NEWS AND OPINION:
The immigration bill could stall on Capitol Hill for all sorts of reasons, some of them predictable, some not. At the moment Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has a specific source of concern over the status of the legislation as debate continues and the wheels of Congress only twitch in response. The Texas Republican says national security is at stake.
But he assured “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that he remains an “eternal optimist” about the potential passage of the immigration bill, which he said is merit-based and not an “amnesty.” Mr. Wallace then wondered whether the Senate should waive the filibuster rule with this legislation, if perchance the House happened to pass it.
Mr. McCaul cut to the chase about the realities of a porous border, often overlooked during shrill partisan arguments.
“I would argue that national security is at stake. Securing that border, the threats — I can tell you it’s not only drug cartels and the opioids but also the terrorists. We stop 10 terrorists every day from getting into this country,” the lawmaker said. “I look at it a national security standpoint, This should be a bipartisan issue but if it’s not, the Senate has that traditional rule. And I think they should waive it in this case on the basis of national security, and to protect the American people.”
In his monthly “terror threat snapshot” released earlier in June, Mr. McCaul cited a statement from Rear Adm. Brian Hendrickson, director of the U.S. Southern Command’s Network Engagement Team, who recently advised the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere Subcommittee that terrorists were utilizing existing smuggling routes on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
“The corrosive activities pose a threat to the stability of our partners and to our national security. The region is also home to networks that specialize in smuggling illegal immigrants from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, all places where terrorist organizations like al-Shabab, ISIS, al-Qaeda and their affiliates operate,” the admiral said. “Some of these people have ties to terrorism and some have intentions to conduct attacks in the homeland.”
A KIND WORD FOR IVANKA
Jack Graham is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas, with a 42,000-member congregation on three campuses, and a “Powerpoint” broadcast ministry heard daily in 92 nations and 740 U.S. cities.
Mr. Graham has a clear “thank you” to Ivanka Trump following her personal donation of $50,000 to the church’s “Espanol” ministry, which offer services in Spanish carried by Telemundo, plus help and comfort to immigrants, particularly children. Ms. Trump heard of the church plan to begin work in along the southwestern border on July 1 via a tweet Mr. Graham posted two weeks ago.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Ivanka Trump a number of times over the last year, and I’ve been struck by her kindness and concern for those in need. So it wasn’t that surprising to know she would want to help these families. But I certainly never expected to hear from her after a simple tweet,” the pastor says.
“What if more Americans, whatever their politics, decided to take to heart the needs of others and do what they can to help? Countless lives would be transformed. Hopefully, Ivanka’s generosity will inspire many other Americans to get off the sidelines and actually provide tangible help to those in need. The beauty of America and the people in our church is that we don’t have to wait for our politicians to sort out their disagreements in order to do what is right,” says Mr. Graham.
ON A FUTURE MENU
“There is not much point in trying to keep up with the Liberal Outrages of the Day. They come too fast and furiously; it would be a full-time job, and more. But yesterday’s peak outrage is one you probably already know about: the manager of a Red Hen restaurant kicked Sarah Sanders and her family out of her establishment. And the manager boasted of her intolerably rude (and economically irrational) treatment of Sanders’ family on social media,” writes John Hinderaker, a retired attorney, and founder of both the Powerline blog and the Center for the American Experiment think tank.
“Remember when Republican restaurant owners wouldn’t let Obama administration employees eat in their restaurants? No, I don’t recall that either. I only have two observations about the Red Hen outrage: 1) We don’t have Red Hen restaurants in our part of the country, or I would boycott them. 2) I hope Republicans are taking notes. One of these days, we will have a Democratic administration. And when that happens, every single outrage that the Democrats have perpetrated beginning in January 2017 should be visited upon them,” Mr. Hinderaker says.
“Republicans should be moderate, though. We shouldn’t heed the words of an extremist who enjoined us to ‘punch back twice as hard.’ Giving the Democrats back equal measure will be enough,” he says.
‘ONE OF THE GREATEST PRESIDENTS’
It is rare when a Hollywood denizen speaks up for President Trump. But there are those who do, such as veteran film director David Lynch, who appears to see Mr. Trump as a unique political entity.
“He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way. Our so-called leaders can’t take the country forward, can’t get anything done. Like children, they are. Trump has shown all this,” Mr. Lynch told The Guardian.
The director himself is somewhat of a political work in progress: Mr. Lynch voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016, but tweeted “Yay! Bernie Sanders for president” as well. He also endorsed President Obama in 2012 and has previously self-identified as a Democrat. In October, Mr. Lynch will host “Festival of Disruption” in Los Angeles, a music, art and film event which will include input from fellow director Francis Ford Coppola and others.
POLL DU JOUR
• 82 percent of Americans say that an “open-minded” candidate for Congress will be “a priority” for them on election day; 81 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.
• 77 percent overall say that a “compassionate” candidate will be a priority on election day; 71 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 89 percent of Democrats agree.
• 68 percent overall say that a “tough” candidate will be a priority; 88 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.
• 45 percent overall say that a “traditional” candidate will be a priority; 67 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 34 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A CBS News poll of 2,063 U.S. adults conducted June 21-22.
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