Archive for the ‘America first’ Category

Trump administration releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on ‘dreamers’


The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles Oct. 8, which could threaten to derail a deal in Congress to protect “dreamers” from deportation. (Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post)

The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles late Sunday that threaten to derail a deal in Congress to allow hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants to remain in the country legally.

The administration’s wish list includes the funding of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors and curbs on federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” according to a document distributed to Congress and obtained by The Washington Post.

The demands were quickly denounced by Democratic leaders in Congress who had hoped to forge a deal with President Trump to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Trump announced plans last month to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that had provided two-year work permits to the dreamers that Trump called “unconstitutional.”

About 690,000 immigrants are enrolled in DACA, but their work permits are set to begin expiring in March. Trump had met last month with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and agreed to try to strike a deal, worrying immigration hawks who feared that Trump would support a bill that would allow dreamers to gain full legal status without asking for significant border security measures in return.

The list released by the administration, however, would represent a major tightening of immigration laws. Cuts to legal immigration also are included. And, while Democrats have called for a path to citizenship for all dreamers, a group estimated at more than 1.5 million, a White House aide said Sunday night the administration is “not interested in granting a path to citizenship” in a deal to preserve the DACA program.

President Trump prepares to leave for Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement Sunday evening. “We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures … but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”

In a conference call with reporters, White House aides described the proposals as necessary to protect public safety and jobs for American-born workers, which was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign. The president has moved to tighten border security through executive orders, including curbs on immigration and refugees from some majority-Muslim nations and an increase in deportations.

The number of immigrants who have attempted to enter the country illegally across the Mexican border has decreased sharply since Trump took office.

Democrats had hoped that Trump, who had equivocated over the DACA program before deciding to terminate it in the face of a legal challenge from Texas, would be open to crafting a narrow legislative deal to protect the dreamers. But White House aides emphasized that they expect Congress to include the principles released Sunday in any package deal, a nonstarter for Democrats and some moderate Republicans.

The status of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants are up in the air with the Trump administration’s decision to phase-out DACA and pursue immigration legislation instead. Here’s a look at the “dreamers” who will be affected. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,” Trump wrote in a letter to Congress. “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”

Immigration hard-liners expressed support for the administration’s immigration proposals. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the administration for “a serious proposal” and said that “we cannot fix the DACA problem without fixing all of the issues that led to the underlying problem of illegal immigration in the first place.”

Trump had said several times over the past month that he did not expect a DACA deal to include funding for a border wall, emphasizing that the money could be included in separate legislation. But ensuring funding for the wall, which is projected to cost more than $25 billion, is the top priority on the list. White House aides declined to specify during the call how much money the president would expect from Congress.

Despite the White House’s calls for the complete construction of a southern border wall and the support of some ardent conservatives in Congress, several GOP lawmakers from border states have expressed skepticism about such projects in the past. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the second-ranking Republican, has introduced legislation that would fund only partial wall construction and mostly renovations of existing barriers.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a frequent sparring partner of Trump’s, has also cast doubt on building a wall, saying that such barriers would require accounting for the flow of rivers that run north and south across the two countries.

Others, including Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.), whose south Texas district includes more than 800 miles of border, has proposed using technology — not brick and mortar — to track the border for potentially illegal crossings.

In its principles, the Trump administration also is proposing changes aimed at reducing the flow of unaccompanied minors from Central America, tens of thousands of whom have entered the United States illegally in recent years. Immigrant rights groups have said the minors, as well as women and families, have fled gang violence and other dangers in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Under current law, minors who arrive from noncontiguous nations are afforded greater protections than those from Mexico and Canada, but the Trump administration is proposing to treat them all the same in a bid to be able to deport the minors more quickly. Such proposals will probably face fierce resistance from Democrats and human rights groups.

The administration also has sought to increase pressure on sanctuary cities, which refuse, in some cases, to cooperate with federal immigration agents seeking personal information about undocumented immigrants who’ve committed other crimes in their jurisdictions. Under the immigration priorities released Sunday, the administration is proposing that Congress withhold federal grants to such jurisdictions and that it clarify the authority of state and local jurisdictions to honor detainers issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“There is no justification for releasing a public safety threat back into the public,” said Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE. “We will not stop illegal immigration unless we stop the pull factors that are driving it. … Entering this country illegally is a crime but there are no consequences for sneaking past the border or overstaying visas.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), vice chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said that “Congress should reject this warped, anti-immigrant policy wish list. The White House wants to use dreamers as bargaining chips to achieve the administration’s deportation and detention goals.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a longtime advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, in an interview called Trump’s proposals “an extension of the white supremacist agenda.” He said it is “fanciful thinking that you can sit down with a man who has based his presidential aspirations and has never wavered from his xenophobic positions. I never understood — I just never got it, how you go from Charlottesville and white supremacists to reaching an agreement with him.”

Gutierrez renewed calls for Democrats to withhold support for an upcoming bill that would raise the debt limit or extend government spending, saying that “if you want a budget with Democratic votes, then it’s got to have some Democratic priorities.”

Trump aides said the administration’s priorities are imperative because legalizing the dreamers without fixing other parts of the immigration system would allow the problem to continue. The last major legislative overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws came in 1986 and included a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, but more than 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the country now.

The White House’s list of immigration principles will move the debate over the fate of the dreamers toward the prospect of broader comprehensive reform. Efforts to forge a comprehensive bill failed under the past two presidents, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

During his campaign, Trump had threatened to end DACA on his first day in office, but he equivocated for months, suggesting that the decision over the fate of the dreamers was among the most difficult he faced. After Texas and several other states announced plans to sue the administration over the program, Trump moved to end it but said he would hold off the most drastic measures for six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution.

“We would expect Congress to include all the reforms in any package that addresses the status of the DACA recipients,” said one White House aide on the conference call who was not authorized to speak on the record. “Other views had their fair day in the democratic process.”

Noting that the Republicans swept the White House and both chambers of Congress in November, the aide added: “The American public voted for the reforms included in this package.

In a list of “principles” laid out in documents released by the White House, the Trump administration also pressed for a crackdown on unaccompanied minors who enter the United States, many of them from Central America.

The plan, which was delivered to leaders in Congress on Sunday night, drew a swift rebuke from Democrats, who are seeking a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump ended last month.

“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” said House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

“The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the president was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so,” they said in a statement.

The Trump administration wants the wish list to guide immigration reform in Congress and accompany a bill to replace DACA, the Obama-era program that protected nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” from deportation and allowed them to secure work permits.

If enacted, the White House priorities could result in the deportation of Dreamers’ parents.

“These priorities are essential to mitigate the legal and economic consequences of any grant of status to DACA recipients,” Trump’s legislative affairs director, Marc Short, told reporters on a conference call. The White House made clear it would not be pushing for Dreamers to achieve U.S. citizenship, only legal status, in a potential deal.

Trump told Congress it had six months to come up with legislation to help Dreamers, who are a fraction of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of whom are Hispanic.

The documents call for tighter standards for those seeking U.S. asylum, denial of federal grants to “sanctuary cities” that serve as refuges for illegal immigrants, and a requirement that employers use an electronic verification system known as “E-Verify” to keep illegal immigrants from securing jobs.


Trump campaigned for president on a pledge to toughen immigration policies and build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. He vowed repeatedly that Mexico would pay for the wall, but began prodding Congress earlier this year to approve funding. Mexico has said it will not pay for the wall.

Trump’s suggestion after a meeting with Schumer and Pelosi that wall funding would not have to be part of a DACA fix alarmed some of his supporters.

The White House sees the wall as a priority but has indicated that it could be established as part of a DACA bill or through other legislative avenues. Administration officials said that legislation that did not include all of the priorities on the list would not necessarily trigger a presidential veto.

Republicans in Congress have introduced several bills that include aspects of Trump’s ideas, but many Democrats and immigration groups see the proposals as too harsh.

“The Trump administration has put forth a serious proposal to address the enforcement of our immigration laws and border security,“ said Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte in a statement. ”We cannot fix the DACA problem without fixing all of the issues that led to the underlying problem of illegal immigration in the first place.”

The White House’s wish list targets the flow of unaccompanied minors into the United States. It would require such children to be treated the same, regardless of their countries of origin “so long as they are not victims of human trafficking and can be safely returned home or removed to safe third countries,” the White House documents said.

It would expand the list of “inadmissible aliens” to include members of gangs, those who have been convicted of an aggravated felony, and former spouses and children of drug and human traffickers if they receive benefits from such behavior.

The plan also seeks to reduce the number of people who overstay their visas and reform how green cards that establish legal permanent residents are granted.

Trump’s White House has so far not been able to achieve a major legislative victory, casting doubt on the potential for a breakthrough on immigration reform, which Republican and Democratic presidents have tried before without success.

Since Trump took office in January, his fellow Republicans have failed to repeal and replace former Democratic President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and a White House plan for tax reform needs more support.


IT’S OFFICIAL: Trump Makes The NFL Bow To The Flag & Anthem

Would ANY other candidate for President have been able to take the NFL protest and turn it around to this?

In case this wasn’t clear to anyone out there, Trump was not elected — first and foremost — because of his policies.

He was elected as an antidote to the culture war that had been waged with impunity in the eight years before him.

We on the right got tired of having the institutions we love trashed, defamed, or ‘fundamentally transformed’ and watching the Republicans we elected to stop them get sand kicked in their faces. We got tired of half-measures and strategic withdrawals. We got tired of hearing ‘the better part of valor. Or ‘next time’. Or ‘the long game’

The math really isn’t that hard: when you surrender, you lose. 100% the time.

We wanted someone who wouldn’t back down from these fights. Because if we actually FIGHT them, we can win!

And guess what! Trump just scored a big win on the culture front!

Trump has stepped up to be the voice for our views. The one you don’t hear in the beltway. The one you don’t hear from all those leftist groups that absolutely despise the very idea E. Pluribus Unum. The ones that deliberately ‘divide and conquer’ us for their own political agendas.

This time, the Media didn’t have the loudest voice.

We did.

And the only way that could happen? Is because we have a bold, brash, President who picks fights for things he thinks are important. In this case, the Flag and the Anthem — some of the very few things that still keep us unified after generations of deliberately splintering America into competing interest groups.

 In case the text isn’t quite legible in that image, here is the NFL’s response:

Date: October 10, 2017

Re: Fall Meeting/National Anthem

We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports and especially the NFL brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.

I’m very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities. At our September committee meetings, we heard directly from several players about why these issues are so important to them and how we can support their work. And last week, we met with the leadership of the NFLPA and more players to advance the dialogue.

Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.

Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. We want to ensure that any work at the League level is consistent with the work that each club is doing in its own community, and that we dedicate a platform that can enable these initiatives to succeed. Additionally, we will continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.

Trump Officially Guts Obama’s Job-Killing Coal Regulations

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt made it official on Monday, announcing that the Trump administration was set to completely scrap President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations that was intended to cut down on emissions generated by coal-fired power plants. At an event in Hazard, Kentucky, Pruitt made the announcement that the administration would eliminate the program on Tuesday, bringing to an end a matter the Supreme Court put on hold nearly a year ago.

Several months ago, President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to do a thorough, top-to-bottom review of the Clean Power Plan, demanding to know if the program was necessary to achieve U.S. policy goals regarding environmental protection. The answer, of course, is a resounding no. President Obama’s EPA devised the regulations as part of the administration’s efforts to play climate saviors, recklessly moving forward despite the obvious perils. Supporters praised Obama for taking proactive steps towards curbing emissions, but detractors said that the vague climate goals outlined by the EPA were not enough to excuse the federal overreach.

In a draft proposal leaked last week, the EPA said it had found that the CPP represented an expansion of regulatory power unauthorized by existing U.S. law.

“The EPA proposes to determine that the CPP is not within Congress’s grant of authority to the agency under the governing statute,” the agency wrote. “It is not in the interests of the EPA, or in accord with its mission of environmental protection consistent with the rule of law, to expend its resources along the path of implementing a rule, receiving and passing judgment on state plans, or promulgating federal plans in furtherance of a policy that is not within the bounds of our statutory authority.”

The CPP’s real-world effects were never tested because of a Supreme Court ruling that put the program on ice until several legal challenges could be heard by the courts. Those challenges may or may not be dropped at this point, but their conclusions will likely become moot seeing as how the administration has decided to revoke the rules.

Even without going into effect, however, Obama’s federal overreach had a detrimental impact on the economy. Utilities in several states had to cancel coal projects because they expected the regulations to be codified into law and coal-fired plants were forced to schedule full shut-downs in preparation for the rules. These plants determined it would not be possible to reduce emissions to fit within the boundaries of the regulations and remain fiscally viable.

How many jobs were lost? How much did energy prices go up in areas affected by just the THREAT of the Clean Power Plan? These questions will be answered soon, and they will form another piece of Obama’s sorry legacy.

The damage is done in some respects, but we salute the Trump administration for making sure that no further damage will be inflicted on America’s energy sector. This president can’t cure all of the ills of his predecessor, but he can damn well make sure that Obama’s eight-year reign of terror does not significantly outlive his tenure in office.

DOJ Sues Company For Allegedly Hiring Foreign Workers Over Qualified Americans

by Will Racke

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against an agricultural services company for allegedly rejecting American citizen applicants in favor of foreign guest workers.

Colorado-based Crop Production Services Inc. discriminated against at least three U.S. citizens by refusing to employ them as seasonal technicians in Texas, instead hiring temporary foreign workers under the H-2A visa program, according to a complaint filed by DOJ’s civil rights division.

Crop Production allegedly set up burdensome application requirements for U.S. citizens that were not enforced for guest workers. American applicants had to complete a background check and a drug test, while H-2A workers were allowed to begin working without completing a similar screening process, according to the complaint.

Despite the availability of qualified U.S. citizen applicants, all of Crop Production’s 15 available seasonal technician jobs in 2016 went to H-2A workers, DOJ officials said

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the lawsuit reflects the civil rights division’s renewed focus on targeting employers who favor immigrant labor over native workers.

“The Justice Department will enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to protect U.S. workers as they are the very backbone of our communities and our economy,” Sessions said in a statement. “Where there is a job available, U.S. workers should have a chance at it before we bring in workers from abroad.”

The H-2A visa program allows agricultural businesses to bring in seasonal guest workers if they cannot find enough qualified U.S. citizens. Immigration law requires employers to recruit and hire available, qualified U.S. workers before resorting to the H-2A program. A similar program for non-agricultural seasonal labor, the H-2B visa, carries the same protections for U.S citizen workers.

Under Sessions, who is the Trump administration’s most enthusiastic proponent of tough immigration enforcement, the DOJ has made a priority of targeting companies that use the guest worker programs to avoid hiring American applicants. The Civil Rights Division in March established the Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative to investigate employment discrimination on the basis of U.S. citizenship.

Thursday’s lawsuit is the first brought against a U.S. business under the initiative. A DOJ official said the Civil Rights Division has opened 29 investigations of “potential discrimination against U.S. workers based on a hiring preference for foreign visa workers,” according to Fox News.

In a settlement reached with DOJ last month, a Louisiana company agreed to pay $100,000 to 12 American it passed over in favor of H-2B guest workers.

POLITICS Puerto Rican Mayor Makes 1 Sick Admission That Changes Everything

When San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz went on TV this weekend and began ranting about how Puerto Ricans were “dying” and how the Trump administration wasn’t doing enough to help the island territory in the wake of Hurricane Maria, she instantly became a hero of the left — especially after the president critically tweeted back at her.

Major news agencies began running extensive profiles of her. Celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Lady Gaga began tweeting their support of Cruz and their contempt of the president. She instantly became the face of the new narrative — namely, that the Trump administration couldn’t care less about Puerto Rico.

However, on Sunday, a little problem emerged. While Cruz had spent most of the weekend vociferously complaining about the federal government’s disaster response, it turns out she has yet to even meet with the disaster response team.

The mayor made the admission during one of her multitudinous media appearances, this one on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” To his (rare) credit, Stephanopoulos actually pressed Cruz on what the administration has been saying about her lack of involvement in disaster relief efforts.

“The president’s FEMA director is suggesting you’re not really plugged in. Yesterday, he said you need to make your way to the joint field office and get plugged in to what’s going on,” Stephanopoulos said, according to The Daily Wire. “Have you been to the joint field office? And if not, why not?”

And, cue massive equivocation.

“Well, number one, I got a call from the White House a couple of days ago. I think it was Thursday. Mr. Bossert took it upon himself to call and I was very glad that he called. He seemed to be a very action-prone — a guy that does what he says and says what he does,” Cruz said.

“So we got appointed a FEMA coordinator. We have two people that are appointed to San Juan. We are the capital city, the largest city in Puerto Rico, with the most amount of population. And we got appointed just — direct links. So, actually, I was in FEMA the couple of days afterwards. When they were at the San Juan Marriott, I was invited to visit and we have been communicating ever since.

“Things have to be done in a sustained manner,” she continued. “If I only get for a population of 350,000 or perhaps half of them are in need of food and water, sustained supplies, then, you know, I get four pallets of food, three pallets of water, that’s really not even going to provide for a dent. The supply chain of aid has to be sustained. And we have the logistics in order to do that.”

“Will you meet with them?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“People from my administration, people from my administration have been to the — yes.”

In other words, she hasn’t been to those meetings, but “people from my administration” have been. Clearly this a priority for her.

While Cruz’s claims that the president had “abandoned” Puerto Rico had gotten plenty of uncritical play in the media, there was plenty of writing on the wall to indicate Cruz’s public pleas were nothing more than politics. Take FEMA Director Brock Long, who told CNN that the San Juan mayor hadn’t even reached out to the command center to coordinate efforts.

“The problem that we have with the mayor unfortunately is that unity of command is ultimately what’s needed to be successful in this response,” Long said.

If you don’t buy what a Trump administration official has to say, though, perhaps you’ll believe another Puerto Rican mayor. Guaynabo Mayor Angel Perez Otero told the Washington Examiner that, surprise surprise, Cruz has been absent in meetings with FEMA and military officials down in Puerto Rico.

“I’ve seen other mayors participating. She’s not,” Otero said.

But she sure finds enough time to be on TV, doesn’t she?

Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter if you agree this proves who the mayor of San Juan really is.

What are your thoughts on the Trump administration’s response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma? Scroll down to comment below!


Geraldo Rivera calls BS on San Juan mayor’s false Trump blame: ‘I’m here. Who is dying?’

You called down the thunder. Well, now you’ve got it!

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, may have bitten off more than she can chew in politicizing the Trump administration’s relief efforts following Hurricane Maria now that Geraldo Rivera is on the case.

When not busy cranking out nifty custom T-shirts and hats by candlelight, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has made a name for herself complaining about the people who have come to her island to help with recovery efforts.

And while Cruz has been throwing President Donald Trump under the bus at every opportunity, other mayors are confused about her reasoning.

Rivera too saw things differently.

“On the ground I see the suffering-but feel deeply that attacking @realDonaldTrump for the ravages of nature &neglect is politicizing tragedy,” he tweeted.

On the ground I see the suffering-but feel deeply that attacking @realDonaldTrump for the ravages of nature &neglect is politicizing tragedy

The Fox News correspondent-at-large did find a “bankrupt criminally incompetent” culprit closer to home:

Rivera caught up with Mayor Cruz, sans her custom-made T-shirt, and said she was “being partisan in her sharp unfair attacks,” although he did not agree with President Trump’s most recent assessment of her criticism.

“I’ve been traveling around, I don’t see people dying,” Rivera informed the mayor.

As for the president’s assessment, he pushed back hard early Sunday while detailing some of the progress being made in Puerto Rico

We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates,…

Broncos star has one burning question for anthem protesters

While Sunday may well go down in history as the day the NFL lost its mind over anthem protests, one NFL star isn’t joining the chaos.

Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe has been unapologetically pro-national anthem. So while the rest of the NFL spent Sunday kneeling and linking arms as a direct response to President Donald Trump’s condemnation of anthem protesters, Wolfe just has one question for all of them.

“[I]t’s AMERICA! The greatest country in the world and if you don’t think we are the greatest country in the world and you reside here, then why do you stay?” Wolfe said in a statement provided to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

And it’s a very good question that most NFL anthem protesters may struggle to eloquently answer.

It’s also a question that many NFL fans have. Most NFL players would have to master soccer to make comparable money in any country outside of the United States. Considering that football and fútbol are two entirely different sports, that seems unlikely.

The Broncos still participated in anthem protests Sunday. Wolfe did acknowledge that America is a free country, and its citizens are free to peaceably protest, but he didn’t join.

While star linebackers Von Miller and Brandon Marshall both knelt, you can clearly see Wolfe (No. 95) standing with his hand over his chest in the bottom right image posted on Twitter by KCNC-TV’s Michael Spencer.

And Wolfe has a pretty good reasoning for wanting to stand as well.

“I stand because I respect the men who died in real battle so I have the freedom to battle on the field,” Wolfe said. “Paying tribute to the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom is why I stand. But everyone these days likes to find a reason to protest and that’s their right. It’s America and you are free to speak your mind. I just feel it’s disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their lives and it’s maybe the wrong platform.”


Environmentalists are suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for suspending environmental regulations in order to construct a border wall along the U.S. Environmentalists are suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for suspending environmental regulations in order to construct a border wall along the U.S.

Trump plants aides in Cabinet agencies to root out saboteurs

President Trump has reportedly stationed at least 16 politically appointed aides in several government agencies to monitor Cabinet secretaries’ loyalty, according to eight officials in and outside the administration.

“This shadow government of political appointees with the title of senior White House adviser is embedded at every Cabinet agency, with offices in or just outside the secretary’s suite,” the Washington Postreported Monday.

The advisers are stationed at departments including Energy and Health and Human Services and smaller agencies like NASA, according to paper, which obtained records through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The White House aides report to the Office of Cabinet Affairs, which is overseen by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn. The Post reported that top Dearborn aide John Mashburn holds a weekly conference call with advisers “who are in constant contact with the White House.”

The aides reportedly act as policy liaisons for the White House and the agencies.

“Behind the scenes, though, they’re on another mission: to monitor Cabinet leaders and their top staffs to make sure they carry out the president’s agenda and don’t stray too far from the White House’s talking points, said several officials with knowledge of the arrangement,” the Washington Post reported.

In some agencies and departments, government administrators have ridiculed and even rejected the Trump aides, according to the paper.

For example, the Trump appointee who oversaw Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and his aides was excluded from staff meetings after just four weeks of offering advice, two senior administration officials said.

And at the Pentagon, a high-ranking defense official told the Post a senior Trump aide  – a former Marine officer and fighter pilot – has been nicknamed “the commissar.” The name references Soviet-era Communist Party officials who oversaw military units and ensured commanders were loyal.

Former Trump campaign adviser Barry Bennett applauded Trump’s embed strategy.

“Especially when you’re starting a government and you have a changeover of parties when policies are going to be dramatically different, I think it’s something that’s smart,” Bennett told the newspaper. “Somebody needs to be there as the White House’s man on the scene. Because there’s no senior staff yet, they’re functioning as the White House’s voice and ears in these departments.”

A White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Post in an email: “The advisers were a main point of contact in the early transition process as the agencies were being set up. Like every White House, this one is in frequent contact with agencies and departments.”

Many of the advisers have business or political backgrounds, and they lack include Trump campaign aides, former Republican National Committee staffers, conservative activists, lobbyists and entrepreneurs.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump adviser, told the Post Trump must send his allies to the agencies and departments because the president has big plans to scale back bureaucracy.

“If you drain the swamp, you better have someone who watches over the alligators,” Gingrich said. “These people are actively trying to undermine the new government. And they think it’s their moral obligation to do so.”

The Post noted that Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and even Abraham Lincoln used similar arrangements with embedded aides.

“Trump’s approach may not be so different from Abraham Lincoln’s. Coming into the White House after more than a ­half-century of Democrats in power, Lincoln worked swiftly to oust hostile bureaucrats and appoint allies,” the newspaper reported. “But he still had to deal with an Army led by many senior officers who sympathized with the South, as well as a government beset by internal divisions.”

Gettysburg College professor Allen C. Guelzo said Lincoln was “surrounded by smiling enemies,” so he assigned his friends to oversee army camps and some departments.

Guelzo said, “I think that presidents actually do this more than it appears.

Former Trump immigration advisor tells harsh truth about DACA Former Trump immigration advisor tells harsh truth about DACA


Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was an immigration advisor to the Donald Trump campaign. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is expected to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, this coming Tuesday. Although liberals are up in arms about the impending doom of one of former president Barack Obama’s flagship accomplishments, a former Trump immigration advisor has a strong take about why the program should end.

One of the key terms a person must meet in order to be DACA eligible is that he or she must not have committed any serious crimes. Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, said there are loopholes and limitations that still allow criminals to receive DACA amnesty.

“What happens is a lot of gangbangers get arrested, but the state won’t have the resources to prosecute them all, so they’re released,” Kobach said on MSNBC on Friday. “It used to be before DACA that the county sheriffs would release them to ICE in hopes that they would deport them. But we have many cases of such individuals who are getting the DACA amnesty.”

Kobach is seeking to dispel the notion held by many DACA supporters that those in the DACA program automatically represent a “higher class” of person. Rather, he said, there are people from both ends of the spectrum.

“We shouldn’t have any illusion here,” Kobach continued. “DACA is a cross section of the illegal alien population. There are criminals and there are scholars, but it’s not an especially high achieving cross section of the population.”

MSNBC hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle took issue with Kobach’s characterization of people not convicted in a court of law as criminals.

Kobach is clearly understanding of the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but his point is that there are illegal immigrants who are not going through the entire legal process because law enforcement agencies are forced to make a resource-based decision on who to prosecute and who to release. Basically, he’s saying that just because a person didn’t get convicted, doesn’t mean they didn’t commit the crime.

There is some nuance to the issue of DACA immigrants, and that is being acknowledged by some Republicans. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, supports amnesty for “Dreamers,” those who were brought to the U.S. as children, but he wants that to come from Congress, not an executive order like Obama used. He still insists he is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, but he does not want to punish children for what their parents did.

Kobach is known for his tough immigration stances, and made news for accidentally revealing parts of his strategic plan for the Department of Homeland Security during a photo op with then-president-elect Trump.


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