Tag Archives: immigration

19,000 Children Have Crossed The Border Alone/Sexually Abused at San Antonio Facility?

19,000 Children Have Crossed The Border Alone/Sexually Abused at San Antonio Facility? – powered by ise.media

Texas governor Greg Abbott says that his office has received tips from those inside at least one facility in San Antonio that children are in fact being sexually assaulted.

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Report: 80% of Women /Girls From Mexico To US, Raped Along The Way

Report: 80% of Women /Girls From Mexico To US, Raped Along The Way – powered by ise.media

The crisis at the U.S. border continues. Nearly 600 unaccompanied children are crossing the U.S. border every day. The question virtually no one is asking is: how many of these kids are being sexually trafficked and abused along the way?

Open Society Foundations Ceases Operations in Hungary in Response to “Stop Soros Act”

Budapest, Hungary – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has succeeded in forcing George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) to cease operations in Hungary, as the group confirmed on Tuesday that it would be ending operations in the country. OSF previously said it would move its Budapest operations to Berlin if necessary.

“Faced with an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary, the Open Society Foundations are moving their Budapest-based international operations and staff to the German capital, Berlin,” OSF announced on Tuesday.

Orbán and the Fidesz party had targeted OSF for “meddling” in the political affairs of Hungary, primarily in the funding of opposition groups that allegedly supported immigration.

Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard refuted Orbán’s characterization of the group, saying the Hungarian leader has “denigrated and misrepresented our work” while repressing civil society “for the sake of political gain.”

Orbán is widely known as a staunch opponent of immigration. “We will never allow Hungary to become a target country for immigrants. We do not want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary,” Orbán declared in 2015 following the murders in Paris at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

OSF noted that the impetus for the move comes as Hungary “prepares to impose further restrictions on nongovernmental organizations through what it has branded its ‘Stop Soros’ package of legislation.”

The Fidesz party submitted legislation to parliament in February known as the “Stop Soros Act” that aimed to limit immigration and intensify restrictions on the activities of foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs). According to Reuters:

The bill, submitted to parliament late on Tuesday, is a key part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign targeting U.S. financier George Soros whose philanthropy aims to bolster liberal and open-border values in eastern Europe.

The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration Orban says is eroding European stability and has been stoked in part by Soros.

Hungary and Poland are both under nationalist governments that have clashed with the European Union leadership in Brussels over their perceived authoritarian drift deviating from EU standards on democracy and rule of law.

“If Soros is found to have engaged in such activity, meaning he organizes illegal immigration, then the rules will apply to him,” Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said.

After Orbán’s recent landslide election victory in April, he said, in reference to Soros and the OSF, “I know they won’t accept the result of the election, they will organize all sorts of things, they have unlimited financial resources.”

When news subsequently broke in April that OSF was planning on moving from Budapest to Berlin, Orbán quipped, “You might understand if I don’t cry my eyes out.”

Soros-affiliated organizations, such as OSF, have reportedly been connected to various color revolutions, the Arab Spring, and a number of other political uprisings across the globe.

According to a report in New Eastern Outlook:

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation’s Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros’ foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department.

Zero Hedge reports that Open Society, which was launched in 1979, currently spends more than $940 million a year to support 26 regional and national offices. Last year, Soros announced that he was dedicating the majority of his $18 billion fortune to funding the Open Society Foundations.

Supreme Court Ruling: Immigrants Can Be Detained Indefinitely

Washington, D.C.— Immigrants can be indefinitely detained by U.S. immigration officials without a bond hearing, regardless of whether they’re asylum seekers or have permanent legal status, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued on Tuesday.

NPR reports that the case, Jennings v. Rodriguez, holds significance for legal permanent residents the government seeks to deport due to committed crimes, as well as asylum seekers awaiting a court date after turning themselves in.

The 5-3 decision, with Justice Elena Kagan recusing herself, follows an Obama administration appeal of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that imposed a requirement that immigrants held in custody must be given a bond hearing every 6 months provided they don’t pose a threat to national security or are considered a flight risk. The appeal was continued by the Trump administration upon him taking office. The majority opinion was penned by Justice Alito and joined by the court’s conservatives.

“To impose a rigid six-month rule like the Court of Appeals did is really a mistake,” Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn said in November.

The Supreme Court affirmed the legality of the government indefinitely detaining immigrants while they attempt to determine whether the individual should be allowed to remain in the United States. Immigration advocates had contended that many of these immigrants have a right to be free on bail prior to their case being heard, which would be impossible if not allowed a bond hearing before a judge.

“Immigration officials are authorized to detain certain aliens in the course of immigration proceedings while they determine whether those aliens may be lawfully present in the country,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.

The decision by Supreme Court overturned a 2015 decision Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and returned the case to the 9th Circuit “to consider the question of whether the Constitution requires bond hearings for detained immigrants,” according to Reuters. Subsequently, the case could potentially come back to the high court.

In a reportedly rare move, Justice Stephen G. Breyer read from his dissent:

“We need only recall the words of the Declaration of Independence,” Breyer said, “in particular its insistence that all men and women have ‘certain unalienable Rights,’ and that among them is the right to ‘Liberty.'”

Breyer continued:

Whatever the fiction, would the Constitution leave the Government free to starve, beat, or lash those held within our boundaries?” Breyer argued. “If not, then, whatever the fiction, how can the Constitution authorize the Government to imprison arbitrarily those who, whatever we might pretend, are in reality right here in the United States?

“No one can claim, nor since the time of slavery has anyone to my knowledge successfully claimed, that persons held within the United States are totally without constitutional protection,” Breyer added.

The lead plaintiff in the class-action case, Alejandro Rodriguez, has permanent legal residence and came to the U.S. as an infant, but was convicted joyriding as a teenager and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance that resulted in him being detained by immigration officials for three years without a bond hearing.

DHS Report: Nearly Half a Million Foreigners Overstayed Visas in 2015

The Department of Homeland Security released a report on Tuesday, which claimed that out of the nearly 45 million foreigners who legally entered the United States in 2015, nearly half a million stayed after their visas expired.

In the “Entry/Exit Overstay” report, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson noted that out of the 44,928,381 non-immigrant admissions to the United States for business or pleasure, who were expected to depart in 2015, at least 527,127 of the indivuduals overstayed their visas.

By the end of the 2015 fiscal year, which ranged from Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015, the report claimed that the number of “Suspected In-Country Overstays” was at 482,781. The number was then lowered to 416,500 by DHS as of Jan. 4, 2016.

Johnson noted that properly “determining lawful status is more complicated than simply matching entry and exit data,” because an individual may apply for and receive a visa extension while still in the U.S.

Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center, described the report as a step in the right direction. “We’re starting to get a better picture of how people flow through the immigration system with this report,” he said. “But, it’s incomplete.”

When breaking down the number of individuals who overstayed their visas in 2015, the report found that some of the largest numbers were from countries including Germany with 21,394, Italy with 17,661 and France with 11,973.

However, the report also found that out of the “Suspected In-Country Overstays,” 219 were from Afghanistan, 681 from Iraq, 56 from Libya, 1,435 from Pakistan, 440 from Syria, and 219 from Yemen— all countries where the U.S. has conducted drone strikes during the Obama administration.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Obama Pushed Perpetual War In Seven Countries]

The Senate Immigration Subcommittee has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday to discuss and investigate the report. In a statement, the committee expressed concern about President Obama’s policies contributing to the number of “Suspected In-Country Overstays.”

“By not enforcing visa overstays, the administration has flung the border open—millions get temp visas and then freely violate their entry contracts and shred their eviction notices,” the statement said. “Further, DHS has refused to complete the legally required biometric tracking system.”

According to the report, DHS classifies visa overstay issues as “important for national security, public safety, immigration enforcement, and immigration benefit application processing.”

Cruz Rebukes Trump’s Mass Deportation Plan, Says ‘We Don’t Live in a Police State’

Senator from Texas and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that he opposes Donald Trump’s plan for a new deportation force that would seek out and round up undocumented immigrants.

In the above-embedded video, CNN’s Jake Tapper can be seen asking Sen. Cruz, “You [and Donald Trump] both say you want to deport the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Now, Trump has said that he will have a deportation force that will go door-to-door and round people up and get rid of them. You haven’t really been clear as far as I can tell as to how you’re going to get all these people out of the country. How will you get them out?

[RELATED: Reality Check: Ted Cruz Says Middle East Was Better Off Before War On Terror]

Sen. Cruz replied by explaining his border security plan, prompting Tapper to clarify, “I’m not talking about the border, though. I’m talking about the people that are already in this country… how do you get the people that are already in here out?

Cruz said, “You put in place a strong E-verify system. That means people cannot get employment without proving that they’re here legally. You put in place a strong biometric exit/entry system for visas so that we know the instance someone overstays their visa. Forty percent of illegal immigration is visa overstays and by the way you can’t – deportations are ineffective until you secure the border. Why? Because right now when we deport someone, often they come back in two or three days. It’s like if a boat is sinking you’ve got to patch it up before you start bailing. If you never fix the hole, it will never work.

He added, “We have an enforcement force. It’s called Border Patrol and it’s called Immigration and Customs Enforcement… If I am elected president, I will follow the Constitution and I will enforce the law. Federal immigration law says that if we apprehended an individual who is here illegally they are to be deported. I will enforce the law.”

Tapper pressed, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it seems like a fairly simple answer yes or no. Will you have people going door-to-door rounding people up?

Sen. Cruz replied, “Door-to-door, we don’t have any system that knocks on the doors of every person in America. That is not actually how the American law enforcement system works. We also don’t have people going door-to-door looking for murderers. We don’t live in a police state. We do have law enforcement. How do we catch people? We catch them through things like E-verify. We catch them through things like the criminal law enforcement system where in 2013 do you know how many criminal illegal aliens the Obama Administration released? It was over 104,000. 196 with homicide convictions, murderers. Roughly 400 with sexual assault convictions, rapists. That – those numbers should be zero. Over 16,000 with drunk driving convictions. So, we enforce the laws.

After criticizing Tapper for playing a “media game” by asking the question about Trump’s “deportation force” plan, Cruz concluded his explanation of his position on undocumented immigration by saying, “No, I don’t intend to send jack boots to knock on your door and every door in America. That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime.

The below-embedded MSNBC video, provided for context, shows Donald Trump explaining his deportation force plan on a Nov. 2015 episode of Morning Joe. Trump claims that, if he becomes president, after he deports all of America’s illegal immigrants, he will allow “some fantastic people that have been here for a long period of time” to apply for citizenship for the chance to return to the U.S.

For more election coverage, click here.

Trump’s Proposal to Ban Muslim Immigration Draws Criticism From Political Figures

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration policies drew criticism on Monday after he released his proposal to prevent Muslim immigration to the United States.

Trump released a statement on Monday calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Highlighting a poll from the Center for Security Policy, the statement claimed that “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad.”

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

The Intercept described the Center for Security Policy as a think tank “led by Frank Gaffney, a far-right activist who theorized that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government,” and pointed that the poll cited by Trump has “no statistical validity” because it was a “non-probability based, opt-in online survey.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Trump’s proposal on Tuesday, saying that although he usually does not comment on the Republican presidential race, he was making an exception.

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country,” Ryan said. “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

Trump’s proposal received criticism from GOP rivals such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called the proposal “the kind of thing people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“What we need to do is increase our intelligence capabilities activity both around the world and in the homeland,” Christie said. “We need to back up our law enforcement officers, who are out fighting this fight everyday, give them the tools they need.”

When asked by The Hill if Trump’s proposal would go as far as to exclude Muslim-American citizens who are currently out of the country, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’ ”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized Trump on Twitter, describing Trump as “unhinged.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC.), who has made questionable remarks in the past such as reportedly saying that “Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” took to Twitter to criticize Trump.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) referred to Trump’s proposal as another one of his “offensive and outlandish” statements.

When asked for their opinions on Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration, both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not criticize their rival, and instead presented their own proposals for how they would deal with refugees.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Trump’s proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive,” and insisted that it would make the U.S. less safe.

Trump’s proposal also received criticism from GOP officials in the first three states to vote in the primary process states, who usually stay neutral when it comes to presidential primary contests.

Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa GOP, said on Twitter that “our founding principles are stronger than political cynicism,” and that while the GOP believes Obama has failed on ISIS, it also believes “we don’t make ourselves safer by betraying bedrock Constitutional values.”

Jennifer Horn, the chair of the New Hampshire GOP, said “There should never be a day in the United States of America when people are excluded based solely on their race or religion,” and said to do so, “It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American.”

Matt Moore, the chair of the South Carolina GOP, called Trump’s proposal a “bad idea” and said it sent a shiver down his spine.


 For more election coverage, click here.

Report Challenges Immigration Complaints Expressed By GOP Candidates

While some GOP candidates have made statements pertaining to immigrants learning English and committing crimes in the United States, and have used them as talking points, a recent report suggests that immigrants are succeeding in learning English and are, on average, less likely to commit a violent crime than the average American.

A 443-page report, released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on Monday, studied “The Integration of Immigrants into American Society” and looked at how immigrants assimilate into American culture by learning English, adopting similar values and achieving certain socioeconomic outcomes.

The report compiled data from 41 million foreign-born immigrants in the United States, 11.3 million or over 25 percent of which are undocumented.

Several of the GOP candidates have made statements concerning the use of English as the official language of the United States, and have suggested that immigrants should speak English exclusively.

Carly Fiorina told CNN that “English is the official language of the United States.” HoweverThink Progress noted that the United States does not have an official language, but that “many states have already passed or are trying to pass legislation to make their official state language English.”

Candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have also expressed their belief of the importance of immigrants learning and speaking English.

During the second GOP debate, hosted by CNN last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that while he wouldn’t deport millions of undocumented individuals in the same way that candidates such as Donald Trump have called for, he does think they should learn to speak English.

“They can come here, but they should learn to speak our language,” Graham said. “I don’t speak it very well, but look how far I’ve come.”

The report states that “there is evidence that integration is happening as rapidly or faster now than it did for the earlier waves of mainly European immigrants in the 20th century.” This knowledge is influenced by the fact that many of the immigrants have taken English classes in their native countries or have been exposed to English media.

[pull_quote_center]Today, many immigrants arrive already speaking English as a first or second language. Currently, about 50 percent of the foreign-born in surveys report they speak English ‘very well’ or ‘well,’ while less than 10 percent say they speak English ‘not at all.’ [/pull_quote_center]

The stereotype of immigrants as violent criminals has been used by GOP candidate Donald Trump, who kicked off his presidential campaign with choice words on immigration.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

In contrast to Trump’s statements, the report claimed that “increased prevalence of immigrants is associated with lower crime rates,” and that “among men age 18-39, the foreign-born are incarcerated at a rate that is one-fourth the rate for the native-born.”

[pull_quote_center]Cities and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have much lower rates of crime and violence than comparable nonimmigrant neighborhoods. This phenomenon is reflected not only across space but also over time.[/pull_quote_center]

The report noted that there is also evidence that crime rates for the second and third generations from immigrant families “rise to more closely match the general population of native-born Americans.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose parents are Indian immigrants, used the idea of a lack of immigrant assimilation to criticize the presence of “hyphenated Americans,” using the phrase “immigration without assimilation is invasion.”

“We need to insist people that want to come to our country should come legally, should learn English and adopt our values, roll up their sleeves, and get to work,” Jindal said.

According to the report, current immigrants and their descendants are integrating into U.S. society, and they have found that the outcomes of “educational attainment, occupational distribution, income, residential integration, language ability, and living above the poverty line,” increase when they “become more similar to the native-born and improve their situation over time.”

[pull_quote_center]Across all measurable outcomes, integration increases over time, with immigrants becoming more like the native-born with more time in the country, and with the second and third generations becoming more like other native-born Americans than their parents were.[/pull_quote_center]

For more election coverage, click here.

As Sanders and Trump Push the Right Buttons, the Liberty Movement Must Wake Up

Four years ago, Ron Paul filled stadiums with tens of thousands people. His natural heir to those numbers – and in fact, his natural heir – is Rand Paul.

But in this presidential cycle, the huge excited audiences that are filling stadiums for an insurgent, anti-establishment presidential candidate are mostly coming to see Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

As an activist for liberty, I am pained by the failure of the similarly anti-establishment and still-largely-insurgent liberty movement to replicate either Ron Paul’s successes of four years ago, or the successes of its present political opponents – a democratic socialist, Sanders, and an I’m-not-sure-what-to-call-him, Trump. This failure arises from the movement’s consistent blind spot for strategic political communication.

There are many fundamental truths about human psychology and political strategy that the liberty movement has to learn before it can truly succeed. I discuss them at length in my seminars on political persuasion. This article is about only one – the one laid bare by Sanders and Trump – which is broadly captured by a rather nice quote:

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” Jose Ortega y Gasset

Recently, Bernie posted a nicely produced, animated video about economic injustice.

The first 5.5 mins of this video simply present facts about some of the more shocking truths about wealth and income distribution – truths that disaffected Americans hear only from the Left. They are facts like…

  • Today, real median family income is $5000 less than in 1999;
  • In the last two years, the wealthiest 15 people (that’s not a typo) in this country have seen their wealth increase by more than the total wealth of the bottom 40% of the population;
  • In the last decade, the typical middle class family has seen its wealth decline by 31%;
  • In the last three decades, the share of the nation’s wealth owned by the bottom 90% of Americans has fallen from 36% to 23%.

These are statements that both resonate with people’s experiences and are, at first pass at least, outrageous; so they are very powerful and they cause those who hear them and care about them to gravitate to those who share them. But these statements are as true for a libertarian or a conservative as they are for a socialist, and they are felt every bit as much by the voters that libertarians and conservatives need to court as those needed by progressives – because, obviously, we are all fighting for the same voters.

Until people start identifying these facts, which signal concern, about economic justice with the liberty movement, the movement will not gain the popular traction it seeks. Until we start clearly expounding the injustices that are actually felt by millions of people, including the economic ones, those people will simply not believe we are the people with the solutions.

Put another way, if we are not regarded as the people who really understand the problem, then no one will care enough to listen to our solutions. They will not care to listen when we try to explain that most of this injustice arises from cronyism, corporate welfare, the treating of non-persons as persons, and the making of markets less free; they will not listen when we complain that true capitalism – which is voluntary exchanges among individuals for mutual benefit at the expense of no one else – is being used as a cover for state-sponsored financial corporatism.

The essential error exhibited by most liberty activists is the idea that the most important thing in changing people’s political minds is what you say about various issues. It isn’t. More important is what you choose to talk about – the facts and issues you choose to lead with. That’s Ortega y Gasset’s quote above, applied to politics.

To a first approximation, most politics are the politics of identity, which means that either I can broadly imagine what it feels like to be you and to see the world as you see it (I identify with you), or I cannot. If I can, then when I listen to you, I will be subconsciously asking, “can I believe you?”… and if I can, you may persuade me. If, on the other hand, I cannot broadly imagine what it feels like to be you and to see the world as you see it (I do not identify with you), then when I listen to you, I will be subconsciously asking, “must I believe you?”… and I will only be persuaded if I cannot find any fault with your position at all – which is never the case if I didn’t already start by agreeing with you.

This is important because we get people to identify with us – and so open them to persuasion – when we reflect back to them what they are already thinking or feeling.

And the most effective feelings to reflect back in politics – and especially non-mainstream politics – are feelings of injustice that are not being adequately addressed by the political establishment.

Accordingly, Donald Trump speaks bluntly about immigration and immediately connects with a very large minority of voters who have been feeling that there is something essentially both unjust and important about what is happening to the country in this area. Similarly, Bernie Sanders speaks bluntly about economic injustice and immediately connects with a very large minority of voters who have been feeling that there is something essentially both unjust and important about what is happening to the country in this area.

At times of great political disaffection, such as these (with the membership of the Republican and Democratic parties in secular decline and the number of those registering Independent/unaffiliated increasing), speaking stridently about issues that are seemingly impossible for the mainstream to deal with elicits “identification” on another level too: it reflects back to the average voter his disaffection with the political process, itself.

This combined response to injustice and feeling understood is extremely powerful – immediate and visceral. Consider the speed with which both Sanders and Trump have gone from being obscure or entirely absent as politicians, respectively, to near political celebrities. (Obviously, one orders of magnitude more than the other because of the huge difference in media attention that is being paid to both.)

This constant of human nature works across cultures, languages and times.

Look at the rapid rise of the anti-austerity party in Syriza in Greece, or even more interestingly, of the anti-E.U. UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) in the U.K. Both went rapidly from non-existence to a major force in their country’s politics by owning a large issue that offended the human sense of justice of a large minority of people who felt completely unmet on that issue by all of the mainstream parties.

I tested this a year ago on a trip to England, when I asked recent converts to, or sympathizers of UKIP (some from a completely different part of the political spectrum), why they favored UKIP. They usually did not respond that they firmly agreed with UKIP on various issues, or even one. Rather, they said, “they are the only people who are talking about …” In other words, UKIP spoke to these voters because it spoke about a concern they already had but was unacknowledged by the political mainstream. In many cases, UKIP’s voters – like voters of all parties – couldn’t even tell what their party’s policies or solutions were. They knew only what the party cared about, based on the topics that the party chose to talk about. And in the cases of both Syriza and UKIP, the parties were talking about something that didn’t offend any political ideology, but rather, offended a basic human sense of fairness. In Greece, that was the ability of German policy makers to set economic policy in Greece for the benefit of non-Greek financial institutions, and in the UK, it was the ability of foreigners to makes laws for British citizens, on the one hand, and to come to the UK to receive welfare to which they’d never contributed – all exacerbated by the seeming inability of the British people themselves to change either of those things at the ballot box.

This point about “injustice” is especially for the liberty movement. A feeling of injustice that can be effectively tapped into by insurgent or anti-establishment political movements never depends on a political ideology: rather, it precedes ideology. It is, to repeat myself, visceral. Interestingly, experiments show that people will actually pay – i.e. hurt themselves – to rectify clear injustices in their close community, even among strangers, and their tendency to do so is unmediated by any particular belief.

Civil rights is an issue that should be owned by the liberty movement. We should be banging on about the abuse of rights that is endemic in our nation – not because we need to prove ourselves right but because it is outrageous, and we must connect with people’s outrage. And to that point, we need to talk about the problem more than our solution because, still, thanks to our derelict media, most Americans don’t have a clue about the depth of the problem. But when they do find out – hopefully from us – they will be outraged, and they will seek the solution firstly from the people who informed them of the problem.

Economic justice similarly is an issue that should be owned by the liberty movement – and the movement shouldn’t be scared to use that pair of words, either. We should be banging on – like Sanders – about economic injustice – not because we consent to the Left’s definition of the term, but because, when it is caused by state-corporate cronyism, favoritism, corporate welfare, and an unjust monetary system, it is indeed outrageous.

We are fools to allow the average American to hear about the economic unfairnesses in our society only from the Left. If that is from where America hears about those problems, then that is where America will go for their solutions. Similarly, we are fools to allow the average American hear about the problems of unmonitored immigration only from Trump. If he is from whom America hears about the problems, then he is to whom America will go for their solutions.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we accept Sanders’ or Trump’s solutions to either of these problems. It means only that our solution becomes credible to people because we have shown ourselves to be as driven as them by the underlying injustice.

Consider these two statements.

  • I am a capitalist because I am for freedom, and capitalism is best way of reducing poverty.
  • I am for reducing poverty and so support the freedom of people to trade for mutual benefit. That, to me, is what capitalism means

Their factual contents are essentially identical. A libertarian could say both of them truthfully.

Yet one is about capitalism; the other is about poverty.

That is a critical point to understand.

Read them again if you have to.

The first statement doesn’t start with the perceived injustice: it only connects with people who are already interested in capitalism – or at least care enough to know what that word even means. In other words, it connects only with those who agree with us. It has no political power.

The second statement starts with the perceived injustice. It connects with anyone who cares about poverty, which includes every progressive you’ll ever meet.

And frankly, good for them.

Because we should be concerned first with poverty and only then with capitalism. Why? Because poverty describes the experience of real people. And capitalism, like the liberty that it both serves and manifests, is ultimately valuable, precisely because of the good it does for people – who are the only true and moral ends of political activity.

With that in mind, here’s a sobering thought.

The liberty movement could do much worse than make a video about economic injustice – whose first five and a half minutes is exactly the same as the video made by Sanders. But ours might be voiced by Rand, who would then go into the real causes of this situation, and an explanation of solutions that don’t just treat the symptoms of the disease, but eliminate those causes at root. We’d be changing nothing in our position or our principles – but we’d be talking about people and fairness, rather than philosophy and, say, regulations.

The choice is always the same: to win supporters or to win arguments.

The liberty movement, rather ironically considering what it stands for, is getting exactly what it is choosing.

Walker Calls Building U.S.-Canada Border Wall To Stop Terrorists ‘Legitimate Issue’

Donald Trump’s rise in the polls following his unapologetic advancement of a hard-line stance on immigration seems to have inspired some of the other 2016 Republican presidential candidates to follow suit.

On Sunday’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press, Wisconsin Governor and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker told anchor Chuck Todd that he is looking at whether the U.S. should build a wall across the northern border to Canada in an effort to prevent terrorists from crossing over and attacking targets within the United States.

Why are we always talking about the southern border and building a fence there?” asked Todd. “We don’t talk about a northern border, where if this is about securing the border from potential terrorists coming over, do you want to build a wall north of the border too?

Governor Walker replied, “Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that’s a legitimate issue for us to look at.

Walker listed his plan to secure the U.S. border and enforce current immigration laws above Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship in the U.S. in priority and said, “Whether it’s talking about the 14th Amendment or anything else, until we secure the border and enforce the laws, we shouldn’t be talking about any other issue out there.

He also clarified that he is “not talking about changing the Constitution” with regards to the subject of birthright citizenship and referred to the entire discussion as a distraction.

During the Meet the Press appearance, Walker also suggested that President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq according to the timeline established by George W. Bush’s U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement “opened the door, and the vacuum has been filled by ISIS.

Ben Swann recently explored Donald Trump’s claims on birthright citizenship in a CBS46 Atlanta Reality Check video. Watch it in the below-embedded video player for context in the debate over immigration reform.


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Chris Christie: The U.S. Should Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages

During a campaign rally on Saturday, former New Jersey Gov. and GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie said that if he were elected, he would track immigrants with visas in the United States in the same way that FedEx tracks its packages.

Christie said that he plans on having the founder of FedEx come to work for the government because currently when the U.S. issues visas, “the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

“I’m going to have Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months,” Christie said. “Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people.”

Striving for a system similar to the one used by the independent shipping company, Christie said he used it as an example, because while FedEx can track packages, the U.S. can’t track immigrants.

[pull_quote_center]We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up, however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, it’s time to go,'[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Chris Christie Condemns ‘Civil Liberties Extremists’, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech]

Along with the topic of immigration, the conversation about “anchor babies” has also been popular among GOP candidates, and Christie referred to it as a “distraction” that reflects poorly on the Republican party.

“The entire conversation about ‘anchor babies’ is a distraction that makes us sound like we’re anti-immigrant, and we’re not,” Christie said. “Our party is not that way. We want people to do it legally. Do it the right way.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: ‘Anchor Babies’ and Trump’s U.S. Citizenship Claims]

Christie’s comments were criticized by immigrant advocates such as Dawn Le, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Citizenship, who told Reuters that she doesn’t see Christies’s proposal as all that different from Donald Trump’s immigration plans.

“Basically, he put a stamp on everyone’s wrist without providing a solution for the people who are here,” Le said. “How is his proposal any different than Donald Trump’s? Would he deport all 11 million people? He didn’t say.”

Christie doubled down on his comments on Sunday, during an interview with Fox News. He insisted that he was not comparing people to packages, and he called any criticism of his prior comments “ridiculous.”

“I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous,” Christie said. “This is once again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology. We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

For more election coverage, click here.

This story has been updated to clarify the type of immigrant Christie intends to track.

Iowa Radio Host Expands On Comments Proposing Indentured Servitude For Undocumented Immigrants

Iowa-based radio host Jan Mickelson fell under national scrutiny over the last week following comments he made on his program on August 17, in which he suggested that undocumented immigrants, remaining in Iowa after a proposed warning to leave the country, should proceed to become property of the state.

A discussion on Mickelson’s program about immigration led to comments about how to pursue the departure of undocumented immigrants from Iowa. Mickelson said that he had introduced an idea about placing signs throughout the state:

[quote_box_center]”I would just say this: ‘As of this date’ — whenever we decide to do this — ‘as of this date, 30–‘ this is a totally arbitrary number, ’30 to 60 days from now anyone who is in the state of Iowa that is not here legally and cannot demonstrate their legal status to the satisfaction of the local and state authorities here in the State of Iowa, become property of the State of Iowa.’ So if you are here without our permission, and we have given you two months to leave, and you’re still here, and we find that you’re still here after we we’ve given you the deadline to leave, then you become property of the state of Iowa, and we have a job for you. And we start using compelled labor, the people who are here illegally would therefore be owned by the state and become an asset of the state rather than a liability and we start inventing jobs for them to do.”[/quote_box_center]

Mickelson went on to show support for the building of a wall between the United States and Mexico, similar to a proposal made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, but Mickelson went further and said that the wall should be built by undocumented immigrants:

[quote_box_center]We say, ‘Hey, we are not going to make Mexico pay for the wall, we’re going to invite the illegal Mexicans and illegal aliens to build it. If you have come across the border illegally, again give them another 60-day guideline, you need to go home and leave this jurisdiction, and if you don’t you become property of the United States, and guess what? You will be building a wall. We will compel your labor. You would belong to these United States. You show up without an invitation, you get to be an asset. You get to be a construction worker. Cool!'[/quote_box_center]

Media Matters created an audio excerpt of Mickelson’s comments, which can be heard below. The full show containing the comments is available here.

A caller identified as a man named Fred phoned into his program and said that Mickelson’s proposal was a “clever idea,” but noted that people would think it “sounds like slavery.” 

Fred: “Well, I think everybody would believe it sounds like slavery?

Mickelson: “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?

Fred: “Well, we know what’s wrong with slavery.”

Mickelson: “Well, apparently we don’t because when we allow millions of people to come into the country who aren’t here legally and people who are here are indentured to those people to pay their bills, their education of their kids, pay for their food, their food stamps, their medical bills, in some cases even subsidize their housing, and somehow the people who own the country, who pay the bills, pay the taxes, they get indentured to the new people who are not even supposed to be here. Isn’t that a lot like slavery?”

Mickelson, whose comments have been criticized by the media across the U.S. including in a Des Moines Register column, made additional clarifications of his back-and-forth with the caller on his program.

“That was a rhetorical question to a caller who that making criminals pay restitution sounds like slavery. When I asked, ‘What’s wrong with slavery?’ I wasn’t advocating the chattel slavery outlawed by the 13th Amendment, but proceeding to a discussion of the indentured servitude permitted by the 13th Amendment for the payment of restitution,” Mickelson wrote.

“The conversation was cut short, and the thought was never completed. Media Matters (a hard left George Soros funded Democrat front group) used that incomplete conversation to assert that I recommended the enslavement of all immigrants. Rubbish.”

On his August 24 program, Mickelson said, “Iowans are passive-aggressive and really, really good at this kind of stuff, I suggested we could do a variation on that in Iowa, just put up four signs saying that if you’re here after 60 days you become property of the state and you’ll be doing community service for Iowa. Just signs. That’s all I said, just put up signs, which is typical of Iowa passive-aggressives. We can just put up a hostile sign and that will fix the problem.”

Jesse Ventura: Trump’s Border Wall Plan Would Make U.S. “Look Like a Prison”

Former Minnesota Governor, Navy SEAL, and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura addressed 2016 presidential candidate and billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump’s proposal to force Mexico to pay for a massive wall on the southern U.S. border in a recent clip, seen above (or click here to watch), from his Ora.Tv show Off The Grid.

Ventura, who has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 and who lives part of the year in Mexico, feels Trump’s immigration proposal would effectively transform the U.S. into a penal colony.

Ventura asked his viewers, “Well, being one that crosses that border more often than probably most people do, do we really want to put a wall around our country? We stand for freedom, and yet we want to put up a wall that makes the United States look like a prison?

Walls are a two way street. Not only will they keep people out, but they will also keep you in. I do not want to live with walls around my country. I do not want to live like I live inside East Berlin and I don’t feel a wall is going to protect me any more or less than if there were none at all,” he added.

[RELATED: Judge Napolitano Blasts Donald Trump On Immigration Plans]

Ventura said that if national security were the primary objective behind building a wall, politicians should not neglect the threat of terrorists crossing over the Canadian border and “just put the wall around the whole country“, because, “if you believe the 9/11 report, the hijackers came down from Canada.”

He also commented on how it takes him longer to cross into the U.S. from Mexico than it does for him to cross the border in the other direction. “When I drive into Mexico, I’m welcomed. Nobody there questions why I’m there. In fact, they welcome me for coming down there. Yet, when I turn around and come back to my own home country, the United States, it usually takes me two to three hours in an unconditional questioning… Right now it is easier to go into Mexico as an American than it is to go into my own country as a United States citizen. Something is sorely wrong with that.

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FEE: 5 Charts that Show Trump’s Immigration Paper Is Nonsense

By David Bier – Donald Trump dropped his long-awaited immigration position paper this week. To no one’s surprise, it is a long list of restrictionist clichés about immigrants taking jobs, abusing welfare, and lowering wages for Americans.

Here are the five biggest inaccuracies:

Inaccuracy #1: America is experiencing “record immigration levels.”

This claim is not remotely true. As I showed in a recent Niskanen report, today’s immigration rate — new permanent residents as a percentage of the U.S. population — is half the historical average and a quarter of its record highs in the early 20th century. While the immigrant population already here is growing as a share of the population, this is not due to unprecedented immigration, but to Americans’ unprecedented low birthrates.

Immigration Average

Inaccuracy #2: “The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries.”

Trump’s claim here is that increasing the supply of workers increases competition for jobs, which results in lower wages. Trump wants to focus on new foreign workers, but to evaluate whether there is more or less competition for jobs today, we need to look at all new workers, immigrant and native.

As I show in a recent Niskanen report, incomes rose at a much higher rate when the rate of new workers entering the labor force each year was much higher. The 33 years since 1981 saw much lower levels of labor-force growth and much lower levels of income growth than the 33 before it, due to the baby boom and the dramatic increase in female labor force participation. It just isn’t true that when the labor force grows wages fall.

Median Income Growth

Inaccuracy #3: “We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to help wages grow [and] get teenagers back to work.”

Trump’s argument is again that new immigrants without a high school degree have increased competition for low-skilled jobs, stagnating incomes and displacing high school-age workers. This time Trump just forgets to add the word “foreign” before “workers” entirely.

Again, as I show in another Niskanen report, the number of new noncollege-educated workers entering the labor force has been falling, and the number of high school dropouts — immigrant and native — has actually declined. In absolute terms, there are fewer workers without a high school degree today than 30 years ago.


Inaccuracy #4: H-1Bs increase unemployment.

Trump spends several paragraphs arguing for this theory. But as I show in another Niskanen paper, higher H-1B employment is associated with lower unemployment in the top field for H-1Bs: computer and tech jobs. This means tech companies expand employment for all workers when they hire H-1Bs; companies do not replace Americans with H-1B workers. If they did that, overall unemployment would increase as new H-1Bs entered.

h1b computer unemployment

Inaccuracy #5: H-1Bs force American STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] graduates out of STEM fields.

Trump claims “we graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees than find STEM jobs.” But his source indicates that the real number is two times more graduates — immigrant and native — not simply Americans.

In reality, 40 percent of STEM doctoral grads are foreign-born, many of whom are required to leave. More importantly, when you include fields like academia, finance, and health care, 61 percent of STEM undergraduates in the United States are directly using their degrees, and 80 percent are working in professional fields that require bachelor’s degrees.

Overall, STEM grads have much lower levels of unemployment than the general public and are more likely to be using their degrees.

Collage Graduates

This post first appeared at the Niskanen Center.


Reprinted from FEE with permission under Creative Commons Attribution License


Do you agree with Foundation for Economic Education’s break down of Donald Trump‘s immigration plan? Let us know in the comments.


Judge Napolitano Blasts Donald Trump On Immigration Plans

In response to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent proposals for immigration reform including ending birthright citizenship, Judge Andrew Napalitano clarified what Trump can and cannot do if he is elected president.

Trump told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press that as president, he would nullify President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Trump promised to deport illegal immigrants but allow a faster process for “the good ones” to return.

He also vowed to end birthright citizenship for American-born children of illegal immigrants. Birthright citizenship, Trump said, is the “biggest magnet” for illegal immigration. “What they’re doing, they’re having a baby. And then all of a sudden, nobody knows,” Trump said.

“We’re going to keep the families together, we have to keep the families together,” Trump declared. “But they have to go. They have to go.”

“We will work with them,” Trump said to Todd, who asked what might happen to the families who have nowhere to go.

Trump’s website outlines several more proposals including a nationwide e-verify, tripling the number of ICE officers and billing Mexico for the cost of building a U.S./Mexico border wall.

Napolitano agreed that Trump could rescind Obama’s executive order. “But what he can’t do is the impractical or the unconstitutional,” he added.

“Every person in the United States illegally, that a President Trump would want to deport, is entitled to a hearing and an appeal. That’s between 11 and 13 million hearings and appeals. The most the United States has ever conducted in a year- it’s a good number- is 250,000,” Napalitano said. “So do the math, you’re talking about a couple generations before all these hearings and appeals could be heard.” Napalitano noted that taxpayers would be footing the bill for every hearing and appeal.

Napolitano went on to dismiss Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship as unconstitutional. “He wants to deport children born here because their mothers were illegal. That’s prohibited by the Constitution,” he said. “The Constitution says, very clearly, whoever is born here- no matter the intent of the parents- is a citizen. A natural born citizen. He could not change that. Even if he were to change the Constitution, it wouldn’t affect people already born here, it would only affect people not yet born,” Napalitano said.

Napalitano also shared his perspective on the idea of building a wall between Mexico and the United States, and responded to the Hillary Clinton’s joke about Snapchat’s ability to automatically delete messages in light of the federal investigation of her emails. Watch below:

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DC City Council Considers Bill to Allow Non-Citizen Residents to Vote in City Elections

The Council of the District of Columbia held hearings last week to consider the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015, a bill that wouldexpand the definition of ‘qualified elector’ to include [non-citizen] permanent residents for the purpose of local elections.

In a January statement on the bill, its author, Councilmember-At-Large David Grosso, said, “‘All politics is local’ is a common phrase in the US political system and what most District residents care about are the tangible things that affect their day-to-day lives like potholes, playgrounds, taxes, snow removal, trash collection, red light cameras and more. All of these issues are important to voters in DC. Unfortunately, not all of our residents have a say in choosing the officials who make these decisions. In my opinion, that is unjust.

DC Board of Elections executive director Clifford Tatum told WAMU, “Allowing non-citizens to vote requires the creation and maintenance of two separate voter registration rolls, as well as a system for converting voters from the non-citizen roll to the citizen roll as they become naturalized citizens. We would also be required to conduct a separate voter registration roll maintenance process.

Councilmember Brianne Nadeau argued that the bill should be considered despite the additional costs and complications and said, “We always have to be careful in government and to lead when we see obstacles and when we see bureaucratic hurdles, to make sure they are not what stands between us and doing the right thing for our residents.

Local Washington DC activist Dorothy Brizill, an opponent of the bill, said that the legislation “is particularly sensitive and of concern to those individuals, both black and white, who are aware of the long historical struggle to secure the right to vote for all American citizens. For many, the right to vote is the essence of citizenship.

Grosso’s statement on the bill asserted, “According to the US Census Bureau (2012), approximately 53,975 residents in the District are foreign born, but not naturalized US citizens. Over 90% of that population is 18 years of age or older. These are taxpayers who should have the opportunity to have their voices heard in local elections.Daily Caller notes that Grosso clarified that those who would be granted voting rights under the bill “are residents who are well on their paths to citizenship.

National Legal and Policy Center chairman Ken Boehm told National Journal that the move would be a “slippery slope” that risks “diluting the value” of US citizenship. He added, “The people who advocate this clearly think they would get the votes of the non-citizens.

Richard Winger of Ballot Access News pointed out the fact that, if the bill were to pass, the US Congress has the authority to override it.

Non-citizen residents are currently authorized to vote in 7 US jurisdictions, 6 of which are municipalities in neighboring Maryland.

According to The Washington Post, a 2014 law passed by the Council of the District of Columbia allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

During Fox News Segment on Trump, Geraldo Tells Bolling, “I’d Knock You Out Right Now”

A debate over Donald Trump’s comments on immigration nearly descended into violence on Monday’s episode of The Five on Fox News. The segment in question, which can be seen in the above-embedded video, began with commentator Jesse Watters contrasting what he saw as Trump’s “muscular,” tough-talking style with the demeanor of “skinny community organizer” and President Barack Obama.

Geraldo Rivera blasted back that he felt that Watters’ comments were disrespectful to the president and added, referencing Trump’s rhetoric on immigration policy, “Immigration is like a cheap drug. You get a big bang, a quick high, and a very long hangover.

It’s not a quick high when people are getting murdered in San Francisco,” said Watters, referring to alleged murder of Kate Steinle at the hands of convicted felon and five-times deported Mexican national Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. He also commented on what he perceived as Mexico’s inability to keep drug cartel members from escaping incarceration and “selling heroin and cocaine to our children.

Rivera responded, “It is the cheapest shot of all to exploit the misery of [the Steinle] family… it has nothing to do with immigration.

You’re exploiting it by downplaying [the murder],” said Watters.

When Rivera argued that Trump’s comments were “exploiting” and “sensationalizing” the immigration issue, Fox News host Eric Bolling said to Rivera accusingly, “From a guy who exploits and sensationalizes everything, really?

Are you talking to me?” replied Geraldo Rivera. “You’re lucky that you’re my friend; I’d knock you out right now. That’s absolute BS.

We can take this up later,” said Bolling.

That is absolute bogus BS. You’re telling me I exploit and sensationalize? What do you do? Where do you get your stuff from? What right-wing pundit is giving you your script?” shouted Rivera.

Sensing the rising tension, commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle asked the show’s producers in the control room to cut to commercial break.

Trump’s Hotel Construction Site Employs Workers Who Came To The U.S. Illegally

Billionaire mogul Donald Trump announced his presidential bid on June 16, and included in his speech were comments about illegal immigrants bringing crime, drugs, and being “rapists,” which pushed Trump into the spotlight, both as a presidential candidate, and as the developer of the latest Trump Hotel in Washington D.C., which has employed undocumented workers in its construction process.

According to a report from the Washington Post, at the site of the Old Post Office Pavilion in D.C., five blocks from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, Trump is funding the construction of a $200 million hotel. Several of the workers building the hotel told the Post that they came to the U.S. through immigration programs from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, while others “quietly acknowledged that they remain in the country illegally.”

In his speech, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” instead they’re sending people that “have lots of problems” who are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people.”

“It’s something ironic,” Ivan Arellano, a worker and immigrant from Mexico who became a U.S. citizen through marriage, told the Washington Post. “The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally. And we’re all here working very hard to build a better life for our families.”

Daniel Gonzalez, a sheet metal worker who came to the U.S. in the 1980s from El Salvador and became a U.S. citizen when a judge granted him asylum, told the Post that he is worried about the possibility of Trump’s comments escalating “into a bigger problem,” that could lead to workers like him losing their jobs.

“Do you think that when we’re hanging out there from the eighth floor that we’re raping or selling drugs?” asked Ramon Alvarez, a window worker from El Salvador. “We’re risking our lives and our health. A lot of the chemicals we deal with are toxic.”

Michael Cohen, executive vice president and legal counsel to Trump, told the Washington Post that Trump followed all of the guidelines for hiring and that when he hired Lend Lease as a contractor for the project, it became that company’s “obligation to check all workers on site.”

Trump released a statement on Monday, clarifying his comments and acknowledging the fact that he has “lost a lot during this Presidential run” because of his comments on Mexican immigrants.

Following the comments, several major companies cut ties with Trump, including Univision, NBC, Macy’s, Serta and NASCAR. Trump said that these companies appear to have “taken the weak and very sad position of being politically correct even though they are wrong in terms of what is good for our country.

In his statement, Trump reiterated his position, and said that the Mexican Government is “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States” and that they are “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

Trump used the example of Kate Steinle, a woman in San Franciso who was killed over the weekend when she was shot in what appeared to be a random bullet that allegedly came form the gun of an illegal immigrant and felon who had been deported to Mexico five times before.

“This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States,” said Trump, who claimed that his initial comments were “deliberately distorted by the media.”

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Walker or Bush: What difference does it make?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker innocuously popped up and was thrust upon the 2016 Republican Primary stage seemingly out of no where. He hasn’t even announced, and he tops multiple polls across the country.

His greatest asset is also his greatest weakness. Most people have no idea who he is with regards to policy. In virtually every poll that is conducted, the majority of voters say they do not know enough about him. So, he tops the polls, but people don’t know enough about him? Says a lot about American voters. While this gives his campaign advisers the opportunity to mold Walker however they like, come debate time, he will face quite a challenge trying to hide behind his newly crafted image.

Most of Walker’s support seems to come from conservatives. Not Republicans, but conservatives. The same conservatives that disdain Bush seem to like Walker, which is quite odd, given that they have virtually identical policies. Unless, of course, Walker pulled a Romney and flip flopped.

The Supreme Court could soon be dealing a critical blow to Obamacare. Conservative candidates like Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz want a total repeal. Meanwhile, Walker says that Congress should fix Obamacare if the Court dismantles the law, which puts him in line with Washington’s establishment Republicans. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that Walker went against the wishes of conservative legislators in Wisconsin and implemented Obamacare. Conservative Wisconsin State Sen. Lasee once noted that Walker was not serious about fighting Obamacare, protecting state sovereignty and healthcare freedom. This alone proves that Walker simply doesn’t understand the constitutional and economic impact of Obamacare. But wait… there’s more.

On immigration, Walker and Bush both support amnesty. In 2002, Walker signed a resolution urging Congress to support amnesty legislation. Of course, as of late, he has had a change of heart.

President Bush brought us the Patriot Act and NSA. President Obama put it on steroids. While conservative candidates like Paul maintain that we can fight terrorists without allowing President Obama’s NSA to shred the Constitution by spying on every single American citizen, Walker and Bush (Jeb) have pushed hard for full re-authorization of the Patriot Act and NSA spying.

War in Iraq? Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham are hungry for more war. Unsurprisingly, Walker is supportive of another “full blown invasion of Iraq”.

Jeb Bush makes no apologies for his love of Common Core. He is one of its biggest proponents. Scott Walker is also a huge supporter of Common Core. He now says he is against it, but a simple look at Wisconsin education laws prove he has purposefully done nothing to get rid of Common Core. After all, he is the one who brought it in. He now maintains that the state allows local school districts to “opt-out”, but cash hungry locals never opt out of federal money. Anyone inside the beltway of state or federal politics knows that Walker’s latest flop against Common Core is nothing more than theater to pander to conservatives.

So, there you have it. Common Core, Obamcare, NSA spying, foreign policy and immigration are five of the biggest issues on GOP voters’ minds. Where exactly are Scott Walker and Jeb Bush different on any of these issues?

Not to worry. Walker took it upon himself to redefine what it means to “flip flop” on an issue so that the term no longer applies to him. Lucky dog.

So, Walker or Bush?

In the words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make?”

40 Mothers Launch Hunger Strike As They Await Immigration Hearings

Forty mothers who came to the United States from Central America, seeking asylum, launched a hunger strike on Monday to protest their detainment. The mothers and their children are being held at an immigration detention center in Karnes City, Texas, while they await their immigration hearings.

McClatchy DC reported that while more than 80 women had initially signed a petition to take part in the strike, several dropped out after two women were placed in isolation.

Johana De Leon, a legal assistant with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, told McClatchy DC that some of the mothers were warned they could “lose custody of their children” if they participated in the strike.

Part of the letter, which was obtained and translated by Colorlines, says:

During this time, no mother will work in the detention center, nor will we send our children to school, nor will we use any services here, until we are heard and approved: we want our FREEDOM.”

Colorlines reported that the mothers who signed the letter have all been interviewed by immigration officials, and have established a “credible fear of persecution or torture if they were to be deported.”  While some have not been given the opportunity to post bond for release, others have a bond set too high for them to pay.

Colorlines’ Aura Bogado reported that when she contacted the facility, she spoke with an anonymous immigration officer who laughed at the strike, calling it something the women’s attorneys had convinced them to do.

Kenia Galeano, a 26-year-old mother who came from Honduras with her 2-year-old son, told McClatchy DC that instead of finding the shelter they were seeking when they came to the US, she and the other mothers are being treated like prisoners. She said that while she has been held at the center for five months, some of the other mothers have been there for 10 months.

Galeano said that the mothers participating in the strike have not been influenced by any outside sources, and that they will not eat, work, or send their children to the center’s school until the detainees are released.

Colorlines noted that the Karnes facility, which is run the private GEO group, has a mostly-male staff of guards who have access to the women and children’s rooms at all times, and as a result, the Karnes facility has been the site of repeated allegations of sexual abuse.

According to Colorlines, while illegal immigrants are not authorized to work in the United States, undocumented detainees at Karnes help run the facility, and receive a paycheck of $3 a day. Their work includes cleaning and running the laundry facility for the 532-bed detention center.

Karnes City, Texas, has a population of about 3,500, and is home to several major fracking operations. These operations have led to complaints about contaminated water, which means that the city’s residents rely on bottled water. For residents at the Karnes facility, $3 is both a day’s salary and the price of a bottle of water, according to Colorlines.

Nina Pruneda, a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released a statement saying that the agency is carefully monitoring the situation for potential health and safety risks.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference, and all detainees, including those in family residential facilities such as Karnes, are permitted to do so,” Pruneda said.

McClatchy DC reported that the Karnes center is one of three immigration detention facilities set up specifically for women and children in the US. More than 2,500 illegal immigrants have been detained at these centers since July.