Former President Donald Trump, in a new interview, suggested there is “hope” for a 2024 presidential run, although he did not specifically say whether he would again launch another campaign.
In an interview with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump in her podcast, the former president was asked, “Do we have hope that there’s a possibility to see Donald Trump run again in 2024?”
“You do have hope, that I can tell you,” Trump told her. “You do have hope. We love our country—this country. We all owe a lot to our country but now we have to help our country.”
“And we were there. We were so good. What we did with Iran, what we did with China,” the former commander-in-chief said. “We were all set to do some great things. And then you see what’s going on right now.”
During the 18-minute interview, Trump spoke about President Joe Biden’s policies, the incident where he fell several times on the stairs to Air Force One, and how “boring” Twitter had become after he was suspended.
“People saw a lot of things happening long-prior to the press conference—and even the trip up the stairs, up and down, three-times—there are a lot of things going on, so we’ll see what happens,” Trump remarked, saying that during his presidency, he was not afforded the same media coverage and suspected that if the same thing had happened to him, he would have been criticized.
“It was not on the evening news,” the 45th president said. “It got almost no coverage,” he added, saying it is a “sad situation” because “we don’t have freedom of the press anymore.” In late 2020, Trump said the media entered a “new phase” in that certain news outlets are now refusing to cover potentially damaging information about a political candidate or politician.
But Trump added: “I hope [Biden’s] in good shape. I hope he’s OK for the sake of the country.”
In the interview, Trump, who turns 75 over the summer, was asked about the prospect of him holding rallies in the future. Throughout his 2016 and 2020 campaign efforts, the former president’s rallies were popular among his supporters.
Should Trump run again, it would likely involve large rallies.
“Will we ever be able to attend another Trump rally?” Lara Trump asked him.
“Oh yeah, sure, I think so,” Donald Trump said. “In fact, we’re thinking about doing one relatively soon just to let everybody know that there’s hope in the future.” He did not elaborate on a possible date.
The United Nations’ role in immigration policy is growing worldwide with the establishment of a UN “Network for Migration” in dozens of countries to facilitate large migratory flows, sparking alarm among American border-security advocates already concerned about mass migration and the escalating crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The UN networks, which are led by a coalition of UN agencies, exist to support the implementation of the controversial “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” (GCM) adopted by the UN and over 150 of its member states in December of 2018.
Among other goals, the global agreement aims to facilitate the expansion of what the UN describes as “regular migration,” providing more legal pathways for would-be immigrants seeking to re-settle in wealthier countries such as the United States.
While the U.S. government has not been formally involved in the UN efforts of recent years to transform global migration policy, that may be changing, multiple sources told The Epoch Times.
Under the new administration, “the U.S. government has attended several GCM regional reviews, reviewing progress on implementation of the compact in all the regions of the world,” UN Network on Migration Communications Coordinator Florence Kim told The Epoch Times in a phone interview.
“This is great because even though the U.S. did not talk about any progress, they said that they would engage much more and they said they are re-considering all the discussions, and they are willing to participate much more in these forums,” added Kim, who serves as a spokesperson for the UN effort.
The U.S. State Department did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the issues by phone or email.
The UN’s refugee agency already “works closely with U.S. government agencies and [Non-Governmental Organizations] responsible for resettling refugees in the U.S.,” the international organization says, adding that the U.S. program is the largest in the world.
However, the Biden administration is warming up to the international agreement and becoming more involved in the process, even sending U.S. representatives to regional meetings on the compact, the UN official told The Epoch Times.
The growing UN push on global migration, combined with ongoing changes in immigration policy between the Trump and Biden administrations, has numerous U.S. organizations dedicated to border security very concerned.
In interviews with The Epoch Times, several leading figures in the immigration debate spoke out against the UN migration networks and the UN effort to get the U.S. government officially involved.
Instead, they insisted that U.S. immigration laws created by Americans’ elected representatives be enforced and strengthened, and that the UN be kept out of U.S. immigration policy.
“Our view is that this is a domestic policy issue,” said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a leading immigration-focused organization that seeks to slow the flow of newcomers.
“When you add the United Nations to what should be a domestic issue, the end product is something that you’re not going to want to consume,” added Mehlman, echoing widespread concerns among immigration-policy advocates about the UN’s efforts to get more involved.
UN Pleased With Biden’s Actions
So far, the Biden administration has not publicly made any concrete moves to join the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration rejected by his predecessor.
However, its actions on the issue have been praised by the UN and its International Organization for Migration, which is leading the charge to promote the GCM.
“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) applauds President Joe Biden’s plans to address the drivers of migration and advance safe, orderly and regular migration in the region,” the UN organization said in a statement released in early February using the precise language of the global migration pact.
The Biden administration’s executive actions on immigration “will provide a framework to expand refugee resettlement,” the UN IOM added in reference to Biden’s orders increasing the cap on refugees from less than 20,000 per year to over 120,000.
The UN agency also boasted that it had already “assisted the United States with case processing, pre-departure health assessments, cultural orientation and transportation” of migrants from Central America.
“IOM looks forward to working with the Biden administration … to foster the positive opportunities and impacts of regular migration for individuals and their families as well as for the communities and societies with which they are affiliated,” the statement added.
As soon as Biden took office, the UN suggested that the U.S. government should re-engage in the UN’s international efforts on global migration.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for instance, issued a statement on Biden’s first day expressing hope that the new administration would join the GCM.
“This partnership is needed now more than ever as we seek to provide assistance, protection and sustainable solutions to the displacement of record numbers of people who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, violence or disaster, or are migrating in the hopes of finding a better life for themselves and their families,” said the statement issued by Guterres’s office.
The top UN refugee official, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, anticipated closer cooperation with the Biden administration as soon as it took office.
“We look forward to deepening the strong and trusted partnership with the United States, and to working with the new administration and Congress to address the many challenges of forced displacement around the world,” Grandi said on Jan. 20.
Trump Led Global Opposition
Under the Trump administration, which sought to reduce illegal immigration and some forms of legal immigration into the United States in favor of merit-based programs, the UN efforts to boost its involvement in migration policy received a cold shoulder.
It represented a clean break from the Obama administration, which in 2016 played a key role in the UN’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants that eventually led to the GCM negotiated at a December, 2018, summit in Morocco.
Trump blasted the effort. Indeed, a forceful statement released by the U.S. State Department on Dec. 7, 2018, slammed the GCM as a flagrant attack on sovereignty that was unacceptable to the United States.
“The Compact and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which called for the development of the Compact and commits to ‘strengthening global governance’ for international migration, contain goals and objectives that are inconsistent and incompatible with U.S. law, policy, and the interests of the American people,” the State Department said, adding that the U.S. government objected to and would not be bound by the UN deal.
“The United States proclaims and reaffirms its belief that decisions about how to secure its borders, and whom to admit for legal residency or to grant citizenship, are among the most important sovereign decisions a State can make, and are not subject to negotiation, or review, in international instruments,” the statement continued, adding that the U.S. government would maintain the sovereign right to control its borders.
Beyond that, the Trump administration said the UN efforts represented an attempt by the UN “to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of States to manage their immigration systems in accordance with their national laws, policies, and interests.”
“While the United States honors the contributions of the many immigrants who helped build our nation, we cannot support a ‘Compact’ or process that imposes or has the potential to impose international guidelines, standards, expectations, or commitments that might constrain our ability to make decisions in the best interests of our nation and citizens,” the State Department said before outlining a large number of specific criticisms of the GCM.
Among other concerns, the Trump administration said the UN compact was a threat to free expression, immigration enforcement, American workers, and even a proper understanding of “rights.”
Aside from an apparently automated message indicating she was on leave until March 29, Leslie Marshall with the Press Office of the U.S. Bureau of Global Public Affairs did not respond to repeated requests for comment asking about the State Department’s current position.
Numerous other governments that declined to participate also warned that the UN agreement sought to increase the flow of immigration into Western nations, usurp the sovereignty of national governments in determining policy, and even redefine migration as a “human right.”
Following Trump’s lead, dozens of nations and governments decided against adopting the UN compact including Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Austria, Israel, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Latvia, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Chile, and more.
“It cannot … be that any formulations are adopted that could perhaps or possibly be interpreted to mean that migration can be a human right,” argued Austrian Vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache at the time. “That can and must not be the case.”
Other European leaders warned that the UN’s efforts would exacerbate the migration crisis in Europe while encouraging even more mass migration.
In the end, only about 150 governments—mostly governments of nations sending rather than receiving migrants—joined the compact.
Over 40 governments, including many of the top destinations for migrants, declined to support the UN deal.
GCM Via Backdoor?
However, even without having supported the UN GCM, its policies and objectives are quietly being implemented in nations where authorities rejected the agreement.
Without naming specific governments, UN Network on Migration Communications Coordinator Kim told The Epoch Times that most of the governments that declined to participate or approve the UN agreement were nonetheless implementing its “common sense” provisions.
“You don’t need to adopt the GCM to actually implement it,” she said. “They will implement it at their own rhythm.”
“Sometimes it can be politically sensitive, so countries [governments] did not adopt it,” added Kim, who works at the UN’s offices in Geneva. “But a majority of those countries are implementing at least some parts of it.”
The United States is actually surrounded by nations where governments are enthusiastic supporters of the UN effort. In fact, the governments of both Mexico and Canada are considered “champions” of the GCM, Kim said.
“Mexico has agreed and requested to pilot some tools developed by the UN agencies through the Network for Migration,” Kim said, adding that the Mexican government served as “co-facilitator of the negotiations.”
“They know how relevant migration is for their own country, so they know they need to manage it better, to make sure those crossing the country or leaving from Mexico are protected,” she added.
“The fact that Mexico can be supported by the UN in protecting migrants leaving or crossing can have an impact on the United States,” continued Kim. “We are talking about international migration here, so anything implemented by one country has an impact on neighboring countries.”
To the North, Canada is also a GCM “champion country,” she said.
“Canada has been implementing quite a lot, they are quite progressive in this sense, meaning that their policies are much more gender responsive, they are quite active in the integration of migrants,” continued Kim.
All of that will have an effect on America, she said.
“The U.S. is a bit surrounded by GCM champion countries and the latest declarations from the U.S. representatives show there is a real willingness to improve migration management and make sure that migrants in the U.S. are protected and included,” Kim continued. “This will benefit the whole population.”
UN Migration Networks
As part of the implementation of the GCM, the UN has set up “Migration Networks” in about 40 countries around the globe so far.
Most recently, the UN announced the creation of a “Network for Migration” in Iraq, one of the nations sending large numbers of migrants into the West.
In a statement, a deputy special representative of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the network would coordinate UN support to “improve migration governance in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also referred to as UN Agenda 2030, represent a comprehensive global effort to reform governance and the economy to be more in line with what the UN considers to be sustainable.
The Chinese Communist Party boasted that it played a “crucial role” in the SDG plan, which UN leaders said represents a “master plan for humanity” that will “transform our world.”
Leading the Networks for Migration are a number of key UN agencies, including several that are run by Chinese officials loyal to Beijing.
Kim, the UN spokesperson for the migration networks, said the goal of the UN was to try to pool its expertise in supporting governments in the implementation of the UN global migration pact.
“For Mexico it is important to support the government with the ongoing situation with the U.S., trying to adjust the migration policies, trying to protect the migrants going through or leaving from Mexico,” she said.
The networks also serve as a “tool for advocacy,” Kim explained, adding that a trust fund run by the UN Network was supporting migration-related projects around the world.
In addition to the nine UN agencies on the executive board and the dozens of UN entities involved are hundreds of “civil society” organizations, Kim said.
Among the priorities of the UN agency are ending detention of what Kim described as “irregular migrants,” known more commonly in the United States as illegal immigrants.
Asked about “irregular migration,” she said: “Calling migration illegal is not accurate, a person cannot be illegal.”
When asked if the sort of policies being supported under the UN’s programs would encourage even more migration, Kim hesitated but suggested there were limits.
“We are not there to say ‘let’s have all the migrants in the world, and have them go anywhere,’” Kim clarified. “The compact aims to ensure that migration is well governed. We find the right balance that benefits those that want to come to a country, those who live in the country, and the governments involved.”
In Europe, she suggested creating new and larger pathways for legal migration would prevent people from crossing the Mediterranean.
“If they have legal means to come to Europe in a controlled, more-governed way, then the migrants don’t have to risk their lives,” she said, adding that this would provide more labor and tax revenue for the receiving countries.
She also argued that attempting to stop mass migration was futile.
“You can build all the walls in the world that you want, but when people have to leave, they will,” she said.
Critics Say No to UN Involvement
While the UN and the tax-funded refugee agencies and NGOs involved with the global organization have been pushing the U.S. government to deepen its involvement in UN migration programs and further expand legal avenues for immigration, critics have sounded the alarm.
In a phone interview with The Epoch Times, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Media Director Ira Mehlman said the UN should not be involved in U.S. policy discussions about migration.
“These are domestic policy issues,” he said. “Each nation should make these decisions based on their own criteria.”
“What happens when these kinds of international organizations get involved, you basically have other countries telling the United States and Germany what they should do,” added Mehlman. “Once you throw this into the international arena it becomes very easy for other countries to sit back and tell ours what we should be doing when it’s not really their business.”
Mehlman also argued that the governments pushing increased global migration via the UN were mostly not those that would be forced to deal with the consequences.
“They should not be telling us what we should be doing,” he said. “This is passing the buck, and that never works.”
Instead, elected representatives at the national level should make decisions in the best interests of their own nations, he said.
In the case of the United States, he said that meant stopping the “chaos” at the Southern border, tightening the asylum process, enforcing existing law, and better distinguishing between economic migrants and true refugees.
Another expert in the field and longtime activist for increased controls over migration flows into the United States, William Gheen with Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, also slammed the UN efforts.
“The American public should resist these United Nations programs because they are designed to facilitate and increase harmful third world legal and illegal immigration into America and Europe as part of a wider plan to overwhelm our nations and force Americans into a global form of government which will be dominated by China,” he argued.
National identity, borders, and the independence and freedom enjoyed by Americans are a major obstacle to “socialists, communists, global corporations, and robber baron billionaires who feel they should be able to rule and dictate by fiat,” he said.
However, by rapidly importing millions of people from abroad without an understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the United States is being “conquered” by what Gheen described as “fourth generational warfare backed by the UN.”
That is why it is so crucial for Americans and lawmakers to resist “amnesty” efforts currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
A new but influential voice on the immigration policy scene, Angel Families of America Founder Agnes Gibboney, a legal immigrant whose son was killed by a previously deported illegal immigrant, also blasted UN efforts and mass migration into the United States.
“We are a sovereign nation and should decide our own laws, policies, and all aspects of our immigration, not foreign countries,” she said, adding that the UN “should not play any role in U.S. immigration policies.”
On a broader level, she told The Epoch Times that the United States could not solve the world’s problems by importing significant numbers of people from around the world.
“The problems in another country is where the problem needs to be solved, not in ours,” said Gibboney, whose family fled the communist regime in Hungary via Brazil before eventually finding their way to the United States legally.
“We don’t have resources to take care of the current migration crisis,” she added, calling on Congress to decline participation in UN immigration programs and agreements.
Congress is currently working on several major overhauls of U.S. immigration law that would bring U.S. policy more in line with the UN’s vision, including providing amnesty to the estimated 15 million or more illegal immigrants already in the United States.
The Biden administration did not respond to requests for comment on its position
President Joe Biden answers a question during his first press briefing in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 25, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images) Executive Branch
Besides seeking to fix crumbling bridges, it features an expansive climate change agenda, paid for by tax hikes By Tom Ozimek March 31, 2021 Updated: March 31, 2021 biggersmallerPrint
President Joe Biden will on Wednesday begin promoting his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which besides aiming to fix roads and bridges also features an expansive climate change and social welfare agenda, with the White House calling it “the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy.”
White House officials said on a call with reporters that Biden will call for a dramatic and more permanent shift in the direction of the U.S. economy, with a “generational investment in upgrading and reorienting our power infrastructure in this country for the carbon-free electric future.”
“Every dollar spent on rebuilding our infrastructure during the Biden administration will be used to prevent, reduce, and withstand the impacts of the climate crisis,” the White House said.
They also said Biden’s proposal—which is detailed in a White House briefing paper and which the president plans to discuss in an afternoon speech in Pittsburgh—also features a major social justice thrust.
“Unlike past major investments, the plan prioritizes addressing long-standing and persistent racial injustice. The plan targets 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities,” the White House noted.
Called the American Jobs Plan, it calls for $621 billion to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, including a $174 billion investment in the electric vehicle market that sets a goal of a nationwide charging network by 2030.
Congress will also be asked to put $400 billion toward affordable housing and community-based care for aging Americans and people with disabilities.
There is $213 billion provided to build and retrofit affordable and sustainable homes along with hundreds of billions to support U.S. manufacturing, bolster the nation’s electric grid, enact nationwide high-speed broadband, and revamp the nation’s water systems to ensure clean drinking water.
Corporate Tax Hike
Biden aims to put corporate America on the hook for the tab, which is expected to grow to a combined $4 trillion once he rolls out the second part of his economic plan in April.
“If passed alongside President Biden’s Made in America corporate tax plan, it will be fully paid for within the next 15 years and reduce deficits in the years after,” the White House said, with a senior administration official saying that the cost for all the plan’s projects would be spread out over an eight-year period.
Biden has proposed several changes to the tax code, including raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from the current 21 percent—the level that the Trump administration brought it down to from 35 percent.
The Tax Foundation said in a report released Feb. 24 that Biden’s plans to hike the tax rate for corporations would eliminate 159,000 jobs, depress wages by 0.7 percent, and reduce long-run economic output by 0.8 percent.
For now, Biden is sparing wealthier Americans from any tax increases, with the senior administration official telling reporters that the infrastructure plan would not include increases in the top marginal tax rate or to the capital gains tax, but would focus on raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and changing the tax code to close loopholes that allow companies to move profits overseas.
Coupled with his recently enacted $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, Biden’s infrastructure initiative would give the federal government a bigger role in the U.S. economy than it has had in generations, accounting for 20 percent or more of annual output.
The announcement of the plan sets the stage for the next partisan clash in Congress where members largely agree that capital investments are needed but are divided on the total size and inclusion of programs traditionally seen as social services programs.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), the GOP’s senior member on the House Select Committee on climate change, said he was keeping an open mind but was concerned that Democrats were leveraging the popularity of infrastructure to usher in a broad expansion of social welfare.
“If they’re just going to encapsulate a cow pie in a candy shell, then I’m not there,” Graves said in an interview on Tuesday.
Some of the administration’s Democrat allies are pushing for inclusion of their priorities in the upcoming legislative thrust.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a leading progressive Democrat, said on Tuesday that “we’d like to see a plan that goes big,” and noted that some groups pegged the infrastructure plan Biden rolled out on the campaign trail as worth between $6.5 trillion and $11 trillion over 10 years.
“We really think that there’s ample room to get the overall number up to somewhere in that range in order to really tackle the scale of investments that we need to make,” she said.
Moderate Democrats have said the package should be more targeted to traditional infrastructure projects to attract Republican votes, seeking a return to bipartisan policymaking.
The White House has said the administration will introduce a second legislative package within weeks. It is unclear whether the administration will seek to have both efforts pass at the same time or try to get Congress to approve one first.
The second package is expected to include an expansion in health insurance coverage, an extension of the expanded child tax benefit, and paid family and medical leave, among other efforts aimed at families, according to administration officials.
Reuters contributed to this report. Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris—the Biden administration’s point person on immigration issues—demanding answers and action on what he described as an “ongoing humanitarian crisis” amid the surge in illegal crossings that he blamed on the administration’s “open border policies.”
Last week, President Joe Biden tasked Harris with stemming the rising tide of immigrants—many of them unaccompanied children—crossing the border illegally into the United States, saying it would be a “tough job” but that she was “the most qualified person to do it.”
Abbott, noting in his letter (pdf) that Harris had been named “Border Czar in charge” of the Biden administration’s response to the border surge, called on Harris to clarify what is being done to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the country and to prosecute human traffickers.
He also took aim at policies that he said, “embolden and enrich cartels, smugglers, and human traffickers who continue to ramp up their criminal operations.”
“I urge you to visit the border to see the crisis for yourself, and I implore the Biden administration to take swift action to secure the border, crack down on human trafficking, and prevent more children from being trafficked and abused,” Abbott said in a statement.
His letter comes as neither Biden nor Harris have announced plans to visit the border region, nor has the Vice President held any public briefings on the immigration situation since being put in charge of the effort to deal with the border surge.
Since January, the Biden administration has reversed a policy of turning away unaccompanied children, instead opting to process them and place them with sponsoring families in the United States. Critics, including Abbott, have said Biden’s policies have led to a surge in people crossing the border, especially unaccompanied minors.
Customs and Border Protection recently noted a more than 100 percent month-over-month increase in February in two categories of illegal aliens—family units and unaccompanied minors.
In his letter, Abbott urged the Biden administration to interview every unaccompanied minor coming across the border to determine if any child has been harmed, groomed, or victimized by human traffickers.
He also complained that a number of questions regarding the flow of children across the border remain unanswered, including whether any of the minors were forced to carry contraband across the border, whether the children or their families were coerced or threatened by cartel members or human traffickers, and whether there was a medical screening process in place to identify potential abuse and assault of the children.
“What specific measures can the administration point to that confirm that these children are not released to human traffickers in the United States?” Abbott wrote. “What action is your administration taking to prosecute those who traffic unaccompanied minors?”
The Epoch Times reached out to the White House for comment on Abbott’s letter, but did not receive a response by publication.
Abbott’s letter comes amid reports that the number of illegal border crossings jumped to 150,000 in March—50,000 more than in February and edging out the highest month in 2019, during the most recent border crisis. In May 2019, Border Patrol apprehended 144,000 people between ports of entry.
While the Biden administration has repeatedly said that the border is secure and not, as some contend, open to illegal immigration flows, former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan said during a press conference on the bank of the Rio Grande on March 30 that, “The border is wide open. … it’s not secure. Drugs are pouring in and criminal aliens are pouring in right now.”
In his first press conference since taking office, President Joe Biden sought to portray the border surge as a seasonal spike and not, as critics have said, a result of decisions such as halting construction of border wall projects started under former President Donald Trump, or his support for immigration reform that would, if it clears the divided Senate, give a pathway to citizenship for millions of people living in the United States illegally.
“It happens every year,” Biden said of the border surge. “Does anybody suggest that there was a 31 percent increase under Trump because he was a nice guy and he was doing good things at the border? That’s not the reason they’re coming.
“It’s because of earthquakes, floods. It’s because of lack of food. It’s because of gang violence. It’s because of a whole range of things.”
Morgan told reporters at the press conference that the current surge can’t be explained away as a normal seasonal uptick.
“They created this crisis and they’re trying to spin and blame everybody but themselves,” Morgan said. “The only thing that’s really been put out there that’s honest is that we’re going to see numbers that we haven’t seen in over 20 years.”
Biden has said that his administration is continuing to quickly expel most adults and families under a public health order imposed at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. The difference is that the government is allowing teens and children, at least temporarily, to stay in the country.
CBP continues to enforce a policy, implemented by former President Donald Trump one year ago, of returning most southern-border crossers to Mexico. About 70,000 people, or 72 percent of such individuals—mostly single adults—were rapidly deported in February alone, according to CBP data.
Biden aide Roberta Jacobson, the White House’s southern border coordinator, said the administration is now more aggressively discouraging illegal migration.
“Don’t come over,” Biden said in a March 16 interview with ABC News when asked to articulate his message to would-be border crossers. “Don’t leave your town or city or community.”
But Reuters interviews with nearly two dozen migrants and more than a dozen people identifying themselves as smugglers, as well as an examination of hundreds of posts in closed Facebook groups where smugglers advertise their services, shows that many would-be migrants believe that they are welcome to cross the border.
“There’s 100 days of free passage across the border,” a Guatemalan smuggler told Reuters, referring to one prevailing perception.
“Supposedly the president is letting children in,” another told the outlet.
Charlotte Cuthbertson and Reuters contributed to this report. Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and the state of vaccinations in the South Court Auditorium at the White House complex in Washington, on March 29, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Executive Branch
As President Joe Biden is slated to unveil a sweeping infrastructure bill Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that the way it would be funded—via an increase in taxes—is “dangerously misguided.”
“Properly done, a major investment in infrastructure today is an investment in the future, and like a new home, should be paid for over time—say 30 years—by the users who benefit from the investment,” the lobbying group said. “We strongly oppose the general tax increases proposed by the administration which will slow the economic recovery and make the U.S. less competitive globally—the exact opposite of the goals of the infrastructure plan.”
Biden’s proposal, which is known as the American Jobs Plan, will be revealed Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Details of the plan have been leaked to the press in recent days, including investments in “green” energy sources, more Internet access, more highways, and housing. A tax increase would target corporations.
“The hard work of achieving bipartisan consensus is the best and only realistic path to enactment of historic infrastructure legislation,” the Chamber of Commerce said. “While today’s action, coupled with continued efforts to find consensus from bipartisan groups in both the House and Senate is encouraging and a start in a long process, we urge both Democrats and Republicans to avoid further partisan gridlock and provide productive solutions to get an infrastructure bill passed this year.”
The White House released a fact sheet on the plan Wednesday morning.
“Alongside his American Jobs Plan, President Biden is releasing a Made in America Tax Plan to make sure corporations pay their fair share in taxes and encourage job creation at home,” the White House said. It added: “Another study found that the average corporation paid just 8 percent in taxes. President Biden believes that profitable corporations should not be able to get away with paying little or no tax by shifting jobs and profits overseas. President Biden’s plan will reward investment at home, stop profit shifting, and ensure other nations won’t gain a competitive edge by becoming tax havens.”
The corporate tax rate lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent under former President Donald Trump by Republicans who said it would help businesses grow and spur job creation efforts.
Another change would apply a new tax on foreign subsidiaries of American companies.
“Right now, the tax code rewards U.S. multinational corporations that shift profits and jobs overseas with a tax exemption for the first ten percent return on foreign assets, and the rest is taxed at half the domestic tax rate,” the White House fact sheet stated.
The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for comment.
Quick report on the last meeting …. but first a disclaimer of sorts. Personally I have been quite torn the last year or so because of the complete failure of “the system” to provide public information regarding the hi-jacking and reconfiguration of our former surface water treatment plant into a subsidized groundwater substitution facility to circumvent restrictions in water license 11395 for LAFCO annexed property owners and my sincere appreciation and admiration for current GM McGowan for tackling many issues that have languished for proper attention for decades due to the past mismanagement and misdirection of this CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICT into further violations of the water license. All in the pursuit of a massive subsidized special benefit “blended” water service for third party LAFCO annexed land owners through the intentional fabrication of government documents to achieve the goals for this proposed “foothill water empire” funded by the mandatory LDPCSD customers of the victimized residential subdivision and misused grant money. But I digress.
Although impressed with, and thankful for, the GM’s addressing long overdue issues (most having to do with proper maintenance of facilities and equipment) I am never-the-less still suspicious of the connection with the Merced Irrigation District which worked with former GM Peter Kampa and his board……..
(twice “former GM” is the kicker to the story as the board that re-hired Kampa in 2014 knew exactly what they were paying for and expected Kampa to do….. supply water to properties our district had no legal duty or moral obligation to provide water service that Kampa had set up 20 years ago without board permission or approval)
…….and McGowan’s clear intention of following Kampa’s 20 year involvement with the CSDA (California Special Districts Association) which only assisted Peter Kampa with the exploitation of our special district for third party special interests of LAFCO annexed property. Just one big state lobbying organization assisting another State entity which fails to follow its own regulations and goals for the public good. Old news yeah? Oh well, just wanted to clarify that GM McGowan appears to be getting long over due and necessary work done. What the trade off is, if any, I don’t know but will always question ANYTHING INVOLVED WITH PETER KAMPA – especially his outrageously WRONG fabricated maps and documents! Gosh, sense any pressured thought patterns here? lol Anyway, here’s the meeting with my blah, blah, blah.
Recording begins with continuing discussion about the weather and some snow fall. President Dan Hankemeier started to open the meeting at 1:02PM at which time the Board Secretary reminded him to announce who was present: President: Dan Monastadt (sp?) a guest speaker. The secretary explained she meant district officials… Oh. 3 directors present Danny, and …….(couldn’t recall name) Emery Ross……. Pledge of allegiance. Emery Ross raises a point of order in regards to the weather and meeting agenda…. President, any public comment? Secretary announced Director Sperry had just arrived, pubic comment regarding selling solar services to the district again…. speaker wanted board to instruct GM to provide district power use information for his presentation in the future so as to demonstrate (perhaps next month) how much the district could save in electric costs going with his solar proposal.
Auditor presentation – records were very organized. Opinion only on financial statements. Page by page explanation of the report. 1: 12PM Director Warren arrives. Presiding officer’s report: president nothing to report. GM Report: Water rate increase postponed until the COVID19 matter is more secure. USDA intake grant…planning done, moving forward. Grant discussion, denied CAL OES grant, barge is complete (mostly paid for) waiting to find out where and how much for storage fee. The original cost of $60,000 turned into $100,000+ …..Removed motor for security during eventual storage. Ground wells working. State required PH monitoring system being installed. Looking for a used hydraulic valve turning tool. If valves are not exercised routinely they will seize up in time. Fire hydrants are all working. Fencing company working on tank sites. All equipment working properly. District asphalt damage being caused by the garbage truck making turns within compound. Site inspection of all wells. Audit was good. Replacing meters with manual read meters. approximately 200 manual read meters. (Meter “tricks” being used by customers?) Replacing AMCO with Badger meters.
QUESTIONABLE WATER SERVICE SHUTOFFS REQUESTED BY MARIPOSA COUNTY Discussion between GM and county regarding illegal cultivation sites. Shutting off water to properties with illegal grows. These are not residential properties, but vacant lots with a meter. Mariposa County is going after the property owners because they do not have building permits. Johnson asked what the difference was with planting regular trees in preparation for future construction, will that now be illegal? Does the county have a legal right to demand water shut off to such properties which are legally paying their water bill? Going to check with our attorney for potential liability issues. Warren stated they needed an ordinance by the county to that effect.
Apparently Director Emery Ross was involved with one of the illegal grows while searching for some stray cows on another property and stated the people that were there ran away and probably won’t come back. He said it was legal to have 26 plants per person in the county but not thousands (and thousands). Johnson suggested the county might be overstepping their authority and the district should make sure there is no liability for us. GM was only trying to work with the county on good terms. Crops already cut and burned. SECRETARY SUGGESTED GOING BACK AND APPROVING THE AUDIT RESOLUTION Secretary suggested backing up to page 18 in the audit report for the motion to accept the audit. (Moved to next item without accepting the audit report,.) Unanimous approval. Discussion regarding the 42 service requests – changing meters, re-reads, final reads on meter where the property sold, etc. Hazard mitigation grant paperwork (emergency preparedness) apparently confused and the appropriate entity did not have the correct signed documents. GM working to clarify the information with the appropriate entities. Discussion regarding MARTEK Company and some confrontation that had occurred with owner/employee. ??? Water loss is down and likely the result of multiple issues being corrected. 15% or less is the industry standard for water loss. CONSENT AGENDA The Board President questioned Page 11 and how the purchase of water could be a negative number? Discussion….. Secretary questioned whether it was a prior mistake by MID which had been acknowledged and corrected. (A billing had been sent to the wrong address.) PG&E had also been paid for the $20,000 claim for damages but due to insufficient funds a difficulty developed there and a check had to be reissued……) Consent Agenda approved, unanimous. DISCUSSION OF ALAMO VALVE, PAGE 47 Intake was the priority at the time but now the Alamo valve can be addressed and repaired (only 6 feet of water can be stored in that tank because of this malfunctioning valve) Need to replace the pilot and main valve. Main valve has a large leak….15 years leaking! (Years of green healthy weeds during the summer is a clue) Gravity vs hydromatic valves. GM recommends accepting a proposed remedy (repair/replacement) for the valves. Passed unanimous. 4-6 weeks after ordering parts and a report will be made to the board. DISTRICT FAILURE Pump was leaking – for years and years… valve does not work now due to lack of maintenance…. no money set aside for repairs…. A director asked is this site inspected on a regular basis? Why just now reported by a concerned citizen? GM advised the citizen stated he has told staff about this leak for years. GM advised now he was aware of the problem he would address the situation. GM says there is a nice flow running from the back side. South Arbolada – bottom of the hill. Not by the tank. Johnson asked what was the point of “site inspections” if such long time leaks are not being reported for maintenance? WHy have inspections? Just wait for something to stop working. GM said every site is unique and a check list cannot cover everything. Only way to know if a valve was nonoperational is to shut down the system and check it to determine status. Why not take photos for a current record of each site for comparison purposes? Green weeds are a clue. Should have been corrected 10 years ago. Why is there always a “spring” near our tank? Test for chlorine in the “spring water”. Unanimous approval for expense that is not in budget, approximately $7,000. PLANT SEPTIC UPGRADES When GM first came here he was told leach field had been crushed and was backing up. Distribution boxes cleaned, company said the septic tank had never been cleaned, – cleaned and hydro flushed, one of the distribution boxes was completely clogged. Removed a lot of sludge (very nasty stuff). No obstructions according to camera inspection which is good news. If continued problems GM will have another leach line added. Emphasized once again, that all of this was caused by a lack of routine maintenance. Peculation was not working at all due to sludge buildup over the years. Finally taken care of and will be maintained in the future.
LEW VIEW AGAIN: THE DISTRICT’S FOCUS FOR DECADES WAS ON ILLEGALLY EXPANDING WATER SERVICE OUTSIDE THE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE FOR MERCED RIVER WATER PER WATER LICENSE 11395 RATHER THAN MAINTAINING OUR SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT FOR THE SUBDIVISION AND GOLF COURSE FOR WHICH IT WAS DESIGNED, CONSTRUCTED AND INTENDED TO SERVE. THE WATER PLANT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO SERVE THE ENTIRE REGION BASED ON TUOLUMNE AND MARIPOSA COUNTY LAFCO ANNEXATIONS INTO A CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICT THAT COULD NOT LEGALLY PROVIDE THE NECESSARY WATER FOR ALL THE LAFCO APPROVED AND PROPOSED NEW DEVELOPMENTS. (SEVERAL PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISIONS – WITH ONE APPARENTLY CONCEALED FROM THE PUBLIC VIEW FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS WHICH LAFCO NOW CLAIMS WAS ANNEXED IN 1995 WHEN KAMPA WAS HERE THE FIRST TIME. WHAT?????)
THE LAST PROP 218 WAS SUPPOSED TO SAVE OUR DISTRICT FROM BANKRUPTCY BUT THAT SAVED MILLION IN CASH WAS GIVEN TO PETER KAMPA IN ORDER TO LEVERAGE GOVERNMENT GRANTS WITH WHICH TO DEVELOP GROUNDWATER WELLS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE A BLENDED MERCED RIVER WATER/GROUNDWATER PRODUCT TO CIRCUMVENT WATER LICENSE RESTRICTIONS UNDER 11395 REGARDING WATER OUTSIDE THE SUBDIVISION/GOLF COURSE APPROVED AREAS. OUR SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT WAS ONCE AGAIN IGNORED WHILE ESSENTIALLY RECONFIGURED INTO A GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION FACILITY FOR LAFCO ANNEXATIONS INTO THE LDPCSD. PROPERTIES WHICH OUR DISTRICT HAD NO LEGAL DUTY OR MORAL OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE SQUAT – MUCH LESS WATER SERVICE or A GROUNDWATER BLENDED SERVICE. OTHER DEVELOPMENTS ARE FINE BUT THOSE RECEIVING A SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICE SHOULD PAY FOR THAT SPECIAL BENEFIT! THE ADDITIONAL COSTS SHOULD NOT BE “BLENDED” INTO A SHARED EXPENSE BY THE MAJORITY OF “MANDATORY LDPCSD CUSTOMERS” WHO DO NOT REQUIRE SUCH SPECIAL BENEFIT. YES, ALL THE WHILE THE MANDATORY LDPCSD CUSTOMERS OF THE SUBDIVISION (MR WECS – MERCED RIVER WATER ENTITLED CUSTOMERS) WERE DESIGNED AND DESIGNATED THE PERFECT DEEP POCKET TO SUBSIDIZE THIS FOOTHILL WATER SCAM BY THE SAME LAFCOS THAT FIRST CREATED THE SPECIAL DISTRICT AND THEN BEGAN ANNEXING PROPERTIES FOR DEVELOPMENT OUTSIDE THE WATER LICENSE PERMITTED PLACE OF USE!
NO WONDER VALVES WEREN’T BEING EXERCISED AND PROPERLY MAINTAINED, YEAH? CONSIDER….AND NOW? ONLY A COMMUNIST CHINESE CREATED PANDEMIC PREVENTED CURRENT LDPCSD EFFORTS TO CAJOLE AND CHARGE MR WECS EVEN MORE FOR THE DECADES OF BETRAYAL, DECEIT AND NEGLIGENCE. WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY? SAME EVERYWHERE? LOOK AT OUR LAST ELECTION AND WHO IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE DESTROYING AMERICA WITH EXECUTIVE ORDERS DEFYING COMMON SENSE. THIS IS CALLED A CLUE FOLKS. NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED NIGHTMARE…….
ITEM E: SEWAGE FACILITY PROPOSED TRANSFER TO LDPCSD BY COUNTY
BUT FIRST….. (lol) WE DON’T WANT THAT LOSER! COUNTY SAYS IT DOESN’T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO RUN IT? HELL THE LDPCSD HASN’T RUN THE WATER COMPANY CORRECTLY IN 40 YEARS BUT THE COUNTY WANTS US TO TAKE ON THEIR SANITATION FACILITY MISTAKES? COUNTY CAN NOT FORCE THIS CHANGED “ROTTEN DEAL” ON THE LDPCSD AND ITS ALREADY VICTIMIZED “MANDATORY CUSTOMERS”. THE COUNTY CREATED THE PROBLEM IT SHOULD BE THE ENTITY TO MANAGE AND DEAL WITH IT.
LOOK WHAT THE COUNTY AND MARIPOSA LAFCO HAS ALREADY DONE TO WATER SERVICE OUTSIDE THE LEGAL PLACE OF USE IN THIS AREA. APPROVING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS LEFT AND RIGHT WITHOUT FOLLOWING THEIR OWN REGULATIONS FOR DETERMINING THERE WAS EVEN ADEQUATE WATER AVAILABLE! LOOK AT THE 1987 SOI (SPHERE OF INFLUENCE) REPORT REGARDING LIKELY WATER SERVICE EXPANSION IN THE FUTURE. ALL THE FACTS, FIGURES, PROJECTIONS, AND NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE WATER RESTRICTIONS IN THE WATER LICENSE…..OUR ONLY SOURCE OF WATER! WAS THIS WHOLE SPECIAL DISTRICT ONLY FORMED FOR THE EXPLOITATION POTENTIAL?
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE OFFICIAL COUNTY AND LAFCO ANNEXATION RECORDS…..OOPS!
HELL, PLANNING AND LAFCO ANNEXATION RECORDS for this area HAVE BEEN CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC FOR OVER A YEAR NOW COMING UP ON TWO YEARS …. WHY? GOSH. KIND OF SOUNDS LIKE OUR LAST 2020 ELECTION IN SOME RESPECTS.
THE DEMOCRAT LEFT CALLS IT A “BIG LIE” THAT THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED AND STOLEN – BUT WHAT TRUTH IS ACTUALLY LEAKING OUT? THEN LEFTIST SOCIAL MEDIA DE-PLATFORMS THOSE WHO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE ELECTION CORRUPTION TO “CANCEL THE OBJECTING VOICE” WHEREAS MARIPOSA COUNTY AND ITS LAFCO “STRONG ARM” SIMPLY CLOSE THE RECORDS OF THEIR CULPABILITY WHILE TRYING TO FORCE YET ANOTHER LOSER LOCAL FACILITY ON THE ALREADY VICTIMIZED PROPERTY OWNERS WITHIN THE LAKE DON PEDRO SUBDIVISION.
THIS “NEW SEPTIC FACILITY” THAT MARIPOSA COUNTY WANTS THE LDPCSD TO TAKE OVER WAS BUILT OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT BOUNDARY (AND MID WL11395 PLACE OF USE FOR MERCED RIVER WATER) SO IT MUST BE FURNISHED EXPENSIVE GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION TO FUNCTION. FROM WHERE IS THAT WATER PRODUCED? FROM OUR GROUNDWATER WELLS THAT WERE SUPPOSEDLY DEVELOPED WITH GRANT MONEY INTENDED TO ASSIST EXISTING CUSTOMERS DURING AN EMERGENCY DROUGHT AND WAS PROVIDED WITH THE EXPLICIT PROHIBITION OF CREATING NEW SERVICE CONNECTIONS!
MR WECS HAVE BEEN BETRAYED SINCE THE FORMATION OF THE LDPCSD IN 1980 AND IT CONTINUES INTO 2021! OPEN THE RECORDS AND LET’S SEE HOW MARIPOSA AND TUOLUMNE COUNTIES CREATED THIS ENTIRE NIGHTMARE AND PASSED ON THE EXPENSES TO UNSUSPECTING MR WECS! (JUST LIKE TRADITIONAL DEMOCRAT “BIG GOVERNMENT” PRETENDS TO HELP WHEN ACTUALLY ONLY THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD AND TAXING THE ALREADY VICTIMIZED CITIZENS MORE TO COVER THE GOVERNMENT’S SPECIAL INTEREST IRRESPONSIBILITY AND FROLICS AND DEPARTURES FROM COMMON SENSE. KAMPA? BIDEN? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? ONLY THE SCALE OF DUPLICITY!) ITEM F: DROUGHT PLAN DISCUSSION Danny Johnson: pro active? or wait and see? …. CREATE more wells? (Good grief.) Director Emery Ross suggested a policy of NO LAWNS due to the potential for water shortage…. unreal coming from a commercial cattle rancher who has been supplying treated water intended for domestic residential consumption to HIS bovines for over twenty years. Open Meeting adjourned: 2:52 CLOSED SESSION – 3:20 CLOSED SESSION REPORT OUT: nothing to report
A federal appeals court on March 26 reversed a lower court decision, ruling that an Ohio professor’s First Amendment rights may have been violated when his university tried forcing him to refer to a biological male student using female pronouns.
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said philosophy professor Nicholas Meriwether “has plausibly alleged that Shawnee State violated his First Amendment rights by compelling his speech or silence and casting a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom.”
Shawnee State University, in Ohio, has employed Meriwether for 25 years.
The case centers around a 2016 rule change that requires faculty to refer to students by their “preferred pronoun[s].”
When Meriwether, a Christian, sought clarification on the rule, a university official claimed that Christians are “primarily motivated out of fear” and should be “banned from teaching courses regarding that religion.” She also said she thought even the “presence of religion in higher education is counterproductive.”
Two years later, on the first day of his class, Meriwether was using the Socratic method to lead a discussion and addressed, as he normally does, students using gender references like “Mr.” He called one person “sir,” not knowing the biological male identifies as a female.
After class, the individual approached Meriwether and demanded the professor refer to him as a she and use feminine titles and pronouns. Meriwether said he wasn’t sure he could and was threatened in response, according to court filings.
The situation escalated as various officials got involved. The professor’s attempt to reach a compromise—he offered to use the preferred pronoun, but would place a disclaimer in his syllabus noting that he was doing so under compulsion—was rejected, and he was ultimately reprimanded, receiving a written warning. A union appeal failed, dismissed by Provost Jeffrey Bauer, who allegedly “openly laughed” when the union representative tried to explain why Meriwether felt conflicted because of his faith.
Circuit Judge Amul Thapar, a George W. Bush nominee, writing for the appeals court panel, said that not only had the professor plausibly alleged a First Amendment violation, it violated his religious rights guaranteed in the free exercise clause.
Officials at the university exhibited hostility to Meriwether’s religious beliefs, and “irregularities in the university’s adjudication and investigation processes permit a plausible inference of non-neutrality,” Thapar wrote.
The panel also affirmed the lower court’s ruling in several other claims that the professor had made. The case was remanded to the lower court with instructions to conduct further proceedings consistent with the new ruling.
The university didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
John Bursch, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented Meriwether, said in a statement that “nobody should be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep their job.”
“We are very pleased that the 6th Circuit affirmed the constitutional right of public university professors to speak and lead discussions, even on hotly contested issues. The freedoms of speech and religion must be vigorously protected if universities are to remain places where ideas can be debated and learning can take place,” he said.
Lewandowski, in an interview with Newsmax aired on March 27, described the platform as “an interactive communication tool whereby the president is going to be able to post things that people will be able to report and communicate directly with him.
“What we’ve seen from Big Tech and the cancel culture is if you don’t agree with their philosophy, they’re going to cancel you, and we’re going to have a platform where the president’s message of America First is going to be able to be put out to everybody and there’ll be an opportunity for other people to weigh in and communicate in a free format without fear of reprisal or being canceled,” he said.
The new platform won’t rely on Amazon or Amazon servers, Lewandowski said in response to a question on what is being done to insulate Trump’s social media from suffering the same fate as Parler. That site had billed itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter before it was simultaneously deplatformed by Amazon, Apple, and Google.
“It’s going to be built completely from scratch, from the ground up, and that’s going to give him the opportunity to control not only the distribution of it but also who participates in it,” Lewandowski said.
Lewandowski said that the former president has been working on the platform for “a long time.”
Jason Miller, a current Trump adviser, said last week that the president will soon set up a platform that will “completely redefine the game” and attract “tens of millions” of users.
Trump was banned from Twitter and Facebook following the Jan. 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol, cutting a direct line of communication between the commander-in-chief and tens of millions of his followers. Both companies alleged that the president’s messages could incite violence. The U.S. Congress later exonerated Trump on similar charges brought by Democrats.
Since then, a number of world leaders have expressed concern over the censorship. Twitter has said that its ban is permanent, while Facebook is deliberating whether to restore access to the former president.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently said he was “uncomfortable” with Twitter removing Trump and cautioned that people with a different view from Trump’s could be banned as well.
“Bernie Sanders, and I don’t agree with him very often, but he’s absolutely right. When you can cancel the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, from issuing First-Amendment rights and opinions then you can cancel anybody,” Lewandowski said. “Big Tech is out of control. They’re out of line.”
Kaylee Samantha, 7, who said she came alone from Mexico, gets off of a small inflatable raft onto U.S. soil after being delivered by a smuggler in Roma, Texas, on March 24, 2021. (Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo) Immigration & Border Security
The number of immigrant children in U.S. custody grew by over 1,500 in just two days, according to newly released federal data.
Just over 18,000 minors who illegally crossed the southern border of the United States without a parent or guardian were in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as of March 25.
Roughly 5,500 were in CBP custody. That’s where children go initially after being apprehended, before being transferred to HHS.
The number of children in U.S. custody was 16,513 as of March 23.
America is dealing with a surge in illegal border crossings, as well as a sharp increase in the number of young immigrants arriving without responsible adults. Experts have told The Epoch Times that the rise is due to President Joe Biden rolling back key Trump-era policies, such as stopping the policy of sending unaccompanied minors back to their home countries.
“It’s driven by Biden’s rhetoric, his rollback of Trump administration restrictions at the border,” Andrew Arthur, resident fellow in law and policy for the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Epoch Times earlier this month.
“I think the real question is, why are they doing this?” added James Carafano, vice president of the Heritage Foundation’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute, in a recent interview. “And you could argue it’s actually a deliberate policy that they’re actually seeking to attract illegal aliens into the United States.”
To deal with the influx in minors, the administration has reached deals to convert three convention centers into holding facilities and opened at least five other locations to house the aliens.
The 12,551 children in HHS care is the most since June 2019, the tail end of another surge. The number dipped as low as 834 last year, after the Trump administration utilized Title 42 to expel the majority of immigrants because they might be carrying the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.
Under U.S. law, CBP is supposed to transfer immigrant children to HHS within 72 hours of their apprehension.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Friday during an MSNBC appearance that he’s been told some young girls have been at the CBP’s Donna, Texas, holding facility for more than 20 days.
“I asked HHS why, and they said ‘well, we just don’t have the capacity now to take the young girls.’ They take, for example, in Carrizo Springs, young boys from ages 13 and 17,” he said. “They are scrambling at HHS to find a place, a center, so they can take the young girls there.”
White House officials have repeatedly said that immigrants shouldn’t travel to the border but insisted that their policy of not fully utilizing Title 42 powers is more humane than that of the previous administration.
Biden’s “focus is on moving these kids out of these Border Patrol facilities and making sure it’s done in a way that keeps them safe and keeps everyone safe,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington Friday.
“We’ve dealt with this before. It is often seasonal. It is often cyclical,” she added.