Thursday, April 25, 2019
Time to Enforce the Law on Visa Overstays
Trump orders the DOJ and DHS to look for more ways to limit the number of visa overstays.
Democrats and the Leftmedia have often sought to downplay President Donald Trump’s loudly voiced calls to tackle the problem of illegal immigration — specifically his emphasis on securing the southern border — by pivoting to point out that the “bigger” problem is visa overstays. While that is a statistically arguable observation (at least one study found that the number of visa overstays represents a higher percentage of illegal aliens than illegal border crossers do) this response is a disingenuous objection to dealing with the real crisis at the border. Why can’t both problems be addressed? Well, it appears that Trump has decided to do just that, calling the Democrats’ bluff.
On Monday, the president ordered the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to find ways to limit the number of foreigners overstaying their short-term visas. The White House stated that the administration will “find effective ways to combat the rampant number of overstays” that are “undermining the rule of law and straining resources that are needed to address the crisis at our southern border.”
In signing his executive order, Trump stated, “We have laws that need to be followed to keep Americans safe and to protect the integrity of a system where, right now, there are millions of people who are waiting in line to come to America to see the American Dream.” It will be interesting to see how many Democrats object to Trump’s latest order to enforce the law — or what judge will strike it down.
The haters have Only Just Begun
Objectivity, like Elvis, long ago left the building in Washington and so the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is being read and interpreted through mostly biased eyes.
Democrats, who had counted on Mueller to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, were initially as crestfallen as they were on election night 2016. Still, they are undeterred in the pursuit of their ultimate goal: evicting the president from the White House in a political coup unprecedented in American history.
The special counsel was established to investigate collusion, though not by Trump’s political opponents during the 2016 presidential race, who allegedly funded the infamous Steele dossier, which purported to describe Trump cavorting with prostitutes and other sick behavior during a visit to Moscow.
After more than two years of investigations, subpoenas, witness testimony and millions of dollars wasted, Mueller’s report concluded, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” As for obstruction of justice, how does one obstruct something that is not a crime?
Predictably, Democrats are not satisfied. Out of desperation and exasperation, some are alleging a cover-up by Attorney General William Barr. Others want to immediately begin impeachment proceedings. For which high crime and misdemeanor?
More experienced Democrats, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are rightly cautious. They remember the electoral damage to Republicans when members of that party impeached Bill Clinton. Which wing of their party will prevail?
Politico represents the fallback position for some on the left: “Forget collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice.” Say what? “The most concrete takeaway from the 448-page Mueller report is its damning portrait of the Trump White House as a place of chaos, intrigue and deception, where aides routinely disregard the wishes of a president with little regard for the traditional boundaries of his office…” Maybe so, but bad behavior and disobeyed presidential orders are not impeachable offenses. Let voters decide.
Imagine how President Trump must have felt. Not only the establishment, which includes Democrats and Republicans, but the major media were constantly assaulting him starting before the election and ever since. Some critics have accused him of paranoia, but as the saying goes, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” And out to get Trump they are.
Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel writes: “President Trump has every right to feel liberated. What the (Mueller) report shows is that he endured a special counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times, farcically obsessed with taking him out.”
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: “It is increasingly clear that the only scandal here is the Obama administration’s repeated failure to act against Russian cyber meddling, and instead, how they prioritized spying on a political opponent — the Trump campaign — and used a phony DNC-funded dossier as justification.”
When President Obama was asked about Trump’s charge that the 2016 election might be rigged against him, Obama responded: “No serious person out there … would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections.”
Add this “witch hunt” to the long list of reasons many Americans hate Washington. None of this political show affects average citizens, who are benefitting from a booming economy, job growth, lowest unemployment in half a century (including minority unemployment) and fewer people receiving food assistance. What does this have to do with more important issues, including illegal immigration and foreign policy?
The left doesn’t want Americans to focus on the administration’s successes, because they are incapable of doing better. They can only repeat their familiar scenario of higher taxes, bigger and more controlling government and “free stuff” for all.
The president and his allies have threatened a counterattack to expose corruption at the Justice Department, which created this fiasco. They should begin immediately.
Why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Tweeted About 'Easter Worshippers'
Sometimes, a few sentences tell you more about a person -- and, more importantly, an ideology -- than a learned thesis. That is the case with tweets from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama two days ago in response to the mass murder of more than 300 Christians and others in Sri Lanka.
Their tweets are worth serious analysis because they reveal a great deal about the left. Of course, they reveal a great deal about Clinton and Obama, too, but that doesn't interest me.
And that, too, is important. Many Americans -- especially conservatives and "independents" -- are more interested in individual politicians than in political ideologies.
Many conservatives have long been fixated on Clinton -- so much so that probably any other Democrat would have defeated Donald Trump, as conservative anger specifically toward her propelled many people to the polls. Similarly, Republican Never-Trumpers are fixated on Trump rather than policy. They care more about Trump's personal flaws than about the mortal dangers the left poses to America and the West or about the uniquely successful conservative policies Trump promulgates.
And independents all claim to vote "for the person, not the party."
Only leftists understand that one must vote left no matter who the Democrat is, no matter who the Republican opponent is. Leftists are completely interchangeable: There is no ideological difference among the 20 or so Democrats running for president. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is not one degree to the right of Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.
That is why it is important to understand Clinton and Obama's tweets: to understand the left, not to understand her or him.
Here are the tweets:
Obama: "The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka."
Three hours later, Clinton tweeted: "On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I'm praying for everyone affected by today's horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka."
As they both spelled "worshipers" the same idiosyncratic way and used the term "Easter worshippers," it is likely they either had the same writers or Clinton copied Obama.
Here's what's critical: Neither used the word "Christians." And in order to avoid doing so, they went so far as to make up a new term -- "Easter worshippers" -- heretofore unknown to any Christian.
When Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Clinton mentioned the synagogue in a tweet. But in her post-Sri Lanka tweet, despite the bombing of three churches filled with Christians, Clinton made no mention of church or churches. In a tweet after the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, she wrote that her heart broke for "the global Muslim community." But in her latest tweet, not a word about Christians or the global Christian community.
Obama similarly wrote in his tweet about New Zealand that he was grieving with "the Muslim community" over the "horrible massacre in the Mosques." But in his tweet about Sri Lanka, there is no mention of Christians or churches.
The reason neither of them mentioned Christians or churches is that the left has essentially forbidden mention of all the anti-Christian murders perpetrated by Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and of all the Muslim desecration of churches in Europe, Africa and anywhere else. This is part of the same phenomenon -- that I and others have documented -- of British police and politicians covering up six years of rape of 1,400 of English girls by Muslim "grooming gangs" in Rotherham and elsewhere in England.
Essentially, the left's rule is that nothing bad -- no matter how true -- may be said about Muslims or Islam and nothing good -- no matter how true -- may be said of Christians or Christianity.
Clinton's post-New Zealand tweet also included these words: "We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped."
She made sure to condemn "Islamophobia," but she wrote not a word about the far more destructive and widespread hatred of Christians in the Muslim world, seen in Muslims' virtual elimination of the Christian communities in the Middle East, the regular murder and kidnappings of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the murder of Christians in Nigeria. She calls on "leaders everywhere" to condemn "white supremacist terrorists," one of the smallest hate groups on Earth, but never calls on leaders everywhere to condemn Islamist terrorists, the largest hate group on Earth.
These two tweets tell you a lot about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But far more importantly, they tell you a lot about the left.
White House war on regulations poised to pass goal 'more than 31 times'
The Trump administration’s war on Obama-era regulations is set to nearly double this year’s goal — and potentially go much further — after getting off to a slow start, according to budget experts.
With plans to cut $18 billion worth of regulations in fiscal year 2019, which ends in September, the administration is poised to boost that to $33 billion, according to a mid-year review by the budget watchdog American Action Forum.
What’s more, the administration is moving toward a regulatory cut that the review said would cut an additional $561 billion, 31 times this year's goal.
But it better move fast, said analysts Dan Bosch and Dan Goldbeck. That’s because the administration is not only behind meeting its goal, it has added $10 billion in regulations.
President Trump on the 2016 campaign trail and in his administration has made slashing government regulations a key goal. He set in place a rule demanding that two regulations be cut for every new one proposed. The administration has actually surpassed that goal.
In their review, Bosch and Goldbeck found that most federal agencies are behind their regulation cutting goals.
They attribute the boost in costs to the paperwork burden in the 2017 tax cut and the creation of a new “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.”
But they point to major cuts coming later this year, including savings from deregulating actions targeting pending water and energy programs called for under former President Barack Obama.
“Despite the current net cost figure, the administration appears poised to see net savings on the back end of FY 2019. The overwhelmingly largest component of the upcoming deregulation is the Environmental Protection Agency’s expected repeal of the ‘Clean Power Plan,’ with $51.6 billion in currently estimated total ‘avoided costs.’ Other rules with notable cost reductions include a pair of significant rules also affecting energy production as well as the first stage of the administration’s reconsideration of the ‘Water of the United States’ rule,” said the review.
And it could reach record levels if it moves faster on a pending plan to freeze fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels, junking an Obama plan to increase them.
Said Bosch and Goldbeck, “One massive deregulatory action is not included in this study’s projection. The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule, proposed jointly by the DOT and the EPA, was published in August 2018 and was scheduled to be finalized in March 2019. Though the agencies missed that date, they still may finalize the rule by the end of FY 2019. As proposed, the rule would result in an estimated $563.6 billion in total savings – an amount that would cover the entire FY 2019 regulatory budget more than 31 times.”
The Immigrants We Need Most
Of all America's immigrant visa programs, arguably the most successful for the U.S. economy has been the H-1B program. This program admits highly skilled foreign workers who fill vital employment niches to make our Made in America businesses more successful in international markets. Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council, calls these immigrants the "brainiacs."
In many ways, he is right. America's high-tech companies use tens of thousands of these visas each year. The workers come for usually about six years, and those that are successful here apply for permanent residence when the visa expires.
The firms that use these visas must affirm that they cannot find workers with comparable skills and must pay a prevailing wage. There is little evidence that these foreign workers displace Americans from their jobs. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has testified that every H-1B immigrant his firm recruits translates into about four or five additional American workers being hired. If we want research labs, advanced manufacturing and scientific advances to happen here, we must have access to the world's best workers. The problem is there is a severe shortage of these visas. Today, there are some 65,000 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program immigrants admitted under this visa category. "In the first week of this fiscal year, nearly 200,000 petitions were received," according to Forbes. This mismatch between demand and supply is restraining America's growth spree.
The H-1B process is cumbersome and expensive for employers, and they wouldn't spend the money on the program if they were not desperate for these talented newcomers. In the last decade or so, the processing time and costs have nearly doubled to get an H-1B immigrant admitted to these shores. This is a drain on the economy and reduces American competitiveness.
I travel the nation from coast to coast and talk to employers, from large manufacturers to high-tech firms to engineering and financial services; most tell me their biggest challenge is finding the skilled workers they need.
The visa limits should be raised and adjusted to meet the demands. The feds should charge employers a higher fee to bring these immigrants to the country, and these funds could be used to beef up border security pay for the cost of administering visa programs.
The solution is to tilt our immigration system away from extended family immigrants and more toward skills and merit. To put America first, it makes sense to give green cards to the immigrants who will do the most good for our country.
Trump wants to shift our visa system to emphasize skill and merit, and Congress should get behind him. Skill-based immigration is one of our best weapons to keep the American economy number one in the world and to ensure we never surrender technological dominance to China or other rising nations that want to knock America off our commanding economic heights.
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