Swing Voters In Michigan Focus Group Say They Are Voting For Trump, Call Biden A ‘Puppet’: Axios Report

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not mentally fit for the presidency, and he would likely become a “puppet” for the “deep state,” several Michigan of swing voters said during an Axios focus group session released Monday.

The focus group included nine people who voted for former President Barack Obama in 2012 but voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. Seven of the nine swing voters said would vote for Trump in November’s election, Axios noted in a report Monday on the group.

The focus group, part of Axios’s monthly Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter series, is not a scientific poll, but it does provide a snapshot into how a select number of voters in the battleground state are thinking ahead of the election, according to Axios. The session was conducted last week, Axios said.

Biden is “showing signs of dementia” and would likely become a “puppet … controlled by a lot of people in the deep state,” one member of the focus group calling himself Matt T said. He used the term “deep state” to describe “the lobbyists, the people that have influence on a lot of the politicians,” he said.

WATCH:

Another panelist echoed that position.

“I don’t think that Biden is going to be running our country. Whoever his vice president is, is going to be running the country. The vice president or whoever the puppet people are telling him what to say,” a woman calling herself Shelly D said.

Vicki S, another member of the panel of nine, said she is voting for Biden because of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China before spreading to the United States, where it has reportedly killed nearly 146,000 people, according to John Hopkins University’s tracking system.

“I don’t want either of them. It’s the lesser of two evils in my book,” Vicki S told the other panelists.

Biden is leading Trump by significant margins in battleground states, including in Michigan.

The former vice president opened up a 13-point lead on the incumbent in the state of Florida, according to a Quinnipiac poll published on July 23. He now leads Trump 51-38 in that state, the poll showed. Trump is behind Biden in five other battleground states the president won in 2016, and is trailing Biden by nine points in Michigan, according to July 24 Fox News poll.

Biden led the presidential race by seven points in Arizona, nine points in North Carolina, and 10 points in Pennsylvania, according to a New York Times poll conducted in late June. Trump’s poor numbers coincide with a surging pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in May after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9-minutes, video shows.

COLUMN BY

CHRIS WHITE

Tech reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. 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.

Democrat’s Draft 2020 Party Platform filled with Extremist Socialist Policies

The Democrats are circulating their draft 2020 Democratic Party Platform. The document reveals just how extreme and Socialist the party has become.

Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollack in a column titled “23 Extreme Left-wing Ideas in the Democrats’ Draft 2020 Platform” wrote:

Amidst much verbiage, it includes many extremist ideas, including:

  1. “Systemic racism.” The platform begins from the premise that the United States suffers from “systemic racism in our economy and our society.” Having condemned the country they seek to govern, Democrats offer their radical solutions.
  2. Rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. The agreement did little but force the U.S. to cut back our economy while letting China and other nations off the hook. We are the only major signatory reducing emissions — without the accord.
  3. Declaring housing a “right.” Providing housing for everyone is a worthy goal, but declaring it a “right” is a socialist ruse that creates massive problems. Just ask South Africa, which has a “right” to housing — and millions living in shacks.
  4. Repealing right-to-work laws. These laws protecting the rights of workers not to join a union have fueled the manufacturing boom in the South, which has prospered while heavily unionized states have lost jobs and population.
  5. “Card check.” This system eliminates the secret ballot in union elections and allows organizers to intimidate workers until they agree to form a union. Even left-wing George McGovern opposed “card check” last time Democrats tried it.
  6. Raising taxes. Democrats want to raise taxes in the middle of a recession, falsely describing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a giveaway to the wealthy, when in fact the middle class benefited most. Higher taxes mean fewer jobs.
  7. Medicare for All. Though the platform adopts a “public option” — too left-wing for Democrats under Barack Obama — it “welcomes … those who support a Medicare for All approach,” paving the way for government-run health care later.
  8. Cutting police. Though it is careful to avoid the actual words “defund the police,” the Democratic draft platform describes minority communities as “overpoliced,” meaning they will cut police in the areas that need the most help.
  9. Gun control. Democrats have not wavered in their determination to restrict firearms ownership — even though the recent unrest made it clear there is no other option for Americans when political leaders refuse to restrain the mob.
  10. Preventing arrests at school. There is nothing racist about punishing criminal behavior. As Parkland dad Andrew Pollack noted, the shooter was protected from arrest by the school and police, allowing him to buy his murder weapons.
  11. Reparations for slavery. We fought a bloody Civil War to end slavery. Democrats want to “study” reparations, even though it would be impossible to determine who should pay and who should benefit, or how it would help anyone.
  12. Federal funding for abortion. Democrats want to repeal the Hyde amendment, providing for publicly funded abortion through birth. In one section, Democrats even refer to abortion as a “human right” — ignoring unborn children.
  13. Green bonanza. Democrats promise 500 million solar panels, 60,000 wind turbines, and 500,000 electric buses — in five years. It is an absurd proposal, ignoring domestic manufacturing capacity — and, for turbines, environmental permits.
  14. Restricting political speech. Democrats are reviving Hillary Clinton’s proposal to pass a constitutional amendment to restrict political speech to overcome the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United — overturning the First Amendment.
  15. D.C. statehood. Democrats want to make Washington, DC, the 51st state, meaning two permanent Democrat seats in the U.S. Senate. They hint at possible statehood for Puerto Rico as well. Republicans would be a permanent minority.
  16. Stopping the border wall. Democrats would abandon the construction of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving it vulnerable to illegal immigration and to cartels. They describe the border itself as a manifestation of “systemic racism.”
  17. “Path to citizenship” for illegal aliens. Democrats want to turn millions of illegal aliens who have “been in the country for an extended period of time” — not just people who were brought as minors — into citizens with voting rights.
  18. Restricting charter schools and ending vouchers. In deference to the teachers unions that have kept urban schools in a state of permanent failure, Democrats want to prevent African American and Latino children from escaping.
  19. Rejoining the UN Human Rights Council. The misnamed Human Rights Council is a club of dictators that exists to condemn the United States and especially Israel. Rejoining it would be a massive setback for the cause of human rights.
  20. Net Neutrality. Our economy functions remotely during coronavirus because the FCC repealed Net Neutrality, which regulated the Internet like an old-style utility and discouraged investment. Democrats want to restore their failed policy.
  21. End the China “trade war.” Democrats attack the “trade war,” which has been successful, while claiming they will “mobilize more than half the world’s economy to stand up to China,” yet cooperate with it on issues like climate change.
  22. Returning to the Iran deal. Obama’s deal allowed Iran to become a nuclear power and did nothing to stop Iran’s militarism and terror. The Democrats would strengthen the regime at the expense of the Iranian people and U.S. allies.
  23. Paying Palestinian terrorists. The Democrat promise to “restore” funding to the Palestinians that was cut because U.S. taxpayer money was being used to pay stipends to jailed terrorists and perpetuate the Palestinian refugee “problem.”

To read the full Draft 2020 Democratic Party Platform click here.

©All rights reserved.

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VIDEO: President Trump Trump Wants to Send Education Funds to Parents if Schools Do Not Open

President Trump wants education funding sent directly to parents to pay for whatever school they choose for their children–including “home school.”

CatholicVote posted the following video on YouTube:

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De-what the police?

These days we often hear and see the slogan “Defund the Police”. I would like to draw our attention to the word “defund”. And I would encourage the sloganeers to heed the words of the famous swordsman Inigo Montoya (from that wonderful film The Princess Bride): “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

My friend and former colleague Tim Perry, PhD, adds refreshing clarity: “Now that I know that ‘Defund the Police’ means ‘Stop treating every social problem as a police problem’, I’m all for it. Just don’t understand why the people who pick slogans picked this one. Because what it says is not what they tell me they mean.”

To back up Dr Perry’s observation on “what it says”, consider the following dictionary definitions of “defund”:

  • to withdraw funding from (Merriam Webster)
  • prevent from continuing to receive funds (Google search result)
  • to withdraw financial support from (Dictionary.com)
  • to stop providing the money to pay for something (Cambridge English Dictionary)
  • to remove the funds from (a person, organisation, or scheme) (Collins English Dictionary)
  • prevent from continuing to receive funds (Oxford Dictionary)
  • to withdraw financial support from (The Free Dictionary)
  • to stop providing funds, esp. government funds, for (a program, group, etc.) (YourDictionary)
  • to cancel funding for (Wiktionary)
  • cancel continued funding  (WordWeb Online)
  • to stop the flow of funds to (Definition.org)

Also, consider why (besides the lexicon’s definitions of “defund”) many English-language users might take “Defund the Police” to mean what the dictionaries say it means, i.e., to stop funding the police:

  • When I derail a train, I get the train off the tracks
  • When I decaffeinate coffee, I take out the caffeine from the coffee
  • When I deforest an area of land, I get rid of the trees
  • When I deactivate something, I make it inactive or ineffective
  • When I defrost my windshield, I get rid of the frost
  • When I debone a fish, I remove the bones from the fish
  • When I debug/delouse my cat, I get rid of its fleas and lice
  • When I dealcoholize a substance, I remove the alcohol from it
  • When I decongest my sinuses, I get rid of the congestion
  • When I declog the drain, I get rid of whatever clogs it up
  • When I dehorn a bull, I remove its horns
  • When I decolonialize, I make a nation free from colonial influences
  • When I dekulakize, I get rid of prosperous peasants
  • When I dematerialize, I disappear by becoming immaterial
  • When I dehydrate something, I remove the water/hydration from it
  • When I deinvest, I withdraw my investment
  • When we defrock a priest or judge, we remove them from a position of honor or privilege
  • When the government defunds Planned Parenthood (which many of us hope they will do!), the government stops providing funds for it

Also, consider why many reasonable people are legitimately concerned about defunding the police (when the word “defund” is understood in its normal lexical usage as canceling/ withdrawing financial support). That is, consider these observations from Steven Pinker, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University:

When law enforcement vanishes, all manner of violence breaks out: looting, settling old scores, ethnic cleansing, and petty warfare among gangs, warlords and mafias. This was obvious in the remnants of Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and parts of Africa in the 1990s, but can also happen in countries with a long tradition of civility. As a young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada during the romantic 1960s, I was a true believer in Bakunin’s anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose. Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00 A.M. on October 17, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike. By 11:20 A.M. the first bank was robbed. By noon most downtown stores had closed because of looting. Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that had competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home. By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broken, and three million dollars in property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call in the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order. This decisive empirical test left my politics in tatters (and offered a foretaste of life as a scientist).

Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (Penguin Books, 2003).

Happily, there is some calm in the sloganeering storm. Enter: Calgary Chief of Police Mark Neufeld.

Here is a portion of a recent news report Defund the Calgary police: Need to define it first, says chief:

While Black Lives Matter movements have spurred calls for cities to defund the police, Calgary’s police chief said defund needs to be defined first.

In a meeting earlier this week with media, Calgary’s Chief Constable Mark Neufeld said everyone has a different idea of what defunding police means.

“For some, this is about diverting money, for some this is about dismantling police and for others, it’s about disarming police,” he said.

“I think we’re talking about defunding the police before we define what we want them to do, and what we don’t want them to do and perhaps exploring legitimate options for addressing the demand in a practical and effective way.”

Permit me to close with a heavily embellished paraphrase of our earlier quote from the famous swordsman Inigo Montoya: Protesters keep using the slogan “Defund the Police,” but I don’t think the slogan means what many protestors claim it means—and I’m deeply troubled and even suspicious that those protestors continue to use the slogan because there are also many protestors who do think it means what it clearly says it means.

Hendrik van der Breggen, PhD, is a retired philosophy professor who lives in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.

Hendrik van der Breggen

Hendrik van der Breggen received a B.A. in Philosophy from University of Calgary, an M.A. in Philosophy from University Windsor, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of Waterloo. His study and writing… More by Hendrik van der Breggen

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As Palestinian Authority calls for jihad against Israel, US House Subcommittee votes to give it $250,000,000

“PA-affiliated TV channels have been running a video including a song with an explicit call for ‘jihad’ — a holy war — against Israel until ‘it is too late.’” — i24News, July 6, 2020

No problem! If the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs gets its way, money for that jihad is coming just in time, straight from the Great Satan.

“US House Subcommittee Passes $250 Million in Funding for Palestinian Authority Arabs,” JNS News Service, July 10, 2020:

A U.S. House subcommittee included $250 million in funding for Israeli-Palestinian Authority dialogue and Palestinian Authority business development in a $66 billion spending bill passed earlier this week, despite the Trump administration defunding both areas.

The House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs passed the bill on Monday. It includes $50 million annually over five years for dialogue programs and investment in the Palestinian Authority’s private sector: $110 million for the former and $140 million for the latter.

Additionally, bill seeks “to restore humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinian Authoirty Arabs to continue the viability of a two-state solution by providing resources to organizations working in the West Bank and Gaza,” said House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) in a statement introducing the bill.

It also includes $225 million for Palestinian Authority relief and development, despite the Trump administration slashing funding in that category to virtually zero.

Israel-related lobbying groups AIPAC and J Street have applauded the move…

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VIDEO: Democrats introduce ‘New Way Forward Act’ the Most Anti-American legislation in U.S. History

Legislation for those who don’t think there are enough criminals in the United States already.

The Center for Immigration Studies published a detailed analysis of H.R. 5383 New Way Forward Act introduced by the Democrat majority in the House. Andrew R. Arthur wrote a column titled “The ‘New Way Forward Act’: A Roadmap for Immigration under Democratic Control.” Arthur reported:

  • H.R. 5383, the “New Way Forward Act”, which has 44 cosponsors, would effectively eviscerate immigration enforcement at the border and in the interior of the United States.
  • It would all but eliminate detention for immigration purposes, and impose new burdens on our already overtaxed immigration courts.
  • It would place onerous restrictions on ICE officers and Border Patrol agents in making immigration arrests — including in desolate areas of the border in the middle of the night.
  • It would require those officers and agents to justify every arrest of an alien without a warrant before an immigration judge, straining to the point of elimination DHS’s limited immigration-enforcement resources.
  • It would create a “statute of limitations” of five years for the commencement of removal proceedings based on even the most serious criminal offenses.
  • It would limit the criminal grounds of removal so significantly that only the most extreme offenses would render criminal aliens removable, and would also expand the relief available to the few aliens who would still be removable on criminal grounds.
  • It would make the amendments to the criminal grounds of removal and relief retroactive, so that even criminal aliens who have been removed from the United States, but who would not have been removable had that law been in effect, could apply to have their cases reopened or reconsidered. Immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals would have no discretion not to reopen or reconsider those cases.
  • It would require DHS to pay to fly those criminal aliens who have been removed and who would be eligible for reopening or reconsideration thereunder back to the United States — which would result in dangerous criminal aliens being returned at taxpayer expense back to this country to commit more crimes.
  • It would prevent state and local law enforcement from assisting ICE and CBP in immigration enforcement in any way, and bar the inclusion of immigration-related information into the NCIC database or its incorporated criminal history databases. This would essentially make every jurisdiction in the United States a “sanctuary jurisdiction”. As a result, ICE officers would have to risk their own safety and the safety of the community as a whole to arrest dangerous criminal aliens at their homes or in public places.
  • It would repeal the criminal grounds of illegal entry and reentry into the United States, encouraging fraud, enriching smugglers, traffickers, and criminal cartels, and endangering the national security and the community.

On December 10, 2019, Rep. Jesus Garcia (D-Ill.) introduced H.R. 5383, the “New Way Forward Act”, which now has 44 cosponsors.1 It is a roadmap for Democrats’ plans to hobble immigration enforcement if they ever regain control of the White House and Congress, introduced by representatives who apparently believe that the current immigration laws are too harsh on criminal aliens in the United States, that immigration enforcement in the interior is currently too effective, and that there are not enough criminals in this country already. Regrettably, I am not exaggerating.

Detention

First, H.R. 5383 eviscerates immigration detention.

Detention is a key tool for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in its enforcement of the immigration laws, not just in the interior, but also in assisting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in enforcing those laws at the border.

As civil-rights icon Barbara Jordan, then-chairwoman of President Clinton’s Commission on Immigration Reform, testified in February 1995: “Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.”2 By this standard, the current immigration-enforcement effort is a failure, and a lack of detention space is a main cause of that failure.

In its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) report for FY 2019, ICE revealed that at the end of the fiscal year, there were 595,430 fugitive aliens in the United States; that is, aliens who have “failed to leave the United States based upon a final order of removal, deportation or exclusion, or who have failed to report to ICE after receiving notice to do so” — up more than 50,000 cases from just two years before.3 Those were aliens who had never been in custody or who had been released — either on parole, bond, or their own recognizance — who had received due process, were ordered removed, and who failed to leave.

Not that this should be a surprise. Aliens who enter the United States illegally, or who overstay their visas, do so to live and (generally) work in the United States, (generally) indefinitely. They literally have no incentive to leave the United States if they are not detained and are ordered removed.

As a bipartisan panel of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) found in an April 2019 report: “Even if the asylum hearing and appeals ultimately go against the migrant, he or she still has the practical option of simply remaining in the U.S. illegally, where the odds of being caught and removed remain very low.”4 How low? In FY 2019, the ICE ERO report stated that the agency had a non-detained docket of more than 3.2 million cases, and was detaining (at the end of FY 2019) 50,922 aliens, most (63 percent) of whom were recent apprehensions at the border.5 If you are an alien on ICE’s docket, your odds of being detained are just less than one in 63.

In contrast, due to the surge of aliens at the border in FY 2019, the agency only removed just over 143,000 aliens last year — 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges — down from 158,851 the year before. At that rate, it will take ICE more than four years to remove all of the alien absconders in the United States — assuming that every alien ordered subsequently removed during that period leaves voluntarily (which, as noted, they won’t).

H.R. 5383 would make ICE’s efforts to enforce the laws in the interior and at the border next to impossible by ending mandatory detention for terrorist and criminal aliens (more on that later), creating a “rebuttable presumption that the alien should be released from custody” (which places an impossible burden on ICE attorneys, who represent the government in bond proceedings), and requiring that the “least restrictive conditions” of detention and supervision be imposed on aliens (including criminal aliens) in removal proceedings and under removal orders.

Further, it requires immigration judges (IJs) to review those conditions “on a monthly basis”, imposing a significant burden on already strained immigration court dockets (the nation’s 466 IJs were handling 1,066,563 cases as of December 31, 2019 — 2,289 cases per IJ).6

That bill would also shorten the time that ICE may detain an alien under a final order from 90 days to 60 days,7 which would require the release of large numbers of aliens from so-called “recalcitrant countries”8 — those “that systematically refuse or delay the repatriation of their citizens.” In addition, H.R. 5383 would provide those aliens with a mechanism to seek release during even that shortened period (those aliens, and in particular aliens removable on terrorist and criminal grounds, are currently subject to mandatory detention).

Restrictions on Immigration Arrests

Not only would the bill add those restrictions to ICE’s detention of aliens, it would also impose significant burdens on that agency and CBP to simply arrest aliens.

Current law (logically) gives DHS officers significant latitude in questioning aliens or suspected aliens, and in arresting (without a warrant) aliens who are entering the United States illegally, as well as aliens who the officer believes are in this country illegally and who are likely to escape before the officer can obtain a warrant.9 The only restriction on this authority is that the alien must be presented “without unnecessary delay” to an officer for questioning as to that alien’s “right to enter or remain in” this country.

H.R. 5383 would place incredible impediments on both the authority of DHS officers to question aliens, and on those officers’ authority to arrest.

Specifically, under that bill, ICE officers could not interrogate any alien if that interrogation is “based on the person’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, color, spoken language, or English proficiency.”

It has been my experience that ICE officers generally question suspected aliens based upon a “totality of the circumstances”, which may include some of the factors above (I am unaware of any arrest that has ever been premised in whole or in part on religion or sexual orientation), but also other, additional factors that would indicate that the individual is a removable alien.10 If you have ever been to the border, for example, race, ethnicity, color, and English proficiency in and of themselves would not suggest that an individual is a removable alien, but they may be if the individual is in the back of a trailer that fled from an interior checkpoint.11

Categorically removing these factors from that “totality of the circumstances” analysis would make the task facing ICE officers who suspect an individual of being a removable alien next to impossible, short of the alien blurting out that he or she is in such a status. The restrictions imposed by H.R. 5383 would give even removable aliens no shortage of avenues for escaping (metaphorically) removal by asserting that an “improper” factor was considered. ICE officers would spend all day in immigration court defending the few arrests that they are able to make at “probable cause” hearings — which are also mandated by the bill, within 48 hours of the alien’s arrest without warrant, as explained below.

If the impediments on ICE officers in the interior are burdensome, the ones on Border Patrol agents are downright bizarre and ill-informed.

Specifically, under the bill, those agents could only arrest aliens whom they see entering the United States illegally if: they have probable cause to believe that the alien is in this country in violation of law and “is likely to escape before” the agent can obtain an arrest warrant; if the agent “has reason to believe” that the alien “would knowingly and willfully fail to appear in immigration court” pursuant to a Notice to Appear (“NTA”, the charging document in removal proceedings); and if the alien is presented before an IJ within 48 hours of arrest “to determine whether there is probable cause as” required therein, “including probable cause to believe that” the alien “would have knowingly and willfully failed to appear” — a hearing at which the government would bear the burden of proof.

This provision shows an almost complete lack of understanding as to how the Border Patrol does its job. Aliens are often apprehended in remote portions of the border, far away from Border Patrol stations — making it next to impossible for agents to drive hours to obtain a warrant of arrest. In addition, it is difficult to imagine how an agent could make a determination in the middle of the night whether any given alien (who had entered illegally) would appear before an IJ.

The probable-cause hearing requirement, again, would pull a significant number of Border Patrol agents off of the line almost daily to travel to far-away immigration courts to explain why they made numerous and sundry arrests.

To explain: As of January 2019, CBP employed roughly 20,000 Border Patrol agents,12 most of whom are assigned to the Southwest border, which is about 1,954 miles long.13 Those agents work 50-hour shifts per week, meaning that at any given time (assuming there are 18,000 agents along the border with Mexico) there are approximately 5,357 agents at that border. If CBP had to pull hundreds of them off of the line at any given time, it would create a vacuum that would be exploited by smugglers and traffickers, who would move migrants, drugs, and contraband through the places where agents aren’t stationed.

Of course, immigration courts are not 24-hour-a-day affairs, so it is unclear how, exactly, an alien apprehended on a Friday could be presented before an IJ 48 hours later on Sunday (or Saturday, for that matter).

This provision would essentially require Border Patrol agents to issue NTAs to all aliens apprehended entering illegally in lieu of arresting those aliens. This would, in turn, encourage massive numbers of aliens to enter the United States illegally, overwhelming limited DHS resources even more.

It would also prevent Border Patrol from identifying wanted criminals, gang members, traffickers, and even terrorists in that flood of migrants over the border. Notably, the April report from the bipartisan HSAC panel (referenced above) specifically stated: “By far, the major ‘pull factor’ [driving family units to the Southwest border] is the current practice of releasing with a NTA most illegal migrants who bring a child with them.”14 The bill would exacerbate that problem exponentially, and expand this loophole to single adults entering illegally.

Statute of Limitations on Removal Proceedings for Criminal Aliens

The bill would also create a “statute of limitations” for removal proceedings, requiring that ICE place any alien charged with a criminal-based ground of removability into proceedings within five years of the alien becoming amenable to removal (usually, the date of conviction). Often, ICE is unable to locate aliens who have criminal convictions right away, or fails to realize that an individual with a conviction is an alien for several years.

This provision would give those aliens not a “get out of jail free card,” but rather a “remain in the United States unremovable” card. And, it would do so retroactively, so criminal aliens who were placed into removal proceedings more than five years after their convictions, and subsequently ordered removed, would no longer be removable — regardless of the severity of their criminal offenses.

And, as I will explain below, it would also allow those criminal aliens who have been removed to have their cases reopened and terminated, and to be returned to the United States at taxpayers’ expense.

Limitation on Criminal Removal Grounds

H.R. 5383 would also eviscerate the criminal grounds of inadmissibility15 and deportability under a provision specifically titled “Limit Criminal-System-to-Removal Pipeline” (suggesting that the authors do not want a “pipeline” between prisons and removal for dangerous criminal aliens).

It would eliminate removability for aliens convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs), which are generally characterized as crimes of vileness, baseness, or depravity, as well as crimes that violate moral standards (malum in se, as we say in the law, “wrong in itself” by its very nature).16 Included on this list are crimes that involve fraud, bribery, sex-related offenses (including solicitation of prostitution and incest), willful infliction of injury to a spouse, theft, robbery, knowing possession of child pornography, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes — to name a few. Significantly, aliens convicted of these offenses would not only no longer be deportable if they were here, they would no longer be inadmissible to the United States if they are not.

In addition, the bill would eliminate removability for criminal violations relating to controlled substances other than drug-trafficking offenses (with a significant caveat relating to deportability based on a conviction for an aggravated felony, below), again meaning that applicants for admission would not be barred from entering the United States as a result of such convictions.

H.R. 5383 would also significantly narrow the definition of “aggravated felony” in section 101(a)(43) of the INA, a category of crimes that renders aliens in the United States deportable.17 That list includes murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, illicit trafficking in a controlled substance, illicit trafficking in firearms, crimes of violence, theft and burglary, demand for or receipt of ransom, child pornography, racketeer influenced corrupt organization offenses, peonage, slavery, trafficking in persons, gathering or transmitting national defense information, sabotage, offenses involving fraud or deceit in which the loss was $10,000 or more, alien smuggling, and attempts and conspiracies to commit such offenses (as well as many others — this list is not exhaustive).

Currently, an offense does not need to qualify as a “felony” under state or federal law to qualify as an aggravated felony for purposes of deportability. This recognizes the fact that “immigration” is a federal issue, and that a state’s characterization of an offense as a “misdemeanor” or a “felony” has no effect on how that offense should be treated for purposes of removability.

The bill would redefine the term “aggravated felony” for purposes of the INA as “a felony, for which a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years was imposed.” This is a bad amendment, for at least two reasons.

First, it excludes many offenses that would fall under the federal definition of “felony”, which includes any crime for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is a sentence of more than a year.18 Even if you don’t believe that crimes that are not “felonies” should not count as “aggravated felonies” for immigration purposes, crimes with punishments that would qualify as “felonies” under federal law certainly should.

Second, and worse, it would allow many aliens who are currently removable for significant criminal offenses to remain in the United States and commit additional crimes. As my colleague Jessica Vaughan19 noted in 2011 in summarizing a Government Accountability Office report on alien incarcerations, arrests, and costs: “The average incarcerated alien had seven arrests, and committed an average of 12 offenses.”20 Simply put, criminals commit crimes, and convicted criminals usually commit numerous ones.

While the aggravated felonies listed above are serious offenses, as a result of plea bargains or the misguided efforts of lenient sentencing judges, the sentences for those offenses can be relatively light. This is especially true in cases involving rape and sexual abuse of a minor, where prosecutors may attempt to protect the victim from having to testify by striking a deal with the defendant.

H.R. 5383 would shelter the criminals convicted of those offenses from removability, in essence allowing them to remain in the United States and prey again upon the community, unless they received a term of imprisonment of an arbitrary five years or more.

Restrictions on What Constitutes a “Conviction” for Immigration Purposes

Worse, that bill would significantly trim down the formal findings of criminal guilt that would qualify as a “conviction” for purposes of removability, as well as eligibility for immigration relief in section 101(a)(48) of the INA.21

It is important to note that criminal convictions have two consequences under immigration law. First, they can render an alien inadmissible or removable under sections 212(a)(2)22 and 237(a)(2)23 of the INA, respectively. Second, they can render a removable alien ineligible for relief from removal, such as for asylum (sections 208(b)(2)(A)(ii) and (iii) and sections 208(b)(2)(B)(i) and (ii) of the INA),24 cancellation of removal for permanent residents (“42A cancellation”, section 240A(a)(3) of the INA25), and cancellation of removal and adjustment of status for certain nonpermanent residents (“42B cancellation”, section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the INA).

H.R. 5383 would amend the definition of “conviction” for purposes of the INA to exclude:

An adjudication or judgment of guilt that has been dismissed, expunged, sealed, deferred, annulled, invalidated, withheld, or vacated, or where a court has issued a judicial recommendation against removal [JRAD], or an order of probation without entry of judgment or any similar disposition.

This amendment would allow a criminal who has been convicted, and sentenced, and who has served time for an offense to avoid removal by going to a sympathetic judge (or overworked prosecutor) to have that conviction dismissed, expunged, sealed, annulled, invalidated, or vacated, without consideration of whether the criminal actually committed that offense.

As Criminal Defense Lawyer explains:

Many states allow you to expunge, seal or otherwise “hide” or “destroy” your criminal record. Generally, if a criminal record is expunged or sealed, it’s as though the crime never occurred and you can legally say (to a potential employer, for example) that you were never charged or convicted of a crime.26

Or, a “potential IJ”. Therefore, an alien who has committed a serious criminal offense can avoid the immigration consequences of his or her actions by going to court, in instances well after the fact, to “hide” or “destroy” their criminal record for immigration purposes.

With respect to JRADs, as my colleague Dan Cadman has explained, while they previously existed in immigration law, Congress expressly repealed that procedure 30 years ago:

Before repeal, a JRAD was binding on immigration authorities, including immigration judges, although it could not be used for certain offenses or where the sentence exceeded a year of imprisonment.

Next let’s note that JRADs were primarily used in cases involving resident aliens in which mitigating factors existed; the JRAD acted to bar deportation and thus left the alien’s legal ability to remain in the United States intact.27

The JRAD proposed in H.R. 5383 would apply to all aliens, not just lawful permanent resident aliens, and would include foreign nationals who have never been to the United States seeking admission. And Congress repealed that relief for good reason, as I have previously stated: “Elimination of that limited authority made it clear that state-court judges had no power to affect the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.”28 (Emphasis added.)

H.R. 5383 would in fact give state-court judges almost unbridled discretion to interfere in the exclusively federal domain of immigration. Further, it would almost definitely lead to disparate and subjective outcomes, as some jurisdictions (and individual judges) would be more lenient and others stricter were it to come to applying these new powers, if they were conveyed by Congress.

Worse (and yes, it gets much, much worse), the bill would repeal a subparagraph in section 101(a)(48) of the INA that explicitly states that:

Any reference to a term of imprisonment or a sentence with respect to an offense is deemed to include the period of incarceration or confinement ordered by a court of law regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that imprisonment or sentence in whole or in part.29

Instead, under that provision as amended by H.R. 5383, the phrase “term of imprisonment or sentence” for purposes of the INA would include only the “period of incarceration ordered by a court of law”, excluding “confinement” (logically referencing “house arrest”) as well as “any suspension or imposition or execution of that imprisonment or sentence in whole or in part”. The number of criminal aliens who would escape removal under this amendment is incalculable, but that is only the beginning.

Retroactivity of Amendments

That is because the bill would make these amendments explicitly retroactive, applicable not only to convictions and sentences entered before the date of enactment, but also to “admissions and conduct” occurring before the date of enactment. It would provide a map for criminals seeking through the plea process to avoid removal and reoffend, as often as they wanted, until they ran afoul of what would be left of the criminal grounds of removal. And allow them to reopen cases that had long been closed, even if they had already been deported.

Expansion of the Availability of Relief for Criminal Aliens

And even then criminal aliens could still escape removal, because H.R. 5383 explicitly allows IJs to “grant any relief or deferral of removal … to any individual who is otherwise eligible for such relief but for a prior criminal conviction” so long as the respondent can convince the IJ that “such an exercise of discretion” is “appropriate in pursuit of humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.”

That means that you could be sentenced to (and serve) 20 years’ incarceration for murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor (or any other aggravated felony), reapply for adjustment of status under section 245 of the INA, show that your removal would disrupt the family unity you share with your sponsoring spouse, and be given a brand new green card.30

Or you could enter the United States illegally, be locked up for 20 years for drug trafficking, and be granted 42B cancellation under section 240A(b) of the INA by showing that such relief is “appropriate in pursuit of humanitarian purposes” (whatever that means).31

I will note that 42B relief requires the applicant show that he or she has been a person of “good moral character” for 10 years before applying, and that under section 101(f)(8) of the INA, an alien who has been convicted of an aggravated felony is barred from being found to be “a person of good moral character”.32 The provision in question (section 401(a) in H.R. 5383), however, states that it applies “[n]othwithstanding any other provision of law,” vitiating this bar.33

And section 401(d) in that bill strikes section 240A(d)(1)34 of the INA, which stops the clock on the accrual of residence and physical presence (periods of which are required for 42A and 42B cancellation of removal) when the alien commits a criminal offense that would render the alien inadmissible under the criminal grounds in sections 212(a)(2)35 and 237(a)(2) of the INA. 36

If you conclude from all that I have explained thus far that the drafters of H.R. 5383 have done everything that they can to allow every criminal alien to remain in the United States short of simply eliminating the criminal grounds of removability, you would not be far off. But then they go one step further.

Return of Criminal Aliens to the United States — at Government Expense

Under Title VII of that bill, captioned glowingly “Right to Come Home”, the drafters require IJs and the Board of Immigration Appeals to grant any motion to reopen or reconsider filed by any foreign national who was “ordered removed, deported, or excluded”, or who left under a grant of voluntary departure, on or after April 24, 1996 (the date of enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA)),37 who would not have been inadmissible, excludable, or deportable under the eviscerated criminal grounds in H.R. 5383, or who would have been eligible to apply for relief under the senseless amendments made therein.

And DHS (that means you, the taxpayer) has to pay to fly all of those previously deported, excluded, and removed aliens who are eligible for reopening and reconsideration of their cases (not simply those who have been granted reopening and reconsideration) “at Government expense” (emphasis added) back to the United States for their immigration proceedings, and must admit or parole them all.

I almost don’t believe what I just typed myself, so I have to insert section 701(d) of H.R. 5383, so you and I can see for ourselves:

TRANSPORTATION.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide transportation for aliens eligible for reopening or reconsideration of their proceedings under this section, at Government expense, to return to the United States for further immigration proceedings and shall admit or parole the alien into the United States.

And notwithstanding the fact that section 701(a)(1) of the bill would mandate reopening or reconsideration of the removal proceedings of all those criminal aliens who are living abroad who would be newly free to return to the United States, section 701(f) grants those criminals aliens the ability to seek judicial review of any denials of such motions. Meaning that the aliens who were erroneously flown back to the United States at government expense to apply for reopening or reconsideration because they were not actually eligible could remain even longer.

Restrictions on State and Local Assistance in Immigration Enforcement

Not that there would be any resources to arrest and remove them again, anyway. In addition to the ridiculous restrictions on immigration arrests by ICE and CBP described above, H.R. 5383 would also end the successful 287(g) program, under which immigration authority can be delegated to specially trained state and local law-enforcement officers.38

Not satisfied to stop there, the drafters would also bar civil immigration warrants from being entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database (and its “incorporated criminal history databases”); and bar federal, state, and local law-enforcement officials from entering information relating “to an alien’s immigration status, the existence of a prior removal, deportation, or voluntary departure order against an alien, or any allegations of civil violations of the immigration laws” into those databases. Such information already in those databases would have to be removed within 90 days of the enactment of H.R. 5383, though Lord knows how.

At this point, you really have to wonder whose side the sponsors and drafters of that bill are on. Not to be outdone, however, they also prohibit state and local employees and officials from “performing the function of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, transport, or detention of aliens in the United States or otherwise assist in the performance of such functions.” (Emphasis added.)

This means that unless ICE officers are stationed outside the jailhouse door when the alleged alien rapists of an 11-year-old girl are released, those officers will just have to go and find them somewhere else, likely in a spot where someone (the alien, the ICE agent, an intervener, or an innocent member of the public) could get hurt.39 Under H.R. 5383, every state, county, and city will be Montgomery County, Md., and New York City.

The Bill Eliminates the Criminal Penalties for Illegal Entry and Reentry

Finally, the bill repeals sections 275 and 276 of the INA.40

Section 275 of the INA makes it a misdemeanor, subject to imprisonment for up to six months and a fine, for an alien to enter or attempt to enter the United States illegally or through fraud.41 For any alien who subsequently illegally reenters the United States, that section provides for a felony sentence of two years’ imprisonment and a fine. That section also criminalizes marriage fraud.

Section 276 of the INA makes it a felony, subject to imprisonment for up to two years and a fine, for an alien to reenter the United States illegally after being ordered excluded, deported, or removed, with higher penalties (up to 20 years) for aliens removed after being convicted of aggravated felonies, and up to 10 years for aliens removed on terrorist grounds, as well as those removed on other criminal grounds.42

Eliminating these criminal provisions would remove the (remaining) teeth from border enforcement, because the threat of criminal punishment is a significant deterrent to illegal entry (as I have previously explained), especially for aliens who have been removed on criminal grounds or who pose a danger to the national security.43

In addition to the migrants who have entered illegally themselves, the major beneficiaries of the repeal of these provisions are the smugglers and traffickers who prey upon those migrants in making the life-threatening trip illegally to the border, and the criminal cartels who benefit from their passage over the border into the United States.44

H.R. 5383 Is a Roadmap for Immigration Enforcement under Democratic Control

H.R. 5383 is not a serious proposal — not yet, at least. Few members of Congress or senators facing reelection would want to run the inevitable risk that a criminal protected (or worse, returned at government expense) thereunder would commit a crime so heinous and shocking to the conscience that even a media otherwise ignorant, docile, and uninterested as it relates to alien crime could ignore it.

That said, however, the bill pulls the curtain back on where Democrats want to go on immigration, if they get the power to do so. Why do I say that? The first cosponsor is Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the vice-chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship at the House Judiciary Committee (the subcommittee to which that bill has been referred). She is no backbencher who has no idea of what this bill would do. She is leadership on that powerful committee.

Look, you may think that the immigration laws are too harsh on criminal aliens (86 percent of all of the aliens removed by ICE in FY 2019 either had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, as I noted above45). And you may even think that the criminal justice system in the United States itself is too harsh. Given the high recidivism rate for criminals, however, the idea of flying criminals back to the United States is foolhardy, to put it mildly.

Perhaps some in this country might like the frisson of dodging even more dangerous criminals than we already have on a daily basis. Most Americans (citizens and legal immigrants alike) want their communities safe and orderly, though.

The fact is that, however, given the large number of sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States, and given that sanctuary laws only protect criminal aliens, the ideas in H.R. 5383 (other than the paid return of deported criminals) are in effect today — H.R. 5383 simply puts a face, and legal sanction, on them all.46

And bills don’t write themselves. Drafters intend them to become law. Given the opportunity, the sponsor and 44 cosponsors of H.R. 5383 (and likely several others who haven’t taken the step of cosponsorship yet) will make it the law.

Then, we will all have to live with the consequences.

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.

©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Where Did Our Patriotism Go?

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their countrymen.”


Independence Day is just around the corner, which is normally celebrated with parades and fireworks, but these times can hardly be called “normal” anymore. As such, I believe it will be played down this year. Most, if not all, local 4th of July parades have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus along with a fear for the general safety of the population in these turbulent times, particularly in Democrat strongholds of urban areas. However, there might be another reason, a decline in patriotism.

The Gallup organization recently produced a study titled, “U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low” (6/15/2020), which describes our attitudes about patriotism. Under the category of adult Americans “extremely/very proud” of their country, it has plummeted from a high of 92% in 2003 to a new low of 63% in 2020, representing a 29 point decline.

Democrats lead the way in the decline, going from a high of 65% in 2003 to an unbelievable low of 24% in 2020 (and remember, these are the people who are “extremely/very proud” of America; another 76% are well below this). Independents dropped from a 65% high in 2003 to 41% today. Even the Republicans have slipped, going from a high of 86% in 2003 to 67% in 2020. The question is, why? According to the report, like a lot of things, patriotism has been politicized and is now viewed as a Republican attribute, hence the rebuttal by Democrats.

As we embark on a “Summer of Hate,” there is a general malaise in the land, a depression likely worse than the period following the JFK assassination in 1963; a time that put many Americans in a state of shock. Why? A combination of things actually, beginning with the COVID-19 virus, which many believe has been politicized. There is also the deepening divide along ideological lines, no spirit of cooperation or negotiation, a focus on entitlements, and a political battle for the very soul of the United States.

So, how can patriotism be restored? Aside from the election in November, it is time to arrest the lawlessness of the country and enforce the rule of law. Without law there is anarchy which puts the safety of the public at risk. People are aghast by the shenanigans of young people destroying downtown areas. As an aside, we wouldn’t need law and order if parents had disciplined their children properly years ago. We also need some common sense, and a dose of flag waving. As I mentioned recently in another essay, the Pledge of Allegiance was created at a time when Americanism was in decline, much like today. It was hoped the Pledge would endear the country to our youth who, in turn, would learn to respect and honor the principles from which our government is based. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case as the Gallup numbers indicate.

One thing the post-JFK assassination period taught us was that America longed for happier times. Enter the Beatles in early 1964 who brought a new sound, a new look, and a bit of levity that was readily embraced by Americans. Their timing couldn’t have been better. They reigniting excitement once again and triggered new social changes. I mention this as it is entirely possible our national depression could give way to a similar entertainment phenomenon, thereby breaking the spell cast over us, and leading to prosperity and boom times for America.

Unfortunately, we will not know this until after the November election. Until then…

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. This is the perfect gift for youth!

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Make Patriotism Viral Again

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EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Who pays the coronavirus bill?

The wealthiest generation since the Industrial Revolution is sucking up the savings of future income earners to safeguard the value of its assets.


Over 190 countries have taken fiscal or monetary action to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The US Congress has authorized an additional US$2.8 trillion in government spending, with further appropriations expected. The fresh US spending, all debt funded, comes on top of a $1,022 billion pre-existing budget deficit for 2019. The US$21,216 billion US economy had already been supporting outstanding federal government debt of $23,224 billion at the start of 2020.

Supplementing government initiatives, the US Federal Reserve has dramatically lowered interest rates and committed an unlimited budget for the purchase of financial assets to shore up their value. It already holds $5,886 billion in government and mortgage backed securities. Now, it is moving along the risk curve to buy publicly traded equities and low-grade corporate debt.

The government of the world’s second largest economy has committed an additional RMB3.6 trillion to support economic activity. The Chinese central bank has flagged a boost to its lending by RMB6.0 trillion as well as offering fresh loan support by way of guarantees and rate reductions.

The UK government is committed to spending another £48.7 billion with an undefined amount in loans to support business activity. The normally fiscally conservative Germans are spending another €427 billion and offering €820 billion in loan supports.

Some of the most historically dogged fiscal conservatives are voicing support for spending and loan commitments beyond the dreams of the most wild-eyed socialists.

Fiscal reactions to the pandemic threat have not been especially well planned. Their breathtaking speed has emphasised getting cash out the door. Nor has the longer-term impact on economic performance and future living standards been widely canvassed.

Out the window has gone the now old-fashioned warning that governments, like families, should live within their means.

Central banks, having acquired their independence since the 1980s, have morphed from behind the scenes lenders of last resort to licensed banks into frontline buyers of financial assets. Now, markets throw a tantrum if central banks are not signalling their support regularly and frequently. Central banks are seemingly obligated to assuage the slightest investor anxiety.

The ambivalence of economists towards debt funding has worked against financial discipline. Governments have sprinted to take advantage of their teaching that not all debt is bad. Don’t blame Covid-19. Central governments in advanced economies started 2020 with debt levels already exceeding the dangerously high 100 percent of GDP benchmark.

A simple example can illustrate the reasons for economists’ schizophrenic mindset about deficit spending.

Let’s assume that a country’s GDP of $100 is growing at 5%, comprising real output growth of 3% and inflation of 2%. You can scale that up with as many zeroes as you like. The results will be the same.

Then comes an exogenous shock of some sort, like a pandemic, which causes the government in this example to debt fund expenditure of $100. Let’s say that the interest payable on the debt, also debt funded, is 7%. If nothing else changes, after 25 years, the original debt and ongoing interest liability will have mounted to $543, more than a fivefold increase.

Debt will have risen to 168% of the higher GDP with dimming prospects of repayment unless residents cut back on their spending or find new sources of income. GDP would have more than tripled but 11% of the larger GDP would be committed to debt servicing.

The US government can issue bonds denominated in US dollars. Other countries’ governments, forced to borrow in US dollars, face currency risks. The debt of US dollar borrowers escalates even faster to the extent the value of their currencies declines as investors grow more fearful of a repayment default.

Governments in this predicament are usually forced into harsh spending cuts to keep a lid on the mounting debt burden. Think here about Greece, Italy and Argentina as conspicuous examples of the consequences among more advanced countries.

Let’s say, in our example, that the government spends its borrowings solely on productivity enhancing initiatives like new roads, ports to boost exports, public health services to improve life expectancy and education to raise the technical competence of the workforce. Let’s assume that these measures boost the GDP growth rate from 5% to 7%.

Also, interest rates have plummeted. Today, the US government can borrow for 10 years at around 0.8%. Almost incredibly, German rates are negative. So, let’s drop the assumed debt servicing charge in the example from 7% to 1%.

The economic outcome is radically different with these two changes. GDP is 57% higher. The debt rises to only $128 or 25% of GDP. Rather than 11% of GDP going in interest payments, only 0.3% is being absorbed in debt servicing. Spending on more productivity enhancing measures, social programs or lowered taxes becomes possible.

Done right, debt-funded government spending could greatly enhance future living standards. But here’s the rub. The coronavirus spending splurge is largely bereft of measures to improve long term growth potential. It is focussed, instead, on getting consumers to buy stuff now.

Without more investment, the bill for today’s spending will show up in lowered living standards in the future. Education, health and public welfare service delivery will seem to fall mysteriously short of what was expected as anonymous lenders take a growing chunk of income.

The intergenerational sharing of wealth, largely ignored in advanced economies, has received more attention in resource-rich developing countries which have had to plan for the exhaustion of their mineral or petroleum wealth.

Circumstances have forced governments in resource-rich countries to set aside a part of current revenue from the sale of natural resources to underwrite future provision of government services. Sovereign wealth funds are set up for such a purpose.

A sovereign wealth fund used to manage national savings does not of itself solve the problem. Generally accepted guideposts about what constitutes a fair intergenerational share of well-being are also needed.

Even if debt and savings rules were legislated, opting out of a self-imposed fiscal straight-jacket is tempting when an unanticipated emergency, like a pandemic or a financial crisis, hits.

History has not helped foster fiscal discipline. Warnings over the past 40 or 50 years of impending economic calamity as a result of governments having lived beyond their means have been ignored with little obvious consequence.

The emergence of China as an economic power has especially eased pressures for more conservative budgeting. China’s globally significant savings levels have removed an important fiscal constraint on the rest of the world.

Advanced economy budget deficits, funded by Chinese savings, have fuelled spending on Chinese goods. Propping up that nation’s employment and income base has, in turn, sustained the pool of savings on which Western countries have come to rely for their deficit funding.

Freely flowing capital and unhindered movement of goods have been at the heart of this benign circle of economic life.

Even before the new coronavirus hit, these mutually beneficial trade and financial arrangements were crumbling. Their restoration, at a minimum, would help ease the burden of the newly imposed debt.

If, on the other hand, capital mobility and trade freedom are scaled back, the enormity of recent policy actions will require governments to come up with new ways to mitigate their effects on future living standards. Governments owe that to those involuntarily footing the Covid-19 bill.

COLUMN BY

John Robertson

John A. Robertson is a consulting economist with a background in investment management, corporate strategy and public policy. He writes the weekly ‘From the Capital’ column for London-based Mining… 

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Supreme Court Hands Huge Victory to Families on School Choice

In a 5-4 decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court held that families have a right to seek the best educational opportunities for their children, by preventing states from blocking the participation of religiously affiliated schools in state school choice programs.

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court ruled that the application of a “no-aid” provision in Montana’s Constitution violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, since it barred state tax credit scholarships from being used at private religious schools.

In a huge win for families, the high court held that states cannot apply the no-aid provision to discriminate against religious schools by excluding them from private school choice programs.

In 2002, the court’s ruling in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris held that the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution did not block parents from choosing schools that are the best fit for their children, including religious schools.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

Tuesday’s decision in Espinoza removed the largest state constitutional obstacle by holding that so-called Blaine Amendments cannot be used to deny choice to parents.

Under the U.S. Constitution, states no longer may prevent parents from choosing religious schools if they are participating in a school choice program.

“A state need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools simply because they are religious,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court in Espinoza.

This decision struck a blow to the notoriously anti-Catholic Blaine Amendment in Montana’s Constitution that sanctioned explicit discrimination against religious schools in funding. Montana’s discrimination hurt families who have a wide variety of values and preferences when it comes to their children’s education.

As the Supreme Court had previously noted, Blaine Amendments have an “ignoble” history. The amendments are named after Sen. James G. Blaine of Maine, who in 1875 sought a federal constitutional prohibition of aid to “sectarian” schools.

“Consideration of the amendment arose at a time of pervasive hostility to the Catholic Church and to Catholics in general, and it was an open secret that sectarian was code for Catholic,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the court’s Mitchell v. Helms decision in 2000.

As Jarrett Stepman and one of us, Lindsey Burke, wrote previously in the Journal of School Choice:

Catholics sought to establish their own schools, and proposed that funding should follow, as it had to the common school (proto-public schools).

Supporters of the common school movement perceived a threat to its mission in such proposals. … Against this backdrop, Blaine [Amendments] sought to prevent aid to Catholic schooling as part of a wider reaction to increased Catholic immigration.

Blaine’s effort to amend the U.S. Constitution failed in 1875, but his effort still served as a major impediment to school choice, continuing to thwart modern-day school choice programs in the 21st century.

That’s because 37 states went on to adopt similar amendments, sometimes referred to as “baby Blaine Amendments.” Prior to today’s ruling, in states such as Montana, many of these state Blaine Amendments and similar “compelled support” clauses restricted or outright prohibited the use of taxpayer funds at private religious schools.

This timeline shows when states adopted Blaine Amendments and similar “compelled support” clauses.

The Supreme Court made it clear Tuesday that the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution prohibits discrimination against religious schools on the basis of their religious status—a status that provides families with more education options that best meet the needs of their children.

The high court said that if states create a publicly available benefit, such as a scholarship program, they must allow religious schools to participate. The states that have Blaine Amendments in place are now prohibited from excluding religious school options.

In Mitchell v. Helms, Thomas wrote of Blaine Amendments: “This doctrine, born of bigotry, should be buried now.” On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza took us one step closer to achieving that goal.

Now is the time for states to cast aside these 19th-century rules rooted in prejudice that unfairly punish religious families, students, and schools. The Constitution requires states to provide a level playing field for religious and secular education.

The legal impediment to school choice programs is now gone, and it’s up to state legislatures to move forward advancing education choice.

The court made it clear that policymakers across the country now have the power to enact robust school choice programs. They should do just that.

COMMENTARY BY

Lindsey M. Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: .

Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

TEXAS: Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress, announces 21st Century version of the New Deal – “EARN-IT”

DALLAS, TX /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Tre Pennie, U.S. Candidate for Texas Congressional District 30, announces a new economic recovery plan called EARN-IT. The plan was created in response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest relating to the George Floyd murder. These problems stem from the culmination of 50-years of failed socioeconomic policy that have marginalized the interests of communities of color for years. EARN-IT seeks to leverage public works projects and networks to enhance workforce training, education, and volunteerism for underserved communities. Under EARN-IT, government will play its traditional role of supporting community initiatives, but corporations and the people will have an opportunity to earn economic and social rewards based on their contributions to the recovery process.

EARN-IT is a fluid plan that welcomes government, corporate and community input. Although, the plan was designed for Texas CD30, it can be adopted for other underserved districts across the country. EARN-IT also consists of an online and offline public awareness campaign; which involves the distribution of branded t-shirts, hats, and coronavirus masks. The EARN-IT logo was created by Urban Thread Design.

EARN-IT is not a political statement; it is a “new vision” and movement for change. As part of this movement, free placard signs will be distributed to businesses and residents in Texas Congressional District 30. To learn more about EARN-IT, visit: https://www.pennieforcongress.com/pdf/Pennie_EARN-IT.pdf

To learn more visit: Pennie For Congress

©All rights reserved.

Boston “Man” Nabbed for Stealing Millions from the Paycheck Protection Program

Reader Tom sent me a story from Sundance at the Conservative Treehouse about how Elijah Majak Buoi has been busy amassing millions of dollars meant to help small businesses survive the Chinese virus crisis.

The Conservative Treehouse story is here.  And the press release from the US Justice Department is here.

There is lots of coverage of the “man” who I am guessing is a ‘new American’ from Africa (Sudan maybe?), but I was searching for a story that might have a photo and found this one at Universal Hub:

Area man charged with $2 million in coronavirus loan fraud

Federal prosecutors today charged a Winchester man with wire fraud for his four applications for federal loans aimed at helping small businesses continue to make payroll despite losses related to Covid-19, alleging he made up employee numbers and that the few employees he does have are all based in India.

According to a federal complaint unsealed today, Elijah Majak Buoi of Winchester was rejected for three of his applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans – which can be converted to grants – but was granted $2 million on the fourth, despite giving different employee and payroll numbers on the applications.

In addition to having Buoi arrested today, the US Attorney’s office is asking a judge to freeze his bank accounts so he cannot transfer the money he received out of the country. At his arraignment, a federal magistrate judge in Worcester set cash bail of $15,000.

[….]

The affidavit*** states that Buoi first filed a PPP application with Bank of America in April for $7.5 million, based on the 353 employees he said he had, all allegedly in Massachusetts. After the bank rejected his request, he tried again with three other lenders, asking each for $2 million, with his employee count on applications ranging from 18 to 96 employees.

The first two lenders also rejected his requests, but the final one, to which he claimed he had 96 US employees, approved his request and he had $2 million deposited in his Bank of America checking account earlier this month.

According to the affidavit, Buoi’s LinkedIn page says he has just five employees, and all are in India, making them ineligible for PPP coverage.

[….]

According to the affidavit, Buoi transferred some $1.2 million of the PPP payment from one Bank of America account to another and has withdrawn $27,000 of it – $20,000 in a wire transfer to India.

More here.

The US government was able to get most of our money back.

***Affidavit is attached to the article.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Vortex — Take Their Money, Mr. President. Choke ’em off.

TRANSCRIPT

The whole Washington, D.C. establishment (a.k.a., “the Swamp”) has gone completely in publicly to ensure President Trump does not remain president. General Colin Powell over the weekend added his voice to a growing chorus of Trump-haters within the Swamp to say he will not vote for Trump.

By the way, he added in an interview that he didn’t vote for him in 2016 either: So who cares what he thinks, really? And this is key: The U.S. hierarchy and especially its political arm is an active member of the D.C. Swamp. They have been for decades, and they hate Trump because it’s all being exposed.

It’s high time the Catholic Church in the United States loses its tax-exempt status. There are simply too many crooked shepherds who profit from the deal and who are not using the money they save to fulfill the Church’s mission. Accused homosexual bishops like D.C.’s Wilton Gregory — so gay that in Church circles he’s known as the African Queen — are enemies of Christ and His Church and uncover themselves more and more every day.

Gregory and the entire leadership of the U.S. hierarchy for decades has been fomenting revolution in politics, pretending to care for the poor. They care nothing for the poor, except to mobilize them and use them to keep the Party of Death in power, which in turn keeps giving the bishops money to keep the Swamp filled.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a very active part of the D.C. Swamp, and that’s why the tax-exempt status needs to go away. You would be hard-pressed to find a more wicked, sinister cabal of liars and thieves — and that’s saying a lot in D.C.

The men who built the USCCB bureaucracy and who now keep it going developed secret pipelines to bring in homosexual men from South America and flood U.S. seminaries. They lied to the faithful, shredded documents, committed perjury, engaged in and/or covered up the rape of thousands of mostly teenage boys and they maintained their control to keep up these moral outrages partially through their tax-exempt status.

The Church as we see it in America today, in the hands of these corrupt shepherds, is little else than a crime syndicate that Donald Trump should break up. Major dioceses and archdioceses are sitting on enormous endowments and not telling the people they continue to soak. For example, the archdiocese of Detroit has an endowment in the hundreds of millions; yet it still applied for and received over $2 million in Wuhan economic-stimulus money.

Even rolling in that much cash, they still laid off a huge portion of staff and are now at the beginning of the most incredible shrinking of a diocese practically on record.

These thieves in miters have stashed away tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars collectively and yet still enjoy a tax-exempt status. For what? These Marxists work to undermine America and replace the nation-state system by ushering in a new world order, complete with its no-borders, globalist, save-the-planet, shrink-the-population, diabolical propaganda.

The latest example of their participation is D.C. Abp. Gregory’s quiet joining-of-forces to help destabilize President Trump by ordering his clergy to show up in cassocks at a protest in Lafayette Park yesterday, and then march on the White House at high noon.

There are a couple of issues here. Gregory hates cassocks, and the word is out in D.C. if you are a priest not to wear one around him, which is a little strange: You’d think he fancies a man in a frock. Second, the “Catholic protest” just happened, by sheer coincidence, out of the blue, to coincide with another leftist protest calling for the president to be deposed.

And the African Queen knows that the sight of priests dressed like priests mingled in with BLM and Antifa types and chanting and fist-pumping would potentially create a firestorm of TV news video as well as headlines like “Catholic Church Wants Trump Ousted.” And headlines like that would be little else than what the Marxist media has become so proficient in: fake news.

Authentic Catholics, as opposed to the ones lobotomized by bishops over the past 50 years, understand the stakes here. So too does Abp. Viganò, who published a letter to Trump saying essentially, “The moment has arrived, Mr. President. It’s good against evil, and you are the one in the Oval Office.”

Viganò also called gay Gregory a “false shepherd.” False shepherds run false churches that they poorly disguise as the true Church. But authentic Catholics can sniff out the smell of sulphur around this putrid lot in a heartbeat. Thousands of black Americans, most of them young men, have been gunned down in urban America — yet not a word about any of them.

Only 2% of black slayings came at the hands of police officers; so even if the police were all defunded, as Minneapolis is now saying it will, what about the other 98% of black Americans being killed? And what about the millions of black Americans who never make it past Planned Parenthood? That’s millions.

Why isn’t Wilton having his priests stampede the White House about all those black lives? Oh, wait — black babies have an ally in Donald Trump, so no need for a riot in cassocks.

Gay Gregory and all his brother Marxist bishops want Trump gone and are spinning the narrative that he’s to blame for all this. Inside operatives told Church Militant that the African Queen became enraged at the Knights of Columbus having invited Trump to the National Shrine and demanded they cooperate with his plan, ordering the local D.C. Knights to e-mail their pro-life list to try and get the troops mobilized to hit the streets.

President Trump, two things, please, for yourself and Catholics who are sick of the bishop tyranny:

  1. Turn off the spigot of funds flowing to the corrupt USCCB
  2. Get the Church’s tax-exempt status cancelled. They engage in politics, not religion.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Libs Handcuff Police with Defund Cry

The fringe Left: Great at making slogans. Terrible at considering consequences. Maybe “DEFUND THE POLICE” makes an edgy statement slathered in yellow letters on D.C.’s 16th Street — but putting it on paper, like Democratic lawmakers are threatening to do, would be one of the worst policy mistakes in history. And it’s not just Republicans who think so.

As usual, the Left’s new crusade to defund the police — like “Abolish ICE!” and “Open the Borders!” — is full of the requisite shock value, as everyone from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) stokes their base with calls to embrace the lawlessness their agenda depends on. But is it really a serious movement? The liberal media certainly hopes not. Months away from a general election, outlets like CNN and the New York Daily News are warning the crusade could be “deadly” for Democrats. Even Joe Biden, who’s been off the reservation on policy for most of the year, knows you don’t win over voters by leaving their homes and children unprotected.

But then, this was always about rhetoric — not reason. To the Left, the practical implications of defunding police, like crime, disorder, and mayhem, are another inconvenient sidebar. That’s because, Randy Petersen points out in the Federalist, “the screams and emotions and nonstop news coverage have given the idea legs that are not easily countered without thoughtful debate.” Even the Minneapolis city council, who’s actually considering a defund proposal, admitted they hadn’t even thought about what a “police-free future looks like.”

If so, Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell says, then maybe they ought to be held personally responsible for the fallout. Is AOC going to accept the liability for the property damage and loss of life that results from her rally cry? Because ironically, he points out, the people who would be most at risk in this lawless society are the ones she and her fellow liberals claim to care most about: minorities, the elderly, children, and women. Without police, “that’s exactly who will be placed in the greatest danger.”

Fortunately, like most of their wildly unpopular ideas (legal infanticide, late-term abortion, socialism, immigration, environmental fanaticism), the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to defunding the police. While Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles leaders move ahead with the absurd suggestion, only 16 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans support it. Like most sane people, they understand that while our law enforcement system is flawed (what public institution isn’t?) the solution is reforming it — not removing it altogether.

Just consider what’s happened in the last week and a half. Seventeen lives have been lost in the riots despite the massive police presence. Based on the damage that’s been done, does anyone seriously believe that America is at the point where we’re sufficiently capable of controlling our own behavior? “If ever there was a time to fund the police or to recruit for the police,” Sarah Perry argued on “Washington Watch,” “I would think it would be now.”

Instead, the mobs want to take away the only thing separating America from absolute anarchy. And at the end of the day, that’s almost certainly the Left’s real goal: destabilizing the country so they can step in and reorder. “It’s all part and parcel of the revolutionary firebombing — trashing the whole system and starting over,” Sarah shook her head. “It’s not, ‘Let’s take the good parts,’ or ‘Let’s modify what isn’t working.’ It’s ‘Let’s throw it all out.'”

Attorney General William Barr agreed, warning, “There’s a witches’ brew of extremist groups looking to exploit this on all sides,” But destroying law and order is a bridge he’s shocked anyone would cross. “You would have increases in vigilantism and increases in chaos in the city,” he warned. It would be a mistake. Just like it is to judge all 900,000 U.S. police officers by one man’s actions.

Obviously, bad policing does exist in certain areas. Let’s address it. Let’s do a thorough audit of what the behavior is, what the training is, who we’re recruiting, and what their backgrounds are. Let’s reevaluate police unions and internal discipline. But this should be the first sign of really bad policy, Petersen argues, “punishing everyone regardless of their culpability.” That’s “precisely the argument that many in the black community make — that its members are unfairly targeted by agents of the government, mostly (but not only) the police, without regard to individual guilt or innocence… Both sides need to step out of the elevator and have a real discussion on what the goals are and the best way to get there. Alienating all of our police officers is not a good way to start.”


Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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4 Keys to Understanding ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

“Defund the police” has become the newest rallying cry for the left and it’s no longer confined to radicals and activists.

Some local lawmakers are going a step further to say “dismantle” or “abolish” the police, while left-leaning media outlets are giving credence to the fledgling movement.

The idea could mean different things to different advocates, but at a minimum it means slashing police department resources.

“It’s an extremely irresponsible and reprehensible recommendation specifically for the outcomes that we know would come about in exactly the kind of communities for which these proposal are being made,” Rafael Mangual, deputy director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank in New York, told The Daily Signal.


The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>


Here are four things to know about the “defund the police” movement.

1. Where Is Defunding Happening? 

It’s a near certainty that Minneapolis—where fired police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd—will defund police. (The state upgraded an initial third-degree murder charge.)

The May 25 death of Floyd, captured in a cellphone video showing Chauvin’s knee on his neck for more than eight minutes, has prompted two weeks of civil unrest.

A veto-proof majority of nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced that they backed getting rid of the city police force—and didn’t even have a plan for what to do next.

“We recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does,” council members said in a public statement issued over the weekend, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported:

We’re committed to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you. …

We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.

The nine council members included President Lisa Bender and Jeremiah Ellison, son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution of Chauvin and the other three officers.

“This council is going to dismantle this police department,” the younger Ellison said.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tried to speak to a crowd Sunday, saying at one point, “I do not support the full abolition of the police department.”

The crowd chanted, “Go home, Jacob, go home” and “Shame. Shame. Shame.”

The mayor’s opposition to a “police-free” Minneapolis won’t matter against a veto-proof majority.

The Minneapolis StarTribune reported that in 2019, serious crimes such as robbery, burglary, and assault spiked 13% in the city. Two-thirds of the city’s 81 neighborhoods saw increases, including a downtown area that had a 70% increase.

The nation’s two largest cities are pushing major funding cuts to their police departments, which may not appease activists demanding full-scale abolition. The proposed cuts could spread to more cities.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced major cuts to the, but not abolishing the Los Angeles Police Department.

“Thank you to all who marched for racial justice and equality for Black Americans this weekend,” Garcetti tweeted Monday. “This is a pivotal moment. Here in L.A., we’re starting by identifying $250M, including cuts to LAPD budget, to further invest in communities of color and confront structural racism.”

Of those $250 million in cuts, up to $150 million is expected to come from the police force, the Los Angeles Times reported.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would slash funding for police and shift money to social services in a revised budget proposal. The mayor didn’t provide specifics for the cuts.

The New York City Police Department accounts for $6 billion of de Blasio’s proposed annual budget of $90 billion for the city.

2. What’s Happening in Congress?

Although paying for policing is a local decision, not a federal one, some members of Congress are jumping into the movement without qualification.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., voiced strong support for ditching the Minneapolis police over the weekend.

“When we dismantle it, we get rid of that cancer, and we allow for something beautiful to rise,” Omar told a group of protesters Saturday, adding:

Well, we’ve had a black president, we’ve had a Congressional Black Caucus, we’ve had black mayors, we’ve had black governors, and we’ve had black city council members, we’ve had black police chiefs, yet we are still getting killed, brutalized, surveilled, massly [sic] incarcerated, and we are still having conversations with our children on how to have a conversation with the people that are supposed to protect and serve them so that those people don’t in return kill them.

One of Omar’s colleagues in a small group of House freshmen known as “the squad” said that all elected officials must back the “defund the police” movement.

“This is what political courage is for. Political courage. There are moments in everyone’s careers where you have to be willing to stand up and say, ‘Am I willing to sacrifice all of the privileges I have?’” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said during an online conference with supporters. “If you’re an elected official for any reason that is on this call, I’m asking you to ask yourself what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that overfunded police departments are defunded.”

House Democrats as a whole are taking a less extreme approach and announced legislation Monday that was crafted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Among other things, the bill would prohibit discriminatory profiling of any kind, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, mandate dashboard cameras for police vehicles, establish a national police misconduct registry, and make it easier to prosecute officers and sue individual officers.

Asked last week about defunding police, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., deferred to the Congressional Black Caucus.

3. Where Is Public Opinion?

Although loud protesters are demanding defunding, dismantling, or abolishing police across the country, it’s a long way from a majority opinion.

Although some might think from media coverage that much of the Democratic base supports it, only 16% of Democrats in a Yahoo/YouGov poll say they support defunding the police. That’s statistically even with just 15% of Republicans who say they back the idea.

“Despite calls by activists and protesters to defund police departments, most Americans do not support reducing law enforcement budgets,” Yahoo/YouGov said of its poll. “Close to two-thirds (65%) oppose cutting police force funding. Just 16 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans support that idea.”

There is clear evidence of potential consequences from Floyd’s death two weeks ago, the Manhattan Institute’s Mangual said.

“One piece of evidence here to consider is the fact: Is it a coincidence that while police were occupied with violent protests in the city of Chicago, we experienced the most violent weekend of 2020 outside the protests, in the neighborhoods where shootings are a regular occurrence?” Mangual said.

He said he doesn’t think the “defund the police” idea has reached a tipping point to become a serious movement.

Mangual rejected the idea “that we would deprive black and brown communities of police forces who—whether you like them or not—bring about a great deal of peace by intervening in criminal acts and taking criminals off the streets,” adding:

The idea that gang members and repeat offenders ought to be walking the streets because there aren’t any police to take them away is one that is very cavalier with the lives of law-abiding citizens in America’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

4. Is Defunding Police as Bad as It Sounds? 

Defunding police forces seems to mean different things to different advocates.

Some want to reallocate big chunks of police budgets to social programs, which would be more budget cutting than defunding altogether, as in New York and Los Angeles. Others want to end police altogether—as in Minneapolis—and possibly replace police forces with something else entirely.

Even Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, told WBUR in Boston that the goal was about reallocation of funding.

“The demand of defunding law enforcement becomes a central demand in how we actually get real accountability and justice, because it means we are reducing the ability of law enforcement to have resources that harm our communities,” Cullors said, adding:

And with that demand, it’s not just about taking away money from the police, it’s about reinvesting those dollars into black communities. Communities that have been deeply divested from, communities that, some have never felt the impact of having true resources. And so we have to reconsider what we’re resourcing. I’ve been saying we have an economy of punishment over an economy of care.

MPD150, an advocacy group in Minneapolis, where defunding the police force appears all but certain, is in the more radical camp that also calls for other police departments to be defunded.

“The people who respond to crises in our community should be the people who are best-equipped to deal with those crises,” MPD150 says. “Rather than strangers armed with guns, who very likely do not live in the neighborhoods they’re patrolling, we want to create space for more mental health service providers, social workers, victim/survivor advocates, religious leaders, neighbors and friends—all of the people who really make up the fabric of a community—to look out for one another.”

The Minneapolis organization attempts to acknowledge arguments about violent crime, writing:

Crime isn’t random. Most of the time, it happens when someone has been unable to meet their basic needs through other means. So to really ‘fight crime,’ we don’t need more cops; we need more jobs, more educational opportunities, more arts programs, more community centers, more mental health resources, and more of a say in how our own communities function. …

The history of policing is a history of violence against the marginalized—American police departments were originally created to dominate and criminalize communities of color and poor white workers, a job they continue doing to this day. The list has grown even longer: LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities, activists—so many of us are attacked by cops on a daily basis.

Christy E. Lopez, a professor at Georgetown Law and co-director of the school’s Innovative Policing Program, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post advocating defunding.

Lopez argued that the idea is not as scary as it sounds:

Defunding and abolition probably mean something different from what you are thinking. For most proponents, ‘defunding the police’ does not mean zeroing-out budgets for public safety, and police abolition does not mean that police will disappear overnight—or perhaps ever. Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need. … Police abolition means reducing, with the vision of eventually eliminating, our reliance on policing to secure our public safety.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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A Contract With Black America


Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Defund the Police’? The Method to the Left’s Madness

Dismantling the police, a measure already proposed in Minneapolis, makes about as much sense as eliminating doctors or farmers and would likewise lead to pain and death. But if there is method to the madness, and I suspect there is in some Machiavellian quarters, it’s perhaps this: Certain leftists want to eliminate the police because they want to become the police.

Or, at least, they want their foot soldiers to fill that role.

Oh, there are other motivations, too, ranging from raw, misguided passion to formulaic devotion to a perverse leftist creed to wider efforts to destabilize the country. Remember, though, if you’re a power seeker, you attack those whose power you want for yourself. And upon attaining police power, enforcing a political agenda becomes much easier.

Any leftist with a few brain cells to rub together knows not only that dismantling the police would lead to anarchy, but that anarchy is never a permanent state of affairs. People would be desperate for restored order, and some controlling force would step into the breach and secure it — though it might be a disordered order.

Of course, the Left isn’t currently calling what would replace nixed police “police”; that wouldn’t fly, and, besides, the pseudo-intellectual lunkheads in question just love euphemisms and utopian language too much. So in Minneapolis, at least, they’re labeling what would replace their cops “a transformative new model for public safety.” Uh, yeah, whatever.

What would this actually look like? Maybe the Crips or Bloods, social-justice warriors, ANTIFA or Black Lives Matter types or perhaps a combination of the preceding. But one could easily foresee this “transformative” group quickly transforming into de facto police, with guns, batons, handcuffs and the works — and a really bad attitude.

One could also envision them enforcing laws selectively, in accordance with a “woke,” leftist agenda, and mainly against groups deemed “victimizers” (whites, Christians, etc.) while turning a blind eye to crimes against those groups.

The foot soldiers would have the perfect rationalization, too: Since they’ve bought the lie that white police abuse minorities, they’d figure that “turnabout is fair play” — and relish the opportunity for vengeance.

Police brutality, actually long in decline, could then become the norm. Don’t expect that the EneMedia would report on it, though. As long as the “right” people were being brutalized and the “right” agenda implemented, it wouldn’t be “newsworthy.” The abused could still approach the ACLU, however — and be told, “Sorry, we don’t help people with ‘white privilege.’”

Eliminating local cops could also facilitate the nationalization of police, something discussed during the Barack Obama administration. This wouldn’t happen under President Trump, but it could become a reality if the Democrats recapture the White House.

Of course, this would make the police far less answerable to the local community. It also would ensure that a leftist law-enforcement paradigm was imposed on localities uniformly nationwide. Hey, how else do you deal with those America-loving, conservative sheriffs elected by the flyover types?

In fact, remember the “Civilian Security Force” Obama proposed during the 2008 presidential campaign, the one he said would be “just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the military? Don’t think that idea couldn’t be resurrected, and don’t think such an entity would be just about “security” — unless it’s to secure the implementation of an agenda.

Moreover, the unrelenting attacks on the police could if nothing else degrade them incrementally, ultimately providing a pretext for completely remaking them. After all, if cops continue being handcuffed and forced to treat thugs with kid gloves while they get abused, get vilified and charged with crimes when they allegedly violate what could becomes unrealistic “rules of engagement,” and consequently begin “de-policing,” what will happen to morale? Will good people still want to become cops?

So that’s a logical, albeit nefarious, reason to defund the police. This said, one logical reason to make hay out of an isolated case of police brutality, the George Floyd incident, is different. It’s about defeating Trump.

It hasn’t escaped the Left’s notice that Trump’s approval rating has been as high as 40 percent among blacks, according to Rasmussen, no less. Even if this is an outlier result, it terrifies the Democrats. For they know that if just 20 percent of blacks vote for Trump in November (the Dems count on getting their usual 90-plus percent of the black vote), it would likely spell their electoral doom. So they’d like to use the Floyd incident and the myth of a police war on minorities to scare blacks back on to their plantation.

Democrats do historically, after all, have great experience running plantations. As for having experience running effective and just police forces, well, not so much.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Gab (preferably) or Twitter, or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

©All rights reserved.

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