What Trump Has Done on Immigration in First 100 Days

President Donald Trump’s dedication to enforcing immigration law is one of his significant accomplishments as he nears his 100th day in office Saturday, experts and lawmakers say.

Trump is “taking the handcuffs off of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and the Border Patrol because the immigration enforcement officers were prohibited from doing their job to a significant degree under [President Barack] Obama,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal in an interview.

The Trump administration highlighted its dedication to enforcing immigration law in a list, initially obtained by CNN, which specifies victories during the president’s first 100 days in office.

Included are executive orders issued by Trump on Jan. 25 that detail border security and immigration enforcement directives. These include instructions for a border wall, an order to withhold funding from sanctuary cities that are noncompliant with U.S. immigration law, and the hiring of “10,000 additional immigration officers.”

The list also includes an April 11 announcement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions where he instructed federal prosecutors to prioritize criminal immigration enforcement.

Trump also signed a revised executive order in March which placed temporary travel restrictions on residents of six countries the Obama administration and Congress had designated as posing risks of terrorism.

The original executive order issued in January was nullified by a federal judge in Seattle in a ruling upheld by a U.S. appeals court. The revised executive order was blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii.

Enforcing the Law

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who is vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security, said he agrees with these measures.

“Just having a president who says, ‘We’re going to enforce the border’ has had a profound effect on the number of people that are coming into the country illegally,” Gohmert told The Daily Signal in an interview. “It [has] already dramatically been cut back and so I think this is moving along quite well.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an interview that there is a stark difference between the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

“What has changed so radically is that the Department of Homeland Security and all our border patrol agents are now finally able to do their jobs,” von Spakovsky said. “The handcuffs have been taken off.”

The number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in March, under 12,500, is the lowest total in 17 years, he said.

Trump’s approach to illegal immigration is vastly different from Obama’s, said Krikorian, of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

“Under Obama … if the Border Patrol caught somebody who said he had been in the United States before January of 2014, they had to let him go, even if they knew he was illegal,” Krikorian said. “In other words, Obama essentially had a kind of informal amnesty for anyone sneaking across the border who would say that he had been in the country before January of 2014.”

This practice, reinstated in 2016, came from Obama’s “priorities” program, which instructed agents to pick up criminals, individuals threatening national security, and illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. after Jan. 1, 2014.

When Obama was in office, Krikorian said, Border Patrol agents would see individuals who were “still wet from wading across the Rio Grande.”

However, if the Border Patrol agents “hadn’t actually seen them with their own eyes in the river, they had to let them go” if they claimed to have arrived before 2014, he said.

Working Toward Building the Wall

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said Trump’s promise of building a border wall is already decreasing illegal immigration.

“One thing that the Trump administration has done very well is broadcast loud and clear that they are going to keep their promise of [building] the border wall,” Biggs, who comes from a border state, told The Daily Signal in an interview. “And that has resulted in a reduction in crossings.”

Last month, Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which detailed border wall funding with a request for $1.38 trillion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be available through September 2021. It would cover “procurement, construction, and improvements required for the operational control of United States borders, including design and construction of a wall and other physical barriers on the southern border of the United States.”

Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate, however, have said they prefer to put off a fight with Democrats over beginning to pay for the wall until the fall, rather than as part of funding the government for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

“Full border wall funding can’t be there at this point,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., a supporter of the wall, said in a recent interview with The Daily Signal. “It’s not designed, prototypes have not been created.”

Trump said Tuesday that funding for the wall likely will not be included in the spending bill that Congress must pass by midnight Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown, The New York Times reported.

Michelle Mittelstadt, director of communications at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank on immigration, told The Daily Signal in an email that “the net result of his first 100 days is that a combination of action and rhetoric appear to be significantly reshaping the current immigration reality in the U.S.”

Taking a Stand Against Sanctuary Cities

Trump issued an executive order Jan. 25 denying unspecified federal funding to sanctuary cities.

“I’ve been particularly encouraged by the administration’s support for denying federal funds to sanctuary cities, in line with legislation I’ve backed,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

During the Obama presidency, Blunt called on Senate colleagues to “limit federal funding” to sanctuary cities that did not cooperate with enforcing federal immigration laws.

“The previous administration set a dangerous precedent by cherry-picking the laws it chose to enforce, and I’m glad we now have a partner in the White House who is holding sanctuary cities accountable,” Blunt said.

Trump’s order is facing opposition in the courts, however.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco placed a national hold on Trump’s executive order regarding sanctuary cities until the issue can work its way through the courts.

Federal funding for entitlement programs such as Medicaid in sanctuary cities, however, would not be affected by the president’s order, von Spakovsky said in a new commentary.

The Department of Justice says it is working to implement Trump’s executive order to urge sanctuary cities to provide documentation of compliance with the department. The department also is hiring more immigration judges who will serve at detention centers along the border, Sessions announced this month.

Room to Improve

An area of immigration policy that Trump could improve on, Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies said, is addressing a program implemented by the Obama administration in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

This program has provided deportation protection and work permits to over 750,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

“The fact that [Trump] has basically adopted the DACA, the illegal DACA amnesty, as his own is the one big black mark with regard to immigration,” Krikorian said. “Does it cancel everything else out? No, but it clearly is a problem.”

Donald M. Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies, a pro-immigration think tank, said he disagrees with Trump’s approach.

Kerwin specifically criticized what he called Trump’s commitment “to decreasing refugee admissions by more than 15 percent at a time when you know there’s a global refugee crisis that exceeds in size the crisis after World War II.”

Kerwin also criticized Trump’s heightened border security measures and dedication to building a border wall.

“The language, the rhetoric has been brutal,” Kerwin told The Daily Signal in an interview, adding:

It’s been unwelcoming. The proposals have been extraordinarily extremist and harsh, and they show no concern at all, no recognition at all for the benefits that immigrants contribute to the United States.

Going forward, Biggs said, Trump should remain focused on the border wall and the need to secure funding for it.

Blunt appeared to like what he sees.

“President Trump is putting the safety of the American people first by taking action to enforce our immigration laws, strengthen border security, and prevent terrorists from entering the country,” he said. (For more from the author of “What Trump Has Done on Immigration in First 100 Days” please click HERE)

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Sanctuary Cities? That’s a Constitutional ‘Hell No’

You may not have heard of the “Nullification Crisis” that President Andrew Jackson faced in 1832. But there are many unfortunate similarities between it and what is happening today on immigration. From the unjustified obstruction of immigration law by some activist federal judges to the defiance of the federal government on sanctuary policies by governors and city mayors such as Ed Murray of Seattle, there are some interesting parallels — and lessons.

I was reminded of the Nullification Crisis recently on a tour of James Madison’s home, Montpelier, which is close to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the docents related how President Jackson had visited Madison in the midst of his reelection campaign to get his advice. This crisis was about high tariffs which, before the implementation of the income tax in 1913 through the Sixteenth Amendment, was one of the main sources of income for the federal government.

High tariff rates were resented throughout the South, particularly in South Carolina. While they benefited manufacturers in the northern states, they hurt the mostly agricultural southern states. Led by John Calhoun, South Carolina and other states asserted that they had the final authority to declare federal laws unconstitutional and thus null and void within their states. While Jackson was a moderate on tariffs and respectful of the rights states retained in our federal system, he was scornful of the nullification theory. He considered it an unconstitutional, “abominable doctrine” that “will dissolve the Union.”

In 1832, the nullifiers took control of the South Carolina government and passed the infamous “Ordinance of Nullification.” They expressed the same type of virulent hostility and contempt for (and defiance of) the Jackson administration and the tariff system that we are seeing today towards the Trump administration over enforcement of federal immigration law, including provisions against certain sanctuary policies. Those states and cities are pushing the same concept of nullification of federal law, although they are doing it in federal court.

As one would expect of Andrew Jackson, he reacted strongly to this threat from South Carolina, including issuing a Nullification Proclamation on Dec. 10, 1832. Nullification was “incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed,” He wrote. The crisis was resolved by a compromise bill on tariffs that Congress passed in 1833 after passing the Force Bill, which gave the president the power to use state militias and federal forces against the nullifiers.

The similarity between these events and what is happening today are eerie. While there are many areas over which the states and the federal government share responsibility — or where the Tenth Amendment gives responsibility to the states — immigration is not one of them. Section 8 of Article I gives Congress exclusive authority to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization,” just as Section 8 gives Congress the exclusive authority to establish and collect all “Imposts and Excises” or tariffs. The states have no authority in these areas at all. They can no more dispute the immigration rules established by Congress than they could dispute the tariffs imposed by Congress back in 1832.

This makes perfect sense. Any other rule would produce chaos. Think of the enormous problems that would be caused by border states such as Texas or California deciding that they would ignore federal law and apply their own immigration rules to individuals coming across the Mexican border into the United States — or if states decided that they would impose their own tariffs on foreign goods coming into their states in addition to those imposed by the federal government. In fact, it was that kind of behavior that was restricting trade under the Articles of Confederation between states such as Virginia and Maryland that helped lead to the call for a constitutional convention.

When it comes to immigration and the entry of aliens into the U.S., Congress delegated to the president the extremely broad authority under 8 U.S.C. §1182 (f) to suspend the entry of any aliens or class of aliens into the U.S. if he believes it “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” As five dissenting judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently pointed out, there are a long series of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the authority of prior presidents under this provision and severely limiting the ability of the courts to review the president’s decision.

Unfortunately, at the urging of certain states, the courts have in large part ignored the Constitution, federal law, and prior precedents. They are instead substituting their judgment for that of the president, and enjoining the president’s executive order by implementing a temporary halt to entry from certain terrorist safe havens. In essence, states such as Hawaii and Washington are turning to activist federal judges to nullify the exclusive authority of the federal government over immigration and the security of our national border — and those judges are complying.

The sanctuary policies implemented by cities such as San Francisco and Seattle also seek to nullify federal immigration law and obstruct its enforcement. 8 U.S.C. §1373 prohibits states and local jurisdictions from preventing their law enforcement officials from exchanging information with federal officials on the citizenship status of individuals they have arrested or detained. The Supreme Court upheld this provision in 2012 in Arizona v. United States.

Quite appropriately, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that he will not award any discretionary federal grants from the Justice Department to cities that violate §1373. Seattle has filed suit, claiming that the federal government has no right to cut off its access to discretionary funding. The city also makes the meritless claims that its policy does not violate federal immigration law.

Sanctuary cities are claiming that Sessions is trying to force them to enforce federal immigration law and that the loss of federal funds would violate the holding in NFIB v. Sebelius (2012). This is the Supreme Court decision that upheld Obamacare but found that the Medicaid portion of Obamacare, which required states to significantly expand their Medicaid coverage or risk losing all Medicaid funding, violated the Spending Clause of the Constitution. The federal government was “commandeering” the states by compelling them to “enact or administer a federal regulatory program.”

But Sessions is simply trying to get states to not obstruct federal enforcement. That includes abiding by the ban contained in Section 1373. Sanctuary cities are trying to prevent federal officials from finding out about criminal alien murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals that these cities would apparently rather release than have picked up and deported so they cannot further victimize Americans. Section 1373 doesn’t force local law enforcement officials to notify federal officials when they detain an illegal alien; It simply says that local governments can’t ban law enforcement officials from doing so.

The spurious legal argument that §1373 violates the anti-commandeering principle was raised by the City of New York in a lawsuit against the federal government only 11 days after the provision became federal law. New York also had a policy in place that forbade city officials from transmitting information on the immigration status of any individual to federal immigration authorities. In City of New York v. U.S. (1999), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the city’s case because the federal law was constitutional and well within congressional authority on immigration.

As the court pointed out, §1373 does not compel “state and local governments to enact or administer any federal regulatory program. Nor has it affirmatively conscripted states, localities, or their employees into the federal government’s service.” The only thing the provision does is prohibit state and local governmental entities or officials from “directly restricting the voluntary exchange of immigration information with the INS.” A contrary holding would cause chaos: “If Congress may not forbid states from outlawing even voluntary cooperation with federal programs by state and local officials, states will at times have the power to frustrate effectuation of some programs.”

That is clearly what is happening here: sanctuary states and cities want to “frustrate effectuation” of federal enforcement of our immigration laws. The absence of such cooperation, as the Second Circuit said, would force federal officials to “resort to legal processes in every routine or trivial matter, often a practical impossibility.” This was the same type of resistance exhibited by local governments to Brown v. Board of Education: “a refusal by local government to cooperate until under a court order to do so.”

Furthermore, refusing to award sanctuary cities funds that have to be applied for and that are entirely discretionary within the judgement of the attorney general does not come anywhere close to “commandeering” a “State’s legislative or administrative apparatus for federal purposes,” which was the key factor in the NFIB decision. The Supreme Court said that there is no violation of the Spending Clause “when a State has a legitimate choice whether to accept the federal conditions in exchange for federal funds.”

States can make their own decisions on whether to apply for a portion of the $4.1 billion the Justice Department has available to local jurisdictions for improving their law enforcement programs. In fact, this situation raises even fewer concerns than a federal law that the Supreme Court upheld in South Dakota v. Dole (1987). That law provided that states would lose five percent of their federal highway funds if they did not raise the drinking age to 21. This was “relatively mild encouragement” compared to the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare, where the Court described the potential loss of all Medicaid funding as a “gun to the head.”

Similarly, when it comes to sanctuary cities, the Justice Department isn’t threatening the cutoff of any major entitlement funds such as Medicaid or even state highway funds. What’s at stake are discretionary grants that the states may or may not decide to apply for, and which the Justice Department may or may not choose to grant.

The Nullification Crisis was resolved when South Carolina rescinded its nullification ordinance after President Jackson issued his Nullification Proclamation. We can only hope that the current nullification crisis will also be resolved once and for all when all of the lawsuits being filed by the states to prevent the enforcement of federal immigration law reach the Supreme Court. (For more from the author of “Sanctuary Cities? That’s a Constitutional ‘Hell No'” please click HERE)

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Yes, Liberals, We Can Deny Entry to Any Immigrant and for Any Reasons

What is happening in the courts right now goes beyond any debate over a “ban” on Muslim immigration. The courts have denuded the president of his plenary power over setting the refugee cap, which Trump applied evenly to every country included in his new executive order. Obviously, all the national security problems we have are from predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East. But let’s put that aside for a moment. Even if this was a ban on Muslim immigration, it would be legal. That is settled law of a sovereign nation state.

Let’s also ignore political considerations for a moment. From a legal standpoint, a nation can set any criteria for letting in any group of people. Through our elected representatives, we can decide to only bring in people with brown hair. We can shut off immigration to those with green eyes or those who are left-handed. The prudence of such a law would have to be dealt with on a political level. Any legal limitation placed on our sovereignty, by definition, means we are not a sovereign nation and that foreign nationals can forcibly control our destiny. This is a principle deeply rooted in the social compact, the preamble of the Declaration of Independence (governance by consent), and the sovereignty of a nation state. Even one who is politically a supporter of loose immigration laws should be alarmed by courts creating a legal limitation to restricting immigration.

We have already cited from endless case law and statements from our founders on the plenary right of a nation to determine who enters the country. I’d like to add some new source material that speaks to the current constitutional crisis:

In Knauff v. Shaughnessy (1950), the Supreme Court made it clear that there is no right whatsoever to immigrate:

At the outset, we wish to point out that an alien who seeks admission to this country may not do so under any claim of right. Admission of aliens to the United States is a privilege granted by the sovereign United States Government. Such privilege is granted to an alien only upon such terms as the United States shall prescribe. It must be exercised in accordance with the procedure which the United States provides.

And yes, the exclusion could be because any consideration, even race. Remember, we are talking about law and Constitution, not politics, prudence, or morality. From Ju Toy v. United States (1905):

That Congress may exclude aliens of a particular race from the United States, prescribe the terms and conditions upon which certain classes of aliens may come to this country, establish regulations for sending out of the country such aliens as come here in violation of law, and commit the enforcement of such provisions, conditions, and regulations exclusively to executive officers, without judicial intervention are principles firmly established by the decisions of this Court. [emphasis added]

Thus, not only is the right to exclude — even for bad reason — deemed settled law in the most emphatic terms, resting on the most foundational principles of sovereignty, but it is not reviewable by the courts. Two years prior, in “The Japanese Immigrant Case,” the court used the exact same language and declared that, based on an uninterrupted stream of near-unanimous decisions, the constitutionality of such an exclusion “is no longer open to discussion in this Court.”

In 1904 (Turner v. Williams), the court made it clear that it is facially absurd to assert a religious liberty, equal protection, or freedom of speech right to affirmatively immigrate to this country. This case speaks directly to what the modern courts are ignoring:

We are at a loss to understand in what way the act is obnoxious to this objection. It has no reference to an establishment of religion, nor does it prohibit the free exercise thereof; nor abridge the freedom of speech or of the press; nor the right of the people to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is, of course, true that if an alien is not permitted to enter this country, or, having entered contrary to law, is expelled, he is in fact cut off from worshipping or speaking or publishing or petitioning in the country; but that is merely because of his exclusion therefrom. He does not become one of the people to whom these things are secured by our Constitution by an attempt to enter, forbidden by law. To appeal to the Constitution is to concede that this is a land governed by that supreme law, and as under it the power to exclude has been determined to exist, those who are excluded cannot assert the rights in general obtaining in a land to which they do not belong as citizens or otherwise.

It’s amazing how liberals worship the concept of stare decisis (court precedent) once a single liberal court overturns years of common sense case law and the plain meaning of the Constitution. But they have no respect for case law that is most firmly embedded in our sovereignty in the most emphatic language, including the courts own admission that they have absolutely no jurisdiction over the issue. All of this case law remains unsettled and unexplained by the civil disobedience of today’s modern judiciary. As I’ve noted before, this case law survived even the liberal Warren-era right up to this generation.

Some critics might suggest that we can’t draw any conclusions from the exclusion acts of the late 1880s because that’s when America was evil and racist. “Just like the courts upheld slavery and were wrong they are wrong about this,” some might suggest. “What about when the courts upheld the internment of the Japanese in the Korematsu case?”

There is a one-word answer to these questions: Sovereignty.

What liberals are missing is that there is a difference between abridging the rights of Americans or even immigrants and a right to affirmatively enter someone else’s country. Of course, we can’t just throw people into labor camps and indefinitely detain them without due process. But we don’t have to allow people into our country. Immigration is quite a different issue than indefinite detention. It’s like saying because you are not allowed to kidnap a visitor of your house and lock him in your attic you must allow anyone into your house in the first place.

As I’ve cited many times, Justice Robert Jackson, the famous Nuremberg prosecutor who was a champion of due process rights and wrote the dissent in Korematsu v. United States, said that “Due process does not invest any alien with a right to enter the United States, nor confer on those admitted the right to remain against the national will.” Shaughnessy v. Mezei, 345 US 222-223 (1953) (Jackson, J., dissenting).] Scalia, in his Zadvydas dissent, made this same distinction between indefinite detention and the right to enter or remain in the country against the national will. Even the majority opinion at the time only granted relief because the individual legal permanent resident was being held longer than six months in prison (but only because his home country would not repatriate him).

Some might feel uncomfortable with the notion that there are no limitations on discriminatory, absurd, or “mean” immigration selection criterion. But those are political or sensibility arguments, not legal arguments. By definition, any limitation whatsoever on the power to exclude necessarily means that a foreign national has some sort of affirmative claim to assert jurisdiction and adjudicate his way into entry. As John Marshall, the judicial strongman himself, said:

The jurisdiction of the nation within its own territory is necessarily exclusive and absolute. It is susceptible of no limitation not imposed by itself. Any restriction upon it deriving validity from an external source would imply a diminution of its sovereignty to the extent of the restriction and an investment of that sovereignty to the same extent in that power which could impose such restriction. All exceptions, therefore, to the full and complete power of a nation within its own territories must be traced up to the consent of the nation itself. They can flow from no other legitimate source.

But again, we are not even talking about a complete shutoff of Muslim immigration. We are no longer a sovereign nation and a sovereign people when courts, relatives of foreign nationals, taxpayer-funded refugee groups, and states can proactively demand any form of immigration they so desire. (For more from the author of “Yes, Liberals, We Can Deny Entry to Any Immigrant and for Any Reasons” please click HERE)

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Trump-Supporting HS Students Protest Pro-Immigration Banner, Get Suspended

A quartet of students at a Grand Rapids, Michigan high school has been suspended after it staged a protest in front of a pro-immigration banner at school.

The Grand Rapids Christian High School students intended to hold up their own signs stating “Trump” and “Build the Wall” in front of the banner which read “Immigrants are a Blessing Not a Burden.”

WTSP reports video shows a teacher “rushing over to stop” them when she saw they intended to display their homemade flyers.

In the following report, the protesters do not appear to be belligerent after confronted by the teacher; indeed, the reporter points out that some students merely walking by didn’t even notice what was going on.

Nevertheless, as Superintendent Thomas DeJonge noted in a letter to parents, the student protesters were suspended “because of the disruption they caused and disrespect they demonstrated toward fellow students and staff.” (Read more from “Trump-Supporting HS Students Protest Pro-Immigration Banner, Get Suspended” HERE)

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The Radical Ties of the Imam Behind the Trump Immigration Lawsuit

The plaintiff listed in Hawaii’s lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order on immigration is a member of an organization that has several current and former leaders tied to terrorist activity.

Dr. Ismail Elshikh — the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii — is suing Trump in reaction to the second version of his immigration moratorium, which was signed on Monday. The order imposed a 90-day hold on foreign nationals from six terror-tied countries from entering the United States.

According to the Muslim Association of Hawaii website, Imam Elshikh is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), a fringe Islamic organization that has a board and current leadership stacked with radical Islamic connections.

Kyle Shideler, a terrorism expert and director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, tells CR that it’s concerning that Imam Elshikh is a part of NAIF.

“Given NAIF’s history it should come as no surprise that the end goal of this lawsuit is, ultimately, weakening American counter-terrorism or immigration security efforts,” Shideler said.

He added: “That a member of an organization whose leaders have included a convicted war criminal, an individual who defended donating money to a Hamas linked charity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism bombing wants to tell the American people who they can admit for immigration should say a lot about why such an executive order is needed in the first place.”

Steven Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, also voiced his concerns about Elshikh’s associations. He tells CR:

“NAIF is an extremely radical Islamist group whose leaders and members have defended some of the most violent terrorist groups in the world. Some members have been found to be actually linked to acts of Islamist terrorism. This is a group, some prosecutors have argued, whose incitement for violence could qualify their categorization as a providing material support for terrorism.”

Current NAIF board members include the former leader of an al-Qaeda-connected mosque and a radical preacher. Former leaders include a man convicted of leading an international death squad, and a prominent Islamist preacher who has praised Osama bin Laden.

Current NAIF leadership

Omar Shahin, a current board member of NAIF, is the former president of the Islamic Center of Tucson, a mosque that was once utilized as the “de-facto al-Qaeda headquarters in the United States,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. As imam of the mosque, Shahin raised funds for the Holy Land Foundation, which was later shut down for funneling money to the terrorist group Hamas. He also held fundraisers for the Global Relief Foundation, which was later deemed by the U.S. Treasury Department to be connected to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

El Shikh received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Foundation Islamic Studies Department, which is headed by Shahin. The program was created in collaboration with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that was started as a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

Dr. Waleed Meneese, another NAIF board member, has explicitly called for fellow Muslims to kill Jews. “When the Children of Israel returned to cause corruption in the time of our Prophet Muhammad,” Meneese said in a recent sermon. “And they disbelieved him, God destroyed him at his hand. In any case, God Almighty has promised them destruction whenever they cause corruption,” he said of the Jewish people.

Meneese has also called for the killing of apostates from Islam, and for the treating of non-Muslims as second-class citizens.

Former NAIF leadership

Ashrafuzzaman Khan is the former president of NAIF and a current leader at the Muslim Brotherhood-connected Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). In 2013, he was tried in a Bangladesh court as he was accused of drafting a kill list of intellectuals inside the country. He was charged with 11 counts of war crimes as the alleged leader of the Al-Badr death squad. In 2013, he and an accomplice were sentenced in absentia for the abduction and murder of 18 people, including nine university professors, six journalists, and three physicians.

Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim was the chairman of NAIF at the turn of the century. In 2005, he agreed to deportation to Qatar after U.S. authorities were concerned about his potential connections to terrorist organizations. Ghoneim has called Osama bin Laden a “martyred heroic mujahid” and is now closely tied to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. He has been banned from entering several countries due to his radicalism.

Another former NAIF board member is Siraj Wahhaj, who was infamously listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Wahhaj testified in defense of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who served a life sentence for being the mastermind behind terrorist plots in the United States.

What else?

The North American Imam Federation is perhaps best known as the group that allegedly planned and staged the “flying imams” incident. After a 2006 NAIF conference, several imams connected to the group were booted from a domestic flight after exhibiting bizarre, threatening behavior, terrifying fellow passengers. NAIF and the Hamas-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) showcased the incident as a prime example of America’s supposed problem with “Islamophobia.”

President Trump’s immigration moratorium, blocking non-citizens from coming into the U.S. from the six terror havens of Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, will go into effect next week, barring a successful legal challenge by Elshikh and Hawaii or other actors.

(For more from the author of “The Radical Ties of the Imam Behind the Trump Immigration Lawsuit” please click HERE)

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Oops! Leaked DHS Report PROVES Trump’s Point on Immigration

Amidst the national debate over the deep state embedded in the intelligence bureaucracies sabotaging the Trump presidency, career DHS officials came out with a report trying to undermine the president’s immigration moratorium from high-risk countries. The report, which was conveniently leaked to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last week, elicited the following headlines from the liberal media:

“In leaked document, the case for Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ takes another huge hit” (Greg Sargent, Washington Post).

“DHS report undermines President Trump’s travel ban: Most foreign-born terrorists become radicalized in the US” (

“Homeland Security Still Doesn’t Think Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Will Work” (Huffington Post).

To begin with, if such a high-profile DHS intel report was leaked to MSNBC, why was the individual responsible for it not fired over the weekend? Where is DHS Sec. John Kelly? He was one of the first members of the Cabinet to be confirmed and should already have control over the department.

Moreover, the eight-page report actually proves the thesis we’ve formulated since my column began here at CR.

Here is the punchline of the report: “We assess that most foreign-born, US-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns.”

There you have it, folks! What this means is that the immigration threat from the Middle East is even more severe than what Trump is making it out to be, not less problematic. His detractors are trying to use this report, and clearly it was published and leaked under such a premise — to show that there is no way to vet individuals for terror links. As such, they contend that the immigration moratorium is worthless. This is a classic straw man argument. In fact, the report demonstrates why only a moratorium can help.

As we’ve said ad nauseam, the problem we face with mass migration from the Middle East is a lot more ubiquitous than a mere few individuals with known ties to official terror groups. It is a civilization problem – importing mass numbers of Sharia-adherent immigrants to the West who will then cluster in communities and cultivate a climate that sows resentment for the host country among their children. This is the enduring lesson of Europe, and yes, this is the reality demonstrated by the 88 cases of radicalized Muslim immigrant families analyzed by this DHS report.

When most of these terrorists came to the U.S. at a young age, they probably looked as cute as any other kid. There was nothing to vet … other than the parents adhering fervently to Shariah. What history has demonstrated is that the parents who are focused on settling down usually do not commit terror attacks. For example, the father will open up a deli shop in Dearborn, Mich., or Brooklyn, for example, and live a pretty quiet life. However, they will raise their kids under a culture that, by and large, is incompatible with western values. This sows resentment among the younger generation, which becomes even more disenchanted with the host country (particularly with the advent of cyber-jihad).

This is the story of the Chattanooga shooter who was brought here from Kuwait when he was 2, the New York/New Jersey bomber (Ahmad Khan Rahami) who came here from Afghanistan when he was 12, and the Ohio State Somali vehicular jihadist who came here as a teenager. As the report itself recognized, most of the 88 cases they studied involved a suspect who was less than 16 years old when admitted to the country.

Therefore, this DHS report, much like a broken clock that is right twice a day, accidentally stumbled across the truth: We have an assimilation problem with many immigrants from the Middle East. The last thing you want to do, then, is to bring in more from the Middle East – to the tune of 160,000 a year – when we badly need to assimilate the record numbers that already migrated here over the past 15 years.

The real number to focus on is not the few people who will have a known paper trail linking them to terrorists from day one, but the 90-plus percent from countries like Iraq who subscribe to Shariah. That is why it was such a mistake for Trump to remove Iraq from the list; Trump should have cited this report as reason to expand the moratorium to places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Undoubtedly, there is also an element of vetting that is important — for example, in the case of Tashfeen Malik (one of the San Bernardino shooters). She should have never been admitted from Pakistan; her social media accounts and her basic biography reeked of Islamic supremacy. Then again, the people drafting these DHS reports don’t believe in vetting the supremacist mentality that cultivates the climate of terror.

Nobody disputes that if you only vet for known ISIS ties up front, many people will slip through the net. Yet, at the same time, it completely misses the point. Just ask our friends in Europe. (For more from the author of “Oops! Leaked DHS Report PROVES Trump’s Point on Immigration” please click HERE)

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Trump Reform Could Admit More Self-Sufficient Immigrants

President Donald Trump’s gesture for bipartisan immigration reform seemed to call for replacing the current legal immigration system that prioritizes family reunification with an economic merit-based system.

If that’s the direction, then some pro-enforcement groups seem willing to listen.

“Right now, just 16 percent of illegal immigrants came because they were sponsored by an employer,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal. “Ample research shows that immigrants admitted for employment are more likely to be self-sufficient, an economic plus, and on balance less of a fiscal burden.”

Critics of the focus on family reunification say it has led to chain migration.

Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., last month introduced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which would rebalance the legal immigration system toward employment-based visas and immediate family households, rather than extended family members.

The sponsors project that if enacted, the legislation would lower overall immigration to 637,960 people per year, and to 530,958 immigrants in the second year. That’s down from 1.05 million immigrants admitted in 2015.

During his address to a joint session of Congress, Trump noted that Canada and Australia are among countries with a merit-based immigration system.

“It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially,” Trump said. “I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.”

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who dismissed the view that the president was making a bipartisan appeal for reform, said what Trump spoke about would limit Hispanics coming to the United States.

“[Trump] envisions an immigration system where quotas for Ph.D.s are set in Washington and the multitude of immigrants who built this country and who keep it flourishing would not be welcome,” Gutiérrez said in a statement. “The Latino community won’t forget and won’t let that happen. And the millions of allies we have who support immigration as a fundamental and integral aspect of America’s greatness will not forget either.”

Vaughan said that numbers of immigrants admitted to the U.S. are an issue even in a merit-based system.

“We have to be careful with the numbers and we don’t want American workers to be displaced,” she said.

A merit-based green card system would differ from a guest worker program because it would be more stringent for both the employer and the immigrant in proving they have skills and can contribute to the economy, Vaughan said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president is not compromising his principles.

“One of the network anchors said, if anyone can get a deal, it would be [Trump]. Obviously, he was pleased with that, because it’s true,” Spicer said. “He recognizes that a comprehensive solution has alluded our nation for a long time and it’s a big problem. If he can get it consistent with his principles, he will.”

In response to a later question, Spicer said: “I think he was making it clear that the results of our immigration system don’t yield one that reflects a merit-based one.”

Congress broadened the merit-based system in 1990, but left the family reunification-based system in place. A merit-based system should replace the family-based system in order to be more effective, Vaughan said.

If illegal immigrants could prove they have a particular skill set, this might open the door for a limited, economic-based amnesty, or legalized status for illegal immigrants, Vaughan said. However, this would be an economic-based granting of legal status to those who can be self-sufficient.

“Democrats might be on board if they saw a chance to get something in return, like amnesty,” Vaughan said. “It may be reasonable to look at, but it would require legislation.”

The chief focus is on legal immigration, though, and tackling the problem of chain migration, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform.

“It would be about families and children, instead of siblings, which brings the biggest pressure, because those siblings bring spouses, who bring in-laws,” Mehlman told The Daily Signal. “The point is to have an objective assessment for letting people enter the country, who will complement, not compete with, our workforce.”

Mehlman noted the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform in the 1990s that called for limits on immediate nuclear family and employment-based immigration. The commission was chaired by former Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, and was endorsed by then-President Bill Clinton. (For more from the author of “Trump Reform Could Admit More Self-Sufficient Immigrants” please click HERE)

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Trump Targets Criminals, Late Arrivals in Immigration Enforcement

The Department of Homeland Security will make prioritization key in its beefed-up enforcement of the border and the interior of the country—removing criminals first, while more recent arrivals will also face expedited removal.

However, critics call it “mass deportation” that will face a legal challenge.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released implementation memos to agencies to enforce President Donald Trump’s executive orders he signed in January. A key new policy is expanding the number of illegal immigrants subject to “expedited removal” procedures if an illegal immigrant can’t provide evidence they have been in the country for more than two years.

Among other matters, the memos call for moving forward on building a border wall, hiring more Customs and Border Protection agents to stop illegal border crossings, and adding more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to police the interior. Also, the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office was established within ICE.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the actions Tuesday demonstrate the administration is serious about making the country safer.

“The message from this White House and from DHS is that those people who are in this country and pose a threat to our public safety and committed a crime will be the first to go and we will aggressively be making sure that occurs,” Spicer said during the White House press briefing.

The DHS actions are a welcome change from the Obama administration that interfered with immigration enforcement, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a pro-enforcement group. But, Mehlman added, the emphasis on prioritizing dangerous illegal immigrants is “a lot like the Obama administration.”

“The past administration put a priority on criminals and those that just entered the United States,” Mehlman told The Daily Signal. “The difference is that the Obama administration just focused on recent arrivals at the border, and sent them back. That’s important, but we also need serious interior enforcement.”

The policies won’t survive a court challenge, said Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

“These memos confirm that the Trump administration is willing to trample on due process, human decency, the well-being of our communities, and even protections for vulnerable children, in pursuit of a hyperaggressive mass deportation policy,” Jadwat said in a public statement. “However, President Trump does not have the last word here—the courts and the public will not allow this un-American dream to become reality.”

More than likely, the implementation orders have solid legal ground, said Josh Blackman, an associate professor at South Texas College of Law Houston.

“There is probably not a strong challenge to the order Secretary Kelly signed, but a question of due process could come up regarding expedited removal,” Blackman told The Daily Signal. “If you’re picked up at the border and turned around there usually is no question. Expanding that to being picked up at the interior, that could arguably imply a stronger connection to the U.S. and require due process for removal.”

A legal challenge would have little merit, but doesn’t necessarily mean the administration will prevail, said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“It is well within the administration’s authority, but anyone can file a lawsuit, and that won’t stop errant judges from acting,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Spicer stressed that the administration is only enforcing immigration law as it would any other law.

Our job, especially here at the White House, isn’t to call balls and strikes and say this person only violated part of the law. If this was any other subject, if this was tax evasion and we said, ‘Well, they really only cheated on their taxes a little,’ you wouldn’t be saying should they be going to prison or should they be getting a fine. At some point laws are laws. If people have a problem with the law, whether it’s at the local, state, or federal, then we should petition our lawmakers and executives to change it. Our job should not be should this individual not have to abide by the law, should this individual get a pass?

(For more from the author of “Trump Targets Criminals, Late Arrivals in Immigration Enforcement” please click HERE)

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7 Statutes That CLEARLY Support Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

While nullifying Trump’s immigration order, the so-called “judges” were conniving in their omission of any statute. As I noted last week, every part of Trump’s order is covered by multiple statutes. This week, I found two more portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that support his actions.

Let’s review:

1. INA 212(f) [8 U.S.C. §1182(f)]

Gives the president at-will and absolute power to shut off any immigrant and non-immigrant visa category for any period of time if he determines — subject to nobody else’s review — that it’s in the national interests.

This single statute covers every aspect of the order.

2. INA 215(a)(1)[8 U.S.C. §1185(a)(1)]

Conditions entry or exit of any alien (immigrant and nonimmigrant) to “reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe.”

No limitations are placed on this power, and it was used by Jimmy Carter during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

3. 8 U.S.C. §1184(a)(1)

Conditions the “admission to the United States of any alien as a nonimmigrant” to “such time and under such conditions as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe.”

4. 8 U.S. Code §1735

Passed unanimously by Congress in 2002, requires the president to cut off visas to state sponsors of terrorism, which at the time of passage, included five of the seven countries included in Trump’s travel ban.

Trump could easily add Somalia and Yemen to the terror state list and reinstate Iraq and Libya – and it would all be covered under this statute.

5. 8 U.S.C. §1157(a)(2)

Grants the president full authority to set the cap and geographic intake of refugees. Obama used it to the detriment of the country; Trump can use it to protect our security.

After further researching the INA, I found two more applicable provisions:

6. 8 U.S. Code §1201(h)(i)

Makes it clear that the issuance of a visa does not “entitle any alien” to be “admitted [into] the United States, if, upon arrival at a port of entry in the United States, he is found to be inadmissible under this chapter, or any other provision of law.”

Thus if the president, using the other authorities and his war powers, chooses to suspend particular visas, those individuals are inadmissible under law. Furthermore, the statute continues by giving plenary power to customs officials to revoke visas at any time.

[T]he consular officer or the Secretary of State may at any time, in his discretion, revoke such visa or other documentation.
What’s more, this provision of law, which passed the Senate 96-2 in 2004, explicitly stripped the courts of any jurisdiction to adjudicate the revocation of visas for anyone seeking entry into the country (as opposed to someone living here who is being deported).

The jurisdiction-stripping provision includes even a basic habeas corpus petition. How in the world can the courts be allowed to get involved in this matter? It is unconstitutional. I’m glad to see that the state of Texas has made this argument in its amicus brief against the liberal states suing the Trump administration.

7. 8 U.S. Code §1253(d)

Requires the secretary of State to cut off both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to foreign nationals of countries that refuse to repatriate their illegal or criminal aliens. According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, as reported by The Washington Times, 27 countries qualify for a visa cutoff, including five of the seven countries targeted under Trump’s order (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan).

Accordingly, not only is Trump triple and quadruple covered by statute for every aspect of his immigration order (not to mention his own foreign affairs powers), he is actually required to cut off visas pursuant to several laws. Moreover, the courts have absolutely no authority to even adjudicate a case second-guessing a president’s action with regards to foreign nationals seeking entry into this country. Politics aside, the law is the law.

Yet where is Congress? Where are GOP leaders rushing to join Steve King in condemning the courts even in a non-binding resolution for their display of civil disobedience?

Make no mistake about it. There is not one morsel of legitimacy to these court opinions. They are engaging in civil disobedience and nullification against our most foundational laws governing security and sovereignty of the entire federal union.

As Robert Bork observed during a time when the courts weren’t nearly as rogue as they are today: “To the objection that a rejection of a court’s authority would be civil disobedience, the answer is that a court that issues orders without authority engages in an equally dangerous form of civil disobedience.” (For more from the author of “7 Statutes That CLEARLY Support Trump’s Immigration Executive Order” please click HERE)

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Rescind the Executive Order — and Replace It With Many Tougher Ones

President Trump needs to deny the Left a victory over his immigration executive order. The court challenge heard by the infamously unconstitutional and extremist 9th Circuit threatens to set a precedent that will codify open borders and leave the president powerless to protect us. Trump can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and deny the Left their unconscionable and unconstitutional attempted power grab by rescinding this EO and issuing stronger multiple replacements as stand alone orders.

The president cannot lose here. We must protect our borders; keep out the terrorists and rein in out-of-control immigration. It is the signal issue that got him elected. It is also the signal action needed to save this country from the Left’s malevolent intentions. The Left is attempting to subvert our country by simply replacing its population with a more malleable, sympathetic one. Unlike the immigrants of yesteryear, today’s are largely illiterate, welfare-dependent, unwilling to learn our language and definitely hostile to American culture and traditions. And while they are in many cases fleeing conditions created by their countries’ socialist policies, they nonetheless bring socialist ideas with them. As our country has become more “multi-cultural”, it has drifted ever leftward.

This was no mistake.

President Trump can and must rescind this executive order. Despite it’s hesitation, the [en banc] 9th Circuit is virtually guaranteed to agree with the ruling by District Judge Robert Chambers halting Trump’s immigration ban. As the initial complaint was not justified by immigration law, which provides the president clear authority to do what he did, it would set a horrible precedent in eroding the president’s ability to protect the nation. If it goes to the Supreme Court, it will likely lose. Justice Kennedy will side with the leftists. With an 8 person court, even a 4-4 decision would mean the 9th Circuit ruling holds. Even with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, a likely Kennedy defection would mean 5-4 for the Left. And support for Trump’s position is not even certain with Gorsuch.

Rescinding the EO would be a victory, not a defeat. First, it would prevent the Left from getting a major win in court that would alter permanently a president’s ability to control our borders. The lawsuit and likely favorable court ruling defy immigration law. They should not be allowed to get away with it. As abominable as it is, the current state of enforcement is better than what would result. The Left would like to thwart Trump’s agenda with endless lawsuits. Their victory here will encourage much more of the same.

But more importantly, Trump should reissue a score of executive orders that address the same issues as the current one, but make them even more muscular. If the Left is going to play dirty like this, make them pay for it. Give them something they will dislike even more and force them to fight many battles instead of just one. Perhaps that will cool their ardor for obstructionist lawsuits and nationwide, Democrat funded violence that threatens to drag this country into civil war:

1. Replace the 3 month ban on immigration from seven terrorist-producing nations with a 6 month ban on the same seven nations. President Obama issued a six-month ban on refugees from Iraq in 2011. He did so after two Kentucky-based Iraqi refugees were discovered to be former insurgent IED makers. So much for our supposedly infallible vetting process. Despite much-ballyhooed improvements, the current vetting procedure places almost all emphasis on processing refugees as quickly as possible, with few, if any national security safeguards. The seven nations were also first identified by the Obama DHS.

2. Consider expanding the list to all nations of terrorism concern. The State Department keeps a list which formally includes State Sponsors of Terrorism: Syria, Sudan, Iran, and Countries of Particular Concern: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Those countries on the DHS list not identified by the State Department, i.e. Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Iraq, should be added to State’s list.

3. Extend suspension of the refugee admissions program (USRAP) to a full year as requested by numerous members of Congress and cities all over the country begging for relief. (It now only lasts 120 days). President Trump does not need an executive order for this. He can simply send a letter to Congress, informing it of his intentions. Refugee caps for FY 2017 would be reduced to zero.

4. Issue all other components of the current EO as separate, standalone orders. Many of these are not challenged by the court in this EO, but are desperately needed. For example: ending the Obama administration’s insane policy of allowing U.S. entry of foreign nationals who have aided terrorists, focusing on those refugee minorities facing the worst persecution (e.g. the Christians that Obama ignored), enacting uniform screening standards for all immigrants, suspending the visa waiver program, completing the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System, visa reciprocity, and data transparency.

Trump needs to rescind this executive order to snatch victory out of the Left’s intolerable hands. He needs to replace it with others that will punish the Left for their vicious, relentless, unconstitutional and often illegal tactics, and force them to fight every single item, piece by piece.

Posted with permission of the author.

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