Right Opinion

Pence the Center of Detention on U.S. Border

Tony Perkins · Jul. 16, 2019

The crisis at our southern border isn’t “manufactured,” Vice President Mike Pence insisted. And he ought to know. America’s second-in-command just flew back from a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, where he saw first-hand the damage Democrats have done by fighting the funding for ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). “I knew we’d see a system that’s overcrowded,” he said. “…[but] that’s why Congress has to act.”

The vice president’s time, which included a visit to a packed detention facility, turned out to be more fodder for the fake news machine. In a series of rapid-fire tweets, Mike Pence blasted the network’s distortion of his trip. “CNN is so dishonest,” Pence argued. “Today, we took reporters to a detention facility on the border for families and children and all told us they were being treated well.” But that’s not the story reporters told. Instead of showing the “compassionate care the American people are providing to vulnerable families,” Pence went on, “CNN only played video of men in the temporary facility and didn’t play any footage of the family facility at all… ignoring the excellent care being provided to families and children.”

Part of the stop included some time at an overflowing facility for men, “many of whom have been arrested multiple times,” he explained. But if you’re looking for people to blame, don’t point your finger at the Trump administration or Republicans. “These men were in a temporary holding area because Democrats in Congress have refused to fund additional bed space,” Pence pointed out, a nod to the fiery House debate over humanitarian aid the border.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who was part of the delegation — along with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — said one of his biggest takeaways was watching “brave law enforcement doing a heroic job.” And they’re doing that work, he explained, “in the face of constant slander & vilification from the Dems & the media. They deserve better. America is lucky to have them.” Senate Democrats, on the other hand, refused even to come to the border with the vice president. “I challenge them to leave the comfort of D.C. and see this crisis for themselves. See what the cartels are doing. See what their own failure to act is causing. No more excuses.”

Meanwhile, Senator Graham may have found one reason liberals can’t seem to make time for a trip. They can’t stand the idea that one of their biggest talking points — family separation — doesn’t hold up under DNA testing. “They’re doing a pilot program and checking [to see]: are these real families?” Graham said on Fox Sunday. At least 30 percent of the “parents,” he pointed out, are just adults trying to game the system.

“They told us about 60 children that were recycled,” Graham explained. “They picked the child up in Central America. They bring them to the United States. Everybody’s released, and the child goes back to Central America to do it again. It’s $8,000 for adults, $4,000 for families. If you bring a small child to America with you, we can only hold that child for 20 days,” he said. “Since we don’t want to separate families, we release them all. We released 52,000 people into the interior of the United States at that station this year alone because we don’t have places to hold them and we can’t keep the family together.

The word is out in Central America, you bring a small child to the United States, you’re home free.”

As for the conditions of the centers, Pence acknowledged, “This is tough stuff.” But if it weren’t for the Senate, House Republicans, and reasonable Democrats, it could be a lot worse. “The president drove hard to get a bipartisan humanitarian aid bill through the Congress — $4.6 billion,” he explained. No thanks to radical liberals in the House.

As Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) pointed out on “Washington Watch,” the president has done the best he can with the resources he has. The real solution is passing comprehensive immigration reform. Until Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) puts her political agenda aside, hundreds of thousands of migrants will continue streaming over the border, overrunning our shelters and straining on an already understaffed ICE. And what happens? “Democrats whistle past the graveyard,” a frustrated Harris told me. “The president said this crisis was coming up. And they didn’t care.”

Originally published here.

Ending Abortion: The Sooners, The Better

Here’s a headline you don’t see every day: “Judge Lets Abortion Ban Stand.” Fortunately for pro-lifers, Friday’s news was full of hope for the unborn from the unlikeliest of places. First, the Ninth Circuit dealt a huge blow to Planned Parenthood by letting the president’s family planning rule go into effect. Then, in the same 24 hours, an Oklahoma judge stunned the country by stepping aside and letting lawmakers do their job on life.

For four years, the Sooners have been trying to outlaw one of the most barbaric forms of abortion. And they had the state’s support, all the way to former Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. But after she signed the bill, the law never went into effect. It was the subject of another fierce legal challenge from the Left that wasted four years — and who knows how many lives. Now, thanks to Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong, the 2015 measure will finally go into effect — “upending a nationwide trend,” the Washington Times points out, in the process.

Attorney General Mike Hunter, like most Oklahomans, was thrilled with the decision. “Dismemberment abortions are [savage], brutal, and subject unborn children to more cruelty that we allow for death row inmates,” he said. “It is unconscionable to think that we would allow this practice to continue.” He’s right. The dilation and evacuation abortion is the stuff of nightmares. The unborn baby is (if she’s lucky) lethally injected before being cut apart and removed piece by piece from her mother. It’s the kind of unimaginable torture we wouldn’t allow for pets — let alone humans. But it’s also one of the most common second trimester abortions there is, making up 95 percent of the procedures after 12 weeks.

Groups like Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights have spent millions of dollars fighting to keep this shudder-inducing procedure afloat. Now, with Judge Truong, pro-lifers have the first-ever victory on this kind of common-sense law. We congratulate the state’s pro-life leaders on making history — and pray it’s just the beginning!

Originally published here.

Pompeo Does a World of Good on Religious Liberty

You don’t have to fly to China to find real skeptics of freedom. Turns out, there are plenty right here at home. They pop their heads up every time the Trump administration does something meaningful on religious liberty or human rights — which, thanks to this president’s priorities, means we hear from them, a lot. Sticking up for freedom used to be America’s calling card. Now that we have a State Department who takes that mission seriously, the country is finally starting to see who the real radicals are.

“It would be hilarious if it weren’t so ominous.” That’s what one New York Times columnist described Secretary Mike Pompeo’s new commission on unalienable rights. To most people, last Monday’s announcement was the perfect compliment to this week’s second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The State Department explained that it was appointing a new group of advisors, whose job would be helping the country get back to basics on human rights. In an age when liberals want that freedom to include everything from free health care to college tuition, Secretary Pompeo believes — and we agree — that it’s time to reel in our foreign policy to freedom that’s universal and God-given.

“When we start to talk about… thousands of rights, we diminish these things like religious freedom that are so fundamental to humanity… [They get] sort of lost in the shuffle. And I want to make sure we get this right. And so that’s what the Unalienable Rights Commission is going to do.” On yesterday’s “Washington Watch,” Pompeo told me that he thinks the administration is putting together “a good panel that will go back to take a look at — what are these basic rights, and how do we define them here in the United States? And then, how do we think about it around the world?” Our founders, he said, “thought about this an awful lot. They wrote about it in the Federalist Papers. They talked about it in the Declaration of Independence with the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There’s a declaration and International Declaration of Human Rights to which we will study and refer.” It’s really important, he insisted, that the kind of freedoms America defends around the world are based on discussions that are “careful and thoughtful and grounded.”

Of course, the critics could care less about what the founders intended. Their focus is imposing their extremism on as many people as possible. If that means passing off abortion as a “fundamental human right,” they’ll try. And until President Trump was elected, the global Left had tremendous success cloaking social activism in the language of freedom. But that era is over — and the abuse of these sacred truths, Pompeo insists, ends now. Roger Cohen and other liberals can wring their hands over the administration’s decisions — like removing “reproductive rights” from the annual State Department Country Reports on Human Rights or withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council. But as Secretary Pompeo would say, it’s time to get back to the principles that matter.

“I’m very optimistic than when we complete this work, even those who’ve taken shots at what we’re trying to do, will see that it was sincere and important and deeply consistent with our constitution and our founding here in the United States of America.” If the U.S. wants to help the persecuted and suffering families around the world, it has to get rid of the distractions standing in the way of freedom.

That’s why the administration is putting such a strong emphasis on religious liberty. “President Trump has made it a priority,” the secretary explained, “so our team does as well.” Thanks to events like the ministerial, where a thousand government, faith, and civil leaders will gather, religious freedom is “at a higher level in the conversation,” Pompeo explained. “It’s more of a priority in many countries. I think they understand the United States’ expectations and our encouragement for them to behave in [certain] ways…” It’s also important, he went on, for other nations to see “that affording this right — this right of religious freedom — will make their country stronger, will make their country more powerful. It will make the citizens in their nation more capable. So this is certainly something that one nation ought to do because it’s the right thing to do — but it’s also something that benefits each and every country.”

All across town, Pompeo explained, people are already meeting to talk “about things that are going right in their countries, things that are not going well, [and] how we can collectively deliver on this fundamental human right… [Y]ou’ll have people like Pastor Brunson talking about his experiences. You’ll have individuals who were persecuted in certain countries talking about what happened to them and how it is we can prevent that. The conversations will be lively. They’ll be intellectual. They’ll be very powerful, because we’ll hear firsthand accounts of people who have suffered where religious freedom did not exist. And hopefully, we’ll come together to deliver on a set of objectives over the course of the next year. We’ve seen great progress… but as you well know, there’s much work to be done.”

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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