Yesterday’s Oval Office meeting between President Trump, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer was extraordinary! And it could have occurred only in a Trump White House.
They were meeting to discuss how to avoid a possible government shutdown just before Christmas, and there is only one issue standing in the way: Democrats refuse to secure our southern border.
Yesterday’s meeting was supposed to be closed to the press. But in a brilliant move, President Trump invited the cameras into the Oval Office so the American people could see for themselves who was really standing in the way of real border security.
Trump, Pelosi and Schumer engaged in a meaningful debate, not just the usual bromides that we have come to expect from feckless politicians speaking to the cameras.
At one point, Pelosi asked if they could negotiate in private, but Trump refused — and he just kept hammering them. The president declared, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security.” (Watch it here.)
Good for him! The impact of a government shutdown would be negligible compared to the ongoing impact of massive illegal immigration.
As we have reported before, Trump is insisting on $5 billion for real border security, including a border wall. A few weeks ago, Democrats were offering $1.6 billion. But their radical left-wing base erupted in fits of rage.
Incredibly, Pelosi and Schumer went to yesterday’s meeting not to compromise, but to back away from their previous offer. Various media reports now indicate Democrats are offering just $1.3 billion for limited fencing and other measures, and not one dime for actual wall construction.
Sensing where this might be headed, the president tweeted Tuesday morning, “If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!”
It is extremely important. As we have argued for years, border security is national security. Common sense demands that we know who is coming into our country and that we keep out those who are trying to come in illegally.
But because Trump’s efforts to secure our borders have been resisted by left-wing judges, politicians and radical activists, illegal immigration is surging to a ten-year high.
In fact, the Washington Times reports that more than 3,000 illegal aliens were caught at the border on just one day last week!
Meanwhile, a new Gallup survey finds that 158 million people around the world would like to migrate to the United States, including nearly half of the people in El Salvador and Honduras.
As the recent migrant caravans have demonstrated, there is very little stopping hundreds of thousands of Central Americans from just picking up and walking across our porous borders.
Fundamentally Transforming America
Democrats think it is desirable to have government run virtually every aspect of our lives. But today’s progressive movement absolutely refuses to do the one thing that every government is supposed to do — secure its borders.
Borders define a nation. A lesson of history is that without secure borders, you cease to have a country.
Yet progressives across the board — in academia, in big business, in the media, in government — are doubling down on globalism and open borders.
Not only do they believe that open borders benefit them, the progressive movement, at its core, just doesn’t believe that there is anything special about America. And it seems that the only way to make up for our past sins (real and imagined) is by making America more like the rest of the world by fundamentally transforming it through massive levels of immigration, no matter the costs.
Fighting Christian Persecution
As you know, I was appointed by President Trump to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. We are monitoring religious persecution all over the world. The commissioners spent all day Monday in deliberations with experts from the Hudson Institute.
Once again, there is disturbing news out of China regarding the treatment of Christians there. Beijing’s brutal communist government launched another crackdown against Christians this Sunday.
Approximately 100 Chinese Christians were arrested in Chengdu after government authorities declared their church to be “an illegal organization.” Consider this excerpt:
“[Church] Members’ personal accounts and cell group discussions on social media channels were blocked at around 9:00 pm on Sunday while the church’s telephone line was also cut. The homes of the church’s leaders, including Pastor Wang Yi, were among those raided.”
Many church elders have gone into hiding. Others report that the police are tracking down church members and forcing them to sign oaths promising to never again attend church meetings.
One church leader said that the scale of this latest crackdown was “unprecedented,” with government officials intent on trying to “close the church down for good.”
My friends, the persecution of fellow believers overseas is evidence of just how exceptional America is. We are blessed that religious liberty was so important to our Founding Fathers that they enshrined this principle in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
And the respect for faith goes back well beyond the founding of America. The Pilgrims came to these shores seeking a refuge where they could worship freely.
Our nation has a deep religious heritage, and it is worth defending.