Tackling Public Charges

Monday, August 12, 2019

Tackling Public Charges
The Trump Administration announced new rules today designed to protect U.S. taxpayers by ensuring that immigrants do not overly burden the social safety net.  The rule expands guidance issued by the Clinton Administration in 1999 intended to prevent immigrants from becoming "public charges" or dependent on public benefits. 
In fact, Reuters notes that the Immigration Act of 1882 "allows the U.S. government to deny a visa to anyone likely to become a 'public charge.'"  So this is hardly a new idea.  What is new is the willingness of the Trump Administration to enforce it.
As Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, explained:
"The principle driving it is an old American value, and that's self-sufficiency.  It's a core principle -- the American Dream itself -- and it's one of the things that distinguishes us, and it's central to the legal history in the U.S. back into the 1800s."
"It will also have the long-term benefit of protecting taxpayers by ensuring people who are immigrating to this country don't become public burdens, that they can stand on their own two feet, as immigrants in years past have done."
The previous Clinton-era rule only counted direct welfare payments (cash assistance) when determining whether an immigrant qualified as a public charge. 
The new rule defines a public charge as a non-citizen "who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period."  That can be cash assistance, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid. 
While open borders advocates will decry the new rule, this is not a controversial idea among the American people.  Polling shows that 73% of Americans believe that new immigrants should be able to support themselves financially.
Epstein Escapes 
If anyone wonders why many Americans are so cynical, and why there is a widely held populist view that there are two systems of justice, look no further than the body of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 
As you know, Epstein was found dead in his prison cell over the weekend after allegedly committing suicide.  Two weeks ago, Epstein was found in his cell semi-conscious with marks around his neck. 
Attorney General William Barr said today that he was "appalled" and "angry" when he heard the news that Epstein died in federal custody.  Barr added that there were "serious irregularities" at the facility, and he ordered an investigation into the dereliction of duty that allowed Epstein to escape justice. 
Epstein's death comes just 36 hours of after the release of court documents implicating several high-profile individuals, including former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D).
More Protests
Two ingrate American athletes representing the United States of America abroad chose to disrespect their country during the national anthem at the Pan American Games.  I refuse to name either one of them.  One knelt during the anthem, while the other gave a clenched fist salute. 
The kneeler issued a statement explaining that he was protesting "racism, gun control and the mistreatment of immigrants."  He said he chose to "sacrifice his moment" in order to advance his pet causes. 
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL, responded:
"If you think this is 'sacrifice,' you are delusional. . .  You and your fellow athletes have only succeeded in politicizing one of the few things that still unite us: sports."
Rep. Crenshaw is absolutely right.  The left politicizes, and then often, destroys everything it touches.  Sadly, I suspect the kneeler's agent is on the phone with Nike today.
But there is also tremendous irony.  This athlete was in Latin America protesting America's alleged evil, while millions of Latin Americans desperately want to come here.
Hong Kong Under Siege  
Pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong escalated over the weekend as protestors occupied Hong Kong's international airport and forced the cancellation of more than 150 flights. 
Beijing is increasingly frustrated by the demonstrations, and ratcheting up its rhetoric, hinting at an impending crackdown. 
A spokesman for the communist regime accused the protestors of "terrorism," alleging that they were using "extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers."  The statement added that further demonstrations would be put down "without leniency, without mercy."
For 30 years, presidents of both parties have followed a pacifist foreign policy toward China.  They looked the other way while China gutted our industrial base, engaged in espionage and launched a massive military buildup. 
If you are a young American, it is likely that your life will be defined by routine confrontations with China, much like your parents and grandparents who lived through the Cold War will recall repeated conflicts with the former Soviet Union.