I Have Many Questions About This

On April 24, The Carolina Journal posted an article (a very favorable article) about the growing North Carolina market for “safe, consistent” hemp products. Now I will admit that safe and consistent is a good idea. There have been some local vape shops that have recently been closed down for ‘inconsistent’ levels of THC in some of their products (levels over the legal limit). However, I have a lot of other questions about this ‘growing market.’

The article notes:

The nascent industry may be showing signs of maturing, however. A pharmaceutical-grade hemp products manufacturing facility located in Nash County has been growing its operational capacity since it first opened in 2019 with a primary focus on offering premium quality. Their mission is to create safe and consistent standards for consumers that range from elderly grandmas taking gummies to help them sleep; to spastic dogs being served bacon-flavored CBD gummies for anxiety; to those interested in more recreational products, like hemp-derived ‘Delta 9.’ 

At the helm of the venture is a leading state lawmaker: Rep. John Bell, R-Wayne. Set to serve as chairman of the powerful Rules Committee in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Bell recently became president of Asterra Labs, which develops, manufactures, and distributes hemp-derived products for retail, wholesale, and white-label production partnerships. The goal is to offer consumers a sure-quality alternative to potentially unsafe, inconsistent CBD/THC products in a mostly unregulated space. (emphasis mine)

The hemp products claim to calm dogs with anxiety and help grandmothers sleep. That’s nice, but this looks an awful lot like a pain-killing drug that will be sold on the open market without a prescription. If it can calm anxiety (even though just in dogs), it also has some psychological impact. Also, the North Carolina legislature controls the laws that limit the distribution of certain drugs. It seems to me that having the head of one of the most powerful committees in that legislature as the president of a company producing hemp is questionable at best.

The article is very favorable toward the growing hemp industry in North Carolina. I don’t share their view.

The article concludes:

“The consumer will always know exactly what they’re getting,” said Bell. “This could be a major industry in North Carolina, but we also need regulation to make it happen.” 

He says regulation is needed to prioritize safety and quality rather than unregulated products that likely contain inconsistent ingredients and concentrations. Last week, the House Select Committee on Substance Abuse recommended regulating the sale and distribution of hemp-derived consumable products, as well as kratom products, which are currently widely available across North Carolina. 

Just call me skeptical.

Is Anyone Surprised?

On Thursday, The Post Millennial posted an article about a recent group of people who were squatting in the Bronx. These squatters were arrested on drug and gun charges.

The article reports:

Four of the illegal immigrant squatters who were arrested in a Bronx home on charges related to firearms, drugs, and child endangerment reportedly skipped their processing appointments with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to the New York Post, Yoessy Pino Castillo, Yojairo Martinez, Javier Alborno, and Yerbin Lozado-Munoz, aged 25, were detained by the US Border Patrol in Texas over a year ago. However, they were subsequently released into the country due to overcrowding at processing centers. They failed to appear for their processing appointments.

Johan Cardenas Silva, another individual involved in the squatting incident, was taken into custody in 2022 and had previously been ordered for removal by an immigration judge. However, he was released from his detention center under an order of supervision to report to New York City. Silva failed to attend his Enforcement and Removal Operations appointment upon arriving in New York City.

“At the check-ins, migrants are supposed to file a claim, that could be for asylum, and let officials know where they are staying. Immigration officials can then determine what level of supervision is required,” the Post explained.

The four men were among eight squatters recently apprehended for occupying a house where firearms, drugs, and a seven-year-old child were discovered in the basement.

This is what happens when you fail to secure the borders of the country.

The Value Of Drug-Sniffing Dogs

On Saturday, The Hill posted an article about a drug seizure at the Otay Mesa, California, cargo facility this month.

The article reports:

Mexican cartels for decades have devised creative ways to smuggle narcotics and other contraband across the southern U.S., including using produce, law enforcement officials say. This month, in one week, thousands of pounds of meth were seized hidden in shipments of peppers, tomatillos and carrots.

At the Otay Mesa, California, cargo facility this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized large quantities of methamphetamine hidden under packages of the vegetables.

In one instance, CBP officers stopped a 27-year-old male with a valid border crossing card driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested for peppers and tomatillos. At first glance, the shipment appeared to contain only peppers and tomatillos. But after a K-9 unit screened it, officers examined the trailer and found a box containing a crystal-like substance. Additional officers were radioed to provide assistance and began extracting package after package hidden under the produce. They found 3,594 packages that were tested and identified as methamphetamine. The stash totaled 3,671.58 pounds.

The same week, CBP officers at the same facility uncovered another massive load of meth being smuggled in using carrots.

They stopped a 44-year-old man, also a valid border crossing card holder, driving a commercial tractor trailer hauling a shipment manifested as carrots. Officers unloaded the cases of carrots and found suspicious packages hidden underneath, which were tested and identified as methamphetamine. Overall, they seized 574 packages weighing approximately 2,900 pounds.

In both instances, the meth and commercial tractor-trailers were seized; the drivers were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

I do believe that part of the problem with drug smuggling is that unfortunately America is a prime market for those drugs. I don’t have a solution to that problem other than to discourage drug use among the youth and imprison drug users until they are willing to go through treatment. Because treatment doesn’t work unless the drug user is willing to cooperate, that would not be an ideal solution.

The article concludes:

As CBP officers continue to seize large quantities of drugs, California Border Patrol chiefs have warned of increased security threats between ports of entry where checkpoints have been closed due to current administration policies. When deposed by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security during its impeachment investigation of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, they expressed alarm about not knowing how many people or drugs are being smuggled across the border.

Despite being stretched thin, California CBP and Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 500,000 illegal border crossers in fiscal 2023, The Center Square reported.

Record high illegal entries continued along the southwest border in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, with California seeing higher entries as Texas’ resistance grew, The Center Square reported.

It’s time to seal the border until we can get illegal immigration and drug smuggling under control.

Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean It Is Safe

On March 12th, CBN News posted an article about the dangers of marijuana and Delta-8, a substance containing THC.

The article reports:

Laura Stack told CBN News marijuana stole the life of her son Johnny.  She recalled he was a happy, intelligent child who grew up in a Christian home.  However, he began using marijuana at age 14 when his home state of Colorado legalized its recreational use.   It was a move that changed his life forever, leading to ultimate tragedy. 

“He took his own life when he was 19 years old five years later, after he became psychotic, very delusional, and paranoid, and suspicious, from using the marijuana,” she said. 

Laura didn’t realize that most of today’s marijuana contains at least 10 times the psychoactive compound THC than it did 20 years ago. 

“In my head, I said, ‘It’s just weed. I used it when I was a girl. I’m fine. It’s no big deal,’ and I was so wrong,” she said. 

Laura and her husband John founded Johnny’s Ambassadors as a way to honor their son and help prevent other people from suffering the same fate.

Former marijuana addict Zach Plant told CBN News the drug almost took his life.

“I had thoughts of other people wanting to hurt me, thoughts of the only way of being safe was to end my own life,” he said.

Zach was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with Cannabis-Induced Psychosis.  Symptoms include losing touch with reality, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.  Zach recalled the stark warning doctors gave him.

“‘If you smoke marijuana again, there’s a chance you don’t come out of psychosis. You go back into it and your brain may never recover,'” Zach said.

Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CBN News these types of episodes are becoming more common as the drugs get stronger.

“The higher the dose of THC for example, the higher the likelihood that you will end up with a psychotic episode,” she said. “And that will lead you to the emergency room department.”

I understand that there are people who do not seem to be affected by smoking pot. However, is the risk of psychosis one that you or your children are willing to take.

The article also notes:

Aside from marijuana, there’s growing concern about another substance containing THC called Delta-8.  It doesn’t come from the cannabis plant.  Instead, it’s synthesized from a similar plant called hemp.  It can contain as much THC or more than marijuana.  

Delta-8 products like vape pens can be purchased at gas stations, convenience stores, and online even in states where the commercial sale of marijuana is illegal.  That’s because of a legal loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp nationwide. 

Julie Killian, co-founder of RyeACT, Rye Action for Children and Teens, to educate families on youth substance abuse, told CBN News she was surprised to encounter the widespread sale of Delta-8 while she was visiting a state where commercial, recreational marijuana sales were outlawed. 

“I was at a truck, one of those food trucks, and they were selling coffee in the morning, and you could get a shot of Delta-8 THC in your coffee,” she said. 

Be careful out there.

 

The Consequences Have Arrived

On Tuesday, The Conservative Review posted an article detailing what has happened in Oregon as a result of decriminalizing the possession of hard drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine in 2020.

The article reports:

Oregon became the first state in the union to decriminalize possession of hard drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine in 2020. This radical experiment in lawlessness has been an unmitigated disaster.

While initially deaf to the concerns raised by Republicans, recovery specialists, and Christian groups concerning Ballot Measure 110, state Democrats are now poised to re-criminalize drug possession and bring their four-year experiment to an end. After all, the majority of Oregonians want the measure repealed.

…The so-called “Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act” eliminated criminal penalties for possession of various quantities of hard drugs. As a result, junkies can now carry one gram of heroin; 2 grams of cocaine; 2 grams of meth; less than 40 user units of methadone; 1 gram or 5 pills of MDMA; less than 40 user units of LSD; and fewer than 40 pills of oxycodone.

Possession of such quantities amounts to a non-criminal Class E violation, which at most can result in a $100 fine or a recommendation for a health assessment with an addiction treatment professional.

Those caught with even more of these once-controlled substances have also seen penalties softened, such that they now face a misdemeanor charge with less than a year in jail, a fine, or both.

Extra to decriminalizing hard drugs, the measure mandated the establishment or funding of recovery centers throughout the state funded by taxes on marijuana.

The article lists the results of the law:

According to Oregon Health Authority data, fatal overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2020, there were 824 fatal overdoses. The year M110 went into effect, there were 1,189 fatal overdoses. Preliminary data indicates the number of deaths from overdoses in 2022 was north of 1,100.

Fentanyl is proving especially lethal. OregonLive.com noted that in the year ending September 2019, there were 77 known fentanyl deaths. In the year ending September 2023, there were reportedly 1,268 overdose deaths.

There appears to be a correlation between fatal overdoses and M110.

Please follow the link for further details and possible solutions. This really should not be a Republican/Democrat or Liberal/Conservative issue. I believe all of us want to protect our children and young adults from the dangers of hard drugs. Hopefully Oregon will pass a law that moves the state in that direction.

Bidenomics Works For Some People

On Wednesday, Red State posted an article about Bidenomics. Unfortunately it doesn’t work for the average American.

The article reports:

It’s a given that running drugs (and smuggling people) is a lucrative business — else the cartels wouldn’t be in the mix, to begin with. But the amount involved is utterly mind-boggling. While many Americans struggle under the weight of crushing inflation, Bidenomics may have found its champion in the cartels.

According to CBP estimates, the cartels are taking in a cool $32 million…per week. And that’s just in the Del Rio, Texas, sector.

Good to know Biden administration policies are benefiting someone’s pocketbooks, I suppose. 

How many families have been impacted by the illegal drugs coming across our southern border? How many Americans have lost their jobs because illegal aliens are working ‘under the table’ for lower wages?

I was aware of a situation at one point where an illegal alien was taken advantage of by a person from their own country. They were working at a restaurant ‘under the table’ at a very low wage, and when they were fired, the person they were working for refused to pay them for their last two weeks of work. Being in America as an illegal alien does not mean that you will have the opportunity to get rich. Because you are here illegally, you do not have the protections that an American citizen is supposed to have. Admittedly, we are paying illegal aliens money at the border and giving them free tickets to wherever they want to go, but there is no guarantee that when they arrive at their destination there will be a place to work or to stay.  Meanwhile, how many homeless Americans are living on the street?

The number of illegal aliens coming into our country every day is a heath risk, a terrorism risk, a human trafficking risk, and an economic risk (see Cloward-Pivan). We need to redo our immigration system to make it easier to come here legally, but for the time being we need to limit immigration so that the people who are here can assimilate. We should also deport any illegals that have accepted welfare benefits. American taxpayers should not be paying for the mess we have created at our southern border.

Crippling The Free Enterprise That Made America Great

I am currently involved in a book study of a book called The 5000 Year Leap. The book is about the founding of American and the role that free enterprise played in the success of America. Just for the record, what we have now resembles crony capitalism more than it does free enterprise. Both Jamestown and Plymouth we started as socialistic societies which almost failed before they switched to a free market system. As flawed as America’s healthcare system is, when it is allowed to be a free market, it flourishes. Now the Biden administration is working to change that.

On Friday, The Epoch Times reported the following:

The Biden administration has proposed a new rule that would allow federal authorities to seize the patents of costly drugs that were developed using taxpayer dollars and to let third parties use those patents to make the drugs available more cheaply.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, on Dec. 7 published a set of draft guidelines for government agencies to evaluate when it might be appropriate to invoke what are known as “march-in” rights under the legal framework of the Bayh-Dole Act.

The Bayh-Dole Act, which is shorthand for the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980, grants the government the authority to suspend the patents of products of inventions that were developed with federal funding if those products or inventions are not made available to the public.

I agree that Americans pay too much for drugs, but this rule would have a serious impact on research and development and would eventually cause a downward spiral of healthcare in America.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. I realize that the pharmaceutical industry has not behaved well in recent years, but we need to clean up the industry–not destroy it.

Stating The Obvious

Posting this article is going to get me in trouble with some of my friends who believe that recreational drug use is no big deal, but it’s time to look at the bigger picture.

On Sunday, The Western Journal reported:

Not only did last week see the election of a libertarian fan of former President Donald Trump to the presidency of Argentina, another new South American leader much closer to the border just overturned a policy in his own country that U.S. leftists have been pushing for years.

Maybe progressives can learn something from the neighbors to the south.

On Friday, according to Agence France-Presse, Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa dumped a policy of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs, declaring that it  “encourages micro-trafficking in schools and creates a whole generation of addicted children.”

It applies to “up to 10 grams of marijuana, 2 grams of cocaine paste, 1 gram of cocaine, 0.10 grams of heroin, and 0.04 grams of amphetamine” for personal use, according to the Washington Examiner.

The policy was instituted a decade ago by the country’s then-president, socialist Rafael Correa, according to AFP.

The article notes what happened when Oregon decriminalized drugs:

The idea was, ostensibly, to”transform addiction by minimizing penalties for drug use and investing instead in recovery,” the Post reported.

But in a result that should have surprised literally no one with any sense, things haven’t worked out quite that way. Drug use has grown, gotten worse, and gotten more deadly.

As the Post (The Washington Post) reported, “even top Democratic lawmakers who backed the law, which will likely dominate the upcoming legislative session, say they’re now open to revisiting it after the biggest increase in synthetic opioid deaths among states that have reported their numbers.”

Even the leftist publication The Atlantic has been compelled to report the results of Oregon’s experiment as a failure.

A population that has clear mental facilities will always result in a better society.

The Damage That Was Done

Jeffrey Epstein is dead and Ghislaine Maxwell is spending her time in a luxury prison in Florida. But let’s not forget the damage they did to the young girls they trafficked.

On October 17, 2023, there was a news story in USA Today that didn’t get a lot of coverage by the mainstream media.

The article reported:

One of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims who testified against Ghislaine Maxwell in her trial for sex-trafficking minors has died of an accidental overdose, authorities said.

Carolyn Andriano, 36, was found dead in a hotel room in West Palm Beach, Florida, on May 23, according to West Palm Beach Police Department spokesperson Mike Jachles. Her death wasn’t made public until this week.

Andriano died an overdose of methadone, fentanyl and alprazolam, Jachles said. She testified in 2021 that she had been addicted to “pain pills and cocaine” and that she had taken them “to block out” Epstein’s sexual abuse. For four years, Epstein had abused her at his Palm Beach mansion, starting in 2001 when she was 14, she said.

Andriano lived in Wellington at the time of her death and leaves behind her husband, John Pitts Jr., five children and her mother, Dorothy Groenert. She is the second Epstein survivor known to suffer a fatal overdose in Palm Beach County.

Leigh Skye Patrick, 29, was also found dead in a West Palm Beach hotel room in 2017. Patrick’s twin sister blamed her struggles with drugs on Epstein.

She “suffered tremendously and it started with Epstein,” Selby Patrick told the Daily Mail in 2019. “She struggled with addiction since the time she met that guy.”

Epstein’s case had drawn worldwide attention. The 66-year-old investment banker was known for his powerful connections, including Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom and former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

That last sentence is extremely misleading–Epstein was barred from Mar-a-Lago as soon as President Trump figured out what he was about. The inclusion of President Trump is an effort to tie him to the crimes of Epstein.

The damage that was done by Epstein and Maxwell is incalculable. I am not against the death penalty for anyone involved in child trafficking. Child trafficking does include those under the age of 18.

Taking Out The Cartels   

Author:  R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D      

Israel is again fighting for their existence against a terrorist force that not only wants to eliminate the state of Israel but also all Jews. Hamas has been acquiring advanced weapons, principally from Iran, for several years. When your enemy arms itself it never turns out well. The situation with the so-called drug cartels is similar in a lot of ways.   Let’s take a look at our options to deal with them. 

First, we need to recognize the threat that the drug cartels present to our country.   Estimates are that over 100,000 of our citizens die each year due to drug overdosing–especially fentanyl.  At that rate we will have over one million drug deaths within 10 years.  In comparison, there were 36,634 Americans killed during the Korean War and 56,220 Americans killed in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, there were massive protests throughout this country. Where are the protests against the drug cartels, and what is happening as a direct result of Biden’s open border policy? I am certain that we all have friends or family members that have been impacted by drug overdose deaths.  Just because it happens individually does not minimize the threat to our country. Most of these lethal drugs are manufactured and smuggled into our country by the drug cartels. The second obvious threat from the drug cartels is their encouragement, control and profiting from illegal immigration. The amount of money they are making is staggering. Estimates are that over 8 million illegals have come over the border since Biden took office. This is more people than 38 of our 50 states!  At an estimated $6,000 dollars profit on each illegal that they funnel across our border; that amounts to billions of dollars to the drug cartels. Much of this money is used to purchase weapons that are making the cartels a formidable fighting force. The recent attack on a Mexican police station killing half of their personnel shows where this is going.   

So, what do we do about it? Clearly, the Biden administration intends to do nothing.  First we must secure our border. Second, during his administration, President Trump was able to coerce the Mexican government to deploy 26,000 of their troops on their side of the southern border. Clearly, the Mexican government has no plans to do the same now. They are facilitating this problem, not helping to correct it. Do we have a right and duty to protect our country from what is actually an invasion? Of course we do, but sadly it will not be done unless Biden is replaced.   

Assuming that happens, the Mexican government must be enlisted to assist with this problem. Unfortunately, it appears that the drug cartels have become so powerful that Mexico may not be able to deal with them even if they were motivated to do so. This may require our sending American forces to put an end to the drug cartels. Remember these cartels have members that have infiltrated into our southern states and other areas in the country. There is a precedent for this from 1915, when President Wilson authorized the sending of American troops into Mexico under General John J. Pershing to deal with the threat from Poncho Villa. Dealing with this current threat without sending our troops is preferable, but Mexico needs to get the message that either they deal with it or we will be forced to.    

Israel has learned a lesson from the Hamas attack; we must do likewise.   

Actions Have Consequences

One of the many contentious battles that President Trump has had to fight was the battle to erect a border wall. A large part of that wall has been built, and there are consequences. Today The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the impact of that wall.

The article reports:

Border Patrol agents who work in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of California saw a dramatic increase in the number of arrests made over the past 12 months, an indication that the addition of new border wall in the region since 2017 is prompting smugglers to find new ways to move people and drugs into the United States.

“Over the past year, within 2020, we’ve had a record number of marine interdictions, including pangas [small, fast boats], jet skis, swimmers, and paddle boaters,” Border Patrol San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke told the Washington Examiner during a land and sea tour. “The wall structure itself is solidifying the land border, and it’s forcing the smugglers to come out into the maritime environment.”

Agents, using jet skis and boats to patrol the 20-mile stretch from Chula Vista at the border up past downtown San Diego, made 302 interdictions in fiscal 2020, which ran from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, compared to 195 the previous year and 88 in 2015. One such incident resulted in the seizure of a small boat that was loaded with more than 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine.

Arrests of illegal immigrants and smugglers jumped 92% from 662 in 2019 to 1,271 in 2020. Comparatively, 219 people were arrested in 2015.

The article concludes:

Border Patrol’s San Diego region has seen 53 miles of border wall added to its 60-mile area of responsibility, including the duplicate fencing. A small portion of the new wall was completed with funding from the final year of the Obama administration, but most was funded in federal budgets passed during the Trump administration. The foundation of the double-layer fencing goes up to 10 feet below the ground, preventing people from digging shallow tunnels into the U.S., as was possible with the Clinton-era metal scraps. It stretches from 18 feet to 30 feet tall and is comprised of steel fence posts filled with concrete and rebar. It starts at the coast and goes up into the mountains in Otay Mesa, California, significantly further than the scrap metal that was taken out. Construction teams are in the process of completing the wall over the mountains, a seemingly impossible task for how steep the terrain is here.

Agents in San Diego said this new wall and the technology that comes with it will be hard to get past for most people and will funnel others to areas where agents are present because they have been freed up to focus on less secure areas as a result of the new wall. Those who do attempt to climb over the wall will be better detected thanks to new cameras, sensors, radar systems, and underground fiber optic systems.

Border Patrol officials had expected smugglers to try new approaches, including taking to the water. Heitke said smugglers who do choose to go the boat route are being tracked, oftentimes by the cellphone they leave behind in a boat or when it is seized after they are arrested.

“The smuggler has a phone with them,” said Heitke. “We can dump the information on the phone and find the routes saying where they’re going, and we’re able to see an enormous range of travel, whether they go out 50 miles or 100 miles out, whether [they] go up 50 or 100 miles to land.”

How many drug overdoses have been prevented because President Trump fought Congress to build a wall?

The Drug War Continues

The easiest way to end the drug war and the power of the cartels would be for Americans to stop using illegal drugs. Unfortunately that has not happened and is not likely to happen. However, that is the true answer to the problem. Meanwhile China continues to smuggle illegal drugs into America–either through the porous southern border and through our ports. A drugged out nation will eventually be very easy to take over.

Sara Carter posted an article today about a recent incident in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The article reports:

The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on May 14 carrying 1.5 tons of cocaine valued at over $28 million, according to the Department of Defense.

A U.S. Navy aircraft first spotted the low profile vessel (LPV) and quickly alerted Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) and The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (U.S. Southern Command) to the scene, according to a press release.

…The Trump administration ramped up counternarcotics operations on April 1 after the Pentagon received intelligence that the drug cartels were planning to exploit the coronavirus crisis. In response, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that the U.S. wouldn’t let the cartels “get past jump street.”

The President and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed that a number of U.S. vessels had been moved into the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Sea to counter growing threats from the drug cartels in Latin America. Speaking with reporters at the time, Trump said of the move, “we are tired of drugs pouring into our country from other places.  And we’re tired of seeing drugs pouring into different parts of Latin America, South America, and just coming into our country.”

“Now we’ve got them stopped at the border and they’re trying to do it by sea,” Trump explained. “So we stop them at the border with — and, frankly, with the help of Mexico.  Mexico, right now, has 27,000 soldiers on our southern border.  They never had any soldiers. They’re doing that because I’ve asked them to do it.  That’s the only reason they’re doing it.  They have 27,000 soldiers.”

He continued, “So now they’re trying to bring it in by boat and by ship — the drug lords and the people doing drugs — and trying to destroy our country from inside with drugs.  And we’re hitting them very, very hard.  And that’s why we’re doing that.”

This is another example of President Trump exercising leadership to protect the American people.

Chutzpah In Action

On Tuesday, Judicial Watch posted an article about a drug smuggling tunnel recently discovered in San Diego.

The article reports:

Mexican drug smugglers are really getting bold. A cross-border tunnel recently discovered by U.S. authorities exits in a San Diego warehouse right next to a busy Customs and Border Protection (CBP) port of entry. It gets better. The southern California warehouse is manned by Illegal immigrants even though it is situated just a few hundred yards from a hectic border crossing staffed with federal agents around the clock.

A Mexican national with legal residency has been arrested and charged in connection to the operation, federal prosecutors announced this month. His name is Rogelio Flores Guzman and he helped construct the tunnel, which runs 2,000 feet from a Tijuana warehouse to the south San Diego depot. The U.S. has charged the 31-year-old with trafficking fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana via a subterranean tunnel stretching from Mexico to a warehouse in Otay Mesa. When authorities entered the tunnel, they found around 575 packages of drugs worth nearly $30 million, according to a bulletin issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This sets a record because it marks the first time that five different types of drugs are found in a tunnel, according to the feds.

Agents from a special tunnel task force confiscated 394 packages containing 585 kilograms of cocaine; 133 packages containing 1,355 kilograms of marijuana; 40 packages containing 39.12 kilograms of methamphetamine; Seven packages containing 7.74 kilograms of heroin and one package containing 1.1 kilograms of fentanyl. “Cross-border tunnels always spark fascination, but in reality they are a very dangerous means for major drug dealers to move large quantities of narcotics with impunity until we intervene,” said the federal prosecutor in charge of the case, U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “We have seized this tunnel, confiscated almost $30 million in drugs and now we’ve charged one of the alleged crew members.”

That $30 million in drugs might have killed a lot of Americans.

The article notes the changes in drug smuggling techniques since President Trump closed the border:

There was a significant increase in Mexican smuggling tunnels after President Donald Trump increased border security in 2017. One southern California news conglomerate reported that criminal organizations in Mexico were improving the tunnels they use to smuggle people and drugs under Trump’s border fence, making them smaller and maintaining a high level of sophistication that includes railways and electricity. “In San Diego, tunnels are usually sophisticated partly because of the highly organized criminal organization operating in Baja California – the Sinaloa Cartel – as well as the characteristics of Otay Mesa, a neighborhood that exists on both sides of the border,” the article states. “In the U.S. and in Mexico, Otay Mesa is crowded with warehouses, providing numerous spaces to hide tunnel entry and exit points.” Operating one right next to a U.S. border crossing packed with federal agents is quite brazen.

We need to stop the smuggling, but we also need to find a way to help the people who are addicted to these drugs. There would be no point in smuggling the drugs if there were no market for them in America.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

On Thursday, Just The News posted an article about some of the things the National Institute of Health (NIH) is spending your tax money on.

The article reports:

On a steamy summer day inside the lecture auditorium of the storied National Institutes of Health headquarters, Dr. Michael Bracken delivered a stark message to an audience that dedicated its life, and owed its living, to medical research.

As much as 87.5% of biomedical research is wasted or inefficient, the respected Yale University epidemiologist declared in a sobering assessment for a federal research agency that spends about $40 billion a year on medical studies.

He backed his staggering statistic with these additional stats: 50 out of every 100 medical studies fail to produce published findings, and half of those that do publish have serious design flaws. And those that aren’t flawed and manage to publish are often needlessly redundant.

The article notes where the NIH has spent money instead of researching cures for a coronavirus pandemic:

As you weigh that question, consider this: In the 15 years since evidence first emerged that drugs like chloroquine might help in a coronavirus pandemic, NIH spent:

Just two days ago, in the midst of surging coronavirus deaths in America, NIH released a joint study by its National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging that came to a heady conclusion: If you walk more, you are likely to live longer.

If the NIH had investigated chloroquine fifteen years ago, we might not have governors forbidding doctors to use it to treat coronavirus. It really is time to go through the federal budget line by line and get rid of stupid research projects and useless programs. We could probably pay for the stimulus package with what we cut and have money left over.

 

A Little Help From Our Friends

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Israel’s leading drug producer announced Thursday it will donate 6 million doses of anti-malaria drugs to the United States in hopes that it could be helpful treating coronavirus symptoms.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries says the drug could potentially treat people with the coronavirus and will ship the hydroxychloroquine tablets through wholesalers nationwide by the end of the month and will provide 10 million doses in total, according to Breitbart News.

“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” Teva Executive Vice President Brendan O’Grady said about the move.

President Trump has expressed support and optimism for potential treatments, including malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported on the testing of the drugs:

Dr. Oz harped on the wonderful news on the chloroquine treatment for coronavirus.

Dr. Oz: There was actually pretty big news today. There was a paper that came out yesterday that was being discussed but didn’t get the attention that I thought it would that a paper from France that the use of an old drug, the malaria drug together with the Z-Pac seemed to dramatically impact on this virus. And that could be the biggest game changer of all that can alter if we can ever become Italy… But I’ll give you the biggest fact of all. In this study they shortened the amount of time the patients excreted the virus down to six days. The norm is approaching 20 days. That completely changes the behavior of the virus. Which means it may be actually more like a flu virus in its impact on us. It’s still dangerous but now as contagious… If drug that has already been on the market for 65 years could be effective in treating a new virus, yes there are potential side effects, there are eye problems that potentially arise, we know that we use these drugs commonly. But I think it’s worth the chance. And we should be doing the study starting today! And we’ll know in six days. In the meantime the task force is going to liberalize use of these medications.

Stay tuned. If this treatment is successful and we manage to keep everyone home for a week or two, we may come through this in relatively good shape.

Changes Needed

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.). The legislation would bring back pharmaceutical manufacturing from China to America, aiming to reduce a dependency that could seriously limit the U.S. coronavirus response.

The article reports:

Cotton’s is just the latest proposal to onshore pharmaceutical supply chains, including a similar one from Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and rumblings from the White House about a “buy American” executive order. Prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, many are beginning to see the cost-savings from Chinese-made pharmaceuticals as not worth the risk of undersupply during another pandemic, or during a potential conflict with America’s main geostrategic rival.

“China unleashed this plague on the world, and China has to be held accountable,” said Cotton during a Fox News interview Wednesday evening. “It’s too grave a threat to let our health rest on Chinese drugs.”

The Cotton bill would directly target Chinese API producers, requiring the FDA to track the point of origin for APIs and drugs made outside of the United States, as well as requiring drug companies to list the country of origin for APIs on their products. It would also prohibit all federal entities—including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Defense—from purchasing drugs that use APIs made in China.

The bill also aims to bolster domestic pharmaceutical production capacity. It would allow domestic manufacturers to immediately expense the costs of expanding production capacity, giving such businesses a major write-off on their taxes. If successful, that provision could help U.S.-based manufacturers compete with lower-cost Chinese ones, keeping drug prices low even as production moves back to the United States.

The really positive aspect of this is the tax break–unless drugs manufactured in America have a lower price than those manufactured in China, Americans won’t buy them. Any bill that aims to bring manufacturing back to America needs to consider the cost of making whatever is manufactured. We have cheap energy right now, and our corporate tax policies generally make America a good place to do business. Both of these factors are the result of having a businessman in the White House.

The article concludes:

Perhaps, in part, because of these profits, discussion of repatriating pharmaceutical production appears to have spooked Chinese authorities. In a Tuesday tweet, the country’s ministry of foreign affairs claimed that “trying to move medical supply chains back to the U.S. from China is unrealistic and unhelpful,” adding that it would be “a wrong remedy for #COVID19 pandemic.”

Common Sense Has Entered The Building

On Wednesday The Daily Caller posted an article with the following headline, “‘Buy American’ — White House Confirms Executive Order That Will End Medical Supply Chain Reliance On China.” China is the last country in the world we want to be dependent on for drugs.

The article reports:

White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro confirmed Wednesday the administration is working on an executive order to eliminate the government’s reliance on foreign-made medical supplies.

The “Buy American” order comes on the heels of concerns expressed by senators during their Tuesday meeting with President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill.

…The order would prevent federal agencies from purchasing medical supplies, including face masks, gloves and ventilators, from China.

As the United States has battled the domestic spread of coronavirus, consumers were alerted to the fact that China manufactures an overwhelming percentage of the federal government’s medical equipment. 90 percent of all U.S. antibiotics were manufactured in China.

China has prevented the export of surgical face masks, severely limiting supplies in the U.S. and countries around the world.

Under the Trump administration, we have gained energy independence. Now it is time to gain pharmaceutical independence.

The Homeless Are A Danger To Themselves And To The Rest Of Us

The once beautiful streets of San Francisco are now littered with needles and human waste. The homeless commit crimes to support various drug habits. Diseases that we have not seen in America for decades are appearing in the community. Who knows how the coronavirus will impact these people. The city does not seem to be able to deal with the problem. Where do you start?

On Tuesday The City Journal posted an article about the homelessness problem. The article reminds us that new data undermines the idea that homelessness is the result of high rents and lack of economic opportunity.

The article reports:

But new data are undermining this narrative. As residents of West Coast cities witness the disorder associated with homeless encampments, they have found it harder to accept the progressive consensus—especially in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, which has all Americans worried about contagion. An emerging body of evidence confirms what people see plainly on the streets: homelessness is deeply connected to addiction, mental illness, and crime.

Homeless advocates argue that substance abuse is a small contributor to the problem, and that no more than 20 percent of the homeless population abuses drugs. Last year, when I suggested that homelessness is primarily an addiction crisis—citing Seattle and King County data that suggested half of homeless individuals suffered from opioid addiction—activists denounced me on social media and wrote letters to the editor demanding a retraction. But according to a recent Los Angeles Times investigation, 46 percent of the homeless and 75 percent of the unsheltered homeless have a substance-abuse disorder—more than three times higher than official estimates from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

In the interest of preventing “stigmatization,” progressives downplay the connection between schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder, and homelessness. In general, cities have claimed that roughly 25 percent to 39 percent of the homeless suffer from mental-health disorders. As new data from the California Policy Lab show, it’s likely that 50 percent of the homeless and 78 percent of the unsheltered homeless have a serious mental health condition. For residents of cities like San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, this should come as no surprise. The people smashing up property and yelling in the streets are clearly suffering from mental illness. The numbers confirm the ground-level reality.

The article concludes:

Residents in the most progressive enclaves of West Coast cities have quietly begun to demand policy changes to address the obvious causes of the homelessness crisis. In San Francisco, city leaders have launched a new initiative to focus on the 4,000 individuals who suffer from the “perilous trifecta” of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. Mayor London Breed has spoken frankly about the human causes of homelessness, and Anton Nigusse Bland, a physician and director of mental health reform for the city, has pledged to “develop a strategic approach to mental health and substance use services for people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.”

This is a small but promising step. Especially now, with the threat of an infectious disease becoming a national crisis, it is imperative that city leaders come to grips with the dangers of letting people live in encampments that lack even rudimentary sanitation. We can only hope that this new awareness extends to other cities. For now, more than 100,000 people in California, Oregon, and Washington continue to languish in the streets.

Rhode Island has put in place a program that has been successful in dealing with the problem of homelessness. The problem includes counseling, drug rehabilitation, reintegration into the community and reintegration into family units. The program is a public-private partnership that has been successful in getting many of the homeless reintegrated into society. Similar programs need to be instituted on the west coast. It is a disgrace that America has not done more to help those among us living on the street. Throwing money at the problem or ignoring it is not the answer. It takes a commitment to helping the homeless deal with the mental problems that have resulted in their living on the street.

The Obvious Is Sometimes Overlooked

On Friday, Frank Gaffney, Jr., posted an article at the Center for Security Policy about America’s dependence on China for the manufacturing of drugs.

The article reports:

Communist China has been waging “unrestricted warfare” against this country for decades. One of its most devastating lines of attack in that war has been the hollowing out of America’s industrial base. 

A stupefying case in point is the Chinese Communist Party’s success in destroying our nation’s capacity to manufacture prescription drugs – to the point where we are virtually completely dependent on China for our medicines. 

A recent poll of likely voters found that 83% were concerned about such a dependency. 76% worried that China may cut off the supply, devastating our health care system and people.

Rosemary Gibson, the co-author of China Rx, has warned about such a scenario for years. Now, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, it is upon us. We need immediately to heed Ms. Gibson’s call urgently to reconstitute an America First drug manufacturing capability.

We have achieved energy independence which has increased our influence around the world. Now it is time to achieve drug independence.

 

A Nightmare For Healthcare In America

Issues & Insights posted an article today about Elizabeth Warren’s healthcare plan for America.

These are some highlights from the article:

So Warren simply waves her magic wand and makes $14 trillion in costs disappear. And how does she cut Medicare for All’s price tag by 41%?

By proposing:

    • impossibly deep cuts in drug prices,
    • devastating cuts in payments to hospitals and doctors,
    • and entirely unrealistic claims about overhead costs.

Even with Warren’s phony price tag of $20.5 trillion, the taxes required are truly astronomical. Warren says businesses would have to contribute $8.8 trillion in taxes to help finance Medicare for All. She says they should be grateful because under the current system they’ll spend $9 trillion on employee health benefits.  

But she doesn’t actually know that businesses will spend $9 trillion on health care over the next decade. It’s just a guess. And not a very good one, since businesses are finding new and better ways every day to keep their health costs under control.

Her plan is to pay for healthcare by doing the following:

Even the supposed business savings are phony since Warren would massively raise corporate income taxes. In her plan, she announces that she would:

    • repeal the Trump corporate tax cuts, reinstating the 35% tax rate that made U.S companies uncompetitive among industrialized nations,
    • enforce a “country by country” minimum tax of 35%,
    • and lengthen depreciation rules.

Combined, these and other new levies would raise corporate taxes by $2.9 trillion.And this doesn’t count the following:

    • the $800 billion tax on financial transactions she’d impose
    • the $100 billion fee on “big banks”
    • a 6% wealth tax
    • much higher capital gains tax rates
    • and a requirement that taxes be paid on cap gains every year, whether or not the stocks are sold

Guess who will be paying all those costs?

People need to remember that corporations do not actually pay higher taxes–they pass those tax hikes on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. Consumers pay higher corporate taxes and higher corporate taxes drive businesses out of the country.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, drug companies would be entirely at the mercy of whatever price caps Warren decides to impose (namely, 70% cuts for brand name drugs and 30% cuts for generics), since they’d have no other buyers.

Pharmaceutical companies that don’t play ball, she says, would risk losing their patent protection (through compulsory licensing) while the government takes over drug manufacturing. Say goodbye to the pharmaceutical industry.

In sum, Warren is peddling a health plan that, if it were actually enacted, would devastate the economy, wreck the nation’s health care, and put the government in control of just about every business decision. And she has a good chance of claiming the Democratic party’s nomination. That’s frightening.

And right now, she is one of the leading candidates for President.

Why Do We Need A Secure Border?

There are a number of different reasons we need to secure out borders–north, south, east, and west.

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation list a few basic facts about our current border situtation:

  • Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
  • 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.
  • Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.
  • Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.

So what is the solution? Below are some of the items President Trump has asked Congress to fund:

  • $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
  • $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
  • $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
  • $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
  • $571 million for additional ICE personnel
  • $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel

As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.

Securing the border should not be a political issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans–lower wages for low-skilled workers, drugs smuggled in that have killed countless Americans, increased crime, and an unsustainable burden on those government programs designed to create a safety net for Americans in need. It’s time to seal the border and take care of the needs of Americans among us who are homeless or living in poverty,

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.

An Interesting Perspective On Homelessness

Christopher F. Rufo posted an article in The City Journal about the homelessness that has become so prevalent on the west coast of America. The title of the article is, “An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis.” Please follow the link above to read the entire article; it is very insightful.

The article states:

By latest count, some 109,089 men and women are sleeping on the streets of major cities in California, Oregon, and Washington. The homelessness crisis in these cities has generated headlines and speculation about “root causes.” Progressive political activists allege that tech companies have inflated housing costs and forced middle-class people onto the streets. Declaring that “no two people living on Skid Row . . . ended up there for the same reasons,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, for his part, blames a housing shortage, stagnant wages, cuts to mental health services, domestic and sexual abuse, shortcomings in criminal justice, and a lack of resources for veterans. These factors may all have played a role, but the most pervasive cause of West Coast homelessness is clear: heroin, fentanyl, and synthetic opioids.

Homelessness is an addiction crisis disguised as a housing crisis. In Seattle, prosecutors and law enforcement recently estimated that the majority of the region’s homeless population is hooked on opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. If this figure holds constant throughout the West Coast, then at least 11,000 homeless opioid addicts live in Washington, 7,000 live in Oregon, and 65,000 live in California (concentrated mostly in San Francisco and Los Angeles). For the unsheltered population inhabiting tents, cars, and RVs, the opioid-addiction percentages are even higher—the City of Seattle’s homeless-outreach team estimates that 80 percent of the unsheltered population has a substance-abuse disorder. Officers must clean up used needles in almost all the homeless encampments.

The article reminds us that drug-dealing is a lucrative industry for the cartels:

For drug cartels and low-level street dealers, the business of supplying homeless addicts with heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids is extremely lucrative. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the average heavy-opioid user consumes $1,834 in drugs per month. Holding rates constant, we can project that the total business of supplying heroin and other opioids to the West Coast’s homeless population is more than $1.8 billion per year. In effect, Mexican cartels, Chinese fentanyl suppliers, and local criminal networks profit off the misery of the homeless and offload the consequences onto local governments struggling to get people off the streets.

The article concludes:

No matter how much local governments pour into affordable-housing projects, homeless opioid addicts—nearly all unemployed—will never be able to afford the rent in expensive West Coast cities. The first step in solving these intractable issues is to address the real problem: addiction is the common denominator for most of the homeless and must be confronted honestly if we have any hope of solving it.

Part of the problem here is that some cities and states are moving toward legalizing recreational drug use. Obviously not all of that drug use will lead to further problems, but a percentage of it will–adding to the homeless problem. The other problem is that treating a drug addict will not be successful unless the addict desires to be free of drugs. You can lock up an addict until he is clean, but there are no guarantees that he will stay clean once he is out on the street again.

 

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.

The Problem Of Illegal Immigration Continues

Yesterday One America News posted an article about the crisis of illegal immigration at our southern border.

The article includes this video:

The article states:

The latest immigration numbers for April are in, with the Border Patrol revealing nearly 110,000 illegal aliens were apprehended or denied at the border last month. Illegals are now “renting” children in their efforts to cross the border. One America’s Pearson Sharp reports.

Fixing this situation would be fairly easy if Congress were willing to work with the President. Unfortunately they are not. Meanwhile, we are under invasion. My sympathies are with the people fleeing poverty, but that is not who the asylum system was set up to help. Poverty and economic hopelessness are not valid excuses for asylum. We need to control our borders. That is not the entire answer, but it will cut down on drugs coming into the country and will less the negative impact on wages at the lower end of the wage scale that illegal immigration produces.