Texas Border Experts Call Foul on Rules of Engagement for Troops at Border

Mexican soldiers detaining and disarming our active-duty soldiers on our own soil is a bigger story than what either the government or media is making of it. We spend roughly $716 billion on the military every year and spent trillions in the Middle East, but our own territory remains unsafe not only for our ranchers, but evidently for our own active-duty military.

Here’s what we know so far from NORTHCOM and from the serious incident report obtained by Newsweek. On April 13, in broad daylight, five or six Mexican soldiers crossed over the Rio Grande River, which is our definitive international border, forced two U.S. Army soldiers out of an unmarked Customs and Border Protection (CBP) truck, disarmed one of them, asserted that the U.S. soldiers were on Mexico’s territory, and left. Our government is very clear that our soldiers were on our side of the river, but they suggest that Mexican soldiers might have been confused about the border line. The State Department, CBP, and the Department of Defense (DOD) have all declined to comment on whether our government has solicited a response or an apology from the government in Mexico City.

While government officials will not provide more details, what we know raises some disturbing questions about both the intentions of these Mexican soldiers and the readiness, strategy, mindset, and rules of engagement of our military at the border. This incident further raises some uncomfortable questions about our government’s understanding of the border and willingness to confront the severity of the problem of the cartels and the rogue Mexican army units covering for them, according to two Texas border experts who spoke to CR.

Jaeson Jones, a retired captain of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, told CR that he is deeply concerned about this incident. “While those of us who have been stationed in west Texas and worked the border for decades understand the regular reality of Mexican military incursions and ops testing our positions, this latest incident is in fact more alarming,” he said.

Jones emphatically believes that these were rogue Mexican soldiers engaged in operations on behalf of the cartels to test the strength and tactics of our recently deployed military.

“I can assure you that cartel leadership working the area were debriefed as to the type of weapons and communications our soldiers were carrying: [Whether] the vehicle was armored and the level of resistance the Mexican military received from our soldiers. The response time would have also been measured as to how long it took for backup to arrive post-incident. Cartel operations on U.S. soil are very calculated. They involve tradecraft and the utilization of encrypted communications to monitor all U.S law enforcement in the area.”

What did the Mexican military and cartels learn from this incident? Jones told me that from years of debriefing top cartel members, he is confident they are “testing our defensive capabilities at the border and protecting shipments of contraband for the cartels.”

“We have seen again and again where corrupt Mexican military units working for the Mexican cartels provide counter surveillance, intelligence, tradecraft, and technical equipment to protect narcotics being smuggled into the United States.”

Jones was very critical of the lack of preparation of our military and said the cartels have now learned that even when we send down active-duty troops, “our U.S. soldiers on the border are a paper tiger.”

“Most concerning is that our soldiers are not given the weapons needed to protect themselves, nor are they granted the authority to conduct detentions while assigned to the border. I have said this for years as someone who has assigned my intelligence officers to train our incredible soldiers with the National Guard and Counterdrug National Guard forces on the cartels’ capabilities prior to deployment. If we as Americans are going to send these great soldiers into harm’s way, we need to give all of them the equipment to protect themselves and the authority to do the job.”

Col. Dan Steiner, a retired Air Force veteran who served as the director of joint operations for Texas military forces until 2010, is equally concerned about this development. As a man who directed coordination between the Texas Military Forces and NORTHCOM for many years, which included joint coordination with Mexican military units, Steiner is not buying the narrative that these were non-corrupted Mexican soldiers who just happened to get lost in the brush and mistakenly thought our soldiers were on their soil.

First of all, this was 2:00 p.m., not midnight in a rainstorm. How do Mexican soldiers dismount their vehicle, cross the river, encounter a vehicle, and then get called back to their vehicle, and the whole thing was just “confusion”?

He noted that given the size of the unit and location of the soldiers, “They were probably infantry, if not special ops, in a small-team unit movement, which means it’s bullcrap that they didn’t know they crossed the river.”

Steiner observes that the fact that none of the soldiers had markings or patches indicating they were part of the military is a “dead giveaway” that this was likely a “sanitized mission” as part of a special operation to cover for the cartels.

“Why did five to six Mexican soldiers not have all their proper identification on their uniforms? In our world, that’s called a sanitized mission. So, if we are to assume that SEDENA [the Mexican army] was running a sanitized operation on the border, then we must assume that the kind of soldiers that will do that mission are trained to the point that they sure as hell would have known if they crossed that river or not. So, there’s something else to the story. And it sure the hell is not accidental encounter.”

Steiner also ruled out the idea that this could have been some routine patrol scouting out drug routes against the cartels and that they just crossed wires with our military. “If they were on routine patrol, think about how you put an operational mission together. If you design an op and your operation is designed upon eight four-man teams who are going to check the border in this sector to do this, this, and this, well … SEDENA has a deconfliction team at NORTHCOM to sort that out. Why wouldn’t NORTHCOM know that from, say, the 21st to the fifth of the month, we’re going to do this operation in this area, and NORTHCOM says, ‘Cool, we’ll do an operation in that same area as you guys are doing it to help you out.’”

“If NORTHCOM is sitting there saying it was just a misunderstanding and confusion, then tell me the rest of the story – were you guys doing a joint operation and the ground soldiers got it screwed up, or did you not know about it and now you’re just making up some lame-ass story about bushes and barely any water and these guys walk across the river at two o’clock in the afternoon?”

“Come on, if you’re gonna do a cover story, you gotta do better than that,” said the skeptical Steiner.

Regardless of the intent and strategy of the Mexican soldiers, Steiner was also befuddled by the strategy of our military to set up a mobile observational listening post in such a vulnerable position. “Why were our soldiers in an unmarked vehicle when they were trying to be a physical deterrent with their physical presence? I never wrote a mission that way. Why were they only armed with a handgun for their rules of engagement with the probability of running into drug cartels who are armed to the teeth? … I don’t understand that. That was a stupid politically driven decision, probably at the operational level.”

When Steiner coordinated a Texas National Guard operation in 2008, he made it clear that “our starting point was that any soldier who goes to the border goes with a long gun and a handgun.”

“I can guarantee you we never had guys on the border in an unmarked vehicle with nothing but a handgun. That part of that story hit me square in the face. That tells you how reluctant everyone is to really press the issue.”

The tepid response is most concerning to Steiner from the standpoint of international deterrent to Russia, China, and other enemies who will seek to further entrench themselves in our backyard to destabilize our sovereignty. “The most dangerous thing is that our enemies understand and look for our vulnerabilities. And if I want you out [of] the Pacific, if I want you to stop worrying about the future of NATO, or anything else, I’m going to create a fire in your backyard.”

The ultimate question is this: Why hasn’t our military taken control of our border and established a buffer zone, where the central Mexican government clearly lacks control anyway, so that not a single inch of American soil is unsafe or vulnerable to external security threats? This is a question Rep. Chip Roy, who represents part of south central Texas, asked on Twitter in response to this Mexican incursion into our territory.

We spend $46 billion a year on Afghanistan at the drop of a hat, but won’t do what needs to be done at our own border against those who directly threaten us. Sadly, things will likely have to get worse until it becomes politically viable to treat our own border with the same seriousness with which we regard the security of the perimeter around Kabul. (For more from the author of “Texas Border Experts Call Foul on Rules of Engagement for Troops at Border” please click HERE)

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Hillary Says Trump ‘Certainly’ Should Have Been Indicted…Here’s How POTUS Responded

By Townhall. President Trump tweeted out a response to Clinton via a Rush Limbaugh soundbite. In the Fox News clip he shared, Limbaugh says Clinton is “the last person” who should be mandating what happens to Trump, considering she has been repeatedly “rejected” by the American people.

At the TIME 100 summit in New York Tuesday afternoon, Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump is lucky he’s president. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation concluded that Trump at no point colluded to win the 2016 election, but it did leave open some questions about his behavior and whether it amounted to obstruction of justice.

Clinton intoned that anyone else would not have gotten off so scot-free. . .

Trump Jr. shared some of her unfortunate laundry list, before dubbing her the worst presidential candidate “in history.”

(Read more from “Hillary Says Trump ‘Certainly’ Should Have Been Indicted…Here’s How POTUS Responded” HERE)

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Hillary Clinton: Anyone Other Than Trump Would Have Been Indicted for Obstruction

By Fox News. Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she believes Donald Trump would have been indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe if he weren’t president, though stopped short of calling for his impeachment.

Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, argued during a Q&A session in New York that Mueller’s report “could not be clearer” in making the case Trump tried to obstruct the Russia investigation — even though Mueller did not come to an explicit conclusion on that question.

“I think there’s enough there that any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted,” Clinton said at the “Time 100 Summit.” “But because of the rule in the Justice Department that you can’t indict a sitting president, the whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress.”

Clinton, who was defeated by Trump in the election, said it’s too early to call for Trump’s impeachment. She said she supports Congress investigating Mueller’s findings “based on evidence” and without a “preordained conclusion.”

After a thorough examination in Congress, Clinton said, “If at that point they believe high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed, then I think it is the obligation of the Congress to put forward articles of impeachment.” (Read more from “Hillary Clinton: Anyone Other Than Trump Would Have Been Indicted for Obstruction” HERE)

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U.S. Pilot Who Was Shot Down During Somali Raid Responds to Omar’s ‘Disgusting’ Black Hawk Down Tweet

At times, my boss tells me that Twitter can be just a prolonged resignation letter. Bad tweets, unsavory tweets, etc. have been weaponized. From politicians to top NFL draft prospects, like Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, have been victims. Some of them are pretty bad, no doubt. But most are just hijinks and stupidity that’s often captured and exhibited by teenagers. Now, Twitter could be one’s epitaph in public life, though Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) enjoys the fact that her district is deep blue…and totally insane for electing her. Her anti-Semitic hijinks have been exposed and it’s not just one isolated incident. It dates back to 2012, where she said Israel has hypnotic powers. She accused supporters of Israel of having dual loyalties—a common anti-Semitic trope, and criticized AIPAC with her “all about the Benjamins” tweet. Oh, you know, money, Jewish people, and influence—nothing bigoted about that remark or insinuation. She apologized for the latter, not the former. It has caused much heartburn on her side of the aisle. We saw that when they tried to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, which was then watered down to a ‘bad things are bad’ resolution, exposing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi really can’t corral the nutjobs in her party. As for radical Islamic terrorism, she can’t condemn it.

In March, at a CAIR event, which has been accused of having terror ties, Omar described the 9/11 attacks as an event where “some people did something.” In 2017, she appears to be siding with those who ambushed and killed 18 Americans in Somalia during our intervention in the country’s brutal civil war in the early 1990s.

Well, her resurfaced tweet is not going over well with the veterans who served and fought in Somalia. Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant (retired), who was one of the pilots of the black hawk helicopter “Super 6-4,” was shot down during the raid and held captive by Aidid’s forces before being released. Actor Ron Eldard portrayed him in the 2002 film. He quickly set the record straight. John Rossomando of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, who unearthed the tweets, has more:

Only 133 Somali militiamen died in the fighting with U.S. Rangers and Delta Force soldiers, Capt. Haad, a representative of the Somali National Alliance (SNA) said in a 2001 interview with Author Mark Bowden. He estimated 500 Somali deaths in his book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, considered the definitive account of the Battle of Mogadishu. Others put the Somali death toll closer to 1,000. A 2000 Rand Corporation report estimated 300 noncombatants were killed. . .

Durant’s Black Hawk helicopter, code-named “Super 6-4,” was shot down after a rocket-propelled grenade hit its tail rotor. Durant was injured and ran out of ammunition fighting back as a human wave of militia approached. Delta Force snipers Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon were killed when they joined him trying to keep the Somali militia at bay. Each was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Somali mob dragged their bodies through the streets of Mogadishu. Durant ultimately was captured and held by Aidid’s militia for 11 days before being released in a prisoner exchange.

(Read more from “U.S. Pilot Who Was Shot Down During Somali Raid Responds to Omar’s ‘Disgusting’ Black Hawk Down Tweet” HERE)

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Here Are Some of the Worst Global Warming Predictions Pushed by…the Experts

This green warrior nonsense makes me want to buy all the aerosolized products at my local Walmart and just spray it intentionally into the air. Call me nuts, but I still think the jury is out. In 2007, the experts said the Arctic ice cap would be gone by 2013. It ended up growing by 533,000 square miles. In 2013, we had the calmest hurricane season in thirty years and the quietest tornado season in six decades. It seems like, I d don’t know, that there’s a natural cycle to this. It gets hot in the summer. Hurricanes form during…hurricane season; the same with tornados, and the seasons’ intensity varies. It’s not because of global warming. Oh, and the EPA buries this, but we’re at our most industrialized state ever; air quality couldn’t be better.

Ever since this blasted Earth Day was created in 1970, the green warriors have predicted catastrophe. And they were all totally and utterly wrong. Here are some of their biggest whoppers, courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute who doled out 18 of their biggest flops since 1970. You can about the rest in the link. The Day After Tomorrow is more…two days before the day after tomorrow (via AEI) [emphasis mine]:

Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” . . .

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

(Read more from “Here Are Some of the Worst Global Warming Predictions Pushed by…the Experts” HERE)

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Brothers Who Helped With Smollett Hoax Are Now Suing His Lawyers

The two Nigerian-American brothers who helped “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett carry out his alleged “hate hoax” attack have sued Smollett’s Hollywood-based attorneys in federal court alleging defamation.

CWB Chicago reports that “[t]he complaint filed this morning in Chicago’s federal courthouse seeks more than $75,000 each for Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo and Abimbola ‘Bola’ Osundairo from attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian as well as the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm.”

The lawsuit not only accuses Smollett’s attorneys of making defamatory claims that they believe went above and beyond merely advocating for their client in the public square, but outlines, in a signed and sworn document, how they helped Smollett carry out the alleged “hate hoax,” which, they say, was entirely orchestrated by Smollett himself.

The two brothers allege that Smollett paid them “a sum of money to stage the attack to benefit himself” and then “directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”

The pair of brothers, who work as amateur personal trainers and nutritionists in Chicago, and took bit parts in local television shows, including “Empire,” where they first connected with Smollett, contend they were cowed into the deal: “Mr. Smollett used his clout as a wealthy actor to influence Plaintiffs, who were in a subordinate relationship to him and were aspiring to ‘make it’ in Hollywood.” (Read more from “Brothers Who Helped With Smollett Hoax Are Now Suing His Lawyers” HERE)

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Kamala Harris Promises Immediate Gun Control Action If Elected

Over the past century, beginning in earnest with the Woodrow Wilson administration, the executive branch has engorged in size at the general expense of the legislative branch that James Madison, in The Federalist No. 51, famously assured us would “necessarily predominate[]” in our “republican” form of government. Aided and abetted by a complicit Congress, which has generally been all too eager to delegate hitherto unprecedented unilateral authority to the executive, the president’s ability to seemingly legislate by administrative fiat has done much to undermine the original tripartite nature of our delicately prescribed constitutional order.

This pattern holds true for both major political parties. On a personal note, I have made public my sympathy to the argument, advanced by John Eastman of the Claremont Institute and John Yoo of Berkeley Law and the American Enterprise Institute (both former U.S. Supreme Court law clerks for originalist stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas) that President Donald Trump acted well within his statutorily delegated authority in his recent unilateral declaration of a national emergency at our beleaguered southern border. But, as I noted on the Steve Deace Show in late January, a judgment as to the political prudence of making such a unilateral executive branch move was a different calculation entirely. The Obama Administration, especially in the realm of immigration and amnesty, had engaged in previously unforeseen unilateralism. With Trump engaging in a symbolically meaningful assertion of executive authority — however properly delegated from Congress it may or may not have been — the one-way ratchet only seemed to exacerbate.

Now, it seems, the chickens are already coming home to roost a bit for conservatives. Specifically, U.S. Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) has now vowed to initiate unilateral action on gun control within her first 100 days as president, if Congress does not act according to her whims. (Read more from “Kamala Harris Promises Immediate Gun Control Action If Elected” HERE)

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Trump Orders All Staffers to Boycott White House Correspondents Dinner. Here’s Why

It was confirmed on Tuesday that President Donald Trump has ordered his administration to boycott the White House Correspondents Association dinner, an event he has skipped the past two years. Trump has made his disdain for the annual dinner known on more than one occasion, calling the event outright “boring” last year. This year, the president plans to hold a 2020 campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the night of the dinner.

“White House Cabinet Secretary Bill McGinley announced that all Trump administration officials are being ordered to boycott the dinner,” The Washington Times reported Tuesday.

A senior official from the administration said Trump “and members of his administration will not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year. Instead, Saturday evening President Trump will travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin where he will hold a campaign rally.”

“We’re looking forward to an enjoyable evening of celebrating the First Amendment and great journalists past, present, and future,” said WHCA president Olivier Knox in response to the news, according to the Times.

Hosting the event in 2018, raunchy comedian Michelle Wolf took heat for making remarks widely castigated as tasteless and sexist toward White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was in attendance at the event. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies,” she mocked Sanders, The Daily Wire previously reported.

(Read more from “Trump Orders All Staffers to Boycott White House Correspondents Dinner. Here’s Why” HERE)

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Criminal Alien Rampage: Homicide, Molestation, Drunk Driving

Americans Debbie Burgess and Mark O’Gara were killed this month due to our lack of resolve to secure the border and expeditiously deport other countries’ criminals. In addition, there are many criminal aliens, being allowed to remain in the country way too long, committing rape and child molestation. Sadly, most of these cases will remain unknown to the public.

Father of 10 killed in St. Paul by drunk-driving Central American teen

Mark J. O’Gara, a 52-year-old father of 10 children, was killed on April 3 in St. Paul when he was pulling out of a driveway and was hit by a speeding drunk driver. That driver was Jose O. Vasquez-Guillen, a 19-year-old illegal alien who came here in 2016 from Honduras. No, not all those innocent faces the media shows at the border will be harmless upstanding citizens once they are resettled in this country. Vasquez-Guillen was ordered deported in 2016 by an immigration judge — in absentia, because he failed to show up to his immigration hearing. He was a fugitive until he was arrested by ICE this month.

Once again, this is another case where our broken policies are allowing these individuals to obtain catch-and-release with the hope that they show up for a hearing in front of an immigration judge. Sadly, they often commit deadly crimes after it’s already too late to apprehend them. There are over one million illegal aliens with final deportation orders who remain in the country, including 644,000 from Mexico and Central America. Last month, a Guatemalan teen who was the recipient of catch-and-release killed a beloved mother and schoolteacher in a driving wreck in Mobile, Alabama.

Debbie Burgess killed by illegal immigrant deported nine times

Police in Knoxville, Tennessee, suspect Juan Francisco, an illegal alien with a prior DUI conviction, as the driver behind a hit-and-run that killed Debbie Burgess on April 8. Francisco is still at large. His history goes back as far as 2002, when he was charged with theft, and 2004, when he was charged with reckless driving. According to an ICE official I spoke to, the Juan Francisco they have on record was actually deported nine times, but they will not publicly confirm it until they actually apprehend him and verify his identity.

Just last December, the Knoxville fire chief’s son, Pierce Corcoran, was killed in a hit-and-run by an illegal alien who crossed over the middle of a highway, striking the victim’s vehicle in a head-on collision. The grieving parents have not gotten justice yet from Francisco Franco-Cambrany, a Mexican national, because the perpetrator was deported after it was too late and after he was released on bond. It appears that ICE feared he’d evade justice altogether and remain in our country, so it quickly deported him to Mexico.

CASA “election canvasser” arrested for murder

Not all the illegal aliens working for CASA de Maryland are merely working on civil rights for peaceful “immigrants.” Darwin Reynadi-Rosa was arrested by police in Montgomery County, Maryland, for serving as the driver and lookout for an assassination-style shooting that left one man seriously wounded. According to WJLA, CASA confirmed that Reynadi-Rosa was indeed employed as “an election canvasser,” but was terminated in 2018 for “poor performance.” According to an ICE spokesman, “On April 16, ICE lodged a detainer on unlawfully present El Salvadoran national Darwin Reynadi-Rosa following his recent arrest for assault and attempted murder.” ICE confirmed to me that “an immigration judge previously granted Reynadi-Rosa voluntary departure on Aug. 26, 2008, however Reynadi-Rosa failed to comply with the judge’s order and depart the United States.”

Again, we see that because our government fails to follow expedited removal laws, these criminals get placed in the black hole of immigration courts and can remain in the country. In this case, we had the worst of gang-bangers being allowed to remain and engage in “election canvassing.”

An illegal alien recipient of catch-and-release charged with raping a 7-year-old girl

Even rural Culpeper County, Virginia, is not immune to the criminal alien activity that plagues northern Virginia. Last Thursday, Oscar Ramirez, a 33-year-old illegal alien from El Salvador, was charged with raping a seven-year-old girl between April 6 and 7. According to an ICE official, Ramirez was picked up in Roma, Texas, in 2005 but was released on his own recognizance pending an immigration hearing. Ramirez absconded and was order deported in absentia in August 2006 and has been a fugitive until he was arrested on April 11.

All of these individuals who are not placed into expedited removal, as required by the laws passed by Congress in 1996, are very unlikely to show up to their hearings. All the crimes committed after aliens are either released by the feds or sanctuary cities are, by definition, completely avoidable.

Catching sex slavers: Just another day on the highway

Last week, an astute Ohio state trooper pulled over Juan Carlos Morales-Pedraza, an illegal alien from Mexico, and discovered that he was transporting his 15-year-old sex slave from New Jersey to Chicago. Human and sex trafficking were terms that were rarely used in this country until this decade, yet now they are commonplace, thanks to the criminal aliens that have been brought in and allowed to reside with impunity, against the laws on the books. Morales-Pedraza was previously deported but was able to come back in.

Also in Ohio, Clementino Co-Juc, an 18-year-old illegal alien from Guatemala, was charged last week in Defiance County, Ohio, with the rape of a minor.

The rash of criminal alien murders, drunk driving, drug trafficking, and sex offenses in this country demonstrates the need for more ICE agents. At the border, we need a change in policies to follow the actual laws on the books so that these people are immediately deported without access to the courts. But for the estimated two million criminal aliens already in this country, we need more manpower to apprehend them before more Americans are harmed.

By ramping up deportations and then putting together a comprehensive plan to stop illegal immigration and counter the cartels at the border, we will stop needlessly importing other countries’ criminals and prevent avoidable crimes from taking place. As it stands now, there are nearly 60,000 foreign nationals in the federal prison system in the custody of Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals. It costs $1.42 billion a year. In addition, our government has continued the suicidal policy of counting these people in the Census! Thus, we pay for the rope that hangs our own people in more ways than one. (For more from the author of “Criminal Alien Rampage: Homicide, Molestation, Drunk Driving” please click HERE)

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Citizenship Census Question Case, Looks Likely to Rule for Trump Admin

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday as it tries to decide whether the Trump administration has the authority to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Based on the questions posed by the justices during these arguments, the court seems likely to rule in favor of the administration.

The total number of Americans counted by the census is used to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives, as well as how many electoral votes it gets during the presidential election. The census is taken once every ten years. This particular question has been on the census before but was removed in 1960.

When he ruled in January to block the addition of this question, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said that adding the question would result in “hundreds of thousands — of millions — people” going uncounted. He also said that “for decades thereafter the official position of the Census Bureau was that reintroducing such a question was inadvisable because it would depress the count for already ‘hard-to-count’ groups — particularly noncitizens and Hispanics — whose members would be less likely to participate in the census for fear that the data could be used against them or their loved ones.”

But the Trump administration has argued that the citizenship question is needed to properly enforce the Voting Rights Act. Presenting the administration’s case before the court on Tuesday, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “understood there was a downside” to adding the question, but had “concluded that the benefits outweighed the costs.”

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was designed to prevent the suppression of minority votes.

Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor grilled Francisco about the addition of the question, as expected. Chief Justice John Roberts, however, now largely considered to be the swing vote since the retirement of former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, asked the New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, who was arguing against adding the question, if the administration could be right that the question would help enforcement of the Voting Rights Act:

Do you think it wouldn’t help voting rights enforcement? The CVAP, Citizen Voting Age Population, is the critical element in voting rights enforcement, and this is getting citizen information.

The other conservative justices also seemed to lean in favor of the administration. Newly minted Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who succeeded the more liberal Kennedy, noted that many other countries include such a question. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito both questioned whether adding the question would actually depress the number of responses, since obstacles like a language barrier or socioeconomic differences might keep non-citizens from filling out their census forms. Both Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are Trump appointees.

The court is expected to issue a ruling on the case in June. (For more from the author of “Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Citizenship Census Question Case, Looks Likely to Rule for Trump Admin” please click HERE)

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Pelosi Reveals Why Dems Can’t Impeach Trump

By Townhall. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday penned a letter to her Democratic colleagues about the Mueller report. Without coming out and directly saying it, Pelosi told her caucus she doesn’t want to go through with impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The reason? The American people will see their proceedings as an act of “passion or prejudice,” not one of “truth finding.” . . .

We know the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN), want to move forward with impeachment proceedings. They even campaigned on doing such. Other more moderate Democrats, like Pelosi, see the danger in moving full steam ahead with impeachment. (Read more from “Pelosi Reveals Why Dems Can’t Impeach Trump” HERE)

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Pelosi to Democrats: If Facts Support Impeaching Trump, ‘That’s the Place We Have to Go’

By USA Today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left open the possibility Monday of impeachment of Donald Trump during a conference call with Democrats, saying “if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go.”

“We have to save our democracy. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy,” Pelosi said in a call with her colleagues, according to a source on the call. But Pelosi also urged Democrats to first focus on following the facts.

“Whether it’s articles of impeachment or investigations, it’s the same obtaining of facts. We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts,” she said.

The nearly hour-and-a-half call was the first time Democrats had all spoken following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian election interference.

“There’s real consensus that we need to take this responsibility seriously and people are very sober about the implications about the work that lies ahead and committed to making sure that we hold the president accountable,” said Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Judiciary Committee and the chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which helps the party with messaging. (Read more from “Pelosi to Democrats: If Facts Support Impeaching Trump, ‘That’s the Place We Have to Go'” HERE)

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