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The Rushmore Report – Jeff Sessions Defends Immigration Policy from Bible; Is He Right?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his use of Romans 13 in support of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, adding that “we never really intended” the separation of over 2,000 immigrant children from their families.

In an exclusive interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network Thursday, Sessions responded to the outcry over his referencing of the words of the Apostle Paul in order to bolster the controversial “zero-tolerance” policy, which separated some families at the border the United States shares with Mexico. President Trump scrapped the practice via an executive order this week, but courts may throw it out and Congress remains divided on the best possible legislative fix.

“I don’t think it was an extreme position that I took,” the Attorney General told CBN’s David Brody.

“I directed it not to say that religion requires these laws on immigration. I just simply said to my Christian friends, ‘You know, the United States has laws and I believe that Paul was clear in Romans that we should try to follow the laws of government of which we are a part.'”

He added that he believed that a lawful immigration system is a “moral, decent and just” thing for a nation to have.

“I’m not aware of a single nation in the world that doesn’t have some sort of rules about who can enter and who cannot enter. I believe there is biblical support for that, too.”

Sessions, a United Methodist, has come under strong criticism from his own church for his approach to these issues, specifically his use of the New Testament to support it.

In a June 14 speech before law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana Sessions referred to Romans 13 while defending the Justice Department’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses U.S.-Mexico border and separating children from their families.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said at the time.

Critics have noted that the passage of Scripture he cited has in the past been used to justify all kinds of atrocities. Earlier this week over 600 United Methodist pastors and church members accused Sessions of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and furthering teachings against the standards of his denomination in a formal complaint.

“I have critics from a lot of different areas. I think our church people are really concerned about children — that’s what I’m hearing,” Sessions told CBN.

“I feel it. I think there’s a legitimate concern there and I’m pleased to work with the president to address those concerns.”

The Attorney General insisted that the plan is not to detain illegal immigrant families in centers at the border indefinitely since “we can’t hold and we will not be holding people for extended periods of time awaiting a hearing on asylum.”

Sessions also claimed that he never intended to separate children from their families.

“It hasn’t been good and the American people don’t like the idea that we are separating families. We never really intended to do that. What we intended to do, was to make sure that adults who bring children into the country are charged with the crime they have committed,” he told CBN.

But in a May 7 speech announcing the zero tolerance policy, Sessions said, “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

Some confusion over the administration’s former family separation policy stems from the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which states that children can only be detained for 20 days before they’re released to the Department of Health and Human Services.

About the Author

Brandon Showalter writes for the Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – Homeland Security Head Has Strong Message for Democrats

Last week, President Trump hosted a roundtable discussion with leaders across the nation engaged in fighting sanctuary city policies. In the meeting, the president referred to the MS-13 gang – violent murderous thugs – as “animals.” When the mainstream media intentionally altered his words, the head of Homeland Security responded – in a big way.

The theme of the roundtable interaction was to find ways to combat sanctuary actions which have become a protective shield for undocumented immigrants to hide behind in order to avoid deportation. But media coverage centered on Trump’s reference to the gang members as “animals.”

Here is the exact transcript of what Trump said. A sheriff stated his frustration about members of the MS-13 gang being able to remain in sanctuary cities.

In response, Trump said, “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in – and we’re stopping a lot of them – but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”

The media blasted Trump for referring to all undocumented immigrants as “animals,” when he was clearly referring only to the MS-13 gang. Eventually, the liberal media was forced to retract their story, admitting the president was clearly referring to the gang, not all illegals.

Now, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is asking for Democrats who piled on the fake news story to apologize to President Trump. She added that she was “horrified” at how the record was being distorted so freely and willingly by those claiming to be a “fair press.”

“I have to be honest,” Nielsen said. “I was a bit horrified. The president was very clear; if you listen to the tape or if you were in the room, it was clear he was talking about MS-13. Personally, I think those lawmakers owe the president an apology. They are distorting facts in a very dangerous way. The president is trying to protect Americans. He’s making clear that he will not stand for this violence in our communities and here you have elected members of Congress pretending that he’s talking about something entirely different.”

The media tried to hamstring Trump. They may have temporarily won the battle, but they lost the war (again). It ended up blowing up in their faces, as scores of Democrats, unable to admit they made a mistake, argued that it was wrong for the president to refer to anyone as “animals.”

CNN host Anna Navarro blasted Trump for his inhumane statement. “No human being deserves to be called an animal,” she protested in prime time. Oops. What she apparently forget was that during the 2016 presidential campaign, she called Trump “an absolute animal” on a CNN show.

Kirstjen Nielsen was right to call out those who intentionally misrepresented Trump’s words. The media and Democrats (Is there a difference?) have a right to challenge Trump’s characterization of MS-13 gang members as “animals.” What they don’t have a right to do is make up a story that is not there by intentionally twisting and changing his words.

And they wonder why Americans’ confidence in the mainstream media is at an all-time low.

The Rushmore Report – President Trump: ‘We Want Our Cities to Be Sanctuaries for Americans, Not Safe Havens for Criminals’

President Donald J. Trump used his weekly address to discuss the rampant problem of liberal public servants defying federal immigration law in hopes of protecting illegal aliens from deportation. In reality, these actions committed by mostly Democratic office holders endanger the community and American citizens.

“Protecting the safety and well-being of American citizens is my highest duty as President. Yet, lawless sanctuary jurisdictions are nullifying federal law, obstructing immigration enforcement, and releasing thousands of criminal aliens into U.S. communities to prey on innocent victims. It’s absolutely terrible,” the president said.

The 45th commander-in-chief then went on to highlight notable examples of ICE arresting illegal aliens convicted of gruesome crimes. But, he also pointed out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who went so far as to issue a warning to residents of an impending ICE deportation operation.

“And last week, the mayor of Oakland warned criminal aliens of a coming ICE enforcement action, giving them time to scatter and hide from authorities. The mayors conduct directly threatened the safety of federal immigration officers and the law-abiding Americans in her community.

The State of California is sheltering dangerous criminals in a brazen and lawless attack on our Constitutional system of government. Every state in our Union is subject to the laws and Constitution of the United States, including California. Yet, California’s leaders are in open defiance of federal law. They don’t care about crime. They don’t care about death and killings. They don’t care about robberies. They don’t care about the kind of things that you and I care about.”

ICE eventually conducted the operation, arresting 232 illegal aliens. Most of those illegals were previously convicted of a crime.

President Trump ended his address, saying, “We want our cities to be sanctuaries for Americans, not safe havens for criminals. That is why I am calling on Congress to block funds for jurisdictions that shield dangerous criminals. It is time to end the bloodshed brought about by reckless sanctuary policies and it is time to save American lives and American cities.”

About the Author

Timothy Meads writes for Townhall.

The Rushmore Report – Oakland Mayor Does the Indefensible

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf thinks she is the new Paul Revere. This week, the mayor rode through the streets of Oakland to warn the locals that the bad guys were coming – not the British; it’s scarier than that. The fine people of Oakland needed to be warned because the enemy was on the way. They were under attack. But from whom?

Law enforcement.

Yep, those terrifying federal law enforcement agents known as ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) were on their way.

Mayor Schaff issued the most dire warning of her administration. Her statement read, “Earlier today, I learned from multiple credible sources that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours. As Mayor of Oakland, I am sharing this information publicly, not to panic our residents but to protect them.”

In direct opposition to federal law, the mayor continued, “Oakland police officers are prohibited from participating in ICE activities. Additionally, California state law prohibits business owners from assisting ICE agents in immigration enforcement and bars federal agents from accessing employee-only areas.”

Despite ICE making it clear on numerous occasions that when local authorities do not cooperate with the federal government, safety actually decreases, Mayor Schaff said her priority was to get people to prepare, not panic.

“My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents – particularly our most vulnerable – and I know that Oakland is safer when we share information, encourage community awareness, and care for our neighbors,” the defiant Democrat said in the statement.

So when the mayor speaks of keeping “all residents” safe, she means she wants to shield them from trained law enforcement personnel, and open legal residents up to thousands of undocumented men and women who are in the country illegally, and who have killed dozens of Oakland citizens over the past few years.

My message to the mayor is this: We are a nation of laws. How can you serve as the head of a major city while exposing your legal American citizens to illegals whom you choose to shield from the law you are sworn to uphold?

My message to Paul Revere is this: Your legacy is safe.

The Rushmore Report – Democrats Abandon Shutdown, Agree to McConnell Plan in Exchange for … Nothing

Democrats caved to pressure to end the shutdown Monday and voted to reopen the federal government, having gained nothing from three days of hostage-holding over immigration reform. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed the fold in a sad press conference held just following the vote.

According to The Hill, Democrats agreed to vote for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s continuing resolution funding the government through early February, on the promise that Senate Republicans will take up an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) sometime between now and February 8.

This means, of course, that Democrats, who held funding the federal government hostage by refusing to end a filibuster Friday night, thus causing the shutdown, gained absolutely nothing in two days of negotiations except a general promise on the part of the GOP to address border issues in the near future.

The Democrats’ plan was, apparently, to force Republicans to extend benefits for DACA recipients as part of a long-term funding bill. But when President Trump refused the “compromise immigration plan” drafted by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues – largely over a provision that granted temporary amnesty to DACA parents – the plan seemed to break down. Even typically left-leaning media chastised the Democrats for their misstep and suggested that only Democrats would suffer from negative public opinion surrounding the government shutdown.

On Monday, shortly before the official announcement was made that Democrats were caving, one Senate aide told reporters that Democrats had “miscalculated beyond belief.”

Even those who defended the move did so half-heartedly, claiming that if McConnell reneges on his promise to push a DACA extension along with a more comprehensive immigration reform plan, that Democrats will ultimately win the fight. Schumer warned McConnell that he best live up to his end of the bargain in his concession speech.

But even hardcore activists didn’t seem to believe talk of a grander agenda. And McConnell has already said that if Schumer threatens a second shutdown, immigration will be off the table.

About the Author

Emily Zanotti writes for Daily Wire.

The Rushmore Report: Open the Floodgates – CA Becomes Sanctuary State

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to make the entire state of California one giant safe space for illegal aliens. The Democratic-controlled state legislation just passed the California Value Act, which will bar state and local law enforcement from working with federal authorities on enforcing immigration laws. So California is now officially opposed to carrying out laws passed by regular and constitutional process.

In a move meant to counter the Trump Administration’s tough approach to immigration enforcement, the California legislation approved the so-called “sanctuary state” bill that would establish new protections for people living in the country illegally.

The California Values Act would forbid state and local law enforcement agencies from providing information to or acting as the deputies for federal immigration authorities. The bill also prohibits police and sheriff officers from inquiring about a person’s immigration status.

The fight over sanctuary status concerning immigration law is yet another legal battle facing the Trump Administration. A federal judge has ruled that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cannot withhold grant money from cities that have adopted sanctuary policies. The rationale behind the decision is to make illegals feel safe in providing information about crimes, without fear of deportation.

California is clearly degrading citizenship, our borders, and our laws. Of course, it’s what you’d expect from a liberal cesspool.

Gov. Brown and his legislation have decided the wise thing to do is to set an example for all citizens that we need only obey those laws with which we agree. And they have found wisdom in granting illegals the very objective (legal residency) they broke the law to attain.

About the Author

Matt Vespa writes for TownHall.

The Rushmore Report: Why DACA Has to Go – There’s No Choice

We all know the argument for DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. President Obama signed this executive order to legalize the presence of “dreamers” – children of illegal immigrants – in America. Who could oppose this action? It is compassionate, sensitive, and kind. Still, President Trump is now rejecting DACA. And despite all you may have heard, Trump has no other choice. It’s really not even a close argument.

There are three reasons DACA has to go.

1. DACA is illegal.

The law is clear. Those who come into this nation illegally are to be deported. Yes, we need comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, it would be nice if everyone who wants to come into American can come on in. And yes, many well-intentioned saints support DACA. But this is a nation of laws. And the law is clear. President Obama did not pass a law legalizing “dreamers.” (The president can’t – more on that in a minute.) Obama passed an executive order. This is not the same thing as a law. While many disagree on the rightness of allowing illegals and children of illegals to stay in America, no one disagrees with the fact that Obama’s amnesty order was never voted into law. So, the question is this – if we ignore this law, what other laws can we ignore, just because we don’t like them? I mean, I happen to think the law against jaywalking on an empty street is senseless, and that it should be okay to remove the tag from my mattress. But that’s not what the law says.

2. Congress makes laws.

If President Obama had done it right – and Senator Marco Rubio stood ready to help – he might have gotten what he wanted . . . legally. Rubio was ready to draft legislation to do exactly what Mr. Obama wanted, but the thought of giving Republicans a “victory” on immigration was more than the president could stomach. So he passed an executive order, six months after saying publicly that he did not even have the authority to do so. This way he could say he was standing up to the mean Republicans – who might well have done what he wanted if he had followed precedent. One would think a Constitutional law professor – Barack Obama – would understand this sticky thing in our Constitution that says the Legislative Branch makes laws and the Executive Branch enforces laws. If we don’t like a law, or want a new law, the idea, our Fathers said, was to pass new laws, not make them up on the fly.

3. We need borders.

John Kerry spoke for all Democrats when he said, “We live in a world without borders.” I applaud his honesty. That is the case exactly. The case for DACA is that border laws should not be enforced, and therefore need not even be on the books. But every civilized nation has borders and they have border laws. If the left wants to change this, they are welcome to pass such legislation. It might say that once a person has been in America illegally for six months, six years, or 60 years, they are amnestied in. But it needs to say something. If the left wants to make the case for open borders, let them – legally. Let them pass legislation the President can sign.

Republicans have struck the right balance. They are not going to enforce the new law (which is really just the existing law as it has been for decades) for six months, giving Congress a chance to address it first. This allows for legislation to address the issues, as the Constitution dictates. And the Administration has signaled they are not going to deport any existing “dreamers,” but that the law must be enforced at some point. To them, that point is March 5, 2018 – six months from now.

DACA had to go. The other option is to give anarchy a whirl. Remember, an America that allows President Obama to make up a law by bypassing Congress and the Constitution must grant President Trump the same authority. But until we start electing kings instead of presidents, I suggest we had it right the first 232 years, and wrong the last eight.

The Rushmore Report: The Trump Immigration Bill Is More Popular than the Media Reports

Some Democrats and their advocates in the press have been quick to denounce the RAISE Act, the new immigration reform bill proposed by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue and endorsed by President Trump. “The Trump, Cotton, Perdue bill is rooted in the same anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and isolationist rhetoric that was a cornerstone of the Trump campaign,” said Democrat John Conyers.

“A play to the xenophobic sentiments that lifted Trump to the presidency,” wrote Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post.

But now a new poll shows broad support for some of the bill’s key provisions – support that goes far beyond those Americans who voted for Donald Trump.

The poll, from Morning Consult-Politico, asked 1,992 registered voters about the bill’s provisions to 1) allow more high-skilled, and fewer low-skilled, immigrants into the country; 2) install a points-based system by which prospective immigrants would be evaluated on the basis of English proficiency, level of education, and other factors; 3) cap the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. each year; and 4) reduce the total number of immigrants given legal government residence in the country to 500,000 from the current level of one million.

The pollsters found strong majority support for the first three (59-62 percent for each) and a plurality of support for the fourth.

“Large majorities of Americans have long wanted to re-orient our immigration system toward high-skilled workers, while reducing or holding steady the total number of immigrants,” Cotton said. “The RAISE Act respects this popular consensus, unlike past efforts at immigration reform that failed in part because they massively expanded unskilled immigration.”

Predictably, most Democrats have attacked the proposed legislation while offering few alternatives of their own. This will make any path forward for the bill an uphill climb in the Senate. But if the new poll is correct – and it is in line with similar surveys going back years – the bill’s authors have the voters on their side.

About the Author 

Byron York is a frequent contributor for Town Hall and a guest commentator for Fox News.

The Rushmore Report: University of California Davis Removes American Flag

Students at the University of California Davis proved you don’t need a Bic lighter to desecrate Old Glory. You just need a majority vote. The UC Davis Student Senate passed legislation revoking a long-standing rule that required that the American flag would “stand visibly” at every senate meeting. The new rule declares, “It shall not be compulsory for the flag of the United States to be displayed at the ASUCD Senate meetings.”

The author, Itmar Waksman, is a recently naturalized citizen. He said, “The concept of the United States of America and patriotism is different for every individual.” Under the new rules, any senator who wants to display Old Glory must file a petition.

On their Facebook page, many in the student senate agreed. One wrote, “Why do you feel that advocating for the U.S. flag that represents a history of genocide, slavery, and imperialism is more important than stuff that actually matters like the violence against our LGBTQ Brown and Black students, rising tuition, resources for our students without homes? What a waste of time.”

A waste of time?

Tell that to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who put their lives on the line every day so that perpetually offended snowflakes can spit on America. Tell that to the Wounded Warriors who have had their legs and arms blown off, fighting for our freedom.

I offer two responses.

1. Every student who supports this action, if he or she has a whit of integrity, should immediately renounce all government grants and scholarships that make it possible for them to receive their college degree. Further, they should pay more in tuition than the other students, as about half of the cost of tuition has already been covered via state funds that directly support the university.

2. If the brilliant students who make up the Senate don’t like the American flag, they should fly the flag of their choice. It’s easy to criticize America. But if our flag is not worth flying, there are over 150 others to choose from. Let them fly the flag of the country that offers more freedom, more protection, more benefits, and a better lifestyle than the United States of America. Until they find that country, the pinheads who lack the intellectual curiosity that legitimate college students should possess should have the integrity to admit how good they really have it.

As for Itmar Waksman, if the country he immigrated to so freely is not worthy of his honor and pledge, let him return to the country he abandoned for the American dream. Let him take the next ride out of the country – we have plenty of persecuted would-be immigrants who would be happy to take his place.

The Rushmore Report: Presidents Trump, Clinton, and Obama Said the Same Thing!

We hear it every day. The Trump travel ban on seven countries is a Muslim-ban. Never mind, President Trump has only targeted countries named by former president Obama. Never mind, 72 immigrants from these seven countries have been convicted of terrorism. Yet – amazingly – Presidents Trump, Clinton, and Obama have said the same thing about immigration.

President Bill Clinton (1995) – “It is wrong, and ultimately self-defeating, for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of immigration laws we have seen in recent years. We must do more to stop it.”

President Obama (2005) – “We all agree on the need to better secure our borders and to punish employers who choose to hire illegal immigrants. We are a generous and welcoming people in the United States, but those who enter the country illegally, and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law, and they are showing disregard for those who are obeying the law.”

President Obama (2014) – “Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

President Trump (2017) – “We will not break up families. But either we have a country or we don’t. Illegal immigrants who break our laws will be the first to go. They will be deported.”

To the surprise of many, President Obama was the true “deportation president.” According to ABC News (no critic of Obama), under his administration, 2.5 million illegal immigrants were removed from the country.

By contrast, President George W. Bush deported less than 2 million illegals in his eight years in office.

So, our sitting president is on record for two things: he will uphold the laws of the land, and he will continue the same deportation practices of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

Yet, celebrity America is beside herself . . .

Because of his immigration policies, Rihanna recently called Mr. Trump an “immoral pig.” The president has received similar condemnation from the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emma Stone, Denzel Washington, and Lily Tomlin. And that was just last week.

How dare President Trump enforce the laws that were put in place under previous administrations! How dare he protect us from the 72 terrorists who came into America from the seven countries targeted by Mr. Obama! How dare he take the exact same position of Presidents Clinton and Obama!

Of course, facts don’t matter much to a lot of people. Sure, 85 percent of Muslims live in countries that are still allowed to migrate freely to America. Sure, Trump is simply following the law. Sure, Clinton and Obama said the same things and took the same positions on immigration as Trump. Sure, Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any president in American history – with zero criticism from Hollywood.

But will any of this matter to those whose mission it is to undermine and criticize President Trump every time a misguided person places a mic in front of them? Of course not.