This do-nothing Republican Congress has the historic distinction of being the first party to control all of government and accomplish absolutely nothing in its first few months other than passing a Democrat budget. With the Manchester bombing capturing the attention of the world, why is Congress not moving to immediately deal with immigration, terrorism, and national security issues?
Once again, we have witnessed a homegrown terror attack in England, committed by the son of Libyan refugees. Libya is a country on the list of Trump’s lawful immigration moratorium. I’m sure the bomber’s parents looked downtrodden and in need of refuge when they were fleeing Gaddafi in the ’80s, much like the media photos of families from Syria today. Yet as demonstrated over and over again, these refugees are different from those in the past because so many of them adhere to an Islamic supremacist ideology; their children have no qualms about biting the hand that saves them. When will we learn our lesson and stop repeating the mistakes of Europe?
To Trump’s credit, when the more conservative voices in the administration still had power, he tried to fulfill his campaign promise with a temporary moratorium on refugees and visas from some Middle East countries. However, this plan and his broader immigration agenda are now in tatters. I don’t blame him for not predicting the original onslaught from the courts. I doubt he read my book, Stolen Sovereignty, warning how the courts will erase our borders and overturn immigration law and national sovereignty. It’s that he has been overly obsequious to the courts, has declined to request that his orders be codified into the budget, has backpedaled on his immigration promises even in the new budget for next year, and has changed direction from the Bannon-led efforts of the beginning of his administration.
Obviously, Congressional Republicans share just as much blame, but we already know they will not lift a finger without immense pressure from the president, like the pressure he exerted on the Freedom Caucus to pass a phony Obamacare repeal bill. Absent that leadership, they will continue with their willful blindness and focus their legislative agenda on naming post offices.
Consider the following observations:
- Trump should have responded to the courts by vetoing any budget bill that doesn’t defund refugees and visas from the list of countries on the moratorium. Yet he signed a bill that funds them while actively defunding the physical border fence.
- What about next year’s budget? There is still funding for roughly 50,000 refugees, less than the Obama era but still way too many. The parasitic refugee resettlement contractors who sued Trump are now praising his budget! At the same time, the blueprint only provides for, at most, 60 miles in border fencing. Trump just visited three countries that have border fences — Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican. Rather than meet with Abbas and sell Saudis arms, he should have spent time exploring the best way to build the wall.
- This administration has backed off an effort to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The next biggest homeland security threat after open immigration is the Muslim Brotherhood. As we’ve learned from the Manchester bombing, the terrorist attended a Muslim Brotherhood mosque. We are so concerned about ISIS in Syria, but it is the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi-funded mosques on our own shores that lay the foundation of Sharia radicalism so that the propaganda of ISIS or other groups resonates with people who should otherwise revere their home countries. These issues must be addressed by Trump and Congress before sending more troops overseas to referee civil wars.
- 14,888 refugees have been admitted since Trump’s inauguration, including over 1,500 apiece from Syria, Somalia, and Iraq. Over 98 percent of refugees from Syria are Muslim, even though Christians are suffering the worst persecution. This is a gratuitous deference to the courts – over and beyond what they ordered. As I’ve explained before, the second immigration order only dealt with future hypothetical immigrants and refugees. There was no legitimate case or controversy for the court to rule on. There is no reason for the administration to bring in 1,000 refugees per week. It could bring in 25. It’s not like the courts have the power to set an exact number.
- Despite calling it a “dumb idea” on the campaign trail, Trump has agreed to bring in up to 1,250 refugees from Australia, refugees whom even the liberal Aussies rejected!
As soon as the president returns home from Europe, he should call in leaders of Congress and demand that they vote on as many of these 20 immigration and homeland security ideas as possible. Specifically, they must:
- Block funding for all refugees and visas from the Middle East for the remainder of the fiscal year.
- Further enforce provisions of the INA that strip the courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate rejections of visas.
- Pass a supplemental funding bill for the border wall and the construction of a visa exit-entry tracking system, a goal Democrats officially support and that has been passed by Congress numerous times since 1996.
In order to accomplish this or anything else, Congressional Republicans need to modify the filibuster rules. Otherwise, they face electoral oblivion. It’s time they actually confront the issues of our time and harness the news cycle to pass common-sense national security bills. The president must use the bully pulpit and his status as leader of the party to craft specific proposals for the do-nothing Congress. Then, place the onus on them to act. He should give a televised address from the Oval Office outlining his response to the growing threat of homegrown terrorism and demanding action from Congress to deal with the courts.
Or we could just use up this once-in-generation electoral mandate on naming post offices and continuing every major Obama policy.