Now that President Trump’s scored big points for his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un, his opponents are desperate to change the subject. Anxious to turn the country’s attention away from the administration’s diplomatic success, they’ve returned to an issue that the Congress has repeatedly failed to resolve — immigration.
Thursday’s Washington Post got the ball rolling with an inside look at one of the 100 shelters where children, whose parents were arrested for entering America illegally, are housed. The article couldn’t help but tug on heartstrings, since almost 1,500 boys are living in a warehouse-sized summer camp, separated from their parents when they crossed the border illegally. What was once a Walmart super center is now full of classrooms, medical rooms, basketball courts, and even a pool hall. Juan Sanchez, who manages the nonprofit that’s housing the kids, says that the circumstances are difficult, especially for kids struggling to adapt, but promises, “We’re trying to do the best that we can taking care of these children. Our goal ultimately is to reunite kids with their families. We’re not a detention center… What we operate are shelters that take care of kids. It’s a big, big difference.”
Obviously, the situation is a tragic one for thousands of children, who are the innocent victims of their moms’ and dads’ decision to break the law. It’s impossible to feel anything but compassion for these kids, who must be dealing with a great deal of pain and confusion. But the origin of that pain and confusion isn’t U.S. law or the Trump administration. That burden lies with their parents who knowingly put them in this position. “If you are smuggling a child,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said, “then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the White House’s position on Wednesday, telling a gathering, “Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” Critics quickly attacked the AG’s comments — with particularly harsh criticism from those on the far Left, many of whom don’t appreciate scriptural references unless it can be twisted to justify their agenda.
Thursday, reporters took out their frustration on Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, asking how the administration could possibly defend a policy that prosecutes adults for crossing the border illegally. Sanders stood her ground. “[It’s] very Biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” she said. “It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.” And, she went on, if you’re looking for someone to blame for this situation, try Democrats. “The separation of illegal families … is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close, and these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade. The president is simply enforcing them.” President Trump echoed that sentiment earlier: “I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law… That’s the Democrats’ law. We can change it tonight. We can change it right now.”
When all else is equal, of course we want families to stay together. But let’s also remember that this situation isn’t unique to the border. I can tell you from my time in law enforcement: If a parent or parents are arrested here in the states, the children are turned over to Child Protection Services, which holds them until a foster family can be identified. In both circumstances, the children are compassionately cared for — not held in dank rooms behind bars, as some liberals would have you believe. As immigration officials have said, “Our goal is to reunite these children with their families as soon as we can do that.” But if parents aren’t deterred by the consequences of breaking the law, the fault lies solely with them. If these families are looking for a way to stay together, here’s an idea: Come to America through the legal immigration process rather than crossing the border illegally.
Let’s also consider the precedent it would create if we didn’t enforce the law. Are liberals suggesting that we shouldn’t incarcerate anyone who has kids? Are children the new get-out-of-jail-free card? As Sessions said, “If you bring a child, it is still an unlawful act. You don’t get immunity if you bring a child with you. We cannot have open borders for adults with children.”
I’m not suggesting that our laws don’t need work — or that this crisis isn’t urgent. They do, and it is. I’ve felt strongly about this issue for years, so much so that I included immigration as a core value in my first book, Personal Faith, Public Policy. Maybe these new small faces of the immigration crisis will prompt Congress to work across lines and unite in an effort to reform an immigration system that’s dividing families and our country.
Originally published here.
Federal Subject of Investigation
Only a third of Americans trust the government to do what’s right — and after the inspector general’s report on the FBI, you have to wonder how it’s that high. In what will go down as another dark and sordid chapter for the agency, the evidence makes the most compelling case yet for the poisonous anti-Trump bias infecting the rank and file of government.
Former FBI Director James Comey took the brunt of the IG’s criticism, which found that he intentionally ignored Justice Department policy in the handling of Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal. The facts, Wall Street Journal’s editorial board writes soberly, are “damning.”
They show that Mr. Comey abused his authority, broke with long-established Justice Department norms, and deceived his superiors and the public. While the IG says Mr. Comey’s decisions were not the result of “political bias,” he presided over an investigating team that included agents who clearly were biased against Donald Trump. The damage to the bureau’s reputation — and to thousands of honest agents — will take years to repair.
Of course, the most obvious examples of bias were in the text exchanges of agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who, this report reveals, went so far as to insist they would stop Donald Trump from becoming president. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” And unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the prejudiced iceberg. Reading the anti-Trump text messages from several agents makes it look as if the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover is still walking the halls of the FBI. The idea that people within the government were actively working to keep Trump from the White House is astounding, even now. These are men and women who abused the trust of the people — and their power — to drop the hot leads on the Clinton email scandal, which was a breach of national security, and move on to their best hope for damaging the president: the phony “Russia collaboration.”
That kind of political bias, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) told me on “Washington Watch,” is “outrageous in a constitutional republic when you have your law enforcement for political reasons basically trying to scuttle an investigation.” The takeaway here, he went on, “is that the inspector general is an investigative body. They try to be very objective. They can’t recommend criminal indictments or anything like that, but what we see about James Comey is that he was unleashed. He had no respect for the role of command. He was out there basically impacting investigations in a way he shouldn’t have.”
The anti-Trump sentiment the president has been alleging since day one is right there in black and white — page after jaw-dropping page. “The IG report is brutal. Not only does it state that these five agents discussed their support for Clinton, but that they ‘appeared to mix political opinions with discussions about the Midyear (Clinton email) investigation.’” They leaked information to the press, used personal emails for official business, changed the law to vindicate Hillary, and on and on.
If anyone comes out smelling sweet in this report, it’s President Trump, who ignored Democrats’ protests and fired Comey anyway. “The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI,” Trump tweeted early Friday. “Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back!”
In the meantime, Americans are still reeling. “This should never happen in a democracy,” was the overwhelming opinion of most experts, including the WSJ. “The larger damage here is to trust in institutions that are vital to self-government.” If there is a silver lining in all of this collusion and self-destruction, it’s that none of it succeeded. Donald Trump was elected by the good men and women of this country, despite a thorough and coordinated effort to stop him. In the face of overwhelming opposition — some of it running deep within the walls of government — the will of the people prevailed. And based on this report’s findings, our country is much better off because of it.
Originally published here.
Happy Dad’s Day!
Talking about the importance of dads, the poet George Herbert once said, “One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters.” In a politically charged age like ours, some would have us believe a father’s presence is unnecessary. They’re wrong. No role is more vital — or important — than a dad’s.
I’m one of the fortunate ones whose father is involved in my life to this very day. What he’s taught me — and continues to teach me — has been passed on to my kids and one day my grandchildren. Unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate. Some have dads who are present, but not involved. Others just aren’t there. This Father’s Day weekend, I want to challenge all of us as fathers to recommit ourselves to our children. They may not say so, but they need us. And moms and kids, let your dads know that you love them!
Take time this Sunday to celebrate the irreplaceable contributions of dads everywhere. Dad: Happy Father’s Day, and on behalf of FRC, our best wishes for a Happy Father’s Day!
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.