The American people clearly liked what they heard in last week's State of the Union address. President Trump's approval rating has surged to 52%. That's up seven points over the past week, and his highest approval rating in nearly two years.
Here's more good news: 2016 #NeverTrumper Erick Erickson endorsed the Trump/Pence team for reelection in 2020!
Last Thursday, Senator Richard Shelby, the lead Republican negotiator on the border security package, sounded optimistic about striking a deal with congressional Democrats. But something changed dramatically.
As we reported Friday, the negotiations hit a snag over funding for border barriers and ICE detention beds. Yesterday, Shelby said the talks had "stalled."
I spent much of the weekend reviewing the headlines from the major networks. Most suggested the president had dug in on the wall again. In fact, the president has compromised a lot already. He's no longer asking for $25 billion, only $5.7 billion.
But virtually no one in the "mainstream media" was saying anything about the Democrats' demand for fewer detention beds.
Now here's some news you need to know: Current apprehension figures have surged 84% and are on pace to reach a 10-year record of more 730,000 illegal border crossings. Yet Democrats are doing their best to kneecap ICE.
I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that U.S. immigration policy has been hijacked by the left's socialist flank. Without some kind of breakthrough by Friday, we're heading for another partial government shutdown.
Open Borders In Action
If you look closely at the developments of the past week you can easily see a party that is committed to open borders and ending any effective enforcement of our immigration laws.
If you don't want ICE arresting illegal immigrants, how do you accomplish that without alarming the public? You limit the number of detention beds.
If your goal is to get rid of ICE, you declare local communities "sanctuary cities" and refuse to cooperate with ICE, which is what Los Angeles officially did last week.
You can also act like ICE agents are the bad guys whenever they make arrests. That's what happened last week in North Carolina, where Democrat sheriffs are refusing to cooperate with ICE and ignoring detainer requests.
As a result, ICE agents are forced to conduct public raids rather than picking up known criminals in local jails. When ICE arrested more than 200 criminals in North Carolina, several county sheriffs berated ICE. "The recent actions of ICE agents are making persons in our community afraid of law enforcement," said Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead.
But ICE Field Director Sean Gallagher rejected Birkhead's criticism, saying, "The public would be shocked at the types of individuals these sheriffs are releasing back into the country. This is politics over public safety at its worst."
And if you want to erase the border, you thwart every possible step the president is taking to secure the border so that the free flow of illegal immigrants continues. That's why the left-wing governors of California and New Mexico have withdrawn their National Guard troops from the border.
How Many Are Coming?
While members of Congress bicker and the left tries to sabotage the president's border security efforts, Gallup is asking important questions, such as: How many caravans are coming? And what if there were 42 million people at the border?
I have posed similar rhetorical questions in the past, but this may not be a rhetorical exercise anymore. Europe has struggled to assimilate nearly two million migrants in recent years. As I just noted, illegal immigration into this country is surging right now, and it could get a lot worse.
Gallup recently surveyed Latin American nations and found that more than a quarter of their citizens want to relocate. Thirty-five percent, or 42 million people, said the U.S. was their preferred destination.
Moreover, Gallup notes that "A full 5 million who are planning to move in the next 12 months say they are moving to the U.S."
Anti-Semitism In Congress
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has been defending herself against charges of anti-Semitism lately. Yesterday, she ignited yet another firestorm.
Responding to a left-wing journalist's criticism of Israel's strong bipartisan support in Congress, Omar tweeted, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby." Her disgusting tweet insinuated that pro-Israel politicians are being bought off by "rich Jews" and are putting Israel's interests ahead of America's interests.
Not content with that outrageous remark, Omar fueled the controversy by singling out the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), even though the group does not make political donations to members of Congress. In fact, it does not even endorse candidates.
But wait. . . There's more.
Omar also retweeted a post that referred to Jews as "hook-nosed" -- an old anti-Semitic stereotype. She later deleted it once she understood that the writer, liberal historian Joshua Zeitz, was being critical of her.
I am pleased to report that numerous Democrats have condemned Omar's anti-Semitic tweets. Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) called her comments "hateful and offensive." Even Chelsea Clinton chimed in, urging public officials "to not traffic in anti-Semitism."
Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League tweeted, "As Americans and Jews, we expect our politicians to condemn bigotry, not fuel it."
Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Elaine Luria (D-VA) sent a letter today to the House Democratic leadership calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rein in the "anti-Semitism and hateful tropes and stereotypes" that have become so prevalent within the progressive movement.
This afternoon, Pelosi issued a statement condemning Omar's remarks as "deeply offensive" and demanding that she "immediately apologize."
Now would be a good time for Speaker Pelosi to call Rep. Lee Zeldin's (R-NY) resolution condemning anti-Israel attitudes and anti-Semitism to the floor for vote. His resolution currently has 42 co-sponsors, all Republicans.
The Lying Left
Last week we told you about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal. The plan quickly disappeared from her website after some of her extreme ideas began drawing attention. Her staff went into damage control mode, and it wasn't long before the lying began.
Robert Hockett, an environmental policy advisor to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, went on Tucker Carlson's show Thursday night and suggested that the document referring to "farting cows" and paying people "unwilling to work" was a hoax that had duped many conservatives.
Pushed by left-wing outlets, the Hockett/Carlson exchange went viral, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez even retweeted it herself, as if she actually believed that the document was fake.
But there was only one problem: It wasn't a fake. Metadata proved the document was real, and authored by Saikat Chakrabarti, the congresswoman's chief of staff.
Over the weekend, Chakrabarti acknowledged that an "early" and "unfinished" draft of frequently asked questions about the Green New Deal had been posted. "Mistakes happen," Chakrabarti tweeted, adding, "It's hard to have both a transparent and open process . . . while keeping all info locked down."
In this case, I think we should be grateful that some information managed to escape the left's lockdown.