mensing had not responded.

In a voicemail, The Daily Signal asked Mensing how the group could say it has no organizational role, since several of its activists are taking part, as well as how open-borders advocates could be certain that criminal elements are not included in the caravans.

History and Funding

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, is an extension of another nonprofit advocacy group called La Familia Latina Unida, or the United Latin Family, which advocates on behalf of illegal aliens, according to Influence Watch, a recent project of the Capital Research Center.

Tax records and other public documents show the organizations share the same Chicago address and some staff members. That address, 2176 W. Division St. in Chicago, also is the address of the 13-year-old Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church.

In 2006, the church provided sanctuary for a year to an illegal immigrant. She was arrested when she left the church and reportedly continues to advocate from Mexico for changes to U.S. immigration law.

Ludwig’s research shows that United Latin Family lost its tax-exempt status in May 2017 after declining to file 990 tax forms.

But even in the absence of its initial benefactor, People Without Borders isn’t suffering from lack of support. It has become aligned with another Chicago-based nonprofit known as Centro Sin Fronteras Community Services Network, or Center Without Borders. Little appears to separate the center from People Without Borders.

Here is how Influence Watch describes the connection:

Emma Lozano, a left-wing activist and pastor at the Lincoln United Methodist Church in Chicago, Illinois, is listed as executive director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras [People Without Borders]. Lozano is also president and founder of the Centro Sin Fronteras.

She is the sister of the late Rudy Lozano, a left-wing activist and community organizer in Chicago, Illinois. [Emma] Lozano is also a pastor at the Lincoln United Methodist Church in Chicago, along with her husband, the pastor Walter ‘Slim’ Coleman.

The Daily Signal requested an interview with Emma Lozano, the pastor, but has received no response.

Lozano and Coleman also were co-pastors of Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church, the church that shares the address of People Without Borders. Another pastor recently took over there, a United Methodist Church official told The Daily Signal in an email.

Records compiled by Influence Watch show that between 2000 and 2005, Center Without Borders received $113,000 in grants from the Washington-based Public Welfare Foundation and the Chicago-based Wieboldt Foundation. The Washington-based National Immigration Forum donated $60,000 in 2010.

‘A Lot of Confusion’

People Without Borders worked with a coalition, including four groups that support permissive immigration policies, to organize the caravan that took shape in April, according to Influence Watch.

The Daily Signal requested an interview with Lozano, the Chicago pastor identified as executive director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, but has received no response.

The website and Facebook page for People Without Borders don’t appear to mention two different groups of that name, but show the organization has a presence in Mexico.

But Garcia, who said she is a member of Lincoln United Methodist, told The Daily Signal that two groups “have the same name, but they were founded at different times.”

“There is certainly a lot of confusion out there, because both organizations have the same name, but they were founded at different times,”  she said, adding:

Both groups work together a lot and we cooperate and share social media. They also asked us to share a GoFundMe page. We are told that the caravan developed organically, and that there is no single leader.

People are migrating because there was a lot of U.S. meddling in Central America and now they are fleeing those countries. We support family reunification.

Garcia, who called herself the founder of an organization called Family Reunification Not Deportation, also said she belongs to both United Latin Family and People Without Borders.

Garcia said her own husband was “abducted by ICE,” referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and is now in Mexico.

Interconnected Groups

Ludwig, the Capital Research Center analyst, said he sees no evidence of two organizations called People Without Borders.

Ludwig said Chicago-based groups that Influence Watch describes as “illegal immigration advocacy organizations” appear to be interconnected because they share resources and personnel.

“The Pueblo Sin Fronteras I identified appears to be a project of the U.S.-based 501(c)(3) Centro Sin Fronteras and the 501(c)(4) La Familia Latina Unida, since they’re consistently connected on various websites and they have overlapping people, most notably Emma Lozano,” Ludwig said in an email to The Daily Signal.

The Influence Watch entry for Center without Borders lists the group’s tax identification number and identifies United Latin Family and People Without Borders as affiliated organizations.

The Daily Signal sought comment from Center Without Borders and the United Latin Family at a listed phone number and email address, but has not received a direct response from anyone speaking on behalf of those groups.

“For now we’re treating Pueblo [People Without Borders] as a project [of Center Without Borders] until I get further notice that there’s a foreign group which can take credit for it,” Ludwig said. “Even then, the U.S. Pueblo operates in conjunction with the Centro and La Familia groups, so it’s fair to list them all together.”

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.


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COLUMN BY

Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Photo: Francisco Guasco/EFE/Newscom.

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

We have good news from a joint effort between the Violence Prevention Research Program at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins University.

Comprehensive background checks and prohibitions based on violent misdemeanors had no effect on homicide rates in California.

The latest study published by the highly-credentialed researchers in these well-funded programs, “California’s comprehensive background check and misdemeanor violence prohibition policies and firearm mortality,” was designed to evaluate the effect of California’s 1991 comprehensive background check and prohibiting those convicted of violent misdemeanors policies on firearm homicide and suicide. The study period was 1981-2000, with secondary analysis up to 2005.

Using a synthetic control methodology, the researchers found that the comprehensive background check and violent misdemeanor prohibitions were not associated with changes in firearm suicide or homicide.

In conversational language, the two policies had no effect.

We credit the researchers for publishing these findings that run contrary to their own established opinions regarding firearms. There are, naturally, some methodological questions. For instance, the violent crime index only had a low predictive value and so was not included in the final model. The variables that did make the cut included specific age groups, race, gender, poverty level, veteran population, unemployment, alcohol consumption, and the proxy for gun ownership rates. Violent crime is often associated with homicide rates in other studies, yet was not included here.

The general design of the synthetic control model also raises questions. In this methodology, other states were combined and weighted to match California before the new policies were implemented. Eleven states were used to create this “synthetic” California but the contributions each of these states made to the synthetic California are not presented in the paper. The donor pool of states was limited to those that did not have policies similar to the comprehensive background check or prohibiting violent misdemeanor at the start of the study period and did not enact major firearm policy changes during that period, but…the differences between California and Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin are not limited to the social and demographic variables included in the model.

But back to the findings. You will recall, from just a few short paragraphs ago, that the notable anti-gun researchers – at least one of whom joined the anti-gun march on Washington this past March – found the comprehensive background check and prohibiting violent misdemeanor policies had no effect on firearm homicides or suicides in California.

The article about the study on the UC Davis website presents that finding with some spin: “Study does not find population-level changes in firearm homicide or suicide rates…” Maybe our understanding of the anti-gun bias driving this research colors our perception, but “does not find” and “were not associated with” seem like two sides of two different coins.

The discussion section of the study itself is dedicated to explanations for the lack of an association.  The authors suggest that the problem may have been limited records in the background check system, a lack of enforcement, or maybe that there were just too few purchase denials.

Their first explanation is not enough gun control. The authors note their findings conflict with some of their own prior research on other states. They claim the difference is that the other states’ comprehensive background check policies included a permit to purchase component. That must be the key difference, right?

Ignore the fact that all three studies to which they point were reviewed by the Rand Corporation for The Science of Gun Policy. In fact, two of these three studies were the only studies considered in the section for the effect of licensing and permitting requirements on violent crime. Rand found, based on these two studies alone, that licensing and permitting requirements have uncertain effects on total homicides and firearms homicides because the evidence is inconclusive. The third study was focused exclusively on suicide rates, and was one of two studies included in that section in the Rand review. Rand also found that licensing and permitting requirement have uncertain effects on total suicides and firearm suicides, due to inconclusive evidence.

So, yes, ignore that and let’s get back to the point the authors make about permit to purchase. They fail to consider that California enacted a permit-to-purchase system, the Basic Firearms Safety Certificate, in 1994 – right in the middle of their study’s postintervention period.

Still, we credit the researchers for sharing these results and we look forward to sharing their evidence when anti-gun organizations demand further obstacles to law-abiding gun owners.

We’d like to thank the Joyce Foundation and, perhaps unwittingly, California taxpayers for making this study possible.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Retired Anti-Gun Justice Reveals Attempts to Thwart Landmark Heller Decision

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

EXCLUSIVE: Google Employees Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search

  • Google employees debated whether to bury The Daily Caller and other conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election
  • “Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years,” one engineer wrote in a thread that included a Google vice president
  • Google employees similarly sought to manipulate search results to combat Trump’s travel ban

Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal.

The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically singled out as outlets to potentially bury, the communications reveal.

Trump’s election in 2016 shocked many Google employees, who had been counting on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win.

Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.

“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by TheDCNF.

Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.

“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.

“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued.

“Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”

Some of Byer’s colleagues expressed concern that manipulating search results could backfire and suggested alternative measures.

(Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times)

Sundar Pichai, C.E.O., Google Inc. speaks onstage during the 2018 New York Times Dealbook on November 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times)

One Google engineer, Uri Dekel, identified himself as a Clinton supporter but argued that manipulating search results was the wrong route to take.

“Thinking that Breitbart, Drudge, etc. are not ‘legitimate news sources’ is contrary to the beliefs of a major portion of our user base is partially what got us to this mess. MSNBC is not more legit than Drudge just because Rachel Maddow may be more educated / less deplorable / closer to our views, than, say Sean Hannity,” Dekel wrote in a reply to Byer.

“I follow a lot of right wing folks on social networks you could tell something was brewing. We laughed off Drudge’s Instant Polls and all that stuff, but in the end, people go to those sources because they believe that the media doesn’t do it’s job. I’m a Hillary supporter and let’s admit it, the media avoided dealing with the hard questions and issues, which didn’t pay off. By ranking ‘legitimacy’ you’ll just introduce more conspiracy theories,” Dekel added.

“Too many times, Breitbart is just echoing a demonstrably made up story,” Byer wrote in a reply to his original post. He did not cite any examples.

“That happens at MSNBC, too. I don’t want a political judgement. The desire is to break the myth feedback loop, the false equivalency, instead of the current amplification of it,” Byer added.

“What I believe we can do, technically, that avoids the accusations of conspiracy or bias from people who ultimately have a right and obligation to decide what they want to believe, is to get better at displaying the ‘ripples’ and copy-pasta, to trace information to its source, to link to critiques of those sources, and let people decide what sources they believe,” another Google engineer, Mike Brauwerman, suggested.

“Give people a comprehensive but effectively summarized view of the information, not context-free rage-inducing sound-bytes,” he added.

“We’re working on providing users with context around stories so that they can know the bigger picture,” chimed in David Besbris, vice president of engineering at Google.

“We can play a role in providing the full story and educate them about all sides. This doesn’t have to be filtering and can be useful to everyone,” he wrote.

Other employees similarly advocated providing contextual information about media sources in search results, and the company later did so with a short-lived fact check at the end of 2017.

Not only did the fact-check feature target conservative outlets almost exclusively, it was also blatantly wrong. Google’s fact check repeatedly attributed false claims to those outlets, even though they demonstrably never made those claims.

Google pulled the faulty fact-check program in January, crediting TheDCNF’s investigation for the decision.

A Google spokeswoman said that the conversation did not lead to manipulation of search results for political purposes.

“This post shows that far from suppressing Breitbart and Daily Caller, we surfaced these sites regularly in our products. Furthermore, it shows that we value providing people with the full view on stories from a variety of sources,” the spokeswoman told TheDCNF in an email.

“Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology. Our processes and policies do not allow for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies.”

The discussion about whether to bury conservative media outlets isn’t the first evidence that some Google employees have sought to manipulate search results for political ends.

After Trump announced his initial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed ways to manipulate search results in order to push back against the president’s order.

A group of employees brainstormed ways to counter “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Iran’, etc,” as well as “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms ‘Mexico’, ‘Hispanic’, ‘Latino’, etc.”

WATCH:

Trump speculated to The Daily Caller in September that Google and Facebook are trying to affect election outcomes.

“I think they already have,” Trump said, responding to questions about potential election interference by Google and Facebook.

“I mean the true interference in the last election was that — if you look at all, virtually all of those companies are super liberal companies in favor of Hillary Clinton,” he added.

“Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter and I’m good at social media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton’s side, and if you look at what was going on with Facebook and with Google and all of it, they were very much on her side,” Trump continued.

Google this month corrected a “knowledge panel” about a Republican women’s group that labeled them “enablers.”

Google cited Wikipedia for the disparaging description, though a similar change made to Wikipedia’s page for the women’s group was corrected almost immediately. Google left up the digital vandalism for three weeks.

Google apologized in May after search results for the California Republican Party falsely listed “Nazism” as one of the state party’s ideologies.

Then, too, Google blamed manipulation of the party’s Wikipedia page for the inaccurate and disparaging description.

COLUMN BY

Peter Hasson | Reporter

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

RELATED ARTICLE: Google Search Labels Republican Women ‘Enablers’

EDITORS NOTE: This column with video and images is republished with permission from The Daily Caller. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

African-American Conservatives Lobby Senators In Favor Of ‘First Step Act’

Reporters from The Daily Caller spent some time with a group of African-American conservatives Wednesday, following them as they visited Senate offices lobbying for a bill that aims to take the “first step” toward overhauling America’s criminal justice system.

The “First Step Act,” which passed easily in the House of Representatives last summer, would roll back some of the initiatives of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act —also known as the “Clinton Crime Bill.” Most importantly for its supporters, the bill intends to combat recidivism, which is the rate at which released prisoners return to criminal behavior.

If passed, the bill would allow some people in federal prisons to earn “good-time credit,” which would set them up for early release if they participate in programs which allow them to demonstrate improved behavior and preparation for life on the outside. The bill would lead to the release of an additional 3,900 prisoners in the first year of its implementation, according to estimates.

The group of mostly black conservatives met with Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. They also found their way into the offices of a few other senators, not all of whom were available to meet with them.

Candace Owens leads a group of African-American conservatives in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 28

Candace Owens and Gianno Caldwell lead a group of African-American conservatives in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 28, as they lobby in favor of the “First Step Act” (TheDC/Jon Brown)

Among them were prominent young conservatives like Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk and Gianno Caldwell, each of whom spoke to The Daily Caller about why they are so passionate about ensuring the bill’s passage.

“It’s worked in Texas, it’s worked in Louisiana, it’s worked in other states,” Charlie Kirk, of Turning Point USA, said of the proposed reforms in the bill. “It’s in some ways an atypical issue for conservatives to be taking on, but that’s what I love most about [President Donald Trump], is that he’s willing to take on issues that are traditionally not always being taken on.”

“I don’t think anyone can make the argument that our prison system works, that somehow the prison system is working exactly how it should,” Kirk continued. “Once people leave prison, they’re much more likely to commit crimes after that. We as conservatives are worried about the financial burden that has on our society. We’re worried about societal burden. Obviously, we care a lot about freedom and we care a lot about justice and things like that, but it doesn’t help anyone when prisoners have the high recidivism rates that they have.”

African-American conservatives gather in Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office Wednesday, Nov. 28 to lobby in favor of the "First Step Act"

African-American conservatives gather in Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office Wednesday, Nov. 28, to lobby in favor of the “First Step Act” (TheDC/Jon Brown)

Candace Owens, who is also a part of Turning Point USA, has advocated prominently for conservative principles in the black community. She was often at the head of the group Wednesday, as they went from office to office in various Senate buildings. (RELATED: Twitter Suspends Candace Owens — Then Says It Was An Error After Backlash)

“[Criminal justice reform] is one of the biggest issues in the black community, without question,” Owens said. “Every single one of us [in this group] has a family member that has served prison sentences. I know I certainly have. I have multiple family members that have served prison sentences. And we’ve all been outspoken black conservatives.”

“We’ve taken a lot of heat because of that,” Owens claimed.

“I personally spent time speaking to inmates down in the correctional facility in Tallahassee, Florida,” she continued. “They all say the same thing: If the system was not punitive, and instead was rehabilitative, we would see a difference in our recidivism rates.”

When asked what impact she believes passing bills like this will have on attracting minorities to the Republican Party, Owens said, “This is it. I think what we’re realizing is that Republicans don’t know how to approach the black community. They don’t know how. For so long they have handed the reins over to the Left and the Republicans have been falsely accused of racism. They don’t even know how to enter into the black community. This is it. This would be a major win if it passed, and it would allow them to knock on doors and broker conversations with our community.”

“And Republicans have all the power right now to deliver it,” Owens maintained. “So it’s something that hits close to home. And it’s something that feels like it’s within our control to actually implement.”

Gianno Caldwell, a political consultant and analyst, has been working for half a decade on issues of criminal justice reform. “This is something that is very impactful for me because it statistically impacts literally every member of the black community,” he said.

“In 2014, there were 6.8 million people within the prison system — and when I say ‘prison system,’ I’m talking about federal prisons, state prisons, jails and on parole. And of those 6.8 million — which, as you know, is the largest population in the world under the corrections system — 34 percent of those folks are African-American, or 2.3 million.”

“So statistically, it impacts every African-American in this country. So certainly, knowing what happened with the effects of the ’94 crime bill, I think that we absolutely have to take opportunities like these with the First Step Act — the literal first step, in terms of reversing those very draconian effects from that bill.”

“I think we can do more, but even changes like this — which some people are saying are modest— I think have a very large effect and impact on not just the black community, but those who want second chances across the country. So this is a great opportunity to start the work and hopefully, at some point after, continue the work.”

African-American conservatives gather in Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office on Wednesday, Nov. 28, to lobby in favor of the "First Step Act".

African-American conservatives gather in Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office on Wednesday, Nov. 28, to lobby in favor of the “First Step Act” (TheDC/Jon Brown)

This bill would also allow judges to insert their own discretion into certain cases in order to circumvent mandatory minimums. Since having passed in the House, it has stalled in the Senate — but recently picked up steam after receiving the president’s endorsement. 

Despite widespread bipartisan support, the bill still faces opposition from both liberals and conservatives. Referring to it as the “jailbreak bill,” critics on the Right worry that the bill would release dangerous criminals into the general population. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton made such a case in a column for National Review, saying that it “goes against core conservative principles,” and allows for the early release of “violent felons.”

Critics on the Left argue that the law doesn’t go far enough, because it only affects the federal prison population. The number of inmates in federal prisons comprise only 183,000 of the nation’s 1.5 million inmates.

The First Step Act is currently not set for a vote, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under pressure to bring it to the floor. Supporters believe they have the 60 votes necessary to send the bill to the president’s desk.

COLUMN BY

Jon Brown and William Davis | Contributor

Follow Jon Brown on TwitterFollow William Davis on Twitter.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Opinion: Prison Reform Is A Major Achievement For President Trump

Pro-Trump Pastor Calls On Republican Senators To Pass Criminal Justice Bill, This Is Why

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission from The Daily Caller.

VIDEO: Northwestern University Teaches Students To Fight Shooters With Hole Punchers

NRATV Frontlines correspondent and veteran Army Ranger Chuck Holton joins Dana Loesch to weigh in.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with video and images is republished with permission.

Debunking 3 Myths About Trump Border Enforcement

The mainstream media and Democrats have criticized the Trump administration’s response to the migrant caravans storming the nation’s southern border.

However, many of the critiques either don’t provide full context or are factually incorrect, based on information released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security.

Here are three narratives that the Department of Homeland Security is pushing back against:

1. Separating Myth From Fact on Child Separation

The long-running narrative has been that Border Patrol officials are separating children from parents. However, that doesn’t take into account fraudulent families, DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman noted in a statement.

From April 19 to Sept. 30, the government separated a total of 507 illegal immigrants within “family units” that weren’t legitimate, meaning the adults were not parents or guardians of the children, Waldman said.

A total of 170 family units were separated based on lack of family relation, she said, including 197 adults and 139 juveniles.  Another 87 family units, including 171 adults, were separated based on a child determined to be over 18.

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas had the highest number of reported fraudulent cases.

“In response to the misreporting from multiple outlets, I wanted to highlight the rampant fraud taking place at our Southern border,” Waldman said in the statement. “Aliens know that if they bring any minor with them, they will be apprehended by Border Patrol and released into the interior of the United States.”

She clarified, however, that the department isn’t claiming all cases are fraudulent.

“This data does not show, nor does DHS assert, that all minors apprehended as part of a family unit are illegitimate, but it does indicate that there is a significant problem that provides DHS the needed authority to protect the best interests and welfare of all children,” Waldman said.

The separation policy was based on a culmination of court decisions and legislation since the 1990s.

In 1997, the Clinton administration entered into something called the Flores Settlement Agreement, which ended a class-action lawsuit first brought in the 1980s.

The settlement established a policy that the federal government would release unaccompanied minors from custody to their parents, relatives, or other caretakers after no more than 20 days, or, alternatively, determine the “least restrictive” setting for the child.

In a separate development, in 2008, a Democrat-controlled Congress approved bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking, and President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed it into law.

Section 235(g) of that law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, states that unaccompanied minors entering the United States must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, rather than to the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit expanded the Flores settlement in 2016 to include children brought to the country illegally by their parents.

2. Tear-Gassing Children

The caravan still moving toward the U.S.-Mexico border includes 8,500 migrants, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Media outlets and Democratic politicians seized on children being among the migrants bearing the brunt of tear gas deployed Sunday along the California border, when hundreds of the migrants rushed the border.

Ben Rhodes, a one-time national security adviser to then-President Barack Obama, pounced.

However, the Obama administration used tear gas at the border on a monthly basis, The Washington Times reported.

Also, the Obama administration used pepper spray when a far smaller contingent of only 100 immigrants charged the border in 2013, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Monday that the current violent rush on the border eclipsed prior problems.

“First, the violence we saw at the border was entirely predictable. This caravan, unlike previous caravans, had already entered #Mexico violently and attacked border police in two other countries,” the secretary said in a Facebook post.

“I refuse to believe that anyone honestly maintains that attacking law enforcement with rocks and projectiles is acceptable. It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans.”

She added: “[T]he caravan is far larger and more organized than previous ones. There are 8,500 caravan members in Tijuana and Mexicali. There are reports of additional caravans on their way.”

3. Not Legal Asylum-Seekers

Critics of the Trump administration contend the migrants have a legal right to seek asylum in the United States.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., tweeted:

However, Nielsen pushed back, noting that many of the migrants in the caravan do not legally qualify for asylum. Meanwhile, most are not women and children.

The homeland security secretary wrote:

Historically, less than 10% of those who claim asylum from #Guatemala, #Honduras, and #ElSalvador are found eligible by a federal judge. 90% are not eligible. Most of these migrants are seeking jobs or to join family who are already in the U.S. They have all refused multiple opportunities to seek protection in Mexico or with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

She also said “the caravan members are predominantly male.”

“It appears in some cases that the limited number of women and children in the caravan are being used by the organizers as ‘human shields’ when they confront law enforcement,” Nielsen wrote.

“They are being put at risk by the caravan organizers, as we saw at the Mexico-Guatemala border. This is putting vulnerable people in harm’s way,” Nielsen said.

This story was corrected to note that the Obama administration used pepper spray at the border in a 2013 incident.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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RELATED VIDEO: Migrants on the border Prager U Video.


The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now


EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Photo: Kyodo/Newscom.

VIDEO: The Media Is Omitting The Reason Why Border Officials Decided To Use Tear Gas Against The Caravan

WATCH:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were forced to use tear gas against the migrants in response to their attempt to storm the border, but many outlets focused more heavily on the U.S.’s response and less on what prompted it.

Many outlets including the New York Times and Associated Press chose to focus on the agents’ decision to use tear gas instead of explaining why they felt that they had to resort to such tactics.

“The truth is, the majority of the people that are in this caravan, especially outside — if we can make our way all the way over there, we’ll show you the majority of them are men,” MSNBC’s Gadi Schwartz stated earlier on Monday. “From what we’ve seen, the majority are actually men and some of these men have not articulated that need for asylum.”

Schwartz’s reporting goes against the narrative that the caravan is filled mostly with women and children.

“Unfake the News” is a Daily Caller program dedicated to debunking the mainstream media narratives that dominate our news cycle.

That’s where TheDC’s Vince Coglianese steps in to cut through the PC bull. Each week, Vince takes a closer look at how cable news outlets are telling the top story and then gives you his own unadulterated take.

This is “Unfake the News.”

SUBSCRIBE HERE!

NOW CHECK OUT this “Unfake The News” video — WATCH: Should The FBI Investigate Kavanaugh’s 36 Year-Old Sexual Misconduct Allegation

NOW CHECK OUT another “Unfake The News” video — WATCH: Unfake The News: Media Ridiculously Spins Trump Meeting With Kim Jong Un

Follow Mike on Twitter

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I Was Tear-Gassed, Along With 60 Of My Closest Friends, In An Enclosed Space

Democratic Rep Jim Himes Bashes Fox News For Covering Migrant Caravan

TRUMP SEEKS DEAL WITH MEXICO TO AVERT INVASION: Agreement is aptly named “Remain in Mexico.”

For several months the human tsunami of thousands of individuals heading north from Central America, through Mexico and ultimately to the United States, has captured headlines and the attention of the media and politicians in both the U.S. and Mexico.

While the “caravan of migrants,” as it has come to be known, appears to emanate from Central America, there is a great potential that citizens of countries from outside the Western Hemisphere, including so-called “Special Interest Countries” — that is to say, countries that have a nexus with terrorism — may also have embedded themselves within the caravan along with individuals who have criminal histories and aliens who may have been previously deported from the United States.

I addressed the potential for terrorists to see in the caravan an opportunity to gain entry into the United States in my article, “The Impending Alien Invasion.”

It is also worth considering that under the provisions of 8 U.S. Code § 1326 an alien who is deported from the United States and then reenters the country without first being granted lawful authority to return is committing a felony that may carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

When President Trump issued a proclamation that would deny aliens who entered the United States without inspection the right to file an application for asylum, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar of San Francisco issued a Temporary Restraining Order to block the implementation of that proclamation. As I noted in my recent article, the judge was ignoring the Constitution, the 9/11 Commission Report and common sense.

Of late, polls conducted in the United States have shown that within the last month more Americans have come to consider illegal immigration to be the issue of greatest concern confronting America.

On November 22, 2018 (Thanksgiving Day) I participated in a segment on the Fox News program Fox & Friends that focused on this very issue.

Poll: Americans now see immigration as top issue facing US 
Nov. 22, 2018 – Reaction from retired INS Senior Special Agent Michael Cutler; Republican strategist Peter Lumaj and former Florida congressional candidate Noelle Nikpour

It is my opinion, and one shared by the other participants in that Fox News segment, that Americans’ heightened concerns about illegal immigration are directly related to that caravan approaching the U.S./Mexican border.

President Trump, who made illegal immigration the centerpiece of his successful campaign for the Presidency, has responded to the threats and potential threats posed by the caravan if the members of that caravan ultimately succeeded in entering the United States and vanishing into communities across the United States. Trump ordered members of the U.S. military to the U.S./Mexican border to begin erecting barriers and to support the efforts of the beleaguered U.S. Border Patrol.

Unlike previous administrations that have refused to secure that dangerous and highly porous border that enabled millions of illegal aliens to enter the United States without inspection, and tons of narcotics to be smuggled into the U.S., it has been clear from the outset that President Trump was determined not to permit this invasion of our borders and our nation. This, even despite Congress not funding the border wall that he has wanted to erect.

Meanwhile, as the talking heads and members of the mainstream media speculated as to what will ultimately happen, it would appear that Donald Trump, the “Deal Maker in Chief” has cut a deal with incoming Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his administration. On November 24, 2018 the Chicago Tribune published a report that had initially run in the Washington Post, “Deal with Mexico would make asylum seekers wait outside U.S. border: Mexican officials.”

This excerpt from the newspaper report explains how President Trump may have convinced the Mexicans to cooperate:

Alarmed by Trump’s deployment of U.S. military forces to California, Arizona and Texas, and his threats to close busy border crossings, Mexican officials were further determined to take action after migrants traveling as part of a caravan forced their way onto Mexican soil last month, pushing past police blockades at the border with Guatemala.

For the first time, a president of the United States has begun the process of negotiating an agreement with Mexico that could prove to be a true immigration “game changer.”

Under the agreement, presuming it is finalized, aliens who want to pursue asylum applications in the United States would have to wait in Mexico until their applications could be filed and processed, turning chaos into a more orderly system.

For decades aliens and their smugglers had come to count on chaos along the U.S./Mexican border that would enable them to run our nation’s borders and use the claim of “credible fear” as a “Plan B” if they were caught by the U.S. Border Patrol. If they were not caught by the Border Patrol they would simply head to towns and cities across the United States and not bother filing an application for asylum.

Additionally, aliens who filed applications for asylum at ports of entry were often paroled into the United States where they also disappeared into communities across our nation as did aliens who were apprehended by the Border Patrol and served with Notices to Appear (NTAs). Frustrated Border Patrol agents came to call those “Notices to Disappear!”

If final arrangements can be made with Mexico, the United States will impose an orderly system that will give Customs and Border Inspectors and others who will be assigned to adjudicate applications for asylum the time to imbue the system with a bit more integrity.

While it won’t eliminate fraud in the system, it will represent a major step to help combat fraud. As more aliens come to realize that they will have to wait in Mexico and that their applications will be more thoroughly scrutinized, it is likely that more aliens will be deterred from filing fraud-laden applications. As the number of applications fall, the ability to more thoroughly scrutinize the applications that are filed will increase.

This will certainly enhance U.S. national security because, as I noted in my extensive article, “Immigration Fraud- Lies That Kill, visa fraud and immigration fraud were identified by the 9/11 Commission as the key methods of terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.

There are many reasons why, for the first time, the government of Mexico would agree to work cooperatively with the United States over an extremely serious immigration-related issue. It is likely, of course that President Trump was not just posturing when he said he would cut off aid to Mexico and other countries who permit the United States to be invaded by illegal aliens.

Additionally, as the newspaper article I cited above noted:

According to outlines of the plan, known as Remain in Mexico, asylum applicants at the border will have to stay in Mexico while their cases are processed, potentially ending the system, which Trump decries as “catch and release,” that has generally allowed those seeking refuge to wait on safer U.S. soil.

“For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico,” said Olga Sánchez Cordero, Mexico’s incoming interior minister, the top domestic policy official for López Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1. In an interview with The Washington Post, she called it a “short-term solution.”

“The medium- and long-term solution is that people don’t migrate,” Sánchez Cordero said. “Mexico has open arms and everything, but imagine one caravan after another after another. That would also be a problem for us.”

In other words, Mexico is being flooded with citizens from Central America that are stirring anger and animosity among Mexican citizens who are far less tolerant of the intrusion of these aliens into their country. It would appear that the government of Mexico is motivated to end the flood of illegal aliens who are seeking to use Mexico as a stepping stone to the United States.

While the U.S. mainstream media accuses any Americans who oppose illegal immigration of being bigots and racists, Mexicans who are also members of the Latino ethnic community, share the same concerns that Americans have about the dangers and difficulties that illegal immigration creates.

Lee Gelernt, the ACLU attorney who has led the charge against the Trump administration efforts to restore integrity to the immigration system, was quoted in the article as stating, “The Administration ought to concentrate on providing a fair and lawful asylum process in the U.S. rather than inventing more and more ways to try to short-circuit it.”

Here is something Mr. Gelernt should consider: the United States has had the most generous immigration system in the world and continues to do so. When you consider how many applications for asylum are denied because of fraud or because the aliens themselves fail to go forward with the process, it is apparent that the majority of these aliens have been using bogus claims of “credible fear” as an (illegal) alternative to the lawful visa process to gain entry into the United States. This makes a mockery of our immigration system and imposes dangers and hardships on America and Americans.

There is nothing “fair or lawful” about asylum fraud or illegal immigration.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine. It is republished with permission.