Leatherneck Blogger

Anti-Gun Celebs Gather For Golden Globes Under Protection Of Men With Guns

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
January 7, 2018

One of Hollywood’s premiere events is taking place later today with the Golden Globes set to take the stage. Host Seth Meyers has already promised to get political during the show–which never turns out badly for Hollywood, now does it–and that may well mean some slams on guns and gun ownership.

Even if it doesn’t, however, the audience will be filled with people who have pontificated on the topic of firearms and the Second Amendment, usually without having a freaking clue what they’re talking about. They’ll be sitting there with their fellow celebrities and, oddly enough, they’ll be nice and safe.


Because despite their insistence that guns are a problem, they’ll be protected by men with guns.

With this year marking the 75th anniversary of the Golden Globes, organizers have heightened security for the event.

With the Globes and subsequent after-parties scheduled to take place Sunday at and around the Beverly Hilton, the Beverly Hills police are collaborating with multiple law-enforcement agencies on security. The FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are working with Beverly Hills P.D.

Meanwhile, private security officers employed by event organizers are expected to play a major role. The Hilton on Wednesday provided Variety with details of its plan to move after-party attendees through a revised transportation and security system following last year’s check-in meltdown that saw long wait times for guests arriving at the after-parties from off-site. The new plan calls for an increase in the number of security stations processing party-goers as they check in to the event, and expedited travel for shuttle buses through security checkpoints.

Asked whether attendees can expect to once again see armed officers wearing body armor at and around the Globes and related events, as was the case last year, Hoshino said, “Absolutely. That’s the norm.” He added, “I know that we’re using a lot of technology at the event. We consider this a large-scale event, and there’s going to be a multi agency response.”

For all their arrogant talk about guns and gun ownership, they have no problem hiding behind armed security, not just in their day-to-day lives, but in their social lives as well.

The thing is, most Americans don’t get armed security everywhere they go. We don’t get the virtual army of private security that celebrities at the Golden Globes get. We get whatever we can muster ourselves, and only an elite few can afford professional bodyguards. Most of us can’t.

That means we buy guns. We get guns to protect our homes and our families because we don’t have the resources to hire security.

It remains to be seen just what topics Meyers will spout off on. He may be wise enough to leave guns off the table, especially if he’s self-aware enough to understand that pontificating on guns for average Americans while surrounded by armed men paid to keep you safe is just begging to get everyone labeled as hypocrites.

As it stands, plenty of them are. They enjoy the safety provided by men with guns, but would rather see you unable to provide that safety to your family, just because it makes them feel funny.

Mother Of Dead Robber: ‘Why Did He Shoot Him Five Times?”

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
January 8, 2018

I feel bad for Cynthia Ruiz. In addition to being a widow, she has now had to bury her son. It’s a horrible thing to lose one of your children, but she did.

However, I can only feel so bad for her. After all, her son brought this on himself.

Ruiz’s son, Andrew Herrera, was shot and killed when he tried to rob a Popeye’s Chicken in Texas. That’s when he came face-to-face with the state’s self-defense laws.

Now, Ruiz has questions.

 “Did my son deserve to be punished? Yes, he did,” Ruiz said.

Police said Herrera, wearing a hoodie and a mask, entered the South Side restaurant with gun and confronted a man and his family who were eating.

After the man told Herrera he had spent the money he had on their dinner, Herrera turned toward the counter and pointed the gun at one of the workers, who was running away.

That’s when the man, who had a concealed handgun license, fired several shots at Herrera.

A police spokesman later said, “Here in Texas, if you’re in fear of loss of life, loss of property, you have a right to defend yourself.”

Ruiz said she understands the man who shot her son was defending his family, but she asked, “Why shoot him four more times? Why did he shoot him five times?”

I hate to break it to Ruiz, but the reason the man shot him five times was simple. You shoot until there’s no longer a threat. The armed citizen judge there was still a risk to him and his family–and the word “family” means no self-respecting man is going to take a chance at that point–and kept shooting until there was no longer a threat.

Shootings aren’t like the movies or on TV. You don’t shoot to wound. A wounded person can still kill you. You shoot until the threat has been eliminated. If the first shot wounds them but they drop their weapon and surrender, so much the better for everyone, but only a complete and total idiot expects that to happen.

Herrera threatened the lives of human beings, and he paid a price for that. It’s a price that Ruiz is being forced to pay, which is a pity, but either she failed to teach him it was wrong to steal, or he failed to heed the lessons. Either way, he tried to rob a chicken place and came face-to-face with someone who was not going to be a victim.

Why was Herrara shot five times? Because he stood there, gun in hand, and threatened the innocent.

Ruiz contends that a second suspect who served as Herrera’s getaway driver claims the gun wasn’t loaded. To that I reply, “So what?”

If you point a gun at me, my family, or anyone else in my vicinity, I’m not going to assume that it’s unloaded. That is stupid, especially since one of the basic rules of firearm safety is to treat all firearms as if they’re loaded. For me, that applies to the one in the criminal’s hand. I’m going to act as if it’s loaded because the alternative is the loss of innocent life if I’m wrong.

Why did they have to shoot him five times? Because he was a threat, and common wisdom is to just keep shooting until he’s not a threat any longer.

If you want your kids to not be shot, impress upon them that this is what happens when you threaten people with a gun.

‘Black Guns Matter’ Group Joins World’s Largest Gun Show With a Unique Message

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By Lauretta Brown
January 5, 2018

Black Guns Matter, a Second Amendment education group with an urban focus, will be featured in and sponsoring SHOT Show, the largest gun show in the world.

Maj Toure founded Black Guns Matter in 2015. The group is focused on providing Second Amendment education and information to urban communities that are plagued by violence.

“I don’t think there’s a black gun culture or white gun culture,” Toure says on the group’s website. “I think there’s an informed gun culture and an ignorant gun culture.”

In their December feature on black gun ownership, Toure told The Huffington Post why gun ownership and education has become so important to him.

“Guys in my neighborhood would get drunk and shoot their guns into the air on New Year’s Eve,” Toure recounted. “Bullets come down though, number one. Number two, you’re wasting ammo. And number three, that’s just not responsible. I had uncles who were in Desert Storm, I got uncles who were in Vietnam. And seeing their understanding of firearms and how they carried themselves, I immediately had what to do and what not to do.”

Toure explained what his group is doing to spread more education about gun safety and laws.

“We give classes free to all on firearm safety, on knowing the law, on how to apply state laws and for different permits, how to get a license to carry in your particular town, who are some trainers that you can work with,” he said. “We work with trainers locally for whatever city, lawyers that know firearm laws, the Sanskrit, the basics, conflict resolution, de-escalation tactics. We give lessons on basics, so in essence it’s a class on the Second Amendment, on human rights, on civics, firearm safety and the cultural differences between communities.”

He went on to address the historical significance of the Second Amendment and his perspective as a black gun owner.

“America would not have even been created without firearms,” Toure emphasized. “Some people say it’s a contradiction for me as an African-American man to have a position: ‘When they wrote the Second Amendment, they didn’t mean it for you.’ I don’t give a f**k who they meant it for. It’s mine now.”

John McNamara, senior director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that sponsors SHOT Show, told the Washington Examiner Friday that “the era of cultural divide when it comes to firearms ownership should be a thing of the past, and thanks to the work of Maj Toure and Black Guns Matter, we’re a lot closer to that being a realization.”

“He’s putting his money where his mouth is through this sponsorship, but his real impact will be in the ‘Black Guns Matter: Engaging Urban Communities in the 2nd Amendment Fight’ Retailer Seminar he’ll be conducting,” he said.

SHOT Show will kick off January 23rd at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

Pro-life Pregnancy Center Files HHS Complaint Over Illinois Law that Requires Them to Promote Abortion

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By Lauretta Brown
January 5, 2018

The Thomas More Society filed a complaint Thursday with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) against the state of Illinois over a new law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to discuss the benefits of abortion and sterilization procedures. The law also requires the centers, if asked, to refer patients to abortion providers despite the centers’ opposition to these procedures.

The Thomas More Society is representing Dr. Jim Gallant and Hope Life Center, a pro-life pregnancy center in Sterling, Illinois.

In the complaint, the groups argue that the new requirements violate existing federal law including the Hyde-Weldon Amendment which forbids state and local governments from discriminating against healthcare providers based on their refusal to “provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for” abortions.

They argue that the law also specifically targets pro-life healthcare providers and infringes on their First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion.

Thomas Olp, Vice President and Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society, said that federal and state courts have issued injunctions blocking the law while litigation is pending.

He explained the group’s purpose in filing a complaint to HHS.

“We believe that P.A. 99-690 violates several federal laws that protect the conscience rights of physicians and other healthcare providers,” he said. “But some courts have held that only the federal government, not individual citizens, can enforce these laws. Our administrative action is designed to trigger enforcement action by the federal government. We are hopeful the Trump administration will act on the pro-active pro-life principles it has articulated since the President took office.”

The complaint also calls on HHS to “issue interpretive guidelines making it clear that the cited federal laws reach, and prohibit, any state law which, like P.A. 99-690, targets and punishes religious and conscience-based opposition to the practice of abortion. The cited federal laws were enacted precisely to protect conscience-based refusals to participate in abortion, and should be interpreted so as to be effective in prohibiting state laws like P.A. 99-690, which seek to force conscience objectors to participate in and promote abortion against their will.”

“Without this office’s interpretive guidance some states will continue to interpret these laws in ways contrary to their manifest purpose, and will continue to enact laws punishing conscience-based refusals to participate in abortion, as did Illinois through enactment of P.A. 99-690,” the complaint continues. “Such state actions flouting the federal laws cited should not be countenanced. This office’s regulatory guidance would facilitate that desired outcome.”

The Illinois law is similar to a California law, which the Supreme Court will examine this year, that requires pregnancy centers, despite conscience objections, to disseminate a message to their clients promoting free and low cost contraception and abortion services.

NY County Executive Bans Gun Sales On County Property

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
January 5, 2018

The idea of a New York politician who hates guns is is only slightly more shocking than finding out about a fish that prefers water to dry land. It’s just not terribly surprising.

For one recently elected official, however, he wasted no times trying to establish his bonafides.

Democrat George Latimer took office Monday as Westchester County Executive and among the first order of business was to bounce future gun shows.

Latimer in November defeated two-term Republican incumbent Robert Astorino for the spot as head of the executive branch of the million-resident county in the Hudson Valley and his First Year Plan includes prohibiting gun shows from the County Center. The new county head said he felt having gun shows on government property did not reflect the community and signed an executive order this week temporarily banning future events.

“While I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I do not believe that there is any proper role for government in promoting guns and gun paraphernalia,” said Latimer. “Additionally, the Westchester Gun Show has brought with it horrendous problems, including the availability of Confederate and Nazi memorabilia.”

According to local media, the last show held at the Center in early 2017 drew about 7,500 over two-days and a spokesman for then-county boss Astorino said the event was “well-run and well-attended.” The Democrat-heavy county legislature had previously voted 9-8 to ban further gun shows, a move Astorino vetoed, saying there was no basis for a restriction.

I do so love how he claims to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

Here’s a pro tip for you. If you start off a sentence with, “While I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” then you’re probably about to do something that shows that you aren’t.

While we can agree to disagree over whether a government should promote guns in any way, renting a space to someone doesn’t constitute “promotion” in any way, shape, or form.

In fact, I suspect Latimer is likely to find his county being sued rather quickly. Absent a problem stemming from gun shows, there’s no basis to ban them from county-owned property except personal politics.

Even the argument surrounding the presence of Confederate and Nazi memorabilia falls flat for one simple reason, these items are typically being marketed for historical reasons, not racial ones. Like it or not, both of these entities existed and there are people who are fascinated with the material culture of both armies for whatever reason. Since a Venn diagram of military history buffs and gun buffs would show a massive overlap, it’s not hard to understand why these items are sold there, especially since there are so few places that will sell either these days.

But it seems that Latimer, despite his claims of supporting the Second Amendment, is really just virtue signaling like so many of his fellow Democrats. From here, it looks like he wants all the other Democrats to know that he’s doing his part to fight gun owners.

If he wants to claim to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, then he needs to act like one.

Abbas orders staff to sever ties with US over Trump Jerusalem declaration

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By Christine Douglass-Williams
Jihad Watch
December 27, 2017

he Palestinian Authority’s rift with the U.S. is growing deeper, according to Israeli media outlets. PA President Mahmoud Abbas president has come to see U.S. President Donald Trump as “a lost cause,” according to the Tims of Israel.

Abbas is unglued and will not be comforted. Why? because America exercised its right to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in keeping with Jewish history of its land. This naturally does not bode well for Palestinian interests, as their primary goal is to obliterate the Jewish state. The world still has not come to grips with the fact that appeasement of jihadists just does not work. The more they are appeased, the more empowered and emboldened they become.

According to a report aired by Channel 2 news, Abbas was “not only closing the door, but throwing away the key” on the chance of any future Palestinian-American relations.

Now the “White House is reportedly looking for a Palestinian liaison other than Abbas.” Congratulations to the White House in attempting to maintain its honor in getting along, but its dream is rather unlikely, unless the PA changes its charter to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.

“Reports: PA President Mahmoud Abbas Instructs Staff to Sever Ties With U.S.”, Breitbart, December 25, 2017:

The Palestinian Authority’s rift with the U.S. is growing deeper, according to Israeli media outlets.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas president has come to see U.S. President Donald Trump as “a lost cause,” according to the Tims of Israel.

The PA leader reportedly instructed his staff to sever all ties with US diplomatic officials at every level, including relations between the Palestinians and American diplomats posted at the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem.

The White House is reportedly looking for a Palestinian liaison other than Abbas.

Last week, the Palestinians announced they would not meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who was scheduled to arrive in the region. Pence visited U.S. soldiers posted in Afghanistan instead.

According to a report aired by Channel 2 news, Abbas was “not only closing the door, but throwing away the key” on the chance of any future Palestinian-American relations.

A White House official who was interviewed by the Times of Israel said in response to the Channel 2 report: “Apparently, the outlet that has reported this hasn’t been paying attention over the past several months. As we have said over and over again, we will not impose a peace deal. That is not news. We anticipated a cooling off period and remain as committed to peace as ever and are working hard on our plan, which we will present when the time is right.”

The Palestinians, according to Channel 2, have no plans to lift their boycott of the U.S.

Planned Parenthood Closes Abortion Clinic Operating for 18 Years After It Loses Taxpayer Funding

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By Steve Ertelt
December 27, 2017

LifeNews can report excellent news today from the state of Iowa. There, a Planned Parenthood abortion business that had been killing unborn children for 18 years is closing down. The abortion company blamed the Iowa state legislature for revoking its taxpayer funding as the reason why.

“After nearly two decades [of doing abortions] in the Quad Cities, on Friday, December 29, 2017, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPHeartland) will officially close their Bettendorf location, a move directly resulting from defunding by extreme Iowa lawmakers,” the abortion giant grumbled in its press statement.

Earlier this year, PPHeartland announced the Quad Cities health center, located at 2751 Tech Drive, would stop dispensing contraception after June 30th but would continue profiting from abortions until the sale of its building. Now the abortion center will close.

“Gov. Kim Reynolds and anti-woman lawmakers forced us to make some extremely difficult changes this year in order to continue providing care for as many patients as possible. It is as devastating today as it was last spring to announce that we are no longer able to serve our patients in Bettendorf,” said Suzanna de Baca, PPHeartland president/CEO.

Planned Parenthood is apparently sore that Reynolds supports defunding the abortion business. She doesn’t want Iowa linked to a company that aborts baby girls. Because she hates women. Or something.

The Planned Parenthood abortion affiliate in Iowa received about $2.7 million in tax dollars per year from the grant and the state. Instead the money is going to places that don’t do abortions. Iowa will now spend an equal amount on family planning services by tapping a separate federal grant. This money will go to organizations that don’t perform abortions.

While Planned Parenthood no longer would receive tax dollars, community health care facilities would. These clinics are far more numerous than Planned Parenthoods, and they offer comprehensive health services that the abortion chain does not.

In 2015, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Charlotte Lozier Institute reported there are 13,540 medical clinics providing whole-woman healthcare in the United States versus 665 Planned Parenthood facilities, which offer only limited services including abortion.

As LifeNews previously reported, a 2015 public opinion poll conducted in Iowa found that the majority of the state’s residents support de-funding Planned Parenthood and sending government funding to legitimate health care clinics instead. The survey, commissioned by the pro-life legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, found that 69 percent of Iowans agree that taxpayers should not subsidize groups like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions.

2017 gun rights wins, losses in the courts

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By Chris Eger
December 18, 2017

Second Amendment litigation saw important gains in the restoration of gun rights, but also significant reverses in other areas at both the federal and state level.

‘Assault weapons’

Just hours before a ban on grandfathered “high capacity” magazines was to take effect in California, a federal judge found a host of flaws with the pending ban and put it on hold.

In December, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to Maryland’s assault weapon ban. At stake in Kolbe v. Hogan was the 2013 Maryland law signed by staunch anti-gun Democrat Gov. Martin O’Malley that banned guns deemed “assault weapons” due to cosmetic characteristics and limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds. The backers of the lawsuit, to include 21 state attorneys general and several gun rights groups, argued the firearms subject to the Maryland ban are protected under existing case law related to arms lawfully carried in common use.

Carry rights

The U.S. Supreme Court in January turned away a challenge to the concealed carry permitting system in Illinois brought by gun owners who say they were refused permits and offered no explanation by the state for their denial. Likewise, the court upheld California’s strict concealed carry permitting practices – leaving conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch to cry foul.

In a win for campus carry advocates, a federal court in Texas dismissed a lawsuit brought by a trio of university professors who argued the carry of guns in their classes would chill discussion, thus hindering their right to free speech.

Florida, one of just five states that ban the open carry of firearms, saw a challenge to the prohibition rejected by both the highest courts in the state and the nation this year. Backed by Florida Carry, the group argued the ban is unconstitutional as concealed carry in the state is a licensed privilege, and conflicts with the right to keep and bear arms protected under the Second Amendment.

Officials in Washington, D.C. decided to scrap their controversial “good reason” test as part of its gun licensing program, which resulted in more permits declined than granted and effectively barred most people from carrying firearms outside of their home. The move came after a series of setbacks handed to the city by the courts and immediately saw the number of permit applications double.

In Delaware, the state supreme court lifted a long-running ban on the carry of firearms in 40,000 acres of forests and parks maintained by the state, citing the agencies that established the gun free zones lacked the authority to make such a call.

Gun fees, taxes and waiting periods

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit said in June that California’s allocation of $5 of the $19 fee on firearms transfers to fund efforts to collect guns from those the state deems no longer able to possess them is constitutional. The state argued that the use of the money to fund a gun confiscation program was a “common sense connection” between the payment of a fee to ensure that people who want firearms in California and the “use of that fee to recover firearms from persons who become prohibited from possessing them.”

Meanwhile, another California practice, that of a mandatory 10-day waiting period on all firearms purchases, was challenged to the U.S. Supreme Court on grounds that it is a violation of the Second Amendment.

In October, the Washington Supreme Court held that large cities such as Seattle can establish and collect local taxes and that– contrary to claims in a lawsuit filed by gun rights groups– a planned $25 fee on firearms and up to 5-cents per round of ammunition, did not violate the state’s preemption law.

Gun ranges and shops

Chicago’s efforts to keep gun ranges out of the city was rebuffed by the U.S. 7th Circuit in January who found the Windy City’s regulations on such businesses unconstitutional.

In a decision handed down by the U.S. 9th Circuit, a panel held that local governments could regulate the sale of firearms and that the Second Amendment does not protectthe ability to engage in gun sales. The ruling came in a challenge to an Alameda County law barring gun stores within 500 feet of residential properties which effectively prohibited new shops in the area.

Loss of gun rights

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a decision that restored the lost gun rights of two men who lost them due to relatively minor sentences. One pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of corrupting a minor — a 17-year-old he was in a relationship with — to which he received three years’ probation, while the other pleaded to unlawfully carrying a handgun without a license and received a 180-day suspended sentence. That case came just weeks after a panel of the U.S. 10th Circuit unanimously found that a Kansas man prohibited from gun possession due to a prior domestic battery charge shouldn’t be.

In December, a federal court found that an involuntary emergency treatment of a Pennsylvania man for less than 24 hours did not trigger a lifetime ban on firearms. Listed as a prohibited firearms possessor in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System over the brief hospital stay, the judge in the case held the man’s brief history of mental illness did not square against federal gun prohibitions on those who have been committed to a mental institution.


A 2014 case challenging California’s microstamping mandate has spent most of the year under review by the state Supreme Court. The lawsuit is backed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, who insist the legal requirement for semi-auto handguns to mark cartridges with a microscopic array of characters, that identify the make, model and serial number of the pistol upon firing was “impossible to accomplish.” The groups argue the technology is unproven in actual field conditions and easy for criminals to defeat. A decision in the matter could be forthcoming in 2018.


Following up on a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision clarifying tasers and stun guns were protected under the Second Amendment, gun rights groups and community activists filed a flurry of litigation targeting often longstanding prohibitions on the devices. As a result, city-wide bans in Annapolis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Tacoma fell by the wayside as did a statewide restriction in New Jersey. Further legal actions are still underway in Massachusetts and New York.

Savor the irony: 3 sanctuary cities sue feds for lapses in adding names to gun background check database

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By Thomas Lifson
American Thinker
December 27, 2017

Some reporting requirements are more equal than other reporting requirements, it seems. New YorkPhiladelphia, and San Francisco all proudly and deliberately flout reporting requirements that would allow federal authorities to keep illegal aliens who have committed crimes out of our country, and unable to victimize future Kate Steinles.

Yet, these same reporting scofflaws now are hardliners when it comes to inadvertent failures to add names to the federal firearms background list. This would have done nothing to save Kate Steinle, whose assailant illegally obtained his weapon (he claims he found it under a bench).

Colleen Long of the Associated Press reports:

Three large U.S. cities filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Defense, arguing that many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren’t reported to the national background check system. (snip)

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, seeks an injunction and judicial oversight to ensure ongoing compliance with the Defense Department’s obligation to submit records. (snip)

“The department continues to work with the services as they review and refine their policies and procedures to ensure qualifying criminal history information is submitted to the FBI,” said Tom Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman.

Just so. It is important in ensuring the safety of Americans that dangerous people – including veterans who were disqualified from firearms during their service – be added to federal databases. But the same logic also applies to dangerous illegal alien criminals when they are released from custody by states and localities.

How stupid do the Democrats running  these big cities think we are?

Refugee Resettlement: The High Cost of Good Intentions

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By Peter B. Gemma
American Thinker
December 19, 2017

The Refugee Act of 1980 created the official United States Refugee Admissions Program, and like any other government-funded industry, their original mission has long been forgotten. Resettlement policies have devolved into another bureaucracy, where government and non-profit agencies work to protect their jobs and expand “services.”

Currently, legitimate refugees must prove that they are persecuted for one of several reasons: political persuasion, religion, race, etc., but efforts are underway by the refugee industry to expand the definition to anyone moving anywhere for any reason. The latest designation is the “climate refugee:” people escaping changing weather patterns where they live are now “refugees” too.

To give an idea of the staying power of the refugee program, consider this: when the U.S. began taking Southeast Asian refugees in the late 1970s, the refugee agencies hired temporary workers, thinking the program would only go for a few months. Now, 40 years after the last American left Vietnam, we are still taking refugees from Southeast Asia. At least 1.5 million have come in as refugees alone, and it has detonated a chain of non-refugee immigrants.

One of the greatest misunderstandings about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is that anyone getting into the country as a refugee, or anyone who was granted asylum (after getting here on their own), becomes a legal, permanent resident on track to citizenship. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and other nations take many more refugees than the U.S., but there is no comparison: in those countries, refugees are only hosted temporarily and will never be voting citizens.

In the U.S., they are permanent residents and ultimately become voting citizens. In fact, we allow in the largest number of permanent refugees of any country in the world. Those who don’t have a firm handle on legal immigration policies sometimes confuse the refugee program with temporary protected status of immigrants.

In 2007, there were about 48,000 refugees who settled here; by 2013, that number rose to 70,000. Last year, 85,000 were welcomed to our shores. Over the last 10 years, more than 700,000 refugees have come to live in America permanently.

Refugee contractors receive over $2 billion in taxpayer dollars annually — between $2,000 and $5,000 per refugee — to create resettlement plans for hundreds of unsuspecting towns and cities. And it’s nice work if you can get it: the Ethiopian Community Development Council President, Tsehaye Teferra, makes $275,000; Linda Hartke, head of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, has a $307,000 compensation package; and Mark Hetfield, CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, pulls down $358,517 per annum.

The contractors’ job is to help refugees find work and housing, sign them up for welfare, medical care, get the children enrolled in school… then move on to a new set of paying “clients.” The result? The cost of the English Language Learner program in Lewiston, Maine has increased 4,000 percent since 2000. Seventeen percent of Lewiston’s population is Somali; 27 percent of the student body speaks 24 languages. Amarillo, Texas was targeted to take in 600 refugee children and told to make them fluent in English. Tutors cost the school system $1,300 per student per month. The federal government reimburses Amarillo $100 per student per year.

The refugee industry sends their wish list — created in virtual secrecy — to Washington, where the State Department and the White House set a limit based on the number of refugees contractors claim that cities and towns can absorb. Congress’ only role is to “consult” and, of course, appropriate money. According to Ken Tota, Deputy Director at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Congress has never in his 25-year tenure questioned the refugee quota proposed by the administration.

In recent years, as many as 95 percent of the refugees coming to the U.S. were referred by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees or were the relatives of U.N.-picked refugees. Until the late 1990s, our government picked the large majority of refugees for resettlement in the U.S. Considering that the refugee influx causes increases in all legal and illegal immigration expenditures — as family and social networks are established in the U.S. — the U.N. is effectively dictating much of Washington’s immigration policy.

There is simply no logic to U.S. refugee policies. In July, a State Department report named Somalia as “a safe haven for terrorists,” yet 2,775 Somali refugees arrived in the United States last year. That rate is more than 30 percent higher than the previous record in the last 14 years. Some 98,000 Somalis refugees have entered into the U.S. since 2002.

The Obama administration placed a priority on asylum seekers and refugees who claim discrimination and prosecution because of their sexual identity. This resulted in an upsurge of asylum requests — even from countries like the UK. One private refugee agency has set up an office in Nairobi, Kenya to advise gay asylum seekers about how to get into the refugee pipeline; a private contractor is recruiting refugees who will eventually become the contractor’s profit-generating clients. At one conference sponsored by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a refugee contractor demanded that Medicaid pay for sex change operations if needed by newly arrived refugees.

The Trump Administration has slowed the flow of refugees and there are reports that the administration has beefed up security screening. However, nothing has been done about the negative impact on communities and the secrecy by which refugees are placed in unsuspecting locales.

President Trump had an opportunity in September to simply stop the program altogether when he submitted his first full-year limit on refugee settlement for FY 18. He did not.

Just recently, President Trump announced that the United States is withdrawing from the Global Compact on Migration. That nonbinding pact coordinates international migration and refugee issues, but it is not some longstanding agreement: it was created in 2016 by President Obama, and has little weight.

President Trump has yet to put his own person at the head of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, which has resulted in “deep state” bureaucrats undermining the White House at every turn. If the administration does not get a handle on the intricacies of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, no wall building will stop the flow of vaguely defined “refugees.”

If the White House doesn’t catch on to the intricacies of this program, they will be continually snookered.

Because next year is another election cycle, there is only a slight chance for Congress to remake the United States Refugee Admissions Program into an America First policy.

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