Thursday, April 13, 2017
Sweden Truck Attack Provides Lesson: Protect Borders, Promote Assimilation
There is a tendency toward schadenfreude in all of us, and it takes a strong person to swallow those tendencies, particularly when the would-be recipient is a smug, deserving prig.
Back in late February, President Donald Trump made a public comment in reference to the risks inherent in taking on large numbers of unassimilated migrants and would-be refugees by referring to the example of Sweden. ("Look what happened last night in Sweden.")
His comments were typically imprecise in that Trumpian kind of way, and so the media did its usual slice-and-dice job, helped along nicely by the Swedish government, whose senior officials and foreign ministry leaped forward to decry his statement, and deny that there were any problems whatever in their assimilation of newcomers.
They appeared to take great delight in their self-assigned task of showing Trump to be confused, off-base and groundless, and they did this despite the fact that there had in fact been several ugly incidents of terrible crimes in which migrants were perpetrators, and that Sweden really does appear to be confronting a cultural crisis brought about by its absorption of migrants, many of whom not only haven't, but don't want to integrate.
But then Sweden appears to be in denial; a progressive, left-leaning nation whose ideals, ouroboros-like, have swung in a full circle to begin chewing on their own tails: one of those places where hate speech, very broadly construed, is condemned and even prosecuted, unless it comes from migrants whose different cultural norms make it "okay" to spew vitriol against others, such as Jews or homosexuals.
I suppose that Swedish officials, assuming that they had inoculated themselves against terror attacks by being so passive and accepting in the face of extreme Islamic views, were caught completely off-guard, then, by the recent horrific truck attack at a downtown pedestrian mall in the capital city of Stockholm that took several lives and caused many more injuries. It certainly appears to be an attempt to copycat previous infamous truck attacks in Nice, France, Israel, and elsewhere.
The thing is, Islamists are not grateful for soft treatment at the hands of western governments; guided by the twin principles of jihad and hijrah (immigration with the intention of converting the population of the new country to Islam), they scorn it and don't hesitate to bite the hand that is feeding them.
To his credit, the president has not engaged in the kind of schadenfreude I mentioned at the beginning of this blog.
Republicans still have ethical standards
Chappaquiddick Ted might also have been mentioned below
Becoming a politician is a "dirty job" that even Mike Rowe would avoid. The now former governor of Alabama proves once again that the average American's expressed disgust for politicians is often justly deserved.
On Monday, Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley resigned from office. A little over a year ago, accusations came to light of an attempted cover-up of an alleged affair between Bentley and one of his top aides. As the scandal further unfolded, revelations of potential campaign finance violations as well as misuse of state police and intimidation tactics convinced the Republican-controlled state legislature to pursue impeachment proceedings. Now, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey will become only the second woman in Alabama history to serve as governor as she replaces Bentley.
Sex scandals are nothing new when it comes to politics. But whether it brings down those involved often depends on the politician's party affiliation. Years ago another governor from a southern state was able to survive as he hushed up numerous allegations on his way to winning the White House. Bill Clinton, who committed perjury during his attempt to cover-up his affair with Monica Lewinsky, was impeached and yet retained his presidency, infamously setting a precedent. Democrats, having no moral compass, thus rallied around an arrogant serial adulterer for partisan purposes. Alabama Republicans weren't going to repeat that abuse of power.
While the Bentley scandal may bear some similarities to Clinton's many scandals, it truly pales in comparison, both in the level of corruption and in the consequences. Put simply, Bentley leaves office in disgrace still facing legal issues, while Clinton not only survived but thrived afterwards, becoming a hero of the Left and a multimillionaire on the speaking circuit. Because Bill got away with it, others may assume they can too. Sometimes they can. Arguably thanks to Bill, Donald Trump was able to survive his own sordid personal history, including sexually lewd comments revealed as an October surprise.
On a final note, it's worth remembering the words of the Gipper. Ronald Reagan famously opined, "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
Maryland lawmakers withdraw ‘sanctuary state’ bill that challenged Trump’s immigration policy
A proposal to turn Maryland into a “sanctuary state” by limiting local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities died in the State House on Monday after lawmakers withdrew the bill — which had garnered a veto threat from the governor and a rebuke from Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In one of the first big state-level challenges to the administration’s tougher line on illegal immigration, the original bill would have prevented police from inquiring about a person’s immigration status during a stop or detention and blocked jail officials from holding people past their release dates so immigration agents could detain them.
Debate over the bill, called the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act, came amid outrage after two Montgomery County high school students, at least one of whom is an illegal immigrant, were accused of raping a 14-year-old girl inside a school restroom, shining a spotlight on the sanctuary movement and drawing a direct rebuke from the White House. Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, had said he would veto the bill if it was passed in the General Assembly.
Maryland is one of a handful of states to consider “sanctuary” status, which scores of cities and counties across the county have adopted. California, New York, Illinois and Nevada are reportedly considering their own versions of the Maryland bill protecting illegal immigrants from the reach of federal law.
The House of Delegates voted last month to adopt the proposal, but the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee gave it an unfavorable report, and the bill was withdrawn as the Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day legislative session wound down.
Lawmakers opted instead for a face-saving compromise, enshrining in Maryland law a provision already recognized in federal law that restricts officers’ ability to ask about immigration status before an arrest. That proposal was set for debate in the final hours of the General Assembly Monday night, but it appeared unlikely to gain traction.
Some Democratic lawmakers, unhappy with the compromise adopted by leadership, pledged Monday to continue to fight for protections for immigrants and people of color. “We are not going to stop until we have justice and protections for everyone in the State of Maryland,” Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn, Baltimore Democrat, said in a rally Monday afternoon in Annapolis.
The bill also drew rebuke from Mr. Sessions, a key architect of President Trump’s immigration platform during the election campaign last year. Mr. Sessions said last month that the legislation was “not good policy” and implored state officials not to adopt the proposal.
Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk D. Haire said the bill appeared to have started a “civil war” between the liberal and moderate Democrats in the legislature. “Mainstream Democrats have been responsive to the message we’ve been sending, which is that sanctuary cities are dangerous,” Mr. Haire said.
He said the uproar over the rape at Rockville High School in Montgomery County highlighted residents’ concerns about sanctuary jurisdictions becoming a magnet for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. “I think it had the effect of focusing on the fact that criminals are entering illegally and committing crimes,” Mr. Haire said. “It does point out that it’s not just peaceful or hardworking immigrants who are entering the country.”
One of the two men accused of the rape encountered immigration agents in Texas about eight months ago and was issued a court date to face charges of immigration violations. He never showed up and traveled to Maryland, where he enrolled in school last fall.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s list of sanctuary cities tallies three communities in Maryland that have local policies shielding illegal immigrants from federal agents: the city of Baltimore and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
All told, ICE’s most recent list last week details 142 jurisdictions across the country that have policies restricting cooperation with federal agents. That is down from the previous week’s list, which cited 151 jurisdictions.
California and Connecticut, two states that have approved their own versions of the Trust Act, are on ICE’s list.
No More 'Catch and Release' for Illegal Immigrants
One of the smartest steps President Donald Trump has taken to get our illegal immigration problem under control was ending the Obama administration’s policy known as “catch and release.”
Border Patrol agents have long sarcastically called it the “catch and run” policy. Why?
Because aliens who have been caught and then released under the stipulation they show up for a scheduled hearing frequently fail to appear in court. That’s the finding of a new report produced by former federal immigration court judge Mark H. Metcalf and published by the Center for Immigration Studies.
In fact, no courts have higher failure-to-appear rates by defendants than U.S. immigration courts, the report found.
Why should this concern us?
These illegal aliens are ignoring immigration court orders to appear without fear of repercussion, leaving them free to run and disappear into the interior of the country. Chances are, they won’t be found again, incarcerated or deported. In fact, over the past 20 years, 37 percent of all illegal aliens released pending trial never showed up for court.
According to Metcalf, of the almost 2.5 million aliens released from detention, 918,098 failed to appear in court. Nearly 46,000 aliens disappeared each year rather than appear in court when they were supposed to.
Aliens are more likely to be ordered deported for their failure to appear than through actual court decisions on the merits of their supposed claimed right to remain in the U.S. Even in cases where aliens are ordered deported because they never showed up for court, those deportation orders are widely ignored both by those immigrants and by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division within the Department of Homeland Security that is charged with enforcing them.
Metcalf found that almost a million deportation orders issued by federal immigration judges — 953,506 to be exact — have not been enforced by ICE. That is a 58 percent increase since 2002. Bottom line, immigrants who are here illegally believe that they can stay here illegally even when they have been ordered removed. Why? Because the federal government has in the past chosen to ignore these orders.
Even worse, Metcalf says, the Department of Justice has been manipulating the statistics it reports to Congress to cover up the staggeringly high failure-to-appear rate. When DOJ reported statistical data on the percentage of illegal immigrants who failed to appear in court, it made the number look misleadingly smaller by including detained aliens in the total number. Obviously, aliens being held by ICE are going to be brought to court. They don’t have the ability to ignore court orders to appear.
Among the aliens who disappeared and never showed up for court are more than 3,000 aliens from countries that the State Department says are involved in terrorism or have activist terrorist organizations. That includes aliens from Iran, Sudan and Syria, all of whose governments are classified as state sponsors of terrorism. In fact, Metcalf found, a troubling 11 percent of asylum applicants from those three state sponsors of terrorism absconded before their court proceedings. We have no idea where they are inside the country or what they are doing.
This problem illustrates a significant double standard in our legal system. There is no other court in America that lets defendants ignore orders to appear. In fact, federal law provides severe penalties for failing to show up to a federal district court. Only in immigration courts can non-citizens disappear and potentially not face the kinds of consequences that a citizen would face for failing to appear in federal district court.
When illegal immigrants ignore our courts and ICE doesn’t enforce the law, it destroys the integrity of our legal system and encourages continued illegal immigration. The Trump administration is right to try and prevent illegal aliens from exploiting the loopholes in our immigration court system.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.