Sunday, January 29, 2017

Over 300 Sanctuary Cities Are Costing over $7,000,000,000 Annually!

Breitbart ^ | January 28, 2017 | Tom Tancredo 

President Trump this week signed an executive order declaring war on so-called sanctuary cities. Agencies within the United States Government will begin withholding federal grant funds from those cities, and additional actions to enforce federal immigration law will be taken soon.
Unlike Obama, President Trump is not trying to making new laws by executive decree. In his Executive Order, the president is only reminding mayors and governors of existing federal law dating to 1996:
U.S. Code › Title 8 › Chapter 12 › Subchapter II › Part IX › § 1373 8 U.S. Code § 1373 – Communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service:
Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual. (b) Additional authority of government entities Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, no person or agency may prohibit, or in any way restrict, a Federal, State, or local government entity from doing any of the following with respect to information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual: (1) Sending such information to, or requesting or receiving such information from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. (2) Maintaining such information. (3) Exchanging such information with any other Federal, State, or local government entity.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

That Was Fast: Trump Surges to 59% Approval, Angry Left Hardest Hit

Jammie Wearing Fools ^ | January 26, 2017 

We’re so old we remember the left kvelling that he had a poor approval rating just last week.
My, how quickly things changed.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-one percent (41%) disapprove.
The latest figures include 44% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 31% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of +13 (see trends).
In the latest of this week’s executive orders, Trump has begun a crackdown on illegal immigration, adding thousands of Border Patrol agents, starting the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and cutting federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration law. He also has imposed a temporary ban on refugees from and visas for citizens of several Middle Eastern countries until the U.S. government can do a better job screening out possible terrorists.
Image how high it might be if we had an impartial media.
The daily meltdowns by the unhinged left are probably also helping, so keep up the good work, lunatics!

Friendly Reminder: Obama Selected The List Of Muslim Countries in Trump’s Executive Order

Town Hall ^ | Jan 29, 2017 9:00 AM | Matt Vespa 

As the Left and some Republicans lose their minds over President Donald J. Trump’s executive order on immigration, let’s not forget that the list of concerned countries that the Trump administration outlined in the order is based on the one signed into law by the former Obama administration. So, it looks like the Obama White House set the groundwork (via Mic News):

According to the draft copy of Trump's executive order, the countries whose citizens are barred entirely from entering the United States is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015.

Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of an omnibus spending bill. The legislation restricted access to the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from 38 countries who are visiting the United States for less than 90 days to enter without a visa.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Is the Left Over?

PJ Media ^ | 29 Jan 2017 | Andrew Klavan 

Mainstream news journalists — by which I mean that collection of Democrats employed by large corporations to push the sort of big government that prevents small corporations from competing with them — have been breathlessly speculating that the recent "Women's Marches" around the country may be the beginning of a movement.

The marches, funded in part by anti-American globalist billionaire George Soros, called forth such headlines as, "Cathartic Moment or Enduring Movement," and "Women's March Activists... Seek To Build a Movement."
No one knows the future, of course, but I can't help wondering if the marches, large as they were, were not rather the end of a movement, a fond farewell to an amalgam of obsolete leftist causes that either never had a reason to exist in the first place or have lost whatever reason they might once have had.

If leftism is dead, the speech delivered by actress Ashley Judd in Washington D.C. may well serve as its eulogy.
Judd said her speech was written by a 19-year-old. That would make sense. Because, coming out of the mouth of a grown-up, it was just embarrassing.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

So the courts want to fight the President on immigration policy!

Hot Air ^ | January 29, 2017 | Jazz Shaw 

So things really blew up overnight, eh? There were all sorts of “spontaneous” protests popping up at airports around the nation in response to the new executive action on immigration and refugees. (If you were watching liberal Twitter you saw how “spontaneous” they really were. This was coordinated nationally.) But of more interest are the actions taken by several judges hearing appeals from some of the travelers who were being detained. In response, one judge in New York imposed a stay on portions of the executive order, while another in Boston attempted to block the entire thing. (NBC News)
A federal judge in New York has granted a stay order on President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting entry to the U.S. by those from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The stay blocks the deportation of those who arrived in the U.S. with a valid visa, as well as those from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who are legally authorized to enter the country. It also protects those with approved refugee applications. They stay does not mean those detained have to be released.
“Stay is granted,” Dale Ho, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project said on Twitter. “Stay is national.”
At least so far, DHS is essentially saying that they will comply with orders regarding specific individuals for the time being, but overall the policy is still in effect.
In a statement issued in the early hours of Sunday, the Department said: “President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety.”
It added that the department will “continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people.”
I have zero doubt that this is going to turn into a mess in the courts. Keep in mind that if you go to the correct areas (such as Boston) you can find a judge to say almost anything, but this will eventually need to be sorted out. That’s going to be an educational experience for plenty of us because many questions regarding immigration policy can be very complicated. We’re dealing with non-citizens in different classifications as well as wrestling with the distinction between deporting people who are in the country versus denying entry to those who are not. And that’s an important point, because non-citizens inside the country, while not having the same level of rights as citizens, still maintain a more powerful position than those on the outside trying to get in. Deporting someone is always much more complicated than simply barring a non-citizen from entering.
For those who have lawful permanent resident status by virtue of holding a green card, they are arguably in the strongest position while they are inside the country. If they travel out of the United States, their status in terms of getting back in (with several important exceptions) is often in pretty good shape also. This falls under what’s referred to as the Fleuti Doctrine, dating back to the 1963 Supreme Court decision in Rosenberg v Fleuti. You can read some good history of the subject from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network here.
The big question being settled there was whether a green card holder with lawful permanent resident status could be denied reentry into the United States after a relatively short, benign trip outside our borders. Mr. Fleuti was found to be “excludable” upon his return from a four hour trip over the border into Mexico, but the Supreme Court eventually sided with him in terms of his ability to return.
Keep in mind that in cases such as that we’re talking bout non-citizens with some of the strongest arguments possible in terms of having a “right” to enter the country. Other forms of documentation – particularly shorter duration programs – provide even less protection. In the end, such non-citizens are truly guests in our country and a guest can be denied entry by the Executive branch of the government fairly easily.
But as I said… it’s complicated and all of this is going to take a while to sort out. I’m sure we’ll all learn quite a bit as this plays out and it’s possible that some new precedents will be set. In the meantime I wouldn’t expect President Trump to suddenly back down and do an about face. It doesn’t seem to be his style and this is simply a case of him fulfilling yet another promise he made on the campaign trail. In fact, first thing this morning he was already doubling down.
As a side note for all of the liberal protesters out there, Indonesia is the nation which is home to the largest Muslim population on the planet. They are not on the prohibited list. There is no #MuslimBan and you should feel rather silly for repeating that.

Carr: Dems would honor killer, not victim

Boston Herald ^ | 29 Jan 2017 | Howie Carr 

Matthew Denice was a 23-year-old taxpaying U.S. citizen when he was run over and dragged to his death by a drunken illegal immigrant on welfare back in 2011.

It was not an isolated incident. Denice was the third American killed by illegal immigrants in two years in just one small central Massachusetts community.

The former governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, could never remember Matthew Denice’s name. A Democrat candidate for governor in 2014 (Don Berwick) breezily dismissed the horrific crime as an “anecdote.” And just last week, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told a radio audience he had no idea who Matthew Denice was.

Do you know who does know Matthew Denice’s name? The president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

And that is yet another reason why he is president, and these shameless Democrats are wandering in the political wilderness.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Bobby Knight: Donald Trump Could Be The Best President Ever!

TMZ ^ | 1.20.17 ast | Harvey Levin 

Move over, Washington. So long, Lincoln ... Donald Trump could forever be known as the GREATEST President of all time ... so says Bobby Knight.

Of course, the former Indiana hoops coach is a massive Trump fan -- and even stumped for him along the campaign trail.

Now, he's in D.C. and he's as passionate for Donald as ever.

He even thinks Trump could've played basketball for the Hoosiers ... telling TMZ Sports, "I'd have to check whether he could shoot or not but he could sure as hell play defense!" "And he would be able to WIN because of what a great defensive player he would be."

Honeymoon’s over: Ex-Obama crazy official Susan Rice calls Trump NSC reshuffling ‘stone cold crazy’

The Washington Times ^ | January 29, 2017 | Valerie Richardson 

It didn’t take long for the old administration to attack the new administration.

Former national security advisor crazy Susan Rice ignited a feud Sunday with the Trump White House by ripping the recent reshuffling of the National Security Council as “stone cold crazy.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer fired back by calling Ms. Rice’s comments “clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador” and took a swipe at the Obama administration’s track record on national security.

“And when you talk about the missteps made by the last administration, with all due respect, I think Ambassador Rice might want to wait and see how we handle this,” Mr. Spicer said on ABC-TV’s “This Week.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Jaw Dropping – Mexican Official Threatens to Unleash Cartels, Flood U.S. With Drugs and Narcotics!

The Conservative Treehouse ^ | Jan 29,2017 | Sundance 

If people had doubts about the Mexican government being influenced and controlled by drug cartels, well, they can put that doubt away.

In a stunning segment on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN broadcast today Mexico’s former foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda, states the Mexican government is willing to counter U.S. President Donald Trump policy by unleashing drug cartels upon the U.S. border.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama Banned all Iraqi Refugees for 6 Months in 2011 – Liberals Said Nothing

thegatewaypundit ^ 

Protests erupted at JFK’s terminal 4 on Saturday after incoming refugees were detained by customs and border patrol agents following Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees from 7 Muslim countries.

Of course, back in 2011 when Barack Obama banned Iraqi refugees for six months the far left said nothing!

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Intelligent Pragmatism Behind Trump’s Refugee and Visa Suspension

The Last Refuge - The Conservative Treehouse ^ | January 28, 2017 | Sundance 

Many people are wondering why suspend visas relating to travel from: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Why those countries specifically? What’s this all about.
The answer to that question and many other questions surrounding the recent executive actions of President Trump can be answered deliberately by looking forward, not backward.

Due mostly to the action of Russia, Islamic extremism is currently in retreating position from Syria. In the weeks and months to come, radical Islamic extremists of various factions will be facing even more defeats as their strongholds are recaptured. In addition to their current geographic locations, where will the extremist elements go in retreat? Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Do not forget that between the November 8th, 2016 election and the January 27th, 2017 signing of these executive actions, President Trump and the incoming security/intelligence apparatus have been in contact with mid-east envoys who historically understand the predictable fall-back plans of the violent extremists within the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood is the political face of the various extremist factions. International partners for the U.S. including King Abdullah (Jordan), Fattah Abdel el-Sisi (Egypt), and Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel), hold a time-tested understanding of where the extremist elements within Islam exist and where their moves can be predicted.

You might remember how fluid the extremist elements were in their travels from Afghanistan (Iman al-Zawahiri’s al-Qaeda leadership), into Egypt (Mohammed al-Zawahiri – Brotherhood leadership), and then into Libya (Hillary’s “rebels”) and Syria (al-Nusra – McCain’s “rebels”) during the activity from 2010 through today.
The trails used by these extremist elements are well traveled, often predictable, and ultimately connected to ebbs and flows from their home region and network of support. The origin of many extremist travels begin in: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
♦ BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND – If a larger regional plan is going to defeat the extremist elements with the use of regional allies who know these affiliates best; and with General James Mattis at the tip of the spear; the forward review becomes a matter of simple pragmatic security precautions on visa suspensions from the areas of greatest concern.
As a member of the Trump national security transition team James Carafano outlined:
[…] As the space for the Islamic State, or ISIS, gets squeezed in the Middle East, the remains of the tens of thousands of foreign fighters will have to flow somewhere. Every nation, not just the U.S., believes they are most likely to flow to the countries cited in the order. That fact, and only that fact, is why those countries are included on the list. Indeed, when it comes to visa-vetting, that’s why the European Union has restrictions that are comparable to the United States. (link)
isis map 2
President Trump is simply being pragmatic. He understands that when these extremists start losing they will fall back, regroup and lash out. The suspension of visa approvals from the predictable extremist territory they will occupy in retreat is simply Trump trying to protect the U.S. from the consequence of the extremist defeat.

Remember, President Trump already outlined what and why during his September 7th 2016 speech in Philadelphia when he outlined the strategy for Peace through Strength:

(TRANSCRIPT) […] In a Trump Administration, our actions in the Middle East will be tempered by realism. The current strategy of toppling regimes, with no plan for what to do the day after, only produces power vacuums that are filled by terrorists.
Gradual reform, not sudden and radical change, should be our guiding objective in that region.
We should work with any country that shares our goal of destroying ISIS and defeating Radical Islamic terrorism, and form new friendships and partnerships based on this mission. We now have an Administration, and a former Secretary of State, who refuse to say Radical Islamic Terrorism.
Immediately after taking office, I will ask my generals to present to me a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy ISIS.
This will require military warfare, but also cyber warfare, financial warfare, and ideological warfare – as I laid out in my speech on defeating Radical Islamic terrorism several weeks ago.
Instead of an apology tour, I will proudly promote our system of government and our way of life as the best in the world – just like we did in our campaign against communism during the Cold War.
We will show the whole world how proud we are to be American.
At the same time, immigration security is a vital part of our national security.
We only want to admit people to our country who will support our values and love our people.
These are the pillars of a sound national security strategy. (continue reading)

George Soros-Financed Groups Scheme to Stop Trump’s Temporary Refugee Halt Order

Breitbart ^ | 1-28-2017 | Aaron Klein 

TEL AVIV — Immigration lawyers from groups financed by billionaire George Soros, a champion of open border policies, were signatories to a lawsuit filed Saturday to block President Donald Trump’s executive order halting visas for 90 days for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and Iraq....

The ACLU is massively funded by Soros’s Open Society Foundations, including with a $50 million grant in 2014....

Taryn Higashi, executive director of the Center’s International Refugee Assistance Project, which is listed on the Trump lawsuit, currently serves on the Advisory Board of the International Migration Initiative of Soros’s Open Society Foundations...

Over the last decade, Soros has reportedly provided some $76 million for immigrant issues....

In 2014, the New York Times credited “immigrant rights groups” financed by Soros and a handful of other donors for influencing President Obama’s immigration policy....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Beware new "can you hear me" scam ^ | January 26, 2017, 1:39 PM | Kathy Kristof 

It’s not a Verizon commercial: If you receive a phone call from someone asking “can you hear me,” hang up. You’re a potential victim in the latest scam circulating around the U.S.

Virginia police are now warning about the scheme, which also sparked warnings by Pennsylvania authorities late last year. The “can you hear me” con is actually a variation on earlier scams aimed at getting the victim to say the word “yes” in a phone conversation. That affirmative response is recorded by the fraudster and used to authorize unwanted charges on a phone or utility bill or on a purloined credit card.
But how can you get charged if you don’t provide a payment method? The con artist already has your phone number, and many phone providers pass through third-party charges.
In addition, the criminal may have already collected some of your personal information -- a credit card number or cable bill, perhaps -- as the result of a data breach. When the victim disputes the charge, the crook can then counter that he or she has your assent on a recorded line.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Donald Trump Won The Presidency On The Advocacy Of “Peace Through Strength”

IWB ^ | Pamela Williams 

Republicans watched as President Obama invoked war after war, but we did not really try to divide the Country over his wars. We complained about his policies, but we were respectful in doing so. We did not go out and protest against our President, but Democrats are such hypocrites they are proving themselves to be non-essential to the working government.

Two Democrats are seeking to delegitimize President Trump’s Presidential standing. Democrat Senator Edward Markey and Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu have introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. The act would prohibit the Commander in Chief from using nuclear weapons unless Congress has declared a state of war. Forgetting the fact that the dropping of nuclear weapons in the way Markey and Lieu have in mind would likely be the end of the world, there is a more pragmatic reason that I believe this bill does not have the good intentions that one might assume. One must realize the Democrats only think of themselves…read between the lines.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Senate Democrats are bluffing, they are powerless to block Trump's Supreme Court nominee

Fox News Opinion ^ | January 28, 2017 | Marc Thiessen 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has threatened to stonewall Donald Trump’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, telling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Schumer said: “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support.” When Maddow asked, “You will do your best to hold the seat open?” Schumer replied, “Absolutely.”
The fact is, Senate Democrats are powerless to stop Trump from appointing and confirming a rock-ribbed conservative to replace Scalia.
Here is what Trump should tell Schumer in so uncertain terms:

•As you know, I have put out a list of 21 judges from which I will choose my nominee to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. One of those judges will be my nominee. And that nominee will be confirmed by the United States Senate.

•I sincerely hope that he or she will be confirmed with bipartisan support.

•But if you are under the impression, as you suggested in a recent interview, that you can block my nominee and hold the seat open, I have news for you: That is not going to happen....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

MARCH FOR LIFE SCARES DEATH INDUSTRY ^ | 01/26/2017 | Bill Donohue 

The death industry, led by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, was a major presence at last week’s Women’s March on Washington. Their idea of women’s rights is fixated on abortion and lesbians (as well as those unsure what sex they are). Thus, they have little in common with most women.
President Trump will appoint a Supreme Court justice next week, one who is sure to understand that the most pressing civil rights of our time is the right to life. He has already signed an executive order reinstating the “Mexico City Policy”; it bans federal funding to international groups that perform abortions.
On January 12, Rep. Steve King introduced a House bill that would ban an abortion after the baby’s heartbeat is detected.
In the states, lawmakers are geared up like never before. Last year, Louisiana passed seven new laws restricting abortion. Texas introduced 17 new civil rights laws protecting children in the womb, and 2017 will see at least some of them enacted.
Kentucky just passed two pro-life laws, one of which bans abortions after 20 weeks. Just this month, lawmakers in Florida, New Mexico and Tennessee introduced bills that would also ban abortions after 20 weeks; New Jersey filed a similar bill last month. Moreover, Missouri legislators refiled 14 pro-life bills this month. And Iowa is considering a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
The death industry is scared. Pictures of babies in their mother’s womb are becoming clearer all the time, convincing more Americans that abortion is the intentional taking of innocent human life. The clock is ticking, and the time is getting late to continue the delusion that abortion does not kill.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Trump on Refugee Order: 'It's Not a Muslim Ban' ^ | 01/28/2017 | Toddd Beamon 

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his administration was "totally prepared" for the fallout over the refugee executive order he signed on Friday and that "it's not a Muslim ban."
"Totally prepared," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after signing three new executive actions. "It's working out very nicely.
"You see it at the airports, you see it all over.
"It's working out very nicely — and we're going to have a very, very strict ban.
"We're going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years," Trump said.
President Trump's comments came amid a flurry of activity since he signed the refugee order on Friday, including the detaining of 12 people trying to enter the United States from majority-Muslim countries — and the freeing of one after lawyers and several advocacy organizations filed a lawsuit in federal court overnight challenging the action.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama Gave Foreign 'Students' 180,000 U.S. Jobs

Washington Examiner ^ | 1/27/17 | By Paul Bedard 

A pro-immigrant program was expanded under President Obama that paid U.S. firms $2.7 billion to hire 180,000 foreign "students," jobs that likely otherwise would have gone to Americans, according to a new report.
The so-called "Optional Practical Training" was supposedly set up for foreign students but actually included no training and put college graduates in the high-paying jobs for three years.
The Center for Immigration Studies, which on Friday urged President Trump to stop the program, estimated that the jobs paid $60,000, suggesting a total of $11 billion in annual wages lost to American workers, over $32 billion over three years. In his Inaugural Address, Trump advocated an "America First" theme.
The Center said the program, also used under former President George W. Bush, paid companies $10,000-$15,000 to hire the foreigner college grads for three years.
"That is a prize worthy of special attention. More than 180,000 good jobs," said the Center, adding:
"The best part of OPT for the foreign alums — and a devastating factor to U.S. resident college grads (both citizens and green card holders) — is that employers are given a $10,000-$15,000 bonus for hiring an alien rather than an American with the same salary.
"This is hard to believe, but true; recent administrations have waved a magic wand over the foreign grads and called them 'students' so that the usual payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) do not apply to either their employers or to the students.
"So the employer, faced with two equally qualified candidates for, say, a $60,000 a year job (for three years), each candidate being willing to work for that salary, has his choice. If he hires the alien the total payroll costs for three years will be $180,000; if he hires the citizen alternative, the employer will pay $193,770. The higher the salary, the bigger the bonus to the employer hiring the alien."
The author of the report, immigration expert and former Labor Department official David North, called on Trump to end the program.

Trump’s Exclusion of Aliens from Specific Countries Is Legal

National Review ^ | 1/28/17 | Andrew C. McCarthy 

Trump’s Exclusion of Aliens from Specific Countries Is Legal
Arguments to the contrary ignore the Constitution and misstate federal law.

On Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for heightened vetting of certain foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States. The order temporarily suspends entry by the nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. It is to last for 90 days, while heightened vetting procedures are developed.
The order has predictably prompted intense protest from critics of immigration restrictions (most of whom are also critics of Trump). At the New York Times, the Cato Institute’s David J. Bier claims the temporary suspension is illegal because, in his view, it flouts the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. This contention is meritless, both constitutionally and as a matter of statutory law.
Let’s start with the Constitution, which vests all executive power in the president. Under the Constitution, as Thomas Jefferson wrote shortly after its adoption, “the transaction of business with foreign nations is Executive altogether. It belongs then to the head of that department, except as to such portions of it as are specifically submitted to the Senate. Exceptions are to be construed strictly.”
The rare exceptions Jefferson had in mind, obviously, were such matters as the approval of treaties, which Article II expressly vests in the Senate. There are also other textual bases for a congressional role in foreign affairs, such as Congress’s power over international commerce, to declare war, and to establish the qualifications for the naturalization of citizens. That said, when Congress legislates in this realm, it must do so mindful of what the Supreme Court, in United States v. Curtiss-Wright (1936), famously described as “the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations – a power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress.”
In the international arena, then, if there is arguable conflict between a presidential policy and a congressional statute, the president’s policy will take precedence in the absence of some clear constitutional commitment of the subject matter to legislative resolution. And quite apart from the president’s presumptive supremacy in foreign affairs, we must also adhere to a settled doctrine of constitutional law: Where it is possible, congressional statutes should be construed in a manner that avoids constitutional conflicts.
With that as background, let’s consider the claimed conflict between the president’s executive order and Congress’s statute. Mr. Bier asserts that Trump may not suspend the issuance of visas to nationals of specific countries because the 1965 immigration act “banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin.” And, indeed, a section of that act, now codified in Section 1152(a) of Title 8, U.S. Code, states that (with exceptions not here relevant) “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence” (emphasis added).
Even on its face, this provision is not as clearly in conflict with Trump’s executive order as Bier suggests. As he correctly points out, the purpose of the anti-discrimination provision (signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965) was to end the racially and ethnically discriminatory “national origins” immigration practice that was skewed in favor of Western Europe. Trump’s executive order, to the contrary, is in no way an effort to affect the racial or ethnic composition of the nation or its incoming immigrants. The directive is an effort to protect national security from a terrorist threat, which, as we shall see, Congress itself has found to have roots in specified Muslim-majority countries.
Because of the national-security distinction between Trump’s 2017 order and Congress’s 1965 objective, it is not necessary to construe them as contradictory, and principles of constitutional interpretation counsel against doing so.
Nevertheless, let’s concede for argument’s sake that there is conflict. At issue is a matter related to the conduct of foreign affairs – a matter of the highest order of importance since it involves foreign threats to national security. If there were a conflict here, the president’s clear constitutional authority to protect the United States would take precedence over Congress’s dubious authority to limit the president’s denial of entry to foreign nationals.
But there is no conflict.
Federal immigration law also includes Section 1182(f), which states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate” (emphasis added).
Section 1182(f) plainly and sweepingly authorizes the president to issue temporary bans on the entry of classes of aliens for national-security purposes. This is precisely what President Trump has done. In fact, in doing so, he expressly cites Section 1182(f), and his executive order tracks the language of the statute (finding the entry of aliens from these countries at this time “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States”).
While Bier ignores the president’s constitutional foreign-affairs authority (although Trump expressly relies on it in the first line of his executive order), he concedes that Trump is relying on a statute. He theorizes, nevertheless, that because Section 1182(f) was enacted in 1952, whereas the non-discrimination provision (Section 1152(a)) was enacted years afterward, the latter must be deemed to have amended the former – thus removing the president’s authority to impose class restrictions based on the aliens’ country of origin.
Nice try.
Put aside that Trump is principally relying on his inherent constitutional authority, and that the class restriction he has directed is based on national-security, not racial or ethnic considerations. Trump’s executive order also expressly relies on an Obama-era provision of the immigration law, Section 1187(a)(12), which governs the Visa Waiver Program. This statute empowers the executive branch to waive the documentation requirements for certain aliens. In it, Congress itself expressly discriminates based on country of origin.
Under this provision, Congress provides that an alien is eligible for the waiver only if he or she has not been present (a) in Iraq or Syria any time after March 1, 2011; (b) in any country whose government is designated by the State Department as “repeatedly provid[ing] support for acts of international terrorism”; or (c) in any country that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security as a country “of concern.”
So, not only has Congress never repealed the president’s sweeping statutory power to exclude classes of aliens from entry on national-security grounds; decades after the 1965 anti-discrimination provision touted by Bier, Congress expressly authorized discrimination on the basis of national origin when concerns over international terrorism are involved. Consequently, by Bier’s own logic, the 1965 statute must be deemed amended by the much more recent statute.
Bier concedes that, despite the 1965 anti-discrimination statute, President Jimmy Carter barred entry by Iranian nationals in 1980, after the Khomeini revolution led to the U.S.-hostage crisis. But he treats Carter’s restriction based on national origin as an aberration. Instead, he insists, we should place more stock in the federal courts’ affirmation of the 1965 anti-discrimination provision during the 1990s — specifically, in a litigation involving an alien from Vietnam who had fled to Hong Kong and objected to being required to return to Vietnam to apply for a visa when applicants from other countries faced no such requirement.
But there is no inconsistency here. Bier perceives one only by overlooking the salient national-security distinction. The discriminatory treatment of Iranians was rationally rooted in anti-terrorism concerns, and was clearly proper. The discriminatory treatment of the Vietnamese alien was unrelated to national security or terrorism, and thus problematic. Trump, like Carter, is quite properly acting on national-security concerns.
One can debate the policy wisdom of the executive order, which is plainly a temporary measure while a more comprehensive and thoughtfully tailored policy is developed. The seven countries the president has singled out are surely hotbeds of radical Islam; but he has omitted other countries – e.g., Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the 19 suicide-hijackers who attacked our country on 9/11 – that are also cauldrons of jihadism.
Furthermore, as I have argued, the real threat to be targeted is sharia-supremacist ideology, which is inherently hostile to the Constitution. Were we to focus our vetting, unapologetically, on that ideology (also known as “radical” or “political” Islam), it would be unnecessary to implement a categorical ban on Muslims or immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. That is critical because non-Islamist Muslims who can demonstrate loyalty to our constitutional principles should not be barred from admission; while Islamists, on the other hand, are not found only in Muslim-majority countries – other things being equal, a sharia supremacist from the banlieues of Paris poses as much of a threat as a sharia supremacist from Raqqa.
Yet, all that can be debated as we go forward. For now, there is no doubt that the executive order temporarily banning entry from specified Muslim-majority countries is both well within President Trump’s constitutional authority and consistent with statutory law.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Mexico rebukes Israel over Netanyahu wall tweet

Reuters ^ | 1-28-17 

Mexico's government rebuked Israel on Saturday for a tweet by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that appeared to applaud U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to build a border wall with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants.

Netanyahu said on Twitter earlier on Saturday: "President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea."
The comment was swiftly rejected by leaders of the Jewish community in Mexico, and prompted an unusually blunt statement from Mexico's foreign ministry.
"The Foreign Ministry expressed to the government of Israel, via its ambassador in Mexico, its profound astonishment, rejection and disappointment over Prime Minister Netanyahu's message on Twitter about the construction of a border wall," the ministry's statement.
"Mexico is a friend of Israel and should be treated as such by its Prime Minister," it said, noting that Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray expressed his deep affection for Israel in an event marking Holocaust memorial day on Friday.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Twitter Netanyahu had been referring to his country's "specific security experience" and that Israel was not voicing an opinion on U.S.-Mexican relations.
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On Trial: Lawsuits Against Trump On ‘Muslim Immigration Ban’ Will Fail Fast

Lawnewz ^ | Jan 28, 2017 | Robert Barnes 

Council American-Islamic Relations announced an intention to sue President Donald Trump over his executive order banning most immigrants from Syria, and other countries that lack certain vetting standards and have issues with terrorism.

Overnight, refugees who were in the air on the way to the United States are now being detained, and have also filed legal actions. The ban is perceived by some as a partial Muslim ban. Either way, at any trial, the law supports Trump’s order, and CAIR or others are likely to lose, completely, conclusively and quickly.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...