NEWS AND OPINION:
The news media is particularly fond of quoting lots of numbers and percentages when it comes to immigration coverage, citing yearly averages and speculative estimates of who is crossing the U.S. border, legally or illegally. Sources for such information vary; some are official, some are not. Words like “surge” and “wave” appear often as journalists, politicians, the public and assorted officials try to parse out the situation.
Meanwhile, a significant source offers a reality check on the complex challenges of immigration in America, and where it is headed.
“Here are questions every leader should be able to answer regardless of their politics: How many more people are coming to the southern border? And what is the plan?” asks Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO at Gallup.
“There are 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Roughly 450 million adults live in the region. Gallup asked them if they would like to move to another country permanently if they could. A whopping 27% said ‘yes.’ This means roughly 120 million would like to migrate somewhere,” Mr. Clifton wrote in a new editorial.
“Gallup then asked them where they would like to move. Of those who want to leave their country permanently, 35% — or 42 million — said they want to go to the United States. Seekers of citizenship or asylum are watching to determine exactly when and how is the best time to make their move,” he continued.
In addition to finding a solution for the thousands of migrants currently at the border, let’s include the bigger, harder question — what about all of those who would like to come? What is the message to them? What is the 10-year plan? 330 million U.S. citizens are wondering. So are 42 million Latin Americans,” Mr. Clifton advised.
A MOMENT OF TRUTH
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace to White House press secretary Jen Psaki during a discussion about the current situation on the challenges of the southern U.S. border:
“At this point, in terms of allowing access to Border Patrol facilities for reporters, you are being less transparent than the Trump administration,” Mr. Wallace advised.
THE GREEN PARTY HAS A SAY
It could be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s dream come true. The New York Democrat would likely approve of an independent third party’s ideas in the billion dollar environmental arena.
“The Green Party of the United States called today for President Biden and Congress to provide $2.7 trillion annually for a Green New Deal economic stimulus to reboot the economy and transition the country to a 100% renewable energy system with zero emissions by 2030,” the party itself has announced.
“The Greens are also calling for Biden to formally declare a climate emergency and to invest an additional $1.4 trillion annually to implement an Economic Bill of Rights. The numbers are based on several studies commissioned during the 2020 Green Party presidential campaign of Howie Hawkins,” the organization continues.
For those who are following this particular issue, the Democrats are expected to propose soon a $2 trillion green economic relief package.
A PRESIDENT’S HAIR
The description of the item is straight enough, handwritten with a flourish in 1836: “George Washington‘s hair — cut from his head in the year 1799.”
This small lock of hair is now up for auction through Lelands, a sports-auction house based in New Jersey which primarily deals in such things as football jerseys and historic sports equipment.
“These multiple strands of George Washington’s hair have been thoughtfully stored in this hand made brass and glass locket for many years. Believed to have been removed from our First President close to or after his death in 1799,” the organization said in the item description, calling it a “well documented specimen.”
Seven online bids have come in for the item, with the top bid reaching $1,771 as of Sunday. The bidding closes Friday.
Washington’s hair is a big attraction though. A similar item — a lock of the first president’s hair which once belonged to the family of Alexander Hamilton — went for $35,763 in a 2019 Leland’s auction event that featured 25 eager bidders.
“Artifacts associated with the nation’s first president are highly coveted by museums, history buffs, and memorabilia collectors alike,” the auctioneer said in a statement.
THE ARMY’S HAIR
Long ponytails are OK for U.S. Army women. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston revealed the news on Twitter “after hearing from our soldiers,” noting that the ponytails could be “down to the shoulder blade.”
“Up to now, long ponytails have only been authorized when wearing the Army Combat Uniform or during physical fitness training. The rule change will also allow braided ponytails,” noted Stars and Stripes.
“An Army panel made up mainly of women recommended last year that female soldiers be allowed to get buzz cuts, like their male counterparts,” the news organization said, adding that many of these recommendations were incorporated into an updated version of AR-670-1, the Army regulations governing appearance and uniforms that took effect in late February.
“Women serving in the Air Force have been allowed since February to wear their hair in two braids or a single ponytail no longer than the ‘top of each sleeve inseam at the underarm through the shoulder blades,’” Stars and Stripes said.
POLL DU JOUR
• 32% of U.S. adults say protecting people from gun violence is more important than the right to keep and bear arms; 10% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 62% of Democrats agree.
• 38% of U.S. adults say gun violence and the right to own guns are “equally important”: 46% of Republicans, 40% of independents and 29% of Democrats agree.
• 23% say protecting gun rights is more important; 40% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.
• 6% are not sure; 4% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted March 20-23.
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