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About Ira Mehlman

Ira joined FAIR in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

Jerry Brown Braces California for a $1.6 Billion Deficit as the State Considers Legal Defense Fund for Illegal Aliens

Map of California StateCalifornia is a fiscal hole again. A deep fiscal hole, like $1.6 billion deep, warns Gov. Jerry Brown as introduced the state budget. That means more cuts in services, benefits, infrastructure repairs, education budgets, and general bad news for Californians.

But one group of California residents seems likely to be spared the pain of the state’s fiscal crisis: The ones who earned their special place in the hearts of California lawmakers by violating U.S. immigration laws. Even with a $1.6 billion deficit looming (and politicians often lowball bad budget numbers), two of the first bills likely to be taken up by the Legislature are Senate Bill 6 and Assembly Bill 3.

Both of those measures would commit state dollars to establish a legal defense fund for illegal aliens who might face deportation under the Trump administration – anywhere from about $10 million and $80 million according to the bills’ sponsors. That would be on top of the $10 million already allocated by the perpetually cash-strapped City and County of Los Angeles and similar funds likely to be set up by San Francisco, San Jose and other localities that pride themselves on placing the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the security and well-being of everyone else in their jurisdictions.

The $10 million to $80 the state is considering using to help illegal aliens flout the law is a pittance compared with the deficit Brown is forecasting but it says a lot about where the priorities of the state’s political leadership lie. Based on their response to Californians who have faced tragedy as a result of the state’s sanctuary policies it was hardly a mystery.

Advocates for Illegal Aliens Declare War on the American Justice System

Rear view of themis statueThe American justice system exists to deliver fair and timely justice to those accused of wrongdoing and to their victims. The integrity of the judicial process is the foundation of any enlightened society. That bedrock foundation of our republic will soon be under attack by elected officials and tax-exempt foundations who openly vow to wage “lawfare” on our federal courts.

The assault on the federal judicial system is being led by Luis Gutierrez, who ostensibly represents the citizens of Illinois’ 4th congressional district, but has proclaimed himself to be the representative of the nation’s illegal alien population. Gutierrez recently stated that if Donald Trump acts to rescind President Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program he will consider it to be a “declaration of war.” In addition, Gutierrez has threatened that if the new president attempts to carry out the laws of the United States and begin deporting illegal aliens, “then the people he wants to deport should say, ‘I want my day in court before a judge.’ You have to paralyze the system.”

In truth, the federal justice system is already being paralyzed by deportable aliens and their advocates. More than half of all cases pending before federal courts are immigration related and there is a backlog of more than half a million cases of people fighting to remain in this country. The prospect of a member of the House Judiciary Committee openly calling upon illegal aliens to further paralyze the federal judicial system if the president tries to enforce the nation’s laws, borders on sedition.

But Gutierrez will not be waging a one-man assault on the federal courts. He is already being joined in the war against the judicial system by the California Legislature, which has been engaging in its own long-running war on sanity, not to mention immigration enforcement. State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) introduced the Due Process for All Act (SB 6) earlier this month that “would create a state program to fund legal representation for those facing deportation.” Hueso’s Assembly colleague, Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), has offered a companion bill (AB 3) that “would create state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defender’s offices on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.” Needless to say, California taxpayers would foot the bill for these services. Similar efforts are underway in New York.

Immigration “lawfare” isn’t exactly hurting for cash even in the absence of publicly funded effort to paralyze the federal courts. Last summer’s leaks of a cache of documents from billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF) detail countless millions of tax exempt foundation dollars (from OSF and other prominent groups) already being dedicated to the war against immigration enforcement.

The undeniable intent of the open borders zealots is to bring the nation’s court system to its knees in order to prevent the duly enacted laws of the United States from being enforced. That challenge to one of the essential pillars of our civilization is an existential threat that must be addressed.

Puzder is Going to Have to Do Better

andrew-puzder-rotator-720x480The nomination of Andrew Puzder to serve as Secretary of Labor has been greeted with skepticism from a variety of public interest groups, including FAIR. Puzder is CEO of CKE, a fast food conglomerate that is a major player in an industry with a history of exploiting workers and abusing immigration laws designed to protect American workers.

Over the weekend, Puzder sought to allay concerns about his qualifications for the job. Interviewed by Real Clear Politics, Puzder tried to defend his past record by essentially asserting that, ‘that was then and this is now.’ “My job as a business person is to maximize profits for my company, employees and shareholders. My job as the Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve U.S. citizen workers – that is my moral and constitutional duty,” he said.

True, the job of any CEO is to watch out for the bottom line of the corporation he or she is running. But that does not mean that anything goes. Exploiting workers, employing illegal aliens, or using guest worker programs to suppress wages and working conditions in an effort to maximize profits cannot be justified. There are all sorts of labor, environmental and other practices that we demand of corporations because they advance the public good, even though they cut into profit margins.

Puzder goes on to offer the very carefully worded pledge, “I will not provide guest worker visas to companies that break the rules, and will support reforms to raise wages for Americans — I know the system from the inside, and will be the best champion American workers have had.” What he carefully avoids noting is that in many of the most egregious cases in which employers have used guest workers in lieu of, or to replace American workers, the companies were not violating any rules; they were violating the public trust.

The rules governing the guest worker system (that Puzder knows from the inside) are rigged to benefit companies like the one he ran. As such, his biggest challenge as Labor Secretary won’t be punishing employers who break the rules, but rather changing the rules that allow unscrupulous employers to choose cheap foreign workers over American labor.

If he survives the confirmation process, Puzder will need to show the American people that ‘that really was then’ and that he truly will be the born-again champion of the American workers he claims to have become.

Marie Antoinette is Alive and Well

cake-french-flag-rotator-720x480Yesterday, Nov. 2, was the 261st anniversary of Marie Antoinette’s birth. Marking the occasion (one day late), a British court honored the legacy of France’s last queen by demonstrating their own contempt for the concerns of the masses and the democratic will of the people by ruling that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the authority to implement the Brexit that voters approved in June.

On Thursday, a London court blocked May’s attempt to implement Article 50, the mechanism under which the United Kingdom will negotiate its exit from the European Union, in accordance with the wishes of 52 percent of voters. The Brexit vote largely divided the UK between the economic, political and social elite who wanted to remain in the EU, and ordinary citizens who were fed up with EU bureaucracy and unchecked immigration.

The heirs to Marie Antoinette’s legacy are Gina Miller, Deir Santos, and Charlie Mullins. Within days of the voters overruling the ruling elite, these three began legal proceedings to overturn the democratic process. On Thursday a court ruled in their favor.

These events epitomize why so many people have lost faith in their governments. Under the court’s decision, Prime Minister May will have to consult with Parliament – folks who were elected by the people to represent their interests – to obtain permission to carry out the will of the people. But those in the ruling caste still trying to understand the roots of the populist wave sweeping across Western societies don’t seem to get how this type of elitist nullification fuels resentment of them by the middle and working classes.

Ms. Miller, the wife of an uber-rich London hedge fund manager, is being hailed as a hero by the London elite who were the mainstay of the “Remain” vote last June. But perhaps nothing captures the chasm between the ruling elite and their fellow citizens whom they disdain better than the Washington Post’s description of Charlie Mullins’ reaction to the court ruling. “[O]n Thursday he was outside the Royal Courts of Justice giving photographers a celebratory thumbs up next to his Rolls-Royce.”

Although Mullins didn’t say it before driving away in his Rolls-Royce (and Marie Antoinette probably never said it either), the message to the millions of British subjects who are struggling under the constraints and open borders policies dictated by the EU was, “Let them eat cake.”

Another Study “Proving” that You Don’t Know What’s Best for You

government_check_money_rotator_675x450For years, the cultural, political and economic elite have been telling people in Western democracies that mass immigration is really good for them, but we’re just not smart enough to understand the benefits. Over the past 18 months, voters in Western democracies have it clear what they think of the elite’s patronizing attitude.

So, faced with a growing movement of voters who simply refuse to listen to what their betters are telling them, the elite have produced the ultimate, the definitive, the incontrovertible, study proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are all better off because of mass immigration (even though we’re not smart enough to recognize it). The report, “Spillover Notes: Impact of Immigration on Income Levels in Advanced Economies,” is produced by the epitome of globalist elite institutions, The International Monetary Fund (which, ironically, tends to be dominated by functionaries from countries with failing economies and populations desperate to immigrate to the developed West).

And, spill over it does. It fills up 26 pages with equations, charts and graphs that purport to show beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything you see, think, and experience about mass immigration – legal, illegal, skilled and unskilled – is, in fact, wrong. Even if you had the academic training to make sense of the eye-glazing equations, charts and graphs, you probably don’t have the time.

Thankfully, you don’t need to. Forbes magazine, which describes itself as “The Capitalist Tool” (interpret that however you like), has read it for you and summarized what you need to know. Columnist Tim Worstall summarizes the mind-numbing data and then concludes: “The economics of immigration are quite clear, the more the merrier. Any objections need to be rooted in some other series of arguments.”

Got it? You’re wrong because the geniuses at the IMF have produced a study that says you’re wrong. Case closed. Now shut up.