Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Testimony

An article posted at The Federalist on Thursday includes the testimony of Federalist senior correspondent John Daniel Davidson, delivered before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Some highlights of his testimony:

McAllen, a city of fewer than 150,000 residents, is now facing the prospect of thousands of migrants discharged from ICE custody, wandering the streets and sleeping in doorways and on park benches—the city’s mayor has said as much. What’s more, in February the city ordered Catholic Charities to vacate the former nursing home and find a new location within 90 days, citing complaints from neighbors about constant traffic and strangers wandering nearby streets where children play. By any measure, the situation in McAllen is an emergency.

This is just one border town in Texas. Something similar is playing out all up and down the U.S.-Mexico border. In El Paso, hundreds of migrant families are turning themselves in to Border Patrol every day, overwhelming federal facilities and personnel. In a five-minute stretch one day in late March, Border Patrol apprehended two different groups totaling 400 people. On the night of President Trump’s rally in El Paso in February, a group of 300 turned themselves in to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol station, which sits on an empty stretch of New Mexico scrubland 22 miles west of El Paso. Agents had to move all the ATVs out of the garage just so a hundred or so migrants would have someplace warm to sleep that night. Since then, things have been getting worse.

The testimony states:

If you spend enough time talking to migrants themselves, a pattern begins to emerge. Most of them have similar stories about why they left their home countries in Central America, and they report similar experiences of how they made their way through Mexico to the southern U.S. border. A few common characteristics stand out:

  • A majority of the “family units” are men traveling with one or more children;
  • Many of these men say they have a wife and other children back in their home country and that they intend to secure work in the U.S. and send money back to support them;
  • They are headed for all points across the U.S. and have family members or friends in those places. Many of them also have jobs already lined up;
  • Nearly all of them say they left their homes because it is dangerous, citing gang violence, threats, extortion, etc.; they are all claiming asylum.
  • At the same time, many of them will admit that they don’t plan to remain in the U.S. permanently, and in fact have a set amount of time they plan to live and work here before returning home;
  • All of them say they paid a smuggler to secure safe passage to the border (the amount varies from $2,000 to $6,000 per person, sometimes more). Generally, they say they took cars or buses for transit through Mexico.

The testimony concludes:

Without a doubt, there is a crisis at the southern border. But it’s a deeply misunderstood crisis that’s being driven by specific factors and disproportionately affecting specific regions of the border, primarily the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso. In general, the growing numbers of migrants now crossing the border are being driven by three major factors:

  • If you’re a minor or a family, it’s even easier to enter the U.S. now than it was during the Obama administration for the simple reason that there is no capacity at federal detention facilities and families can expect to be released soon after being detained by Border Patrol.
  • Smugglers are now marketing to people —women, families—who don’t want to undertake an arduous or dangerous journey. They have created a sophisticated and efficient busing package that has proven very popular with families, and word has gotten back to communities in Central America that, if they pay, the journey will be short, safe, and they will not be detained for long once inside the U.S.
  • Conditions in Central America have not improved enough to induce people to remain in their home countries. Persistent poverty, violence, and corruption, combined with the fear that it’s not going to be this easy to get into the U.S. forever, is prompting families to come now.

There is no easy solution to this crisis. Border security is part of the solution, but so is congressional action.

As long as Central American families know they can gain entry to the U.S. by initiating asylum proceedings upon crossing the border, the crisis will continue. As long as cartels and criminal networks know they can profit from trafficking migrant families to the border, they will do so. And as long as conditions in Central America continue to fester, families who can afford it will seek a better life for their children by traveling north.

The crisis on our southern border is not the result of anything President Trump has done. It is the result of years of inaction by Congress and previous administrations. As previously stated–Democrats see illegal immigrants as future Democrat voters; Republicans see illegal immigrants as cheap labor. Neither party sees them as desperate people. President Trump is at least trying to discourage them from making a long, dangerous trip. President Trump is also trying to protect America from being overwhelmed. If you doubt what this is about, look up the Cloward-Piven strategy. It explains what is currently happening (and illustrates why it must be stopped).

A Relevant Political Strategy?

Every Friday I have a brief conversation with Lockwood Phillips that airs on 107.1 WTKF some time between 6 and 7 pm. This week we talked about the Cloward-Piven political strategy. This strategy was developed by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven at Columbia University in May 1966. A description of the strategy was posted in the magazine “The Nation” with the title, “The weight of the poor: A strategy to end poverty.” I think ending poverty is a wonderful idea, although I don’t think it is possible. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” If you believe the Bible, we will always have poor people; it is our responsibility to treat them kindly and help them–not enable them to stay in poverty.

So what is the Cloward-Piven strategy to end poverty? It is a political plan to overload the U.S. public welfare system so that it collapses and then replace it with a system that provides a guaranteed annual income for everyone. Theoretically this will end poverty. Some of the people who have espoused this strategy are Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, and George Soros. Many of these people were very instrumental in the political career of former President Barack Obama.

So let’s look at where our welfare system is now (the figures below are from 2015):

  • Roughly $1 trillion annually is given to more than 107 million Americans who receive some type of government benefits–not including Social Security, Medicare or unemployment
  • Before President Obama took office there were 26 million recipients of food stamps. In 2015, there were 47 million. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million. In July 2017, the number was 42.6. Economic policies make a difference.

In 2012, Forbes posted the following about President Obama’s welfare society:

  • An increase of 18 million people, to 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps;
  • A 122 percent increase in food-stamp spending to an estimated $89 billion this year from $40 billion in 2008;
  • An increase of 3.6 million people receiving Social Security disability payments;
  • A 10 million person increase in the number of individuals receiving welfare, to 107 million, or more than one-third of the U.S. population;
  •  A 34 percent, $683 billion reduction in the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2009 (latest data) from its 2007 peak.

And let’s not forget new entitlements like Obamacare, which will result in government expansion and expenditures by 2022 to the tune of:

  • Federal expenditures on Obamacare will total $2.3 trillion, a $1.4 trillion increase from the program’s initial estimates;
  • The combination of budget cuts and sequestration will reduce defense spending by $1 trillion, while total government spending will increase by $1.1 trillion;
  • Taxes will be increased by $1.8 trillion;
  • Yet, the national debt will increase by another $11 trillion.

The Heritage Foundation summarized well: “In 1964, programs for the poor consumed 1.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Today, spending on welfare programs is 13 times greater than it was in 1964 and consumes over 5 percent of GDP. Spending per poor person in 2008 amounted to around $16,800 in programmatic benefits.”

How will illegal immigration impact these numbers? What is the current financial situation of California? Do we want the financial situation in California to become the financial situation of America?

There are people in our government working behind the scenes to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy. The honestly believe that taking money from the people who earn it and giving it to the people who did not will end poverty. Most of the people working toward this goal are quite well off and somehow figure that their wealth will not be impacted. I guess if they succeed and are in control, it is possible that their wealth will not be impacted. Good luck to the rest of us.

 

The Dangers Of Not Closely Monitoring Immigration

On Tuesday The Daily Wire posted an article about some recent information from the Department of Homeland Security.

The article reports:

The Department of Homeland Security revealed Tuesday that the threat of “fake families” declaring asylum together at the United States’ southern border is no joke; more than 150 illegal immigrant “families” have used non-familial children or adults to attempt to convince border patrol agents to allow them to remain in the country.

The Daily Caller reports that “there has been a 110 percent increase in male adults showing up at the border with children. Further, DHS separated 507 illegal immigrants between April 19 and September 30 because they fraudulently claimed they were part of a family unit.”

The thing to remember here is that there are people in various countries in South American coaching people on how to break into America. If that is a harsh word, I’m sorry–it is what is happening. I will admit that our immigration system needs serious reform, but that is no excuse for people thinking they can simply come here illegally and stay. Right now America is severely in debt. We have neglected our veterans and are not doing a good job of taking care of anyone. We cannot afford to be overrun with non-citizens who want to be taken care of.

When evaluating what is happening at our border, it might be wise to consider the Cloward-Piven strategy from the 1960’s. Cloward-Piven was a strategy to convert America to a socialist state (taken from Discover the Networks):

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands. 

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1971 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. 

This may well be what the caravans are actually about. If this theory is too wild for you, step back and look at the movement toward socialism in the recent election.

Good Economic News

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that the third quarter GDP was 3.5 percent.

The article reports:

The US GDP for the third quarter was reported at a whopping 3.5% under the leadership of President Donald Trump. This was another BIG Trump win which doubles the first quarter growth of 2.2%. 

President Obama never reached an annual GDP Growth rate of more than 3.0%.  No President over the past century had not ever been held to GDP growth rates of less than 3.0% until Obama.

The article includes the following chart:

Note the large increase in GDP ratio to debt between 2007 and 2009. The way to bring that ratio back down is to grow the economy. It will be a slow process, but it can be done.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at the above numbers is what would have happened had Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016. The policies of President Obama would have continued–slow economic growth, high unemployment, increased dependency on food stamps, etc. One political theory that is embraced by some in the political left is Cloward Piven.

The Cloward-Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.

I believe that the outcome of the Cloward-Piven theory was the goal of the economic policies of President Obama and expected President Hillary Clinton. We have temporarily dodged that bullet, but we need to remember that there are powerful Americans working toward that end.