In a pre-emptive strike against open-borders Democrats who will tell the American people tonight that an illegal-alien crisis is not threatening the border, the White House has posted the briefing that Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen gave to lawmakers.
President Trump is scheduled to speak at 9 p.m. Democrats will attempt to undermine his message afterward.
But Americans have what they need to know now in a briefing that demonstrates the almost impossible situation at the border: Drugs and criminals are pouring in the country, and most “migrant” asylum claims are phony, which means most of the “migrants” are, simply, illegal aliens.
Message? Time to build a wall.
Drugs and Criminals
The briefing posted at the White House website is a convincing — and shocking — disclosure of the battle that Border Patrol agents are fighting.
The briefing reported a massive increase in drugs seized at the border from fiscal 2017 to 2018: 38 percent for methamphetamine; 22 percent for heroin; and 73 percent for fentanyl, an opioid pain medicine.
Customs and Border Patrol seized 1.7 million pounds of narcotics in fiscal 2018, including 282,000 pounds of cocaine, 248,000 pounds of meth, 6,500 pounds of heroin, and 2,400 pounds of fentanyl.
Beyond the drugs, “DHS agencies are fighting an influx of dangerous people and need the resources to do so.” Border agents collared 17,000 adults with criminal records in 2018 at the southern frontier, as well as 6,000 gang members subsequently removed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Another 3,755 were “known or suspected terrorists prevented from traveling to or entering the U.S.”
So border agents dealt with an average of 47 criminals every single day during fiscal 2018.
The briefing also notes that “criminal organizations gain $2.5 billion in profit from migrant smuggling annually.”
Phony, Sick Migrants
More dangerous than the criminals, however, might be the lie the open-borders Left and its spear-carriers tell about illegals who jump the border, and the teeming mass of vagabonds awaiting entry in Tijuana.
The briefing confirms, as The New American has reported, that most “migrants” come for jobs, and don’t qualify for asylum.
“Border security,” the briefing avers, “is the only effective disincentive to prevent migrants from making the dangerous journey and reducing the influx of vulnerable families.”
“Over the last five years,” the briefing reports, “we have seen a 2,000% increase in asylum claims, yet 72% of migrants report making the journey for economic reasons and therefore would not typically qualify for asylum.”
Thus, “only 1 in 10 asylum claims [is] granted for persons from Northern triangle countries.”
All those “fraudulent claims delay legitimate claims from being heard — delaying protections for those who need them.”
Some 60,000 unaccompanied children arrived at the border in fiscal 2018, along with 161,000 family units. “More children and families are being apprehended between the ports of entry than ever before. For the first time in history, family units and children comprise the vast majority of apprehensions.”
And that, the briefing says, is dangerous for Americans: “The exponential increase in vulnerable populations arriving illegally takes vital resources away from detecting and apprehending criminals, drug traffickers, and vulnerable aliens.”
Nor are the illegal aliens all that healthy, or even safe, on their trip.
Fifty migrants land at medical providers every day, while border agents rescue 4,300 in distress. “Staggering numbers of sick people are crossing the border each day” — some estimates are higher — and “the danger of the journey, crowded conveyances, and flu season have resulted in significant referrals to medical providers.”
Meanwhile, 70 percent of illegal aliens are victims of violence: 31 percent of men and and 17 percent of women are sexually assaulted on the journey north.
Georgetown, Texas, a city featured in Al Gore’s 2017 science fiction film An Inconvenient Sequel because of its commitment to “green” energy, is now facing a serious financial shortfall due to those policies.
Gore, a carbon-credit entrepreneur and failed presidential candidate, copiously praised the city, saying, “I think Georgetown is already a trailblazer.”
“And one thing that Georgetown demonstrates to other places that are just beginning to think about [green energy] is that the power supply is not only more affordable, the cost is predictable for at least 25 years into the future and really beyond that.”
Wrong, Mr. Gore. Those costs aren’t even predictable even a year into the future.
Georgetown, a city of approximately 60,000 people in the center of the state, about 30 miles from Austin, is now desperately attempting to renegotiate contracts that it currently has with two renewable energy companies from which it purchases energy.
Georgetown has signed long-term contracts with the two companies: a 20-year contract the Spinning Spur 3 wind farm west of Amarillo and a 25-year contract with the Buckthorn solar power farm near Fort Stockton. The city purposefully purchased more energy than it needed to accommodate expected growth.
The city planned to sell the excess energy back on the Texas electricity market. However, the drop in fossil fuel energy prices — particularly natural gas prices — in recent years made that plan unprofitable, to say the least. Georgetown had budgeted $45 million for renewable energy, but ended up paying $53.6 million. In total, the city lost a total of 6.8 million in fiscal 2018 because of the switch to “green energy.”
City Manager David Morgan claims that the shortfall would have happened whether they had purchased green energy or not, and that the shortfall was more due to the long-term nature of the contracts. “We took competitive bids for all types of energy production and chose wind and solar because of the competitive nature of the pricing at the time,” Morgan said.
“If we had chosen a natural gas project in 2012 for a long-term contract, we would still have the same situation, because it’s all about long-term contracting and where the energy market was in 2012.”
Maybe. But some residents and at least one conservative think tank believe that Georgetown’s “green” initiative was more about attracting attention than dollars and sense.
Bill Peacock, the vice-president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), disagrees. “The city claims that this is just one of the challenges with doing business in an energy market and could have happened with any contract they had,” Peacock said. “That’s not the case, because what they did was bought more electricity than they could use almost any day of the year…. They knew they would have to buy this and sell it, and that’s not the way most people work. It’s more evidence that they are wanting to portray themselves as a green city rather than doing something for their consumers.”
And Georgetown has definitely attracted that type of attention. Besides Gore, many mainstream media outlets have taken to calling Georgetown a “city of the future” because of its commitment to “green” energy. The Texas city has even attracted international attention for being seen as a community that is “battling Trump” on climate change.
Dale Ross, the Republican mayor of Georgetown, sold the “green” energy scheme to his constituents as not just an environmental measure, but a cost-savings measure as well. “This is a long-term pocketbook issue,” Ross said in August. “It’s a win for economics and a win for the environment.”
It’s also an attention-grabber for Ross. At a town hall hosted by socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which also included incoming socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ross doubled down on his claim that “green” energy not only saves the planet but saves money as well.
“We’re at a tipping point right now,” Ross said. “Coal cannot compete with wind and solar on cost.”
But it’s definitely not just about dollars and sense for Ross, who according to the Smithsonian is the “unlikeliest hero of the green revolution.”
“I think we have a duty and obligation to leave the world better than we found it,” Ross told the panel. “We can do that; you just have to have bold, visionary leaders who we can elect — with ya’ll’s help.” The line received a deafening roar from the environmentalist crowd.
But while the mayor receives adulation from Al Gore and environmentalists worldwide, the taxpayers of the city are on the hook for an additional $7 million in energy costs because of short-sighted, attention-grabbing “green” policies.
If the “power to tax is the power to destroy,” as Daniel Webster and John Marshall warned, the new Democrat Congress is bent on destruction. Not only has upstart socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) recently proposed a 70-percent top federal income tax rate, but her socialist colleagues (avowed and closeted) are set to call for a 33-percent corporate income tax rate increase. Just call them the Monkey (Money?) Wrench Party.
As Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) explains on the proposed corporate-wealth coveting:
House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) has announced that the forthcoming budget blueprint will call for a 33 percent corporate income tax rate increase by hiking the rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. This would make the U.S. a less competitive place to do business and make the U.S. statutory rate higher than many developed competitors.
State corporate taxes average 6 percent across the U.S, so this planned tax hike would give the U.S. an average top corporate rate of 34 percent.
The current combined corporate rate across the 36 member Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) is currently 23.7 percent.
This proposed tax hike would make the U.S. rate higher than major competitors such as the United Kingdom (19 percent), China (25 percent), Canada (26.8 percent), Germany (29.8 percent), and Ireland (12.5 percent).
“Hiking the tax rate on American businesses will kill jobs, lower wages, and reduce new investment in America,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Why do the Democrats want to damage American competitiveness and job creation?”
As for Cortez’ coveting, her 70-percent figure “would nearly double the current top tax bracket, which is currently at 37 percent,” ATR points out. This is within the context of a system that already penalizes wealth creation. As ATR also informs, according
to the Congressional Budget Office:
-The top one percent of households pay 39.4 percent of federal income taxes and 26.2 percent of total federal taxes.
– The top 20 percent of households pay 88.1 percent of federal income taxes and 69.5 percent of total federal taxes.
– The top one percent of households pay an average income tax rate of 24 percent while the middle quintile pays an average income tax rate of 3 percent.
– The top one percent of households pay an average total tax rate of 33.3 percent while the middle quintile pays an average total tax rate of over 14 percent.
– The top 20 percent of households pay an average total tax rate of 26.7 percent while the middle quintile pays an average total tax rate of 14 percent.
Unfortunately, calls to tax the “other guy” are seductive. Yet while George Bernard Shaw noted, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul,” Paul may be paying a steeper price than he thinks.
Consider corporate taxes. Now, given that corporate America is funding the Left while silencing the Right, I have no love for it, and hearing how Amazon (which I quite dislike) paid almost no federal income tax in 2017 is striking.