DACA Ping Pong and Twitter – Another Week! The Fourth 100 Days (Trump Briefs:  Jan. 6-Jan. 12/Day 352-358) Week 51

By Michael Hernandez

Saturday, January 6  (Day 352):

Twitter explains why it doesn’t block President Trump’s account

Twitter issued a statement on Friday explaining why it isn’t banning President Donald Trump after he boasted about his “nuclear button,” but did so without ever using the president’s name.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a blog post. “It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”

Catholic Cardinal blasts abortion-rights culture

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has once again blasted the modern abortion-rights culture, suggesting that a society that “destroys its unborn babies with such abandon” should never hope to have a happy or peaceful future.

The South African Cardinal was responding to news posted on social media by pro-life champion Obianuju Ekeocha, who noted that only three days into 2018, the world had already seen the deaths of 293,548 unborn babies through “legal” abortion.  “I beg all people of goodwill to speak up against this injustice,” Ms. Ekeocha said. “Make it part of your mission this year to be unabashedly pro-life.”

Cardinal Napier replied with a rhetorical question, “How can a culture that destroys its unborn babies with such abandon ever hope to have a happy or peaceful future, which is the deepest-seated desire of every human heart?” Shortly afterward, the prelate launched another indictment of the abortion lobby, this time in response to an Ohio ad campaign by an abortion provider that calls abortion “life-saving,” “sacred,” “a blessing,” and “safer than childbirth.”

“To say abortion is safer than child birth,” the cardinal tweeted, “is like saying ‘life’ in a grave in the cemetery is safer than life on the street. On the street you could get knocked over by a bus, mugged by a desperate drug user, or shot by an extremist!”

Last January, the cardinal spoke out about President Obama’s farewell address to the nation by reminding people that Obama had been a global advocate of abortion-on-demand as well as an enemy of religious liberty.

Immediately following the farewell address, Napier retweeted a number of particularly pointed critiques of the outgoing president and his legacy, stressing the irony of Obama as a “son of Africa” funding illegal abortions in Africa as well as Marie Stopes International, the notorious abortion promoter that works throughout African nations.

In the summer of 2016, Napier called for an apology for the countless deaths at the hands of the U.S. abortion industry and, in particular, the disproportionate number of black babies who have been aborted, which he referred to as “genocide.”  Quoting the figure of more than 57 million babies legally aborted in the United States since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision (from Planned Parenthood’s own Guttmacher Institute), the Cardinal asked, “Isn’t this something we should be apologizing for?”

Two Republican Congressman seek resignation of U.S. Attorney General

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) have written an editorial published by the Washington Examiner calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step down, claiming his recusal from any investigation into Russia and its connection to the Trump presidential campaign has crippled his ability to direct the agency effectively.

The lawmakers said that the alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign had “dominated the headlines” for the first year of the Trump administration despite the investigations coming up empty.

Jordan and Meadows, who is Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, wrote: “Let’s be clear: The absence of evidence is not due to a lack of examination There have been some six different investigations spent on the collusion narrative — more than the investigative efforts on former President Barack Obama’s IRS targeting of conservatives, the 30,000 missing Hillary Clinton emails, and Benghazi. And through all of that, there is zero (yes, zero) evidence of collusion.”

The final straw, the lawmakers wrote, was the FBI leaks about Trump presidential campaign operative George Papadopoulos, which they said begged the following questions:

Question 1: If George Papadopoulos was central to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, why did the FBI wait more than six months to interview him in late January and again in February? And even if they were trying to keep the probe quiet during the 2016 election, why wait more than two months after Election Day?

Question 2: If Papadopoulos was so critical to the investigation, why did the FBI get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant on Carter Page in the summer of 2016 but not on Papadopoulos, the alleged central player?

Question 3: If Papadopoulos was key to a collusion investigation and evidence existed supporting that claim, why would Bruce Ohr, the former DOJ official married to Fusion GPS’s investigator, meet with Christopher Steele, author of the so-called “Trump dossier” hired by the Clinton campaign, before and after the election?

Question 4: Why would former FBI Director James Comey brief President Obama and President-Elect Trump on the contents of the Russian dossier, but not do the same thing on this campaign staffer’s alleged collusion?

Question 5: Why won’t the FBI answer questions from Congress on this very topic? Why do they continue to refuse transparency on whether they paid Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier? We in Congress have asked them repeatedly to tell us what was in the application they took to the FISA Court to get a warrant for spying on the Trump campaign. Did they use the dossier in their application? This demands an answer.

The Dayton Daily News reported that, in a television interview last month, Jordan accused the FBI and Justice Department of trying to keep Trump from becoming president, and he said the House Judiciary Committee is preparing to subpoena several officials from those agencies.

Jordan and Meadows also wrote in their editorial that the Russia collusion speculation has been a distraction from what President Donald Trump has accomplished during his first year in office: “Sadly, manufactured hysteria on this issue throughout 2017 has frequently masked the substantial accomplishments of President Trump’s administration — some that qualify as historic. The stock market has surged at levels not seen in nearly a decade. The Islamic State has been decimated in the Middle East. Our embassy in Israel is moving to Jerusalem, Israel’s undivided capital. Trump delivered on the largest tax cuts and overhaul to the tax code since the Reagan administration.”

Republican Congressman defends U.S. Attorney General

 “Jeff Sessions is the right man, in the right place, at the right time, to restore respect for the Rule of Law after eight years of Obama’s destruction. He is already doing it. I look forward to him continuing to do so,” Congressman Steve King(R-IA) concludes, after addressing Jordan and Meadows’s concerns.

The opinion piece, published exclusively in the Washington Examiner, cites Sessions’s record at the Department of Justice in arguing against changing horses in mid-stream. King writes: “Sessions gets it. He understands the necessity of preserving the Rule of Law and of rectifying Obama-era abuses. Look at just some of the things the Justice Department has already done to erase Obama’s corrosive legacy and to restore the Rule of Law:

  • The DoJ won a 7-2 victory at the Supreme Court in support of President Trump’s existing legal authority to implement a Travel Ban designed to safeguard the homeland.
  • The DoJ led efforts to rescind the unconstitutional DACA program that sought to provide legal status and work permits to illegal aliens.
  • The DoJ argued in favor of religious liberty at the Supreme Court, siding with a Christian baker’s First Amendment right to not participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies which violate his religious beliefs.
  • The DoJ settled lawsuits with 96 plaintiffs who claimed the Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate unlawfully burdened their religious rights. The settlement permanently exempts these plaintiffs from the Obamacare mandate.
  • The DoJ has worked to protect the free speech right of students on university campuses.
  • The DoJ is working to end the payment of taxpayer-funded grants to Sanctuary Cities that defy the nation’s immigration laws.
  • The DoJ is seeking to deliver justice to the family of Kate Steinle by prosecuting her illegal alien killer for the federal crimes of being a felon in possession of a firearm and an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

King addresses his fellow conservatives directly. “I believe Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the right man in the right place at the right time to restore respect in America for the Rule of Law,” he writes to them, adding: “In measuring Sessions’ performance in office to date, it is important to remember two things: 1) the political climate he faced within the Department of Justice upon accepting President Trump’s offer to serve, and 2) that Sessions is currently constrained by the fact that he is compelled to wait for the inspector general to complete his ongoing internal review.”

Iran has arrested at least 1,000 protesters

The State Department announced on Thursday that Iran’s Islamic regime has arrested at least 1,000 Iranians since protests began and announced that it will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the uprising and how to provide support for the people.

“We condemn the deaths to date and the arrests of at least 1,000 Iranians by the Iranian regime during this week’s protests and called on the United Nations Security Council to speak out in support of the Iranian people,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert wrote.

According to Amnesty International, hundreds of detained Iranians are being held in the notorious Evin Prison’s “quarantine section, an area that has the capacity to hold a maximum of 180 persons.

Iran’s elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is believed to have deployed its forces to three provinces in an attempt to crush the anti-government protests. On Wednesday, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of the IRGC, was quoted on the IRGC’s website announcing “the end of the sedition” of protesting. Jafari reportedly said, “A large number of the trouble-makers at the center of the sedition, who received training from counter-revolutionaries … have been arrested and there will be firm action against them.”

 

Sunday, January 7 (Day 353):

Bannon expresses “regret” for unflattering comments in new book

Former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon on Sunday expressed “regret” for unflattering comments attributed to him in the recently released Trump White House tell-all “Fire and Fury,” saying he should have responded sooner and that he continues to support the president.  “My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda,” Bannon said in a statement to Axios.

The statements in the book attributed to Bannon, who joined the Trump presidential campaign in the closing months, were most critical of the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., who also was a part of the campaign.  “Donald Trump Jr. is both a patriot and a good man,” Bannon also said in the statement. “He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.”  He also said: “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr. has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”

Bannon infuriated Trump with comments he made to author Michael Wolff describing a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”  Trump has, since the book was officially published Friday, repeatedly called Bannon “Sloppy Steve” and said he cried when the president fired him last year from his White House strategist job.

Bannon, in the statement, says his description of the meeting was aimed at former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, not Trump’s son.

Steve Bannon

California billionaire to give copy of Wolff book to every Congressman

Left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer, who is leading a campaign for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, plans to hand-deliver 535 copies of Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, to every voting member of Congress.

Steyer told San Francisco Bay Area public radio station KQED: “We believed when we started this impeachment petition on Oct. 20, we felt every subsequent day would bring information that would bolster our argument that this was a dangerous, unfit president who needed to be removed from office, and from what I can tell, this book makes that case in very bold letters.”

Steyer has already spent tens of millions of dollars on television advertisements urging that Trump be impeached. After giving Democrats $74 million in 2014 as part of a largely unsuccessful drive to push a climate-change agenda, Steyer has said that his donations in the 2018 midterm election cycle will go towards those politicians who promise to remove the president from office.

Wolff told the BBC on Saturday that his book “will end this presidency” because it claims that those around the president believe he is incapable of doing the job.  “The story that I’ve told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says that he can’t do this job, the emperor has no clothes,” he told the BBC. “And suddenly everywhere people are going ‘Oh my God, it’s true, he has no clothes.’”

Iran arrests former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Multiple Israeli news sources, citing the UK-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, reported on Sunday that Iranian authorities had arrested former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over disparaging remarks about successor Hassan Rouhani.

Ahmadinejad, who recently became a thorn in the side of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei with a banned second presidential run, reportedly blamed the recent protests in the country on the Islamic regime’s “monopoly on public wealth.” Despite reports continuing to surface of protests against the regime calling for an end to Islamic theocracy, Iranian officials declared last week that the “sedition” had ended and been replaced with government-mandated rallies in support of Khamenei.

The original Al-Quds Al-Arabi report claimed that police arrested Ahmadinejad for “inciting unrest against the government.” The UK newspaper cites “reliable sources in Tehran” who reportedly say police are seeking to place Ahmadinejad under house arrest to prevent him from encouraging Iranians to protest further.

Israel’s i24 News translated some of the comments attributed to Ahmadinejad. “The government of Hassan Rouhani believes that they own the land and that the people are an ignorant society that does not know,” the former president reportedly told protesters at an anti-government rally. “What Iran suffers from today is mismanagement and not lack of economic resources.  The people are angry at this government because of its monopoly on public wealth.”

Ahmadinejad, who served as president of Iran between 2005 and 2013, attempted to run for president against last year, announcing his candidacy in April. Khamenei’s Guardian Council, which must approve all presidential candidates, then banned him from participating. Rouhani won re-election easily in an election that, like its predecessor, was dismissed internationally as neither free nor fair.

In December, Ahmadinejad made public appearances calling for the resignation of top judiciary officials and accusing the Rouhani government of misappropriating public funds. He had previously accused the judiciary of overreach, prompting senior judicial officials to insinuate that Ahmadinejad had participated in sedition. In late December, Ahmadinejad demanded Prosecutor-General Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri publish any proof of seditious acts he had against him.

Ahmadinejad’s vocal opposition to the establishment comes as a notable role reversal for the president responsible for the deadly repression of secular youth protesters in 2009’s Green movement, triggered by accusations that Ahmadinejad had stolen that year’s presidential election. That rebellion resulted in thousands of arrests and dozens of deaths, among the most prominent that of 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, whose shooting death was caught on camera and spread around the world. At the time of the protests, Ahmadinejad’s government banned a public mourning ceremony for those killed in the protests and Ahmadinejad himself blamed the protests on Israel.

Other Iranian officials have blamed, among others: American, Saudi, and Kurdish agents; Iranian dissident groups; and former Saddam Hussein loyalists. In remarks last week, Khamenei warned that unspecified “enemies” of Iran had planned the protests.

Thousands have taken the streets of multiple major Iranian cities since December 27 to demand the regime spend more money on a stable domestic economy and cease its funding of Hezbollah, the Yemeni Houthi movement, and other foreign terrorist activities. While initial reports suggested the protests began in response to skyrocketing prices of basic food goods, footage from the protests shows crowds chanting “death to Hezbollah” and “we don’t want an Islamic republic,” among other political demands.

The prevalence of footage of protests dwindled significantly after Tehran banned the use of social media apps like Whatsapp and Telegram, the latter of which an estimated half of Iranians use to communicate free of government intervention.

The Trump administration has stated its desire to help Iranians access social media to organize against the government peacefully.  An estimated 1,000 protesters have been arrested in protests in the past two weeks.

 

Monday, January 8 (Day 354):

Conservative super PAC opens four offices in California­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a conservative super PAC backed by Republican members of Congress, is taking steps to defend GOP members of Congress — particularly in the deep blue state of California — and prevent a potential Democratic takeover of the House in 2018.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the CLF launched four additional offices in California in 2017 to defend Representatives Mimi Walters Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Steve Knight, and Ed Royce, who serves as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  (Editor’s Note:  Rep. Royce, Orange County has announced he was retiring from Congress on Monday after 13 terms.)

Of particular concern to the CLF are ads and protests from the left and progressive groups targeting Republicans for their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Democrats need 24 seats nationwide to take Congress and restore the Speaker’s gavel to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). At least seven of the most vulnerable seats are in California, where Republicans represent districts that voted for Hillary Clinton.

California’s own left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer announced on Monday that he would forego a campaign for U.S. Senate or for Governor of California, and would instead donate $30 million towards election efforts to replace the Republican majority in the House.

Democrats still have an uphill climb, however: in most states, Republican victories in the wave election of 2010 — which was also a Census year — led to the drawing of congressional districts in ways that favored the GOP.

On the Senate side, Republicans have only eight seats at risk, while Democrats have 25 — ten of which represent states where Donald Trump won in 2016.

President Trump:  “American dream is roaring back to life”

“The American dream is roaring back to life,” declared President Trump at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention in Nashville. “In every decision we make, we are honoring America’s proud farming legacy.”

Trump touted how the new tax law now allows farmers to immediately write off 100 percent of new equipment.  “You deduct it al over one year as opposed to over many years.”

During the speech, the president also signed an executive order to promote better access to broadband internet service for rural communities.  “We’re fighting for our farmers…and we’re fighting for our country.”

Also on Monday, the president signed the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Act, designating the first national historic park in Georgia.  He also attended the College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta.

 

Tuesday, January 9 (Day 355):

President Trump invites 23 to White House for immigration talks

President Donald Trump has invited at least five groups of 23 rival Hill politicians to a Tuesday meeting on the proposed amnesty, allowing him to play the consensus-building peacemaker while Democrats struggle to moderate their angry pro-amnesty base in an election year.

Trump has made his preferences clear in a repeated announcement on the campaign trail and since October 8, when he released his immigration principles. Basically, he is willing to offer an amnesty to a small percentage of illegals if Democrats fund his border wall, agree to end the chain-migration and visa-lottery wage-cutting immigration programs and also revamp laws to help immigration enforcement along the border and in sanctuary cities.

If Democrats refuse to compromise and insist that an amnesty is included in the 2018 budget due for completion January 19, Trump may be willing to ignore business demands for a quick fix and allow 1,000 DACA work permits to expire each day after March 5.  That decision will ensure his popular immigration-reform agenda will be front-and-center in the November midterm election.

The list includes GOP Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue who are pushing the RAISE Act which would raise Americans’ wages by halving the supply of imported immigrant labor. Trump supports their economic plan. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is also invited, allowing him to pitch his SECURE Act, which includes the RAISE Act and a minor amnesty-style offer of three-year work permits for the roughly 670,000 younger illegals enrolled in the so-called DACA amnesty. Grassley chairs the Senate’s judiciary committee and has been supported by Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The invitees also include Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. He is pushing a modified version DREAM Act for roughly 3 million illegals plus their future chain-immigration relatives. Durbin is modifying his amnesty by adding a package of border-security measures. His group includes GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and Cory Gardner, plus Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet.

Trump has also invited GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and James Lankford, who filed the SUCCEED Act amnesty. However, the two GOP senators recently split from Durbin’s group, saying Durbin has refused to talk about needed border security upgrades sought by Trump.

Sen. Bob Menendez is also invited, a founding member of the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty plan which cost the Democrats nine seats and their Senate majority in 2014. Durbin, Graham, Bennet and Flake also were part of the gang, which would have shifted more of the nation’s annual income from workers to investors, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Two senior GOP House members are also invited. Judiciary chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte and homeland security chairman Mike McCaul have reportedly worked with several other GOP legislators to draft an ambitious plan that would pair some modest amnesty with extensive improvements, including an end to chain migration and the visa lottery. The measure is reportedly more ambitious that Grassley’s SECURE Act, and may be announced this week. If the Goodlatte/McCaul bill is passed by the House, it will set a standard for reform that is far more popular than the no-safeguards, wage-cutting DREAM Act amnesty offered by Durbin and the Democrats.

The meeting includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He is part of an immigration task force set up by House Speaker Paul Ryan. So far, this task force has failed to produce a draft, and in fact has split into at least two groups — the Goodlatte/McCaul group and a solo group of GOP Rep. Will Hurd. Hurd has joined with Democrat Pete Aguilar, a leader in the Democrats’ Hispanic Caucus to offer another plan on amnesty, but neither are on the list of guests.

The meeting will include Democratic leaders Rep. Steny Hoyer and Rep. Bernie Thompson, who will champion the pro-migrant demands of the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her pro-amnesty caucus. His task is complicated by the reality that Democrats in the House and Senate must fend off growing pressure from Latino and progressive groups to reject any compromise — even though the Democratic leaders seem to recognize that their amnesty agenda is deeply unpopular with the voters, who instead prefer economic policies that help Americans.

American youth looking for good jobs in free market

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market. However, the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting 1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.

The cheap-labor policy has reduced investment and job creation in many interior states because the coastal cities have a surplus of imported labor. For example, almost 27 percent of zip codes in Missouri had fewer jobs or businesses in 2015 than in 2000, according to a new report by the Economic Innovation Group. In Kansas, almost 29 percent of zip codes had fewer jobs and businesses in 2015 compared to 2000, which was a two-decade period of massive cheap-labor immigration.

Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a large percentage of the nation’s annual income has shifted to investors and away from employees.

Amnesty plan would increase number of anchor babies

The number of anchor babies taking federal welfare benefits “would increase” under an amnesty plan that begins with giving legal status to nearly 800,000 illegal aliens, a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds.

There are an estimated 4.5 million United States-born children who were given birthright citizenship despite at least one of their parents being an illegal alien. These children are commonly known as “anchor babies,” as they are able to eventually bring their foreign relatives to the U.S. legally through the process known as “chain migration.”  This estimate does not include anchor babies over the age of 18 or those who are living abroad with their deported parents.

According to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data, about 9.3 million foreign nationals have come to the U.S. as chain migrants between 2005 and 2016. In that same time period, a total of 13.06 million foreign nationals have entered the U.S. through the legal immigration system, as every seven out of ten new arrivals come to the country for nothing other than family reunification. This makes chain migration the largest driver of immigration to the U.S. — making up more than 70 percent — with every two new immigrants bringing seven foreign relatives with them.  As Breitbart News reported, five years of chain migration to the U.S. adds more people to the country than one year of American births.

A CBO report, estimating the impact of giving amnesty to the nearly 800,000 to 3.5 million illegal aliens who are enrolled or eligible for the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, finds that such a plan would end up increasing the number of anchor babies who participate in federal benefit programs every year:  The CBO finds that about 900,000 anchor babies already live in households where at least one or both of their illegal alien parents would receive amnesty under a DACA deal that follows the guidelines of the most expansive plan known as the “DREAM Act.”

Meanwhile, the Diversity Visa Lottery program, gives out 50,000 visas randomly to foreign nationals every year.  Under the Visa Lottery program, the U.S. randomly gives out 50,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries, including those with known terrorism problems – such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan. Winners have undergone only minor screening from immigration officials, even when their ideology is hostile to Americans laws and culture. Since 2007, 28,783 foreign nationals from Iran, Syria, and Sudan — three countries which support international terrorism — have become legal immigrants into the United States through the Visa Lottery, according to new State Department data.

E-Verify left out of DACA negotiations

President Trump’s most popular pro-American immigration reform, the system known as “E-Verify,” which would bar employers nationwide from hiring illegal aliens over Americans, has been entirely left out of all negotiations regarding the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA will end in March 2018 and despite amnesty for illegal aliens never being part of Trump’s “America First” agenda on immigration, the White House is now considering which pro-American immigration reforms it can get in return for granting an amnesty.

Among the reforms the Trump administration is demanding in return for a DACA amnesty is the end to the process known as “chain migration,” which would cut legal immigration levels in half and raise wages for American workers; an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery program, which randomly gives out 50,000 visas every year to foreign nationals through a lottery system; and finally, full funding for his proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

While Trump wants to trade a DACA amnesty for reforms that would reduce legal immigration to the U.S. — thus reducing the mass immigration burden on America’s working and middle class — he has not included mandatory E-Verify in his demands.

Under nationwide mandatory E-Verify, the big business lobby and corporate interests would see a major defeat, as employers would be held legally responsible for hiring illegal aliens. That responsibility could come in the form of thousand dollar fines for each illegal alien hired by an employer.

Mandatory E-Verify is easily the most popular immigration reform in the country, with the most recent Pulse Opinion Research poll finding that nearly 60 percent of likely American voters want mandatory E-Verify to be part of a deal on DACA, if there is a deal.

Months ago, when likely American voters were asked by Pulse Opinion Research if they supported mandatory E-Verify, a majority of 68 percent said yes. Another 71 percent of voters said businesses should be required to hire from pools of Americans with the highest unemployment rates before importing cheaper, foreign workers through various visa programs or hiring illegal aliens.

Even if Americans had to pay more for products and goods, the Pulse Opinion Research poll showed nearly 60 percent of voters said it would be better for businesses to pay more to attract American workers, even if prices did rise.

At the same time of deterring businesses from hiring illegal aliens over Americans, mandatory E-Verify would also likely greatly reduce illegal immigration to the U.S., as the program would cut off the number one incentive for illegal aliens to cross into the country through the southern border, while increasing Americans’ wages and job opportunities as they would no longer have to compete with cheaper, illegal foreign workers.

Pro-American immigration reformers, like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, have scratched their heads as to why Trump has not demanded mandatory E-Verify in his DACA negotiations, telling Fox News that in the midst of a border surge because of a DACA amnesty, E-Verify would be one of the only deterrents to stem that problem.

“He’d have to demand E-Verify, mandatory nationwide as well to make sure that this new surge of illegal aliens — which will come in, there’s no question, if we grant an amnesty, they will come in — make sure that they don’t take additional jobs from Americans,” Kobach said of Trump’s negotiations.

A recent study by researchers Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny found that “having an E-Verify law reduces the number of less-educated prime-age immigrants from Mexico and Central America — immigrants who are likely to be unauthorized — living in a state.”

The research showed that the number of low-skilled, likely illegal aliens living in states with mandatory E-Verify was cut by 50 percent, a result that shows the “powerful effect” of the employment verification system, according to the Center for Immigration Studies’ Preston Huennekens.

Temporary status for El Salvador foreign workers to end

The Trump administration said Monday that it would end this temporary status for around 200,000 foreign workers from El Salvador. As a result, they would be required to leave by September 2019. More than 45,000 Haitians have been put on notice that they will have to leave by July 2019. Around 57,000 Hondurans are still waiting to receive news from the administration.

All these foreign workers were originally granted permission to live and work in the U.S. on a temporary basis, typically as a humanitarian measure following wars or natural disasters. Although these programs granting residency are supposed to end when conditions in their home countries expired, they have often been extended by past presidents of both parties–sometimes for decades.

 “There are no Americans out there to take the jobs,” Mark Drury, a vice president at Shapiro & Duncan, a Washington-area plumbing, heating and cooling firm, told the New York Times.

 

Wednesday, January 10 (Day 356):

Fusion GPS founders helped share Trump dossier with Senator McCain

The founders of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS admitted that they helped the researcher hired to compile the 35-page dossier on President Donald Trump to share the document with Sen. John McCain.

The goal of providing the dossier to McCain, the Fusion GPS founders explained, was to pass the information contained in the questionable document to the U.S. intelligence community under the Obama administration.

The disclosure raises questions about whether McCain knew that the information he delivered to the intelligence community was actually an opposition document reportedly funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Senator McCain

District Court rules DACA needs to be reinstated

A federal district court in California on Tuesday ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately reinstate DACA, in a lawsuit brought by former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano against current DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

President Barack Obama announced the DACA amnesty program in 2012, which Napolitano then unveiled as a DHS program for 800,000 illegal aliens who first arrived in America at a young age. In 2014, the Obama administration announced a new, broader amnesty program, called DAPA, covering over four million illegal aliens of all ages.

In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans held that the DAPA amnesty was unlawful, striking it down. When Justice Antonin Scalia died, the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 on the issue, leaving it in limbo during the presidential election.

When President Donald Trump was inaugurated, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took over the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and on September 4, Sessions issued a legal analysis that, for the same reasons DAPA was illegal, DACA likewise violated federal law. DHS then rescinded DACA on September 5, and began winding down the program.

Five lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court for Northern California to reinstate DACA, with the lead case brought by Napolitano, who is now the president of the University of California. The cases were assigned to Judge William Alsup, a Clinton-appointed judge who formerly clerked for the Supreme Court and served in the Clinton-era DOJ.

Alsup originally issued broad and invasive discovery orders to force the federal government—even the White House—to disclose a broad range of sensitive documents on DACA discussions, possibly including communications with President Trump that would be protected by executive privilege.

When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco did not rein in Alsup, Sessions’ top Supreme Court lawyer, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, went straight to the Supreme Court, which rejected Alsup’s order in a unanimous opinion.

Back in the federal trial court, Alsup’s latest decision rejected DOJ’s motion to dismiss the five lawsuits. Instead, he issued a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration, ordering the Trump administration, “pending final judgment herein or other order, to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis on the same terms and conditions that were in effect before the rescission on September 5, 2017.”

The San Francisco-based district court further ordered the federal government to begin renewing work permits for DACA recipients.  DOJ can now take these cases back to the Ninth Circuit on an expedited basis, and request a stay of the district court’s reinstatement order while the appeal is ongoing.

If the Ninth Circuit declines again to do so, then DOJ can immediately return to the Supreme Court and ask Justice Anthony Kennedy—who has jurisdiction over the Ninth Circuit—to issue a stay that will last until a final decision is rendered in the appeal.

The lead case is Regents of the Univ. of Calif. v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, No. 3:17-cv-5211 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Trump blasts federal court DACA decision

President Trump on Wednesday blasted a federal court decision preventing the administration from winding down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, his latest attack on the U.S. legal system. 

“It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,” Trump tweeted.

Trump was responding to a decision from U.S. District Judge William Alsup, which said the government cannot begin shutting down the program while the move is being challenged in court. 

The Justice Department said late Tuesday it would appeal the ruling from Alsup, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the San Francisco-based court.  “We find this decision to be outrageous, especially in light of the President’s successful bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on the same day,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a Wednesday statement. 

The Obama-era program allows hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children to live and work without fear of deportation.

Alsup’s ruling came just hours after Trump held an unusual public negotiating session with two dozen lawmakers at the White House on a DACA deal. 

Trump praises U.S. sanctions on North Korea

President Trump said Tuesday that U.S. sanctions on North Korea are having a “big impact” on the rogue regime, while reprising his “rocket man” label for Kim Jong Un. 

“Sanctions and ‘other’ pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

The president’s comments come after the dictator called for improved relations with South Korea, using the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as an opening. 

“The Winter Olympic Games that will be held soon in the South will be a good opportunity to display the status of the Korean nation and we sincerely wish that the event will be held with good results,” the North Korean leader said in a speech.

The U.S. and South Korea have a seven-decade alliance, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been in line with Trump on ramping up pressure on North Korea.  Moon Jae-in has long looked for dialogue with the North, as experts predict any nuclear tensions would cause enormous casualties in South Korea.

“It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and for the world,” Trump said at a news conference with the South Korean president in November. “I do see certain movement.”

Despite Trump’s confidence in the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on the rogue regime, Kim warned that their nuclear capabilities were a “reality,” not just a threat. “The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table,” he said during a speech, according to an Associated Press translation. “The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range….The United States can never start a war against me and our country.” He added: “We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment.”

 

Thursday, January 11 (Day 357):

Twitter attacks Project Veritas undercover investigation

“The individuals depicted in this video were speaking in a personal capacity and do not represent or speak for Twitter,” claimed a Twitter spokesman in an email after being captured by a Project Veritas undercover investigation, which revealed employees at the company boasting about censoring conservatives.

“We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative. Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.

“Twitter does not shadowban accounts,” they continued, despite the fact that numerous Twitter employees disputed this. “We do take actions to downrank accounts that are abusive, and mark them accordingly so people can still to click through and see this information if they so choose… This makes content less visible on Twitter, in search results, replies, and on timelines. Limiting tweet visibility depends on a number of signals about the nature of the interaction and the quality of the content.”

In one secretly recorded video, Twitter engineer Pranay Singh admitted to mass-banning accounts that express interest in God, guns, and America, while others explained Twitter’s shadow banning system, which they claimed was frequently utilized against conservatives and Trump supporters.

“Twitter and other platforms such have Reddit have twisted shadow banning from a tool to fight spammers into a tool to prevent tweets and content from spreading naturally,” said Breitbart Tech reporter Lucas Nolan. “Followers do not see tweets from the shadow banned individual in their timeline, and therefore do not engage with the tweets by responding, liking, or retweeting them,” he explained. “The shadow banned user is essentially tweeting to themselves, unless a follower directly visits their account.”

 

Friday, January 12 (Day 358):

Pelosi attacks Democrat leaders who attended immigration meeting; Durbin calls Trump a “racist”

This week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) attacked a group of Democrat leaders who met with President Trump to discuss a deal on immigration. “The five white guys I call them, you know,” Pelosi said of Trump’s meeting with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), as well as others. “Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?”

Immediately after Pelosi’s attack on the Democrats’ meeting with Trump, Hoyer told POLITICO, “That comment is offensive. I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done.”

On Friday, Durbin said negotiations “died yesterday” with the White House. “So here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to prepare our bipartisan agreement for introduction into the Senate next week. If the Republican leadership has a better alternative, bring it forward. If they don’t, for goodness sakes, give us a vote. I’ll be on the phone today with my Republican colleagues and my Democratic colleagues begging them to support this measure. Time is running  out.  WE have to get this done. I thought we might get a bipartisan agreement approved by the White House, died yesterday.”

At the same time, Durbin attacked Trump’s use of the term “chain migration,” a technical immigration term used to describe the process whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. with them.  Durbin, in the interview, claimed “chain migration” was racist.  When it came to the issue of, quote, “chain migration,” I said to the president, do you realize how painful that term is to so many people? African-Americans believe they migrated to America in chains and when you talk about chain migration, it hurts them personally.

President Trump extends waivers for Iran nuclear sanctions

The Trump administration announced another sanctions waiver for Iran on Friday.  Sources told Reuters the president remains strongly critical of the nuclear deal, but his advisers led by national security advisor H.R. McMaster  persuaded him to continue renewing the sanctions waiver.

President Trump said he is waiving the sanctions to secure European allies’ agreement to address the “terrible flaws” in the 2015 deal negotiated by former President Barack Obama.

“Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.  Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward:  either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw,” Trump said.  “This is a last chance,” Trump warned.  “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.  And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.   No one should doubt my word.”

On Friday afternoon, a senior administration official promised “this is the last such waiver” Trump will issue unless Congress is able to strengthen the deal and European allies accept the changes. This official said sanctions against 14 more Iranian individuals and entities for matters unrelated to the nuclear deal are forthcoming.  White House officials said Friday that if the president can deny Iran a path to nuclear weapons “forever,” Trump would be “open to remaining in such a modified deal.”  Negotiations would be only with European partners only the White House said.  The president also indicated he is “open” to working with Congress on bipartisan legislation regarding Iran.

 

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 23 years as a middle school teacher.  Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email: [email protected]

Mr. Hernandez is dedicating himself to advance the 13 spheres –as a “City Upon A Hill”; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships and supporting constitutional awareness and active citizenship.


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