Trump Cuts Hundreds of Millions of Federal Funds From Planned Parenthood

President Donald Trump’s administration issued a rule Friday to restrict federal funding for groups such as Planned Parenthood that provide abortion referrals.

The rule, first proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services last year, would ban organizations from providing abortions if they are performed in the same facilities as other services financed by federal funds. It would also block funding for organizations that refer women to another provider for the procedure. . .

Supporters say the rule will ensure federal money isn’t used to pay for abortions, while opponents say it would restrict the ability of women to obtain an abortion and abortion counseling. . .

Trump, who has drawn support from conservative voters on the issue, has been raising his opposition to abortion more forcefully in recent weeks. Trump discussed abortion during his State of the Union address this month, calling on lawmakers to “build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” and he also made it part of a recent political rally.

“The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide health care to women but do not perform abortions,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. (Read more from “Trump Cuts Hundreds of Millions of Federal Funds From Planned Parenthood” HERE)

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Democrats Take Down Another Judicial Nominee Simply Because He’s a Christian

Dissenting in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, Justice Samuel Alito gravely predicted that “those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

He was right. In Wisconsin, this campaign of religious intolerance has claimed a new casualty in Gordon Giampietro, President Trump’s former nominee to a vacant seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He was revealed to be removed from the list of renominations Trump issued on January 22. Democrats have all but ensured that, for the crime of publicly voicing the teachings of his faith, Giampietro will never sit on the federal bench. . .

A number of Senate Democrats have famously come to the conclusion that Catholics faithful to the teachings of their church are unfit for public service. In September 2017, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) bizarrely complained that “the dogma lives loudly within” Judge Amy Coney Barrett, suggesting that her faith precludes her service on the bench.

In December 2018, presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) shamefully attempted to make membership in the Knights of Columbus, a renowned Catholic charitable organization, a disqualifying offense. One can apparently be a Catholic, but ought not to be too serious about it.

That this nonsense has now claimed Giampietro is a shame. His qualifications are beyond question. An assistant general counsel at a Fortune 500 company, he has more than a decade’s experience as a federal prosecutor after becoming a partner at one of Wisconsin’s most successful law firms. He received the approval of the bipartisan Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission (on which one of us sat), of Wisconsin Sens. Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D), and of the American Bar Association, which awarded him an official rating of “qualified.” (Read more from “Democrats Take Down Another Judicial Nominee Simply Because He’s a Christian” HERE)

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Pentagon Sending More Troops to Border

By The Washington Post. The Pentagon will increase the number of troops along the U.S.-Mexico border to about 6,000 by the start of next month as the Trump administration turns its attention to securing remote areas between official ports of entry, a senior U.S. defense official said Friday.

About 1,000 additional personnel will be deployed with orders to string more concertina wire and install detection systems, the official said.

The official, who was authorized by the Pentagon to speak to reporters only on the condition of anonymity, said that so far, military forces had installed 70 miles of concertina wire, reinforced ports of entry, provided medical support to migrants and helped transport Customs and Border Protection agents by aircraft. (Read more from “Pentagon Sending More Troops to Border” HERE)

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Trump’s Wall Prototypes to Come Down Along US-Mexico Border

By Associated Press. The eight border-wall prototypes President Donald Trump inspected during a visit to California in March are going to be torn down to make way for a second barrier separating California and Mexico, the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection said Friday.

Construction crews have replaced one layer of fencing along a 14-mile stretch of the border separating Mexico and California. Crews recently started work on replacing and extending secondary fence as well.

Border Patrol Agent Theron Francisco said Friday it isn’t clear when the prototypes will come down. But he added money has already been set aside for their removal. (Read more from “Trump’s Wall Prototypes to Come Down Along US-Mexico Border” HERE)

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Group Trolls Ocasio-Cortez With ANOTHER Billboard

Job Creators Network, the group behind a New York City billboard criticizing socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), trolled the 29-year-old congresswoman with a second billboard after she lashed out at the group’s first billboard. . .

Ocasio-Cortez responded with a tweet, writing: “Few things effectively communicate the power we’ve built in fighting dark money & anti-worker policies like billionaire-funded groups blowing tons of cash on wack billboards (this one is funded by the Mercers). (PS fact that it’s in Times Sq tells you this isn’t for/by NYers.)”

Job Creators Network put up a second billboard that stated: “Hey AOC, Saw your wack tweet.”

The criticism of Ocasio-Cortez “comes after Ocasio-Cortez vigorously defended her role in sinking Amazon’s move to New York City on Tuesday in the face of bipartisan criticism,” Fox News reported. “The freshman Democratic New York congresswoman has faced days of criticism from normally friendly media voices and fellow Democrats over her role in Amazon’s decision to pull back from building a $2.5 billion campus in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.”

New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio had to correct Ocasio-Cortez for incorrectly thinking that “the $3 billion in tax breaks that were going to go to Amazon still existed after Amazon pulled out of NYC,” The Daily Wire reported. (Read more from “Group Trolls Ocasio-Cortez With Another Billboard” HERE)

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New England Patriots Owner Charged With Soliciting Prostitution, Kraft Not the ‘Biggest Name Involved’

By Fox News. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Friday was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa — and cops say there’s video.

Kraft, 77, is accused of paying for sexual acts at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, located about 90 miles north of Miami. His name was among more than a dozen who were charged.

Police said they have Kraft, and others, on video receiving the sexual acts and that he participated in prostitution in Florida two separate times.

The spa had been shut down after a months-long investigation revealed women were participating in “sexual servitude,” TC Palm reported, citing arrest records. Nine other spas in Orlando, Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast had also been shut down as part of the investigation. . .

“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” a Patriots spokesperson said in a statement. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.” (Read more from “New England Patriots Owner Charged With Soliciting Prostitution, Kraft Not the ‘Biggest Name Involved'” HERE)

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‘Robert Kraft Not the Biggest Name Involved’ in Florida Prostitution Case, ESPN’s Schefter Reports

By Daily Wire. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is “not the biggest name involved” in a prostitution case in South Florida. . .

Following the news about Kraft, Schefter reported on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that Kraft is supposedly not the biggest name involved.

“There are people down there in that area I’m told who say this story is going to heat up and get a lot worse,” Schefter reported. “I don’t mean involving Robert Kraft, I’m talking about with all the human trafficking that has gone on down there, I’m also told that Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved down there in South Florida, and we will see what police turn up in the report.”

“We got 25 names today, there are 175 more names coming,” Schefter later said. “Now some will just be regular people whose names we don’t know. But there could be other names that we do know, and that’s how it was explained to me.”

Schefter concluded by saying, “I was speaking and texting with someone who lives down there, and they told me it’s going to get a lot worse down there, that there will be other people involved, that everyone down there is very nervous right now, that there are people being arrested that are prominent members of society down there.”

(Read more from “‘Robert Kraft Not the Biggest Name Involved’ in Florida Prostitution Case, ESPN’s Schefter Reports” HERE)

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Trump Will ‘100 Percent’ Overrule Congress If They Try to Block National Emergency Declaration

President Donald Trump cleared up any uncertainty Friday about whether he would veto a congressional resolution to block his national emergency declaration to fund border wall construction, according to The Hill.

“Will I veto it? 100 percent. 100 percent. And I don’t think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can’t imagine if it survives a veto, but i will veto it. Yes,” Trump said.

The resolution originated with House Democrats, and is likely to pass the Democratic-controlled chamber. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing it to the Senate, where it has a chance to pass with some Republicans not favoring the national emergency. But, nothing is certain. . .

As it turns out, though, it likely doesn’t matter whether the resolution passes or not. If it passes, Trump will veto it. Then it would take congressional supermajorities in both chambers in order to override the veto. Controversial as the national emergency declaration is, there is certainly not enough support for the resolution right now in the Senate to override a veto.

It’s not even clear whether the resolution has the necessary Republican support to pass its first Senate vote. All 47 Democrats could vote for the resolution to block the national emergency declaration, and still four Republicans would have to do the same. (Read more from “Trump Will ‘100 Percent’ Overrule Congress If They Try to Block National Emergency Declaration” HERE)

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The Real Andrew McCabe: Liar, Leaker, Coup Plotter

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is making the rounds on the legacy media circuit promoting his now-bestselling book, “The Threat,” while simultaneously attempting to repair his damaged image, after he was fired last year following an internal Department of Justice investigation into his conduct.

Much of the media has happily embraced the Andrew McCabe cable television book tour as a means to target the legitimacy of President Trump. In several of his TV interviews, McCabe has claimed that opening up an FBI investigation into the president’s supposed “ties” to Russia was absolutely warranted. Although not a single piece of evidence has surfaced to justify the FBI investigation, McCabe, an apparent conspiracy theorist, still insists that there is a chance the president is entirely beholden to Russia. Worse, he has entertained the possibility that the Russians ordered President Trump to fire former FBI Director James Comey. Taking that idea to its logical conclusion means that the Russians wanted McCabe to lead the FBI.

Media networks have hardly bothered to challenge the credibility of the disgraced official’s farcical, evidence-free presidential accusations. This is largely because the very same media enterprises that have produced softball interviews with McCabe have also run with the same preposterous Russian collusion claims for almost three years.

The legacy media fail to inform you about Andrew McCabe because they are just as intellectually and morally compromised as the former FBI deputy director. Here’s what you need to know about the fired McCabe.

McCabe was fired for misconduct, not for launching Russia probe

McCabe continues to insist that he was ousted from the FBI as a matter of political retribution after he launched the Russia probe.

“I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States,” McCabe said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

This could not be further from the truth.

McCabe was fired after both the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) found that he had engaged in misconduct.

“Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in March 2018, discussing his decision to fire Andrew McCabe after reviewing recommendations from the Department of Justice.

He lied under oath multiple times

An internal Department of Justice Inspector General investigation found that McCabe lied under oath three separate times. In addition, McCabe misled investigators about his media disclosures. As FBI deputy director, he was given clearance to speak to the media. However, he lied to FBI agents about his role in disseminating stories to the press.

Sabotaging FBI colleagues

McCabe not only lied to his own colleagues about his media leaks. He attempted to pin the blame on others in the Bureau to cover his tracks.

The DOJ Inspector General report found that McCabe placed blame for his own leaks on two FBI officials in Washington and New York, “admonishing them for leaks” that were actually McCabe’s own doing. In doing so, he was willing to threaten the reputation, and perhaps careers, of colleagues so that he could escape blame for his wrongdoing.

The Steele dossier

The FBI investigation into President Trump appears to have relied in part or entirely on the infamous Trump-Russia dossier that was produced by opposition researchers (including former British spy Christopher Steele) who were paid directly or indirectly by the Hillary Clinton campaign. McCabe has not been forthcoming about the role of the Steele dossier in launching the FBI probe. However, its political ties did not stop the Comey-McCabe FBI from using it as evidence to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.

Grand jury investigation

Andrew McCabe is on a book and public relations tour, even as the former FBI official is currently under an ongoing criminal investigation. In September, a grand jury was impaneled to investigate McCabe and decide whether charges will be filed against him.

Russia, Russia, Russia

McCabe has essentially admitted that there was no secret intelligence that gave the FBI a reason to investigate President Trump’s supposed Russian ties. It appears that McCabe justifies the investigation based almost solely on President Trump’s campaign advocacy for a detente with Russia.

Moreover, McCabe, a veteran intelligence official who should know better, has described Russia as “our most formidable adversary.” Yet any sound analyst would tell you it’s China, by a mile.

Coup plotter

No one in the media appears interested in examining the idea that McCabe was simply hell-bent on destroying this president, and he grossly abused the law enforcement powers of the FBI to attempt to throw out the results of the 2016 election. His excuses for investigating the president and his campaign are continuously changing, to the point where they hardly make any sense. Perhaps the real reason for his “investigation” was simple: Andrew McCabe and others wanted to remove President Trump from office and weaponized their positions of power to attempt a soft coup. (For more from the author of “The Real Andrew McCabe: Liar, Leaker, Coup Plotter” please click HERE)

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Not an Emergency?! 1,744 Percent Spike in Asylum Claims

The media is looking for the emergency at the border. They are looking for data they refuse to recognize when it’s right in front of them.

I’ve written a lot more than 1,000 words explaining why this current wave of illegal immigration is worse than ever, but the following picture is worth a lot more than any words:

Yes, you are looking at an 1,744 percent increase in the number of people taking advantage of our asylum system and uttering the magic words “credible fear” to indefinitely remain in this country, all the while creating a massive economic and strategic decoy for the cartels at the border.

USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins explained in a statement to CR how the credible fear claims are the lynchpin of our magnetic border. “The extremely low bar for establishing credible fear is ripe for fraud and abuse,” she said. “This is because once an individual overcomes this low threshold, the vast majority are then referred to an immigration judge and most are released on a promise to appear for a court date weeks, months, or years down the line, regardless of whether they plan to show up. In other words, a credible fear referral doesn’t equal asylum status, but it does earn a free ticket into the U.S., allowing individuals to disappear into the interior to live and work illegally.”

The media like to compare current overall apprehension of illegal immigrants to the highest levels of past decades and conclude that illegal immigration is actually down. Often, they will end their data set at around 2014, before the resurgence of illegal immigration and the inception of the new Central American wave of unaccompanied teens and family units. But what they will never tell you is that the emergency element of the border crisis is born out of a new type of migration from Central America, and increasingly, from other countries around the world – bogus asylum.

It is simply indefensible not to mention the 1,744 percent increase in credible fear applications when analyzing the trends at the border, a trajectory that is growing sharper every few months. Fiscal year 2019 will easily blow out the record if this is not stopped, which in itself demonstrates the urgency to act. Just during the first four months of this fiscal year, 99,901 family units were apprehended, a whopping 294 percent increase over the same time period in FY 2018, which is when we set the existing record of credible fear claims, as indicated by this chart. As of two weeks ago, 58 large groups of aliens came in all at once and surrendered themselves to agents so far this fiscal year, compared to just 13 during the entire FY 2018. We see more almost every day, including last Monday, when we set the all-time record for the most family units apprehended in a single day.

Given that most of these family units are surrendering in larger numbers and are uttering the magic words, a phenomenon our border agents have never experienced before, the FY 2019 numbers could possibly double those of FY 2018 — and 2018’s numbers are in themselves an 1,744 percent increase since Obama took office. Therefore, once the data from this year is posted, our credible fear chart will look even more dramatic.

The only dip in trajectory was in 2017, when Trump first took office and illegal immigration across the board declined on the perception that he would drastically change policies. From the lowest point of the “Trump effect” in April 2017, family unit apprehension at and between point of entry has gone up well over 1,000 percent:

A sharp trajectory is exactly the hallmark of an emergency that needs urgent action. Already last year we were getting twice as many credible fear claims per month as we were in an entire year last decade. It is pretty astounding that the media ignores these statistics.

Now look at the cumulative increase in the backlog at the immigration courts:

All of these people are released into the country pending these hearings, and we are responsible for their medical care, education, crimes, gang activity, and drug trafficking. Oh, and all their kids born on our soil, in the meantime, are erroneously viewed as citizens, even though almost none of them have legitimate asylum claims. That in itself has served as a huge magnet.

Then there is the emergency dynamic at the border created by this unique migration driven by bogus asylum. The central difference between this migration of Central Americans and the previous Mexican migration is the fact that they purposely surrender to agents in droves because of the asylum magnet expanded during the Obama administration and then last year by the courts. This has several consequences.

First, none of the illegal aliens are returned, as the Mexicans were in previous years, often within a few hours. Consequently, while the gross immigration numbers last decade were higher, the net numbers are higher now. Whereas in 2005 we had one million-plus apprehensions, we also had one million-plus returns and turnbacks at the border. Now those numbers are down to 100,000-200,000 a year (not including removals from the interior, which take forever). Most of the migration consists of non-Mexican family units, almost all of whom remain in our country indefinitely.

Second, there is the shutting down of the Border Patrol and the national security problems with the asylum boom enabling the cartels to exploit gaps in coverage while agents are tied down. What happened at the Yuma sector on Tuesday is a perfect illustration of this problem. According to CBP, while border agents were strategically tied down by smugglers processing “25 Guatemalans made up of family members and juveniles” who “surrendered to agents several miles east of the port of entry,” three human smugglers, one of whom was caught with two loaded 9mm pistols, were caught several miles away. “This armed smuggling attempt took place while many of our agents were distracted from their border security duties and instead dealing with groups of surrendering families,” said Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik.

Can you imagine how many more dangerous criminals get away because our Border Patrol agents are now spending all their time and resources serving as an ad hoc hospital, transportation hub, food and diaper supply, and essentially being used as pawns for the cartel’s chess game? There are a lot of bad people the cartels want to get in while they tie up the agents.

Then there is the humanitarian problem. Never before have 50-60 percent of the illegal aliens consisted of children – either traveling alone, with families, or with adults who kidnapped them to game out the “child” loophole. Every juvenile must receive a health screening. The cost of manpower and money is immeasurable. As I’ve vividly described the situation in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, the processing of hundreds of children at a time often takes place in the most remote counties in the country. This has the effect of both taking the agents off the field for even longer (exposing our country to more drugs and criminals) and straining the paltry services of those regions.

Sheriff Leon Wilmot of Yuma County told me that “last year alone, 1,700 of these migrants had to be taken to the only local hospital we have, wasting about 10,000-man hours of the border agents forced to sit there with them.” It cost his county $700,000. This year is worse. Just in one month, CBP reports that its agents “spent a total of 19,299 hours providing various levels of support to these hospital visits” in the sectors of Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and the Rio Grande valley.

CBP reports just one episode: “Transporting 50 individuals to the hospital utilized nearly all available agents.” What are the consequences of this asylum-driven trend of surrendering to border agents? It “severely limit[ed] their ability to process the large group or respond to other border security duties; thus resulting in increased time in custody, delaying custody transfer coordination, and inhibiting response to other illegal cross-border traffic.”

It’s incontrovertibly clear that the crisis driven by bogus asylum and all its cascading harmful effects on our agents, border ranchers, American taxpayers, the Mexican people, and migrants themselves is worse than ever before, at least in the areas of the border where they are coming.

To be clear, there still are counties that have been essentially untouched by the Central American migration, and therefore, are still enjoying the windfall from the historic lull in Mexican migration. However, as the Central American “child” asylum and catch-and-release migration intensifies increasingly every month, they are going to new parts of the border. New Mexico has never seen migration like this before, and there is nothing stopping the migrants in the Rio Grande valley from shifting to west Texas as we step up enforcement in that region. They have already shifted as far as Maverick County, which explains why there has been a 364 percent increase in family unit apprehensions in the Del Rio sector relative to last year.

Do we really need to wait until every single border county is as bad as Hidalgo County, New Mexico, to act? Do we need to sit idly and wait until overall apprehensions set records along with family unit apprehensions to understand the nature and cause of this emergency? (For more from the author of “Not an Emergency?! 1,744 Percent Spike in Asylum Claims” please click HERE)

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The Supreme Court Has an Opportunity to Protect a WWI Memorial and Make Religious Liberty History

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what may be a watershed case for religion in public life in the United States. At least, that’s what some religious liberty proponents hope will happen.

The question is whether a 40-foot, 93-year-old World War I memorial in the shape of a cross at a busy intersection in Bladensburg, Maryland, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Here’s my explainer from 2017:

So why could the Supreme Court make legal history on this case? Well, as it stands, the body of precedent on the Establishment Clause gives courts, attorneys, and government officials no clear standards to figure out whether or not a “passive display” that has religious imagery violates the First Amendment or not.

Since 1971, courts have inconsistently applied the three-pronged “Lemon test,” which came out of the Lemon v. Kurtzman case. In short, it tests whether the display in question has a secular purpose, doesn’t advance or inhibit religion, and doesn’t foster “excessive entanglement” between church and state. However, in a 2005 Ten Commandments case, a plurality of the SCOTUS justices opted to forgo the Lemon test, calling it “not useful in dealing with the sort of passive monument” in that case and instead focusing on the “nature of the monument” and “our Nation’s history.”

In addressing the Bladensburg monument, the lower courts have used what the solicitor general’s office calls a “hybrid approach” that combines elements of the standards used the two cases mentioned above, further adding to the confusion.

“Because each test’s application is so context-dependent,” the brief asserts, “disputes often cannot be resolved at an early stage; and even seemingly minor differences between displays can produce divergent outcomes.”

“Cases like these cannot help but divide those with sincerely held beliefs on both sides,” the SG’s brief concluded. “This case presents an opportunity for the Court to adopt a standard for Establishment Clause challenges to passive displays that will reduce factious litigation, provide clarity to lower courts, and promote consistency across cases.”

Jeremy Dys, deputy general counsel at Texas-based First Liberty Institute, which is representing the American Legion in the case, explained things to me this way: “We’ve gotten away from the historic understanding of the Establishment Clause.”

Dys says that he would like to see the Supreme Court “abandon the Lemon Test entirely” and adopt what his team is calling a “coercion test,” which would simply test whether or not the government is coercing people to engage in religious beliefs or behavior; if not, the Establishment Clause “is not offended,” he says.

“There’s all kinds of weird little spin-offs of this,” Dys says. “Nobody knows exactly what is going to come out of any given passive display.”

This state of legal confusion comes with real-world consequences, especially for state and local governments. What happens, Dys asks hypothetically, “when there’s a question mark raised about whether or not you’ve got enough reindeer next to the creche on the city square to ensure that it’s secular enough for it to pass constitutional muster?”

“It’s become completely unwieldy for city councilmen and county commissioners and the like to be able to have confidence that they are going to be able to avoid unnecessary and frivolous lawsuits against public displays that may invoke religious imagery or language.”

But while there’s opportunity for clarity if the cross prevails at the high court, a loss could end up endangering some of America’s most solemn national memorials. If the lower court ruling is allowed to stand, Dys explains, “you’re going to find Arlington National Cemetery under threat.”

The hallowed cemetery for our nation’s heroes is on public land and full of memorial crosses similar to the one in suburban Maryland, such as the Argonne Cross and the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice.

Dys also notes that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier bears the words “known but to God” as part of its inscription. “Is that gonna have to be sandblasted off the side the Tomb of the Unknowns?” He asks. “I’d like to see them try.”

Dys and the solicitor general’s office are not alone in their assessments. Justice Clarence Thomas has repeatedly noted how confusing this area of First Amendment law has become, and he started making that point decades ago.

In his concurring opinion in the 1995 Rosenberger v. Rector decision, Thomas wrote that “our Establishment Clause jurisprudence is in hopeless disarray.” When dissenting against the court’s refusal to hear a case out of Utah in 2011, Thomas also noted that “this Court’s nebulous Establishment Clause analyses” have “confounded the lower courts and rendered the constitutionality of displays of religious imagery on government property anyone’s guess.”

In a 1993 opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia compared the Lemon test to “some ghoul in a late night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad.” (For more from the author of “The Supreme Court Has an Opportunity to Protect a WWI Memorial and Make Religious Liberty History” please click HERE)

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The Case of the Jihadi Bride: How the U.S. Government Fails to Safeguard Our Citizenship

The New York Times is lamenting how the State Department is not letting a “jihadi bride” back into the U.S. now that she is on the losing side of her treason. But there is another point that everyone is missing from the case of Hoda Muthana: What is government doing to ensure that children of diplomats are not automatically, illegally granted citizenship?

Hoda Muthana is the daughter of one of the many millions of Middle Eastern immigrants we’ve admitted in recent decades who have developed radical jihadist views. She left this country in 2014, married a total of three ISIS fighters (her first two husbands were killed) and even posted a video of burning her U.S. passport. She tweeted messages calling for spilling the blood of veterans on Memorial Day. Now that the caliphate collapsed, she is begging to come back in and is claiming she has changed her views.

Why are children of diplomats being granted American citizen documents?

The presumption in the media when the case first broke was that she was a traditional American citizen, being born in the U.S. to legal permanent resident parents. But the State Department is contending that she was never a legitimate American citizen because she was born to a Yemeni diplomat to the U.N. living here on a special diplomatic visa, such as a G-2 visa.

While the details of this particular case are still murky, it raises a general concern about the thousands of kids born on our soil to diplomats of all stripes from all regions in the world. Even according to those who hold the misguided view that birthright citizenship is not only in the 14th Amendment but applies to people who violate our sovereignty and reside here without permission, that does not extend to children of diplomats. There is no dispute about that. Yet, as the Center for Immigration Studies reported several years ago, the government has been so lax in enforcing this that “children born to foreign diplomats on U.S. soil [are] receiving U.S. birth certificates and Social Security numbers (SSNs) — effectively becoming U.S. citizens.”

In extensive research, Jon Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies found that the lack of enforcement by the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the State Department, and several other agencies has allowed all children

of foreign diplomats to become de facto citizens, with birth certificates and Social Security cards. While the issuance of a birth certificate and Social Security card doesn’t necessarily make someone a citizen, it has the effect of granting him de facto citizenship until the agencies clamp down on this practice.

This is an especially perverse outcome since foreign diplomats and their families are granted diplomatic immunity from prosecution of many laws. Illegally granting these citizenship, against the consent of the citizenry, makes them super-citizens — enjoying the rights of America and free from prosecution for many types of law-breaking.

In this case, if the State Department is correct that Muthana was born here when her father was a diplomat, then how did she hold a U.S. passport? Presumably, because hospitals are given no guidance in handing out birth certificates to anyone born here under any circumstance, and she was granted an official birth certificate and American SSN, which treated her as a citizen from day one.

Dan Cadman, a former ICE agent and fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, expressed concern in an email to CR that this case of de facto stolen citizenship only came to light because of the terrorism angle:

As this case shows, there are no substantive procedural safeguards to prevent the children of diplomats from being vested with the trappings of citizenship, up to and including passports and Social Security cards, because key agencies of government such as the State Department and Social Security Administration don’t meaningfully interact with state vital statistics bureaus. It took the scrutiny of major international media organizations focusing on this three-time jihadi bride before our own government inquired deeply enough to reveal the facts — else she could have spent the remainder of her life living as a citizen.

Another example of why unqualified birthright citizenship is wrong

The jihadi bride case is just one more proof that the entire idea of birthright citizenship for those here illegally was not a deliberate decision born from the consensus understanding of the Wong Kim Ark decision, somehow applying also to those who break into our country, as Justice Brennan suggested in his infamous footnote in Plyler v. Doe.

The federal government has never deliberately decided to grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. No national discussion occurred to apply the Wong case to illegal aliens, as indicated in the footnote of the Plyler case. And as I proved conclusively, nobody ever thought to actively grant such a right because it would have contradicted our immigration laws.

It likely evolved from sheer laziness and practicality. Given that all children born to legal immigrants were granted birthright citizenship before the influx of illegal aliens — either as a matter of practice or resulting from the 1898 court decision — the relevant agencies never bothered to enforce verification and give the hospitals forms that required one parent to show his or her Social Security card. It was easier to grant anyone born in an American hospital citizenship, especially because illegal immigration en masse did not occur until the mid-twentieth century.

According to Professor John Eastman of Chapman University School of Law, the passport office up until the late 1960s did not presume birth on U.S. soil meant you were entitled to a passport. “If you were born on US soil that wasn’t sufficient to prove your citizenship to get a passport, you also had to show the status of your parents when you were born on US soil,” said the legal scholar on a podcast in November. Indeed there is no evidence we ever handed out citizenship to children of guest workers during the 1920s.

It was only after the problem became so pervasive and conservatives began calling attention to it in the early 1990s that liberals retroactively created a convoluted legal rationale based on the Brennan’s footnote and a misunderstanding of the obscure Wong case to defeat popular and commonsense efforts to end the practice.

The proof is in the pudding: We all agree children of diplomats are excluded from citizenship, yet there is no enforcement mechanism to stop them other than the honor system.

So why doesn’t our government care to safeguard the crown jewel of our national citizenship? From our earliest days, we’ve always had a vetting process and a probationary period to see if we want to grant citizenship to a given family. The notion that anyone born on our soil, even those here illegally or on non-immigrant visas, which did not require strong vetting or an oath of allegiance, could somehow force their children upon us is absurd. The crafters of the 14th Amendment explained that “subject to the jurisdiction of” meant those who owed all “allegiance” to America.

This case is a superlative example of stolen sovereignty, because the U.N. is full of diplomats from nations who have disdain for our values. The idea that if Muthana’s father was on a diplomatic visa simply because we house the U.N. on our soil, that should entitle his kid to citizenship, even if Muthana’s CAIR lawyer is correct in asserting that she was born after her father was no longer a diplomat, is absurd. If her father did not have a green card at the time of her birth, she should not be a citizen. As Cadman says, “Whether or not her father violated the conditions of his admission or not, he was admitted as a diplomat, and accredited as such, and under the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and international law, he was never ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States and thus could not confer citizenship upon his child simply by virtue of birth here.”

We will have to wait for the details on this case as the lawsuit goes on, but it should force action in general to protect our citizenship from people who clearly are not entitled to it, beginning with children of diplomats and eventually including those who willfully steal our sovereignty as illegal immigrants. (For more from the author of “The Case of the Jihadi Bride: How the U.S. Government Fails to Safeguard Our Citizenship” please click HERE)

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