Sally Yates Testimony

I almost didn’t write on today’s Sally Yates, James Clapper testimony tonight, simply because I couldn’t find a fact to pull from. 

Three hours of live testimony covered by the cable news outlets, and I didn’t feel like we learned anything we didn’t already know.

Michael Flynn did bad things.  Still no direct evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russia government.  Sally Yates doesn’t like the travel “ban” executive order.

Yada, yada, yada…

And then I found this.

Via a Mark Levin tweet linked to a conservative review update linked to a National Review article, I found a nugget of truth:  15% of active terrorism investigations came to the United States as refugees.  

That’s significant.

Read the transcript of FBI Director Comey’s testimony from last week:

COMEY: “If we have about 1,000 home grown violent extremist investigations and we probably have another 1,000 or so that are — I should define my terms. Home grown violent extremists, we mean somebody — we have no indication that they’re in touch with any terrorists…Then we have another big group of people that we’re looking at who we see some contact with foreign terrorists. So you take that 2,000 plus cases, about 300 of them are people who came to the United States as refugees.”

So, a thousand are home grown. Another thousand are actually in touch with foreign terrorists. And 300 came in as refugees. 

And that’s why the travel “ban” is important.

I use quotations because it was never a true ban, but rather a pause to allow six foreign countries to get their house in order.

It was also not a restriction on a single religion, either, which seemed to be the focus of Ms. Yates’ discussion with Senator Cruz.

She said: “I’m also familiar with an additional provision … that says no person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a visa because of race, nationality, and place of birth. That I believe was promulgated after the statute that you just quoted. And that’s been part of the discussion with the courts … whether this more specific statute trumps the first one (about the President’s ability to control immigration).”

There are many other predominantly Muslim countries that were not included in the executive order.  Yet, the six countries that were included in the order all have one thing in common, and it isn’t religion.

Each country in the executive order does not have a functioning central government.  They have no way to effectively vet refugees on their end. 

This is why the 300 number is important. 15% of those being actively investigated by the FBI for ties to terrorism came into the United States as a refugee.

This is why the travel “pause” was issued. Of those 300 refugees under investigation, it only takes one terrorist to kill a lot of Americans.  None of us want that.

As a closing thought, let me remind you of this mischaracterization from November 17, 2015 regarding objections to Syrian refugees:

“Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” Obama said of Republicans. “At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”

Now we learn 15% are potential terrorists. President Trump’s executive order would have made America a safer place.

-John Anchor

@JohnAnchorBLOG

blog@johnanchor.com

More About That Wall

Criticisms of the Wall

From the New York Times:

“Is there a threat of ISIS or Qaeda terrorists entering through the southern border?  Not much, according to many terrorism specialists. Seamus Hughes, deputy director of George Washington University’s program on extremism, said there had been few instances of would-be terrorists using the southern border to enter the United States.”

So because it’s rare, we don’t need to protect against it?  Is that logical?  If it is possible, we should protect against it. 

From CBS:

“But the Rio Grande, a natural barrier that separates the U.S. and Mexico, discourages border crossers.”

So it’s not needed because the natural river barrier has prevented illegal immigration from ever becoming a problem? Is that how you read that?

More from CBS:

“(The border wall) serves as a negative psychological impact on people that visit (Laredo). Could you imagine having a city with a huge wall there? It’s not very inviting. It’s very divisive.”

I’m sorry, but isn’t that the point?  The purpose of the wall is to prevent illegal immigration. It is not supposed to be inviting! 

LEGAL immigration is welcome and should be encouraged. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants. But immigrants should go through the proper channels and the proper crossings.

CBS again:

“The nearly 2,000-mile long southern border is already protected by almost 700 miles of fencing…For vast stretches, it is an imposing metal barrier. But other sections do little to stop people. And where it abruptly ends, it’s easy enough to step around it.”

It’s easy to step around it? That sounds like an argument FOR the wall!

From Senator Schumer, tweeting on February 28th:

“This nation was built by immigrants. They will always be welcome here. #NoBanNoWall”

Surely, one can see the difference between legal and illegal immigration. That is a straw man argument, that those who are for the wall are against immigration in all forms. The purpose of the wall is to protect against what is already a federal crime and has been for years. 

And finally, regarding a letter signed by several senators, including Senator Schumer:

“Specific concerns highlighted in the letter included the cost of the border wall, the effectiveness of the border wall, and the lack of specifics from the Trump administration on the wall.”

Does anybody remember Senator Schumer threatening a government shutdown over the high cost of the Affordable Care Act which contributed to the doubling of the national debt during the Obama presidency?  I didn’t think so. 

Raising questions about costs, effectiveness, and specifics are important things for a member of Congress to be asking, but one gets the impression that much of the criticism is in opposition to President Trump specifically and is not grounded in logic.

If that is true, it is not too far of a stretch to say those who are doing so are playing politics with our national security.  And that isn’t right.

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG

References:

New York Times

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/27/us/politics/fact-check-trump-border-wall-mexico.html

CBS

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-trump-executive-order-mexican-border-wall-impact/

Schumer

http://dailysignal.com/2017/03/14/schumer-who-voted-for-wall-in-2006-threatens-government-shutdown-over-border-wall-funding/

About That Wall

“In the last several years, millions of undocumented aliens have illegally immigrated to the United States. They have breached our nation’s immigration laws, displaced many American citizens from jobs, and placed an increased financial burden on many states and local governments.” -President Carter, 1977

“All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected, but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.”

“That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.”

“In the budget I will present to you we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace…”. -President Clinton, 1995

The Secure Fence Act of 2006 included:

Construction of fencing and security improvements in border area from Pacific Ocean to Gulf of Mexico”

Passed House 283-138 (219 Republicans, 64 Democrats voted Aye)

Passed Senate 80-19 (54 Republicans, 26 Democrats voted Yea)

Yea Votes: Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Joe Biden

“This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.” -President Bush, October 26, 2006

Then and Now

What changed?

Are any of the statements made in the speeches above incorrect? 

Are they racist?

The difference? What has changed over the last few years is the political climate in the United States.

The logical question to follow is: Are our political leaders making decisions based on facts and following their convictions? 

Or, is their decision making based upon which way the political wind is blowing?

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG

References:

1977 Undocumented Aliens Message to the Congress

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=7923

1995 State of the Union

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr6061/text

Secure Fence Act of 2006

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr6061/text