Bad News At The Border
There is bad news at the southern border. Here's how the Washington Post puts it:
"U.S. border agents made more than 50,000 arrests in May for the third month in a row. . . an indication that escalating enforcement tactics by the Trump administration . . . [have] not had an immediate deterrent effect."
First, let's take a moment to digest the facts of that statement before we consider the politics of it.
On the plus side, apprehensions are up because President Trump is taking steps to improve security, such as deploying National Guard troops to the border.
Nevertheless, 50,000 people attempting to cross our southern border were arrested last month. That's just the ones we caught. We have to assume that many more got in.
And it wasn't just a "one-off." It was the "third month in a row" that we have arrested at least 50,000 people at our southern border. So now we're up to 150,000 people arrested in recent months, and who knows how many more actually slipped through.
Why would anyone be okay with this?
Clearly, President Trump is not okay with it, which is why he sent National Guard troops to the border and why he is demanding a border wall. But it is absurd for the Post to suggest that the president's efforts are failing.
What Is Responsible
In the early months of the Trump Administration, the number of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country plummeted to historic lows. Many commentators attributed the dramatic decline in illegal crossings to Candidate Trump's toughness on border security, which dominated the news throughout 2015 and 2016.
But in the past year, illegal immigrants have heard and seen something else and something very different. They have seen the left in America resist everything Donald Trump has tried to do to secure the border. And so far the left seems to have the upper hand.
They saw liberal politicians block funding for the border wall -- even after President Trump offered amnesty for the so-called "Dreamers."
They have seen left-wing federal judges repeatedly block President Trump's efforts to secure our borders.
They have seen liberal mayors tip off illegal immigrants about impending law enforcement actions. (By the way, nearly 90% of the illegal immigrants that ICE agents arrest have criminal records.)
They have seen multiple cities led by left-wing politicians blatantly defy federal law by declaring themselves to be sanctuary cities.
Check out this video of Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney doing a jig after a judge upholds Philadelphia's sanctuary policies. Imagine how parents who have lost children to the "animals" of MS-13 must feel as Kenney "dances" on their graves.
It couldn't be more obvious. Powerful left-wing forces are acting as a lobby for open borders and for illegal immigrants. They are also lobbying against the vast majority of Americans who want to control our borders.
For example, a new poll finds that 56% of likely voters say that the current high level of immigration is making life in their area "worse." Only 17% think immigration is making life in their community "better."
Trump Pardons Great-grandmother
President Trump is tough on crime. He unapologetically stands with the police and made support for law enforcement a central plank in his campaign. And he has taken flak from the left for going after MS-13 so hard.
Yet, he also has a very strong sense of justice. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said on Fox News this morning:
"This president has a real gut for justice. When you can persuade him that there has been an injustice, he'll say, 'We are going to do something about it.'"
And yesterday President Trump did do something to correct a serious injustice. He commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson.
The 63 year-old great-grandmother was serving a life sentence after her 1996 conviction for money laundering and conspiracy in a major drug case. Johnson does not deny her guilt. "I believe that I deserved some time, I really do," she said during an interview with NBC News.
But many people felt that a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent offense was excessive. More than 270,000 people had signed a petition calling for her release.
While in jail, Johnson was a model inmate, and the warden of the prison where she was held strongly supported her release. Now into her 60s, she's hardly a danger to society.
Johnson's family appealed to President Barack Obama three times for clemency, but he never approved her request. (Somehow Chelsea Manning got Obama's attention.)
During an interview with CBS News, Johnson was asked if she had a message for President Trump. Here's what she said:
"I would tell President Trump, 'Thank you so much. . . I am going to be that one that is going to make you so proud.' And I hope that my life encourages him to do this for others too."
By the way, one of the strongest conservatives I have ever known was Chuck Colson. He went to prison after the Watergate break in, and later devoted his life to prison reform and to bringing the Gospel to inmates.