The Problem With Illegal Immigration

Making the trip from Central America to Mexico to the southern border of America is dangerous. The trips are often funded by drug cartels smuggling drugs and trafficked children into America. Generally the people behind the funding are not people you would want to trust. There is also the matter of terrorists entering America in the midst of the overwhelming numbers of people coming here illegally. Meanwhile, the Democrats in the recent debate were all set to give free healthcare and other benefits to people who are coming here illegally. What about putting some money toward medical care for Americans and our veterans? Hopefully most Americans understand that free stuff is never free.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the promises Democrats are making to those who come to America illegally. Has it occurred to these Democrats that their words are a magnet encouraging people to join the caravans coming north?

The article reminds us of the cost of illegal immigration to Americans:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year, despite the rising loss of jobs to automation.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

Flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

We elect people to office to represent us–not to put the interests of non-citizens above the interests of citizens.

Doing What Needs To Be Done

Last year, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 521,090 people were apprehended as inadmissible at the southwest border of America. From January through March of this year, the total is 422,334. It is obvious that we have a problem. President Trump threatened Mexico with tariffs if they did not make an effort to close down the immigrant highway that runs through their country. The usual suspects objected–the Democrats, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and some Republicans. The President did not back down, and President Trump reached an agreement with Mexico.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the agreement.

The article observes:

The Mexican government of Lopez-Obrador was desperate to reach an agreement as U.S. companies had already begun rapid supply chain preparation to avoid the tariffs scheduled to begin on Monday. Think about the scale of international investment into Mexico, done with the sole purpose of gaining access to the U.S. market.

The tariff proposal not only put U.S. investments into play, but massive international investments would be impacted.  [A recent example is a billion-dollar investment in a single BMW auto assembly plant by the German automaker]  An already tenuous Mexican economy was likely to be crushed by the consequences of President Trump’s tariff schedule. [Unrecoverably crushed]

Mexico reported yesterday they moved 6,000 national guard to their Southern Border; and they also began arresting immigration activists previously identified as participating in an effort to aide migrants traveling through the country.  However, even with that rapid action/reactionary approach by Mexico, President Trump was not impressed.

The article includes the State Department’s Press Release regarding the agreement:

The United States and Mexico met this week to address the shared challenges of irregular migration, to include the entry of migrants into the United States in violation of U.S. law. Given the dramatic increase in migrants moving from Central America through Mexico to the United States, both countries recognize the vital importance of rapidly resolving the humanitarian emergency and security situation. The Governments of the United States and Mexico will work together to immediately implement a durable solution.

As a result of these discussions, the United States and Mexico commit to:

Mexican Enforcement Surge

Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks. Additionally, the United States and Mexico commit to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including information sharing and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border.

Migrant Protection Protocols

The United States will immediately expand the implementation of the existing Migrant Protection Protocols across its entire Southern Border. This means that those crossing the U.S. Southern Border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims.

In response, Mexico will authorize the entrance of all of those individuals for humanitarian reasons, in compliance with its international obligations, while they await the adjudication of their asylum claims. Mexico will also offer jobs, healthcare and education according to its principles.

The United States commits to work to accelerate the adjudication of asylum claims and to conclude removal proceedings as expeditiously as possible.

Further Actions

Both parties also agree that, in the event the measures adopted do not have the expected results, they will take further actions. Therefore, the United States and Mexico will continue their discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.

Ongoing Regional Strategy

The United States and Mexico reiterate their previous statement of December 18, 2018, that both countries recognize the strong links between promoting development and economic growth in southern Mexico and the success of promoting prosperity, good governance and security in Central America. The United States and Mexico welcome the Comprehensive Development Plan launched by the Government of Mexico in concert with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to promote these goals. The United States and Mexico will lead in working with regional and international partners to build a more prosperous and secure Central America to address the underlying causes of migration, so that citizens of the region can build better lives for themselves and their families at home.

We have a President who gets things done, even when those who should be willing to help are not.

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.

Will Solving The Immediate Problem Actually Accomplish Anything?

A website called nffonline.com notes:

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said (paraphrased), ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’

Today Venezuela was rocked by violence as opposition leader Juan Guaidó attempted to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela.

The Associated Press is reporting today:

The violent street battles that erupted in parts of Caracas were the most serious challenge yet to Maduro’s rule. Still, the rebellion, dubbed “Operation Freedom,” seemed to have garnered only limited military support.

In one dramatic incident during a chaotic day, several armored vehicles plowed into a group of anti-government demonstrators trying to storm the capital’s air base, hitting at least two protesters.

Russia has troops in Venezuela as does Cuba. The Monroe Doctrine applies to the Russian involvement; it doesn’t cover the Cuban involvement. So should America get involved, to what degree, and how? Well, let’s look at history. I can’t think of any incidence where we have been involved in an overthrow of a government (no matter how tyrannical) and had a positive outcome. The only positive examples that you might be able to come up with would be Germany, Italy, and Japan (World War II). That was an entire world-wide war–not the overthrow of a country’s government. We have no history of replacing dictatorships with democracies and having everyone live happily ever after.

But for the sake of argument, let’s look at how American involvement that put Juan Guaidó in charge would change things. The generals in Venezuela are involved with the drug cartels that ship drugs into America through Mexico. Until we deal with the drug problem on our southern border, the corruption in the Venezuela military will continue. Can a country exist as a free country with a corrupt military that is working with the drug cartels?

We are back again to seeing the impact of a porous southern border that allows drugs to flow into our country and drug lords make enormous sums of money sending those drugs into our country. Unless we take the market away from the military generals in Venezuela and the drug cartels, any move we make to bring freedom to Venezuela will be in vain.

Our Southern Border

CNS News posted an article yesterday detailing what is happening at the southern border of America.

The article reports:

Rodolfo Karisch, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability on Thursday, that the Border Patrol in his sector has intercepted illegal aliens trying to enter the United States “from 40 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Romania and China.”

“I want to provide some perspective on the challenges facing our men and women at the Southwest border,” Karisch told the committee in his opening statement. “Though I cannot speak for all of the components of Customs and Border Protection, I can provide a first-hand account of the complex border-security environment and ask for your assistance in helping our frontline men and women.

The article includes some statistics to illustrate what is happening at our southern border:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has published a spread sheet listing the number of illegal aliens apprehended in each border sector in 2017 by their nation of citizenship.

Of the 303,916 who were apprehended that year along the U.S.-Mexico border, only 127,938—or approximately 42.1 percent—were from Mexico.

1,364 of the deportable aliens intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 were from the People’s Republic of China. Of these, 702 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

564 deportable aliens from Bangladesh were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 304 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

433 deportable aliens from Romania were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 94 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

35 deportable aliens from Turkey were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 21 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

It’s time to build a wall so that we know who is coming in.

It’s Hard To Figure Out Who To Believe

The mainstream media lies. We could debate whether they lie or are simply misinformed, but the fact remains that they do not do a good job of informing the public on current events. Today Fox News posted an article that illustrates the problem with discerning the truth.

The article reports:

The Washington Post was among many news organizations to denounce President Trump’s claim of tape being used to silence women during illegal border crossings — but a subsequent New York Times article revealed the president wasn’t making things up after all.

Back on Jan. 25, the Post published an update to a piece headlined, “Trump again mentioned taped-up women at the border. Experts don’t know what he is talking about.” It claimed the president’s “new favorite anecdote” was about tape covering the mouths of migrant women.

Post reporter Katie Mettler wrote that Trump, in pushing for a border wall, was claiming “without evidence that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape” before illegally crossing the border. The Post called Trump’s claims “salacious and graphic,” even providing a timeline of Trump’s taped-women rhetoric.

“Yet human-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about,” Mettler wrote.

Not so fast. Last week, The New York Times published a piece headlined, “Yes, there was duct tape: The harrowing journeys of migrants across the border.” The piece – part of a limited-run series on border crossing – reveals that tape is used during border crossings.

The Times report said that women are “tied up” and “bound,” featuring first-hand accounts from several women who experienced the brutality themselves.

“For weeks, President Trump has been criticized for exaggerating the brutality experienced by migrant women on the border as he makes his case for a wall,” the Times wrote. “But there is some truth to the president’s descriptions of the threat of sexual assault and of women who have been duct-taped and bound.”

Building a border wall will not put an end to all of the evil that is happening at the border. However, we do need to acknowledge that there is a lot of evil happening at the border. The situation at our border is a national emergency with caravans of people breaking into our country. It is time Congress stopped ignoring the safety of Americans and of those in the caravans and got behind President Trump to build the wall.

If It’s Not About The Money, What Is It About?

In January of 2018, The Washington Times noted that the estimated $18 billion over the next decade spent on a border wall between the United States and Mexico would be roughly 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period. So what is all the fuss about?

Yesterday WWF came to the Oval Office in the White House when Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer discussed the border wall with President Trump. YouTube posted the video:

The battle is not about money–it’s about votes. The Democrats have lost some of the voting blocs they have counted on to win elections–they can no longer be sure of the working man’s vote or the union vote. So how are they going to win elections? They are counting on the minority vote. The Democrats are afraid that if the wall is built, they will lose the Hispanic vote.

According to the Pew Research Center, this is how Hispanics voted in 2018:

According to a USA Today article posted November 9, 2016, President Trump did surprisingly well among Hispanic voters:

Hispanics favored Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton 65% to 29%, a 36-point difference that helped her secure winning margins in states like Nevada and Colorado and kept her competitive late into the night in other key battleground states.

But that margin, based on exit polling conducted by Edison Research, was smaller than the 71%-27% split that President Obama won in 2012. And it was smaller than the 72%-21% her husband, former president Bill Clinton, won in 1996.

Because the Democrats are becoming more dependent on the votes of minority groups to win elections, it is easy to understand why they would oppose any legislation or spending that most cost them votes in the minority community.

We Really Did Handle Immigration Better At Ellis Island

LifeZette posted an article today about the migrant caravan attempting to get into America from Mexico.

The article reports:

Migrants who came with the caravan are suffering from respiratory infections, tuberculosis, chickenpox and other serious health issues, Tijuana’s Health Department warned on Thursday morning.

The spokesman told Fox News that out of 6,000 migrants currently residing in the city, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues.

There are three confirmed cases of tuberculosis, four cases of HIV/AIDS and four separate cases of chickenpox, the spokesman said.

At least 101 migrants have lice and multiple instances of skin infections, the department’s data shows.

There’s also a threat of Hepatitis outbreak due to unsanitary conditions, the spokesman said.

At Ellis Island, immigrants who were not healthy or had no marketable skills were returned to their home countries.

The biggest change to America’s immigration policies occurred in 1965 and was promoted by Senator Ted Kennedy.

So what did The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (H.R. 2580) do? Here are the basics:

The Hart–Celler Act abolished the quota system based on national origins that had been American immigration policy since the 1920s. The 1965 Act marked a change from past U.S. policy which had discriminated against non-northern Europeans. In removing racial and national barriers the Act would significantly alter the demographic mix in the U.S.

The new law maintained the per-country limits, but also created preference visa categories that focused on immigrants’ skills and family relationships with citizens or U.S. residents. The bill set numerical restrictions on visas at 170,000 per year, with a per-country-of-origin quota. However, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and “special immigrants” had no restrictions.

On September 2, 2009, Numbers USA posted the following about that change:

Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have destroyed the ability of the United States to be an environmentally sustainable nation in any decade soon because of the gigantic U.S. population growth that he has forced.

And Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have knocked hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the middle class as their occupations have collapsed and wages declined because of inundation with Kennedy’s favored foreign workers, or because they have directly lost their jobs to foreign competitors.

We need to consider the consequences of the Hart-Celler Act as we decide how to deal with the migrant caravans that are attempting to breach our southern border.

Things Haven’t Changed, But You Wouldn’t Know It If You Watch The Mainstream Media

This article is based on two articles, one from Breitbart posted today and one from The San Diego Union-Tribune, dated November 25, 2013. If you watch the mainstream media, recently you heard how inhumane it was to use tear gas on people trying to break through the southern border of America. No one mentioned that this was not the first time this approach was used, or that tear gas was probably the most harmless approach available to the border agents that were faced with people charging the border.

Breitbart reported today:

Five years almost to the day before President Donald Trump’s border officers blocked migrants with tear gas, authorities under President Barack Obama used identical tactics along the same stretch of border near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to 2013 press accounts.

From The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2013:

A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said.

The incident has raised concerns among advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, as well as Border Patrol representatives.

…As the crowd kept advancing and throwing rocks and bottles, she said, more agents came to the scene and used other “intermediate use-of-force devices” to push back the group. The agents also contacted Mexican law enforcement.

Tijuana’s top police officer, Public Safety Secretary J. Alberto Capella, said “There is no information that we can provide.” He referred questions to the U.S. Border Patrol.

The spokesman for Tijuana police, Rafael Morales, said the agency’s officers did not intervene and had no knowledge of the incident.

Caston said several agents were struck in the arms and legs with rocks, and that one agent was hit in the head with a filled water bottle.

“While attacks on Border Patrol agents are not uncommon, the agents showed great restraint when faced with the dangers of this unusually large group, and fortunately no one was serious injured,” said Paul Beeson, San Diego sector chief for the Border Patrol.

The agency did not specify the time of Sunday’s incident.

This type of rush on the border has not been seen since the late 1980s and early ’90s, when groups of border-crossers would run into the U.S. while agents tried to apprehend as many people as possible. The practice mostly disappeared after Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994 and brought with it tall fences, walls and more agents.

How did the press treat President Obama during this incident versus how the press is treating President Trump during the recent incident? Double standard anyone?

Not All Refugees Are An Asset To America

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a recent arrest in Arizona.

The article reports:

The FBI arrested 30-year-old Ahmad Suhad Ahmad in Tucson, Arizona, last week following a two-year investigation.

According to the limited information contained in the two-page criminal complaint, Ahmad had told a confidential source in December 2016 that he knew how to detonate a bomb using a cell phone — a technique he said he learned during the war in Iraq.

In April 2017, the same confidential source asked Ahmad if he knew how to make a car bomb for a target in Mexico, and if he could show him how to build one. Ahmad agreed.

A week later Ahmad showed the source an image on his cell phone of explosive materials and instructions written in Arabic, which he promised to translate into English. He also met with other sources and undercover FBI agents about planning to build the bomb.

Ahmad Suha’s arrest is the third arrest of an Iraqi refugee in a week.

The article reports:

As I reported earlier, 34-year-old Ashraf al-Safoo was arrested near Chicago and charged with running a pro-ISIS propaganda ring. According to the Justice Department, al-Safoo took orders directly from ISIS officials. Through social media, he spread propaganda on behalf of the terror group, helping ISIS to recruit and encouraging supporters to conduct terror attacks. He was born in Mosul, Iraq. and moved to the U.S. in 2008, and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

And last Wednesday, 19-year-old Naser Almadaoji of Beavercreek, Ohio, was arrested at Columbus International Airport attempting to fly to Kazakhstan, where he planned to cross the border into Afghanistan to join the ISIS affiliate there. The U.S. attorney responsible for the case said Almadaoji came to the U.S. from Iraq about a decade ago.

As noted by the 9/11 Commission Report, Tucson was the home of the first known American al-Qaeda cell, and is the former home of al-Qaeda co-founder Wael Julaidan — who was once the president of the Islamic Center of Tucson — as well as al-Qaeda operative Wadi al-Hage.

It would make sense to send these men to Guantanamo–they should not be deported to join forces with other terrorists, and it is risky to house them n American prisons–they would attempt to recruit prisoners and there would always be the risk of a hostage situation to free them. That is why we still need Guantanamo.

President Trump Has Reached A Trade Deal With Canada And Mexico

America has not done well in trade deals in the recent past. Our manufacturing sector has suffered for a variety of reasons–high taxes, bad trade agreements, energy costs, etc. The Trump administration has begun to address these issues, sometimes more successfully than others.

This past weekend, Fox Business announced that the United States and Canada confirmed that they had reached a deal on a “new, modernized trade agreement,” which is designed to replace the 1994 NAFTA pact.

The article reports:

In a joint statement the two nations said the new deal would be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said following a cabinet meeting, “It’s a good day for Canada.”

…The agreements reportedly boost U.S. access to Canada’s dairy market and protect Canada from possible U.S. autos tariffs.

Trump’s administration has said Canada must sign on to the text of the updated NAFTA by a midnight Sunday deadline or face exclusion from the pact. Washington has already reached a bilateral deal with Mexico, the third NAFTA member.

If Canada did not sign a new deal, Trump had threatened to impose steep tariffs on all automotive imports.

…Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and wants major changes to the pact, which underpins $1.2 trillion in annual trade. Markets fear its demise would cause major economic disruption.

Negotiators from both sides spent two days talking by phone as they tried to settle a range of difficult issues such as access to Canada’s dairy market and U.S. tariffs.

As part of any agreement, Canada looks set to offer increased access to its highly protected dairy market, as it did in separate pacts with the European Union and Pacific nations.

Access to Canada’s dairy market was one of the sticking points of the negotiations. Canada places high tariffs on imported dairy products in order to protect its dairy farmers.

This agreement is another indication of the Trump administration’s desire to protect the interests of America. America is simply looking for a level playing field in trade agreements. This treaty is one more step in that direction.

Good News For American Workers

The Washington Examiner posted an article today stating that a trade deal has been negotiated with Mexico. The deal did not include Canada, President Trump has indicated that he wants to cut a separate deal with Canada.

The article reports:

The main aspect of Monday’s deal with Mexico was raising to 75 percent, up from 62.5 percent, the amount of North American-made parts a car or truck must have to qualify as duty-free under NAFTA. The change will make it less economical for manufacturers to rely on supply chains that extend into Mexico. The Trump administration has long sought to force more manufacturing back into the U.S. Deal also requires at least 40 percent of auto content to be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour.

The article concludes:

The deal will likely increase pressure on Canada to agree to U.S. demands when three-way talks resume, mostly likely after López Obrador takes office.

“Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed NAFTA agreement,” Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, told Reuters. “We are in regular contact with our negotiating partners, and we will continue to work toward a modernized NAFTA. We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class. Canada’s signature is required.”

America has made some bad trade deals in the past. NAFTA is one of them. It looked good on paper (to some people), but hurt American workers. I applaud President Trump’s efforts to protect the jobs of American workers and bring jobs back to this country.

Why Border Security Matters

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that a Jordanian national who allegedly smuggled six Yemeni citizens into the U.S. from Mexico was arrested Saturday. Yemen is know to be a hotbed of terrorism.

The article reports:

Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, 31, was given an arrest warrant followed by a criminal complaint on May 29 for the supposed smuggling trips through the Texas border between July 1, 2017 and December 12, 2017, the DOJ reported Monday.

Aldairi was also a Mexican citizen and conspired with others who wanted to smuggle “Special Interest Aliens” across the border, according to the complaint.

…“The HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) interviews with the six (6) detained Yemenis revealed that each of them paid ALDAIRI varying amounts to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico,” the complaint said.

“Alien smuggling puts our national security at risk, and the Criminal Division is dedicated to enforcing our immigration laws and disrupting the flow of illegal aliens into the United States,” Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said, according to the DOJ press release.

Does any thinking person believe that potential terrorists are not taking advantage of our porous borders–both north and south?

 

Somehow The Logic Of This Escapes Me

The Daily Caller is reporting today:

Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) called for mass immigration to the United States during a speech Tuesday declaring it a “human right” for all North Americans.

“And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said, adding that immigrants “must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”

He then declared it as “a human right we will defend,” eluniversal.com reports.

While the election is not until July 1, Obrador is by far the frontrunner.

So if someone were to move into his house without his permission, he would support their right to do that?

The article further reports:

Fox’s Tucker Carlson noted Thursday that Obrador has previously proposed granting amnesty to Mexican drug cartels. “America is now Mexico’s social safety net, and that’s a very good deal for the Mexican ruling class,” Carlson added.

We cannot be Mexico’s social safety net–we are not doing a very good job of being our own social safety net.

So what is behind the idea of sending everyone to America for free stuff? It’s called the Cloward-Piven Strategy. An article in The Federalist Papers posted on July 5, 2014, explains the strategy:

In 1966  Richard Cloward and Francis Fox Piven, Columbia university professors introduced a political strategy in in an article entitled ‘The Weight Of The Poor: A Strategy To End Poverty’.

The article outlined a strategy to overload the system and create so much poverty that the United States would become a social-welfare state with economic and political power concentrated at the top with far fewer freedoms than we enjoy today/

That is part of what is going on. The rest has to do with party politics–the Democrats see illegal immigrants as future Democrat voters. The Republicans are bought and paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where big businesses support the influx of cheap labor. The average American is not currently represented by the people in Congress, and if unbridled illegal immigration continues, we are going to lose the freedom and wealth we do have.

The Terrorists Are Already Here

Breitbart is reporting today that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found at an international bridge connecting Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The Mexican town is the headquarters of the Los Zetas cartel.

The article reports:

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office issued a statement in regards to the recent discovery of the IED. The information released by Mexican authorities does not reveal the date that the bomb was left at the bridge, but confirmed that the explosive was active. The IED was left at the Las Americas International Bridge, also known as Bridge One. Neither the City of Laredo nor U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released any information in relation to the IED at the port of entry.

Mexican authorities de-activated the explosive device and removed it from the pedestrian lane of the bridge. While bomb threats are not unheard of at the various international bridges in Tamaulipas where cartels often flex their muscle; the discovery of an actual explosive device at the bridge is a first of its kind.

The border city of Nuevo Laredo is under the control of the Cartel Del Noreste faction Los Zetas cartel; a violent, transnational criminal organization that uses the Texas border city of Laredo as one of its main corridors into Texas.

The article further reports:

The knowledge of the IED at the border bridge comes days after as Breitbart Texas reported, Mexican authorities discovered two anti-personnel mines known as Claymores in the border city of Camargo, a Mexican city that sits immediately across the border from Rio Grande City, Texas. The mines were found in underground storage facilities used by the Gulf Cartel to hide weapons and ammunition. While the CDN controls Nuevo Laredo, the areas east of there are controlled by the Gulf Cartel. Both the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas criminal organizations have undergone a series of internal fighting and fracturing that is linked to the escalating violence in the various border cities with Texas.

Thank God for the fact that these weapons were discovered before they were actually detonated.

The Free Market Works Every Time

Yesterday The New York Times posted an article about the energy industry in Mexico. The article is about a recent move by the Mexican government to end state control of the energy industry in Mexico. The decision to deregulate has paid off.

The article reports:

The government began auctioning off rights two years ago to drill in parts of the Gulf of Mexico. On Tuesday, an international consortium of energy companies said they had discovered a large oil field, and another firm said it had discovered more oil than expected in a separate area.

The overhaul of the Mexican oil and gas sector in recent years eventually ended the state energy company’s seven-decade domestic monopoly on exploration and production. The aim was to arrest years of declining oil output, blamed on a slow-moving public sector that lacked the technology to exploit opportunities in deep-sea drilling, or shale oil and gas.

The two announcements on Tuesday appeared to suggest that Mexico’s strategy, which was met with criticism when it was first pushed through, was succeeding.

The consortium, made up of Premier Oil of Britain, as well as Talos Energy of Texas and the Mexican company Sierra Oil and Gas, said that it had discovered a field containing more than one billion barrels of oil in shallow water 40 miles off the Mexican coast. Riverstone Holdings, an American private equity firm that specializes in energy investments, owns 45 percent of Talos Energy and 43 percent of Sierra Oil and Gas.

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when there is an incentive to accomplish it!

There are two things to note here–like it or not, fossil fuel is the basis of the current world economy, and an improving Mexican economy may help slow down the pace of illegal immigrants coming to America from Mexico. This is a win-win situation for Mexico and for America. The free market works every time it is tried.

This Is A Problem

I grew up watching three major television stations report the news and reading one newspaper. I was lulled into a false sense of security that what I was reading and what I was hearing was reasonably fair and accurate. Unfortunately, even if that was true then, it isn’t true now.

 
Sean Hannity posted a list on his website of the stories the mainstream media misreported this week. These are important stories, and believing the mainstream media could easily lead you to numerous false conclusions.

 
This is a list of the stories from the article:

1.The left lost it after it was reported that Trump was easing restrictions on Russia. The news seemingly confirmed the Democratic narrative that Trump showed favoritism to Vladimir Putin.
In truth, it turned out that the “easing of sanctions” had been a “technical fix” planned under the Obama administration.

2. Earlier this week the Associated Press reported that President Trump threatened to send U.S. troops into Mexico.
The reports were based on a White House readout of a call between Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Trump.
Upon the release of the actual transcripts of the conversation, it turned out that President Trump actually offered to send U.S. assets to assist in Mexico’s fight with drug cartels.
Even the Mexican government vehemently denied the story.

3.It was reported that the mother of an Iraqi-born veteran of the fist Gulf war died due to being denied entry under Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.
According to the original report:
A local business owner who flew to Iraq to bring his mother back home to the US for medical treatment said she was blocked from returning home under President Trump’s ban on immigration and travel from seven predominately Muslim nations.
The story eventually fell apart when the man’s Imam came forward and said that the man’s mother had died before the ban had even been signed.

4. On Thursday, the media ran with reports that Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch founded and presided over a club called the “Fascism Forever Club” while he was in high school.
The “evidence” for the claim came from the Georgetown Preparatory School yearbook from Gorsuch’s time at the school, and was first reported on by the U.K. Daily Mail.
As it turns out, no such club ever existed.
The “Fascism Forever Club” had been a sophomoric joke amongst the students.

5.Trump renamed “Black History Month” to “African American History Month.” “Donald Trump, turns out, did not officially change Black History Month to National African American History Month … it’s been that way for decades,” TMZ laster reported. “Trump’s official presidential proclamation uses the words, ‘African American History Month’ — but President Obama did the same. In fact, since President Carter … almost all Commanders-in-Chief have used the same language in proclamations.”

6. Last, but not least–the following tweets:


If you get your news from the mainstream media, there is a good chance that you are being misinformed.

The Experiment Of The States

America is made up of 50 different states. Each state is unique–politically, economically,  geographically, ethnically, etc. So if people could live anywhere they wanted to, where would they live? Actually, the age of the internet has made that somewhat possible–telecommuting has grown in recent years. So let’s look at where people live.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a study of trends in population growth in states within America. The data for the study came from the IRS. The results were not really surprising.

The article reports the findings of the study:

To measure the states that are most attractive to Americans on the move, we developed an “attraction” ratio that measures the number of domestic in-migrants per 100 out-migrants. A state that has a rating of 100 would be perfectly balanced between those leaving and coming.

Overall, the biggest winner — both in absolute numbers and in our ranking — is Texas. In 2014 the Lone Star State posted a remarkable 156 attraction ratio, gaining 229,000 more migrants than it lost, roughly twice as many as went to No. 3 Florida, which clocked an impressive 126.7 attraction ratio.

Most of the top gainers of domestic migrants are low-tax, low-regulation states, including No. 2 South Carolina, with an attraction ratio of 127.3, as well as No. 5 North Dakota, and No. 7 Nevada.

…Overall, many of the most affluent states are the ones hemorrhaging high-income earners the most rapidly. As in overall migration, New York sets the standard, with the highest outmigration of high income earners (defined as annual income over $200,000) relative to in-migrants (attraction ratio: 53). New York is followed closely by Illinois, the District of Columbia and New Jersey, which are all losing the over-$200,000-a-year crowd at a faster pace than California.

The big winners in terms of affluent migration tend to be historically poorer states, mainly in the Sun Belt and the Intermountain West. Florida has an attraction ratio for people earning over $200,000 a year of 223, the highest in the nation, followed by South Carolina, Montana, Idaho and North Carolina.

Given the opportunity, Americans move to states with lower taxes and less regulation over their businesses and daily lives. Now if we could only teach them to vote that way in national elections…

 

One Way To Pay For The Wall

I have heard a number of suggestions as to how to pay for a border wall on America‘s southern border. One idea is to place a small tax on any money wired out of America to Mexico. It seems that many illegal aliens work ‘under the table,’ don’t pay taxes, and send money home to their families. While sending money home to your family is a noble idea, working ‘under the table’ doesn’t help the deficit or the American economy. Taxing that money would probably raise more than enough to pay for a wall. However, there is another idea that is also worth investigating.

Yesterday Gateway Pundit posted an article about paying for a wall on our southern border.

The article quotes a Lifezette report:

To fund construction of a new U.S. border wall, Donald Trump and senior advisers are considering various ideas, including the use of assets seized from drug cartels and others in the illicit drug trade.

As the debate over who will pay for the wall dominates the discussion on cable news, sources involved in the pre-planning of the GOP nominee’s Mexico trip told LifeZette the Trump camp is looking for innovative ways to pay for the construction of the border wall that both countries can support. Sensitivities in Mexico regarding Trump’s visit, and specifically paying for the border wall, are running high.

A senior Trump policy advisor stressed the proposal was just one of several funding options being discussed and said the idea was not raised during Trump’s meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

That would be a very efficient way to handle the problem.

 

Common Sense Rears Its Head

Breitbart.com posted an article today about a Los Angeles Times reporter who was surprised to find Latinos who are supporting Donald Trump for President. Robin Abcarian attended a Donald Trump rally in Fresno, California, and was surprised to find Latino supporters of Trump there.

The article reports:

It turns out that many of them are American citizens or legal immigrants who care about the country’s borders, and share the same views as fellow conservatives Republicans on a variety of issues.

His rhetoric about Mexicans doesn’t bother you, I asked?

“It’s about illegal aliens!” Jennings said. “Mom and I can’t go to Canada and just squat and get benefits. We couldn’t go to Mexico either without the proper paperwork. They’d put us in jail!”

“I’m Mexican,” Aderhold said, “and I understand that Mexicans do the farm labor, but there are a lot of legal ones. That’s how they should do it, the way my parents did.”

Note that these people were here legally. The people who have come to America legally do not want to see our borders erased–they want other people to stand in line and do things legally as they did. It is not a surprise to hear that many of them are supporting Donald Trump.

An Interesting Endorsement

Many public figures are endorsing their candidates for President. In recent days Franklin Graham has endorsed Donald Trump, as has Chris Christie. On February 16th, Allen West posted an article indicating the choice of Thomas Sowell.

The article reports:

Thomas Sowell has been an intellectual giant in the conservative movement for decades. Despite rarely making appearances in the media, the economist and author has managed to become a household name among conservatives.

Many of the candidates currently running have received criticism from Sowell in prior columns, but none more than Donald Trump. Sowell’s criticism was featured in National Review’s now-famous (or infamous) issue “against Trump.”

The article further states:

If the Republicans are to avoid having Donald Trump lead them — and the country — to disaster, they are going to have to have the majority of non-Trump supporters get behind some given candidate.

Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in this column before, and will undoubtedly be criticized here again. But we can only make our choices among those actually available, and Senator Cruz is the one who comes to mind when depth and steadfastness come to mind.

Donald  Trump has been accumulating celebrity endorsements at an impressive rate. It’s about time someone received an endorsement from a different kind of “celebrity.”

Ted Cruz would be better for America than Donald Trump. I understand the anger of American voters–I am angry too–but voting out of anger will not get us where we need to go. Donald Trump is an accomplished businessman, but that does not guarantee that he will be a good President. I honestly think that he would be a bad choice.

This Won’t Help Me Sleep Nights

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed that eight Syrian illegal aliens were taken into custody as they attempted to enter America in the Laredo Sector.

The article reports:

Agent Garza further stated that in matters as sensitive as Syrians crossing the border from Mexico, it would be highly unlikely that federal agencies would publicize it or inform a broad group of law enforcement. He did say that Local 2455 is taking the reports seriously and that they “will be issuing an officer safety bulletin advising Border Patrol agents to exercise extra precautions as they patrol the border.”

Breitbart Texas can confirm that a Syrian did attempt to enter the U.S. illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was caught using a passport that belonged to someone else and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved due to “circumstances.”

The obvious question here is, “If eight were caught, how many got through?”

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan

I will repeat–I am not endorsing Donald Trump, but a friend emailed this to me and I think it is interesting. Also, I am told that anything with Donald Trump’s name in it will get multiple clicks, and I am not above pandering. At any rate, this is Donald Trump’s plan:

IMMIGRATION REFORM THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

The three core principles of Donald J. Trump‘s immigration plan

When politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.

Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.

3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Make Mexico Pay For The Wall

For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries). They have even published pamphlets on how to illegally immigrate to the United States. The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc. Indeed, the annual cost of free tax credits alone paid to illegal immigrants quadrupled to $4.2 billion in 2011. The effects on jobseekers have also been disastrous, and black Americans have been particularly harmed.

The impact in terms of crime has been tragic. In recent weeks, the headlines have been covered with cases of criminals who crossed our border illegally only to go on to commit horrific crimes against Americans. Most recently, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record, is charged with breaking into a 64 year-old women’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her. The Police Chief in Santa Maria says the “blood trail” leads straight to Washington.

In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found that there were a shocking 3 million arrests attached to the incarcerated alien population, including tens of thousands of violent beatings, rapes and murders.

Meanwhile, Mexico continues to make billions on not only our bad trade deals but also relies heavily on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from illegal immigrants in the United States back to Mexico ($22 billion in 2013 alone).

In short, the Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners. They are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up.

The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices.

Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options].  We will not be taken advantage of anymore.

Defend The Laws And Constitution Of The United States

America will only be great as long as America remains a nation of laws that lives according to the Constitution. No one is above the law. The following steps will return to the American people the safety of their laws, which politicians have stolen from them:

Triple the number of ICE officers. As the President of the ICE Officers’ Council explained in Congressional testimony: “Only approximately 5,000 officers and agents within ICE perform the lion’s share of ICE’s immigration mission…Compare that to the Los Angeles Police Department at approximately 10,000 officers. Approximately 5,000 officers in ICE cover 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, and are attempting to enforce immigration law against 11 million illegal aliens already in the interior of the United States. Since 9-11, the U.S. Border Patrol has tripled in size, while ICE’s immigration enforcement arm, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), has remained at relatively the same size.” This will be funded by accepting the recommendation of the Inspector General for Tax Administration and eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.

Nationwide e-verify. This simple measure will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.

Mandatory return of all criminal aliens. The Obama Administration has released 76,000 aliens from its custody with criminal convictions since 2013 alone. All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries, a process which can be aided by canceling any visas to foreign countries which will not accept their own criminals, and making it a separate and additional crime to commit an offense while here illegally.

Detention—not catch-and-release. Illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border must be detained until they are sent home, no more catch-and-release.

Defund sanctuary cities. Cut-off federal grants to any city which refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement.

Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa. Millions of people come to the United States on temporary visas but refuse to leave, without consequence. This is a threat to national security. Individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visa expires should be subject to criminal penalties; this will also help give local jurisdictions the power to hold visa overstays until federal authorities arrive. Completion of a visa tracking system – required by law but blocked by lobbyists – will be necessary as well.

Cooperate with local gang task forces. ICE officers should accompany local police departments conducting raids of violent street gangs like MS-13 and the 18th street gang, which have terrorized the country. All illegal aliens in gangs should be apprehended and deported. Again, quoting Chris Crane: “ICE Officers and Agents are forced to apply the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Directive, not to children in schools, but to adult inmates in jails. If an illegal-alien inmate simply claims eligibility, ICE is forced to release the alien back into the community. This includes serious criminals who have committed felonies, who have assaulted officers, and who prey on children…ICE officers should be required to place detainers on every illegal alien they encounter in jails and prisons, since these aliens not only violated immigration laws, but then went on to engage in activities that led to their arrest by police; ICE officers should be required to issue Notices to Appear to all illegal aliens with criminal convictions, DUI convictions, or a gang affiliation; ICE should be working with any state or local drug or gang task force that asks for such assistance.”

End birthright citizenship. This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration. By a 2:1 margin, voters say it’s the wrong policy, including Harry Reid who said “no sane country” would give automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

Put American Workers First

Decades of disastrous trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed our middle class. Today, nearly 40% of black teenagers are unemployed. Nearly 30% of Hispanic teenagers are unemployed. For black Americans without high school diplomas, the bottom has fallen out: more than 70% were employed in 1960, compared to less than 40% in 2000. Across the economy, the percentage of adults in the labor force has collapsed to a level not experienced in generations. As CBS news wrote in a piece entitled “America’s incredible shrinking middle class”: “If the middle-class is the economic backbone of America, then the country is developing osteoporosis.”

The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans – including immigrants themselves and their children – to earn a middle class wage. Nearly half of all immigrants and their US-born children currently live in or near poverty, including more than 60 percent of Hispanic immigrants. Every year, we voluntarily admit another 2 million new immigrants, guest workers, refugees, and dependents, growing our existing all-time historic record population of 42 million immigrants. We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to: help wages grow, get teenagers back to work, aid minorities’ rise into the middle class, help schools and communities falling behind, and to ensure our immigrant members of the national family become part of the American dream.

Additionally, we need to stop giving legal immigrant visas to people bent on causing us harm. From the 9/11 hijackers, to the Boston Bombers, and many others, our immigration system is being used to attack us. The President of the immigration caseworkers union declared in a statement on ISIS: “We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.”

Here are some additional specific policy proposals for long-term reform:

Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs. We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program. More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program’s lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas. This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.

Requirement to hire American workers first. Too many visas, like the H-1B, have no such requirement. In the year 2015, with 92 million Americans outside the workforce and incomes collapsing, we need to companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. Petitions for workers should be mailed to the unemployment office, not USCIS.

End welfare abuse. Applicants for entry to the United States should be required to certify that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare and other needs before coming to the U.S.

Jobs program for inner city youth. The J-1 visa jobs program for foreign youth will be terminated and replaced with a resume bank for inner city youth provided to all corporate subscribers to the J-1 visa program.

Refugee program for American children. Increase standards for the admission of refugees and asylum-seekers to crack down on abuses. Use the monies saved on expensive refugee programs to help place American children without parents in safer homes and communities, and to improve community safety in high crime neighborhoods in the United States.

Immigration moderation. Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers.

I don’t agree with everything listed, but I think it is time to have a discussion that includes compassion for refugees who want to come here and some protection for unemployed Americans.The ideas above might be a place to start the discussion.

The Impact Of No Effective Immigration Policy

I am not opposed to immigration–it is what built America and part of what keeps it great. I am opposed to illegal immigration because I believe that a country should control its borders. Our legal immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed so that more legal immigrants can come to America. We need an efficient immigration system that allows skilled workers and people seeking refuge to come to America. However, we also need to allow the people who come here time to be assimilated. We also need to encourage them to assimilate. We also need to make sure that we protect Americans and their jobs.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about the impact of immigration during the past forty years.

The article reports:

Wages and share of income for the bottom 90 percent of American wage-earners declined over the past 40 years, as the foreign-born population increased dramatically, data requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee shows.

Since 1970, the foreign-born population of the U.S. increased 325 percent, the Congressional Research Service found, while wages for the bottom 90 percent of earners decreased by 8 percent and their share of income by 16 percent. (RELATED: Media Ignores Evidence Americans Want To Reduce Legal Immigration)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker weathered sharp criticism from Democrats and some conservatives this week after saying immigration policy should put American workers first.

We seem to be the only country in the world that has abandoned the responsibility of protecting its borders. If Americans were sneaking into Mexico through the Mexican border the way illegal immigrants are sneaking into America through the Mexican border, they would be arrested and deported (or jailed) promptly. I don’t understand why that doesn’t happen on both sides of the border.

The article at The Daily Caller includes the following graph:

Source: Congressional Research Service Report

It also includes a very disturbing chart:

Source: Center for Immigration Studies

There is nothing wrong with allowing legal immigrants to enter America, but immigration needs to be regulated with the needs of Americans taken into consideration.