How Much Are American Lives Worth?

Most of the people attempting to break into America are people simply looking for a way out of economic and political oppression. However, there are some seriously rotten apples in the bunch. Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about one group of rotten apples.

The article reports:

22 members of the violent El Salvadoran gang MS-13 were charged with enforcing a criminal racketeering enterprise by murdering people in ‘medieval style’ killing sprees.

A 12-count indictment was handed down Monday by prosecutors in Los Angeles who charged the MS-13 gang members with killing 7 people with machetes.

A rival gang member was dismembered and his heart cut out of his chest and thrown into canyon in Los Angeles.

 Now we know 19 of the 22 arrested gang members were here in the US illegally.

In February, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution giving Los Angeles sanctuary status for immigrants. In a 12-0 vote, the council reaffirmed laws limiting cooperation with federal authorities regarding immigration enforcement policies. Loosely translated that means that law enforcement in the city will not cooperate with the federal government to enforce immigration laws. Had immigration laws been enforced, 19 of the 22 gang members would not have been here to commit the horrendous crimes they committed.

The Auto Industry Has Lost A True Innovator

CNN is reporting today that auto industry icon Lee Iacocca has died. He was 94. He is credited as having played a major role in the creation of the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler minivan. As someone who has driven Ford Mustangs since the early 2000’s, I am grateful for his inventions.

The article reports:

Born Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 15, 1924, to Italian immigrant parents, he would go on to lead two major American car companies.

Iacocca started working at Ford Motor Company in 1946, and was a major figure in the development of the Ford Mustang — the first vehicle of its kind. He was named president of Ford in 1970, but was fired by Henry Ford Jr. in 1978.

“I began my life as the son of immigrants, and I worked my way up to the presidency of the Ford Motor Company,” Iacocca wrote in his 1984 autobiography. “When I finally got there, I was on top of the world. But then fate said to me: ‘Wait. We’re not finished with you. Now you’re going to find out what it feels like to get kicked off Mt. Everest!'”

He was then hired by Chrysler Corp. in 1978 and became the company’s CEO in 1979. He is credited with saving the company from bankruptcy.

Iacocca urged Congress to authorize the Treasury Department to guarantee $1.5 billion in bank loans for Chrysler. Chrysler needed the bailout to survive back to back recessions in the early 1980s. Chrysler repaid the loans early. Treasury made money on the stock it received as part of bailout packages.

With the help of more fuel efficient and competitive products such as the so-called K-cars — which included the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant — Chrysler became strong and profitable again.

Iacocca led Chrysler during an era in which Asian and European imports first started to take a significant share of the US automakers’ portion of the American car market.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, my husband was commuting 50 miles to work each way. We owned a significant number of K-cars during that time. I hope Lee Iacocca is spending his time in heaven designing a new breed of sports cars for angels to take for a spin!

He was truly an American success story.

Progress?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has agreed to pass the Senate border funding bill after the House bill was defeated in the Senate. The bill has now passed the House by a vote of 305-102. Some Democrats want to be re-elected in 2020.

The article reports:

“Behind the scenes,” noted CNN, “moderates were encouraging members of the Blue Dog and Problem Solvers caucuses to vote against a procedural vote that governed floor debate and force Pelosi to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, as the White House and Hill Republicans have been demanding.” Per Politico, 18 centrist Dems were prepared to tank her revised bill on the floor if she didn’t hurry up and pass the Senate bill instead. The reason Democrats hold the House majority right now is because a bunch of centrists knocked off a bunch of Republican incumbents last year in purple districts. Those centrists are frightened of perceptions back home that Democrats don’t want to do much of anything to ease the crisis at the border except complain about how immigrants are being treated, and they know how potent Trump’s messaging on this topic can be. In the end, if Pelosi wants to keep her majority, those members need to be protected even if it makes AOC cry. So Pelosi made a hard choice: Hand the centrists a win, even at the price of being steamrolled by Mitch McConnell, even knowing how lefties will caterwaul, and get immigration off the table for now.

That choice was made slightly easier for her by the fact that McConnell’s Senate bill wasn’t a party-line matter.

The Senate border bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-8. It has bipartisan support.

According to UPI:

The Senate passed the bill Wednesday, setting aside nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid and increasing security measures at the border. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

At some point we need to understand that the more liberal Democrats are not interested in increasing security  measures at the border.

We Are Being Played

We have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. We also have a legal crisis of our southern border. No country can randomly allow non-citizens to cross their borders illegally and then take advantage of the largess of their citizens. All of these immigrants crossing  into the country illegally are receiving  medical care, dental care, etc. at the border. Many of them manage to collect government benefits after being here. Many receive free college tuition that American citizens do not get. Yes, there is a problem. It would be nice if Congress solved the problem. Hopefully they are moving in that direction.

Meanwhile, as Rahm Emmanuel once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

The first thing you do is create a really good photo op. Below is an example:

This is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crying over the plight of immigrant children at our southern border. There is only one problem with the picture.

This is the shot from another angle:

I guess it is touching that AOC has compassion for border patrol agents standing in an empty parking lot, but somehow that is not how the media described the picture. The media suggested that AOC was sobbing presumably at the sight of migrant children being inhumanely detained. From the looks of the second picture, that was not exactly the case.

Photos posted at The Gateway Pundit.

 

 

 

It’s Not Just About Immigrants

On Saturday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the “We Build the Wall” organization led by founder and organizer Brian Kolfage. They are building their first major border wall section on the West Texas-New Mexico border.

The article reports:

In the first video “Foreman Mike” discussed the latest progress on the Sunland Park project. “We Build the Wall” is closing up on their first half mile of wall. They project is approximately 2,300 feet and they have 350 more feet to go to finish the project.

The construction team has used over 600 concrete trucks so far. They are also pouring concrete for a 25 foot speedway behind the all for Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol officials say the current project when complete will cut off 19 different foot trails on Mount Cristo Rey on the border. The cartels are bringing $100,000 to $200,000 in drugs each day through the open border in this area.

Mike added this on the effectiveness of the current project, “When I got here 17 days ago there were 450 people a night crossing.  When equipment started arriving it went to 300.   When manpower started working we went down to 200.  When we started placing the bollards it went from 70 to 30 to 0.  We’ve had no crossings in the last 8 days.”

Then Mike added this on the very security  situation,  “We have military clad specialists from the cartels probing our line.  The only thing stopping them is our specialists in the hills counteracting with them.  We expect to be completed late, late, late this evening or early tomorrow with the first segment of the wall. “

When asked about the security needed to deal with the drug cartels, Mike replied, “It’s extremely dangerous.  They got within 15 feet of the escavators last night.  They’re coming down and trying to probe against the new wall… We have approximately 15 guards on post, armed security individuals.”

This is a video of exactly what is happening with the “We Build The Wall” Project:

If nothing else, this is proof that when the government fails to act, Americans can and will get things done.

Economic Policies Impact All Of Us

The Trump economy has been good for everyone. Taxes are lower, wages are moving up, unemployment is low, and the workforce participation rate is moving up. Wages on the lower economic scale have seen a marked increase in the past year. However, one thing that impacts government spending as well as being an indication of economic conditions  is food stamps. Yesterday Breitbart reported that the most recent USDA data revealed that 37,911,631 people received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in December 2018, marking the lowest level of overall participation in the nation’s food stamp program in nearly ten years. That is good news for the people who no longer need food stamps, and it is good news for taxpayers who fund food stamps.

The article reports:

The last time overall participation in food stamps reached this level was in October 2009, when 37,672,818 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.

…After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits.

Food stamp enrollment dropped even further under President Trump’s administration partly because of the administration’s efforts to reform welfare programs like SNAP at federal and state levels of government and an improving economy spurred by Trump’s tax reform package.

The article concludes:

According to the latest USDA data, 4.2 million Americans have dropped off of the food stamp rolls during Trump’s presidency.

President Trump also signaled that he is looking to limit dependency on welfare programs like food stamps even further.

The president recently told Breitbart News in an Oval Office interview that he does not want any immigrants coming into the U.S. to be dependent on welfare programs.

“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News last Monday.

The asylum program was not meant to be a free lunch. There is a difference between people coming here to work and people coming here for free stuff.

One Way To Trim The Federal Budget

Breitbart is reporting today that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 3.8 million people dropped off food stamps since President Donald Trump’s first full month in office.

The article reports:

The latest USDA data revealed that food stamp participation dropped to 38,577,141 in November 2018, down by 3,899,257 since Trump took office in February 2017, when 42,134,301 Americans received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp enrollment also dropped to its lowest level in a decade. The last time overall food stamp participation was this low was in November 2009, when 38,184,306 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.

Overall food stamp participation had consistently declined since 2013 when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest levels in the nation’s history.

After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits.

Another cause for the drop in food stamp participation was a proposal to tighten regulations regarding recent legal aliens. Food stamp participation by people who immigrated to the United States during the past five years has dropped by 10 percent. This is in response to a proposal that immigrants who received food stamps or other welfare benefits would not be granted permanent residency in the United States.

We cannot be the free lunch for anyone in America or the world who does not want to earn a living. Food stamps should be a temporary safety net–not a permanent solution. Work requirements and limitations on non-citizens using food stamps are a way to make sure the food stamp program is not misused.

The Numbers–Do They Actually Matter?

On January 6th, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about illegal immigration.

The article reported:

According to an Economist/YouGov survey, a jaw-dropping 93 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigration is a problem.

“A wide-ranging Economist/YouGov survey gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is ‘not a problem’; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement,” The Washington Times reported.

There are differences in how serious people believe the immigration problem is, but those who shrug off illegal immigration are few and far between.

“40 percent of Americans overall say illegal immigration in the U.S. is a ‘very serious problem’; 73 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree,” The Times explained.

“22 percent overall say illegal immigration is a ‘somewhat serious problem’; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree,” the paper summarized. Another 24 percent of Americans said that it was a “minor problem.”

At the same time, the Economist/YouGov survey revealed some inconvenient results for liberals.

When respondents were asked if they trusted Republicans or Democrats to deal with border security, a higher percentage — 31 percent — said “Republicans.” Meanwhile, 62 percent thought Congress should compromise with the president to end the government shutdown.

It seems as if most Americans are aware of the problems associated with illegal immigration regardless of what the media is trying to tell us. A border wall is a good idea. However, we also need to do something about America’s very broken immigration system. Our current immigration laws have been exploited by major corporations to replace American workers with cheaper workers. This has been done not only on the low end of the pay scale, but also on the higher end.

On June 3, 2015, The New York Times reported:

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Of course that was legal immigration, but it was a typical case of a corporation using a bad law to its advantage.

I don’t know if the wall will actually be built. It should be. The wall is opposed by Democrats (present and future voters–many illegals are currently voting in our elections) and Republicans (U.S. Chamber of Commerce members who support illegal immigration because it depresses wages in the lower sectors of the economy and increases their profits). We have reached a point where our representatives not only do not represent us–they have forgotten to represent the best interests of America.

Common Sense Begins

The Washington Times reported yesterday that President Trump plans to make a major change in immigration rules. The new rule would require immigrants to show they aren’t a public burden if they want to extend their visas or get on the path to citizenship. That sounds like common sense to me. America is struggling to take care of her veterans, and struggling to provide assistance to the people already here. Why would we bring in more people from other countries to drain our welfare system further?

The article reports:

The president’s backers said they expect Mr. Trump and his team to finalize the proposal. If anything, they said, it doesn’t go far enough to crack down on what appears to be rampant welfare use by noncitizens and their children.

“I think they’re going to implement them as is or with some tweaks. This is the kind of thing he was elected for,” said Steven A. Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “While there might be advocacy groups that object to that idea, the fact is most Americans think immigrants should be self-sufficient, so I think they’re on pretty strong ground.”

The center released a study this month calculating that a staggering 63 percent of households led by noncitizens use at least one welfare program. The rate for households led by native-born Americans is just 35 percent.

It would also be a good idea to begin to put a time limit on welfare programs. For instance, a person could not get housing assistance for more than 10 years or food stamps for more than 5 years unless they showed proof of at least part-time employment or job training. We cannot afford to continue to take money away from people who earn it and give it to people who didn’t earn it and think they are entitled to it.

The Problem With Bringing People Into America And Not Asking Them To Assimilate Into Our Culture

Yesterday the Associated Press posted an article about Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, a Jordanian immigrant.

The article reports:

A Jordanian immigrant could face the death penalty after a Texas jury convicted him of killing his daughter’s American husband and an Iranian women’s rights activist in what prosecutors described as “honor killings.”

Prosecutors say Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan was enraged when Nesreen Irsan left home to marry a Christian and convert to Christianity, so he orchestrated the killings of his son-in-law and his daughter’s close friend who had encouraged the marriage.

“Honor and shame, that’s what this is all about,” special prosecutor Anna Emmons told jurors. “You heard him say honor is a big deal to him. And the only way to clean that honor is to kill.”

Irsan’s trial in Houston lasted five weeks, but jurors deliberated for just 35 minutes Thursday before convicting him in the deaths of Coty Beavers and Gelareh Bagherzadeh, according to the Houston Chronicle . A sentencing hearing was set to begin Friday. Irsan faces life in prison or the death penalty.

Irsan testified that his daughter caused his family pain after running away to marry Beavers, and that Bagherzadeh had encouraged the union.

Americans need to understand that this behavior would be perfectly acceptable in Mr. Irsan’s homeland of Jordan.

The article also reports:

Nesreen Irsan testified that her father forbade her from dating Christians. She said she went to court to obtain a protective order to stop her family from harassing her after she moved in with Beavers.

Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan acknowledged that he violated the protective order by continuing to call his daughter and drive near Beavers’ home. But he said he was concerned his daughter was on drugs and making bad decisions.

The first thing we need to require of immigrants to America is that they respect our laws. Obviously Mr. Irsan did not respect the protective order or the law against murder. Honor killings are a way of life in Muslim countries. We need to make it clear to people immigrating to America from those countries that murder is against the law here, and we need to make sure those guilty of murder are sent to jail for a very long time. This case is one example of why immigrants to America need to assimilate into our culture. We do not have a perfect culture, but if you want to live here, you need to abide by the rules.

Who Is Working And Who Is Not

The National Review Online posted an article today about job growth since the recession began in December 2007.

The article reports:

From November 2007 through November 2014, the number of employed native-born Americans has decreased more than 1.45 million, while the number of employed immigrants has risen by more than 2 million (as the immigrant population grew rapidly, too), according to data compiled by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Native employment has still not returned to pre-recession levels, while immigrant employment already exceeds pre-recession levels,” the report says. “Furthermore, even with recent job growth, the number of natives not in the labor force (neither working nor looking for work) continues to increase.”

This might be something to consider when debating President Obama’s amnesty memo. I suspect there are two main reasons for this statistic–first of all immigrants (legal or illegal) may be willing to work for lower wages, and secondly, many immigrants may have a stronger work ethic than many Americans. Either way, this does not bode well for America’s future.