Monday, August 28, 2017

Updates: Hurricane Harvey; South Asia Strategy; Illegal Immigration; Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio

 News From The National Diversity Coalition For Trump:
Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Americans in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  In times like these, Americans unite.  Not because of skin color, religion or political affiliation but because we are AMERICANS and we are people of compassion and action. 

While the left and media are busy playing games with identity politics, the Trump train is moving forward as shown in the below list of actions during Hurricane Harvey and the prior week. 
National Diversity Coalition for Trump Leadership Team:

Darrell Scott - CEO
Michael Cohen - Chair
Christos Marafatsos - Vice Chair
Bruce LeVell, Executive Director



Homeland Security Advisor, Tom Bossert, on CBS’s "Face the Nation" outlines how the President has been monitoring the storm’s progress:

TOM BOSSERT: Well among other things he's been talking to me and Brock Long and his acting Homeland Security Secretary, Elaine Duke.
Yesterday we had two hour long almost conversation with his entire Cabinet all the senior leadership team.
The President was actively involved in that making sure operations were coordinated unsticking any disagreements of which there were none at this stage.
The Vice President was very actively involved in that, in fact the Vice President and President both called me in the last 12 hours probably a dozen time, each. What you're doing making sure that we're coordinating.
And so what I liken it is to race, we're off and out of the blocks the right way.
That’s because of strong preparedness and strong leadership.
But now we have to run that race and finish well.
Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert on ABC’s "This Week" on the President’s priorities moving forward after Hurricane Harvey

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you for joining us this morning. You just heard that praise from Governor Abbott for the federal response. What is your focus as we head in to the next phase?
TOM BOSSERT: Good morning, George thanks for having me on the program.
So the President’s focus and mine remains on supporting the Governor. And it's very nice to hear the governor give us the praise. I think it's a mutual feeling.
President Trump right now is giving all the latitude of the federal government that he can possible give it.
Brock Long, our FEMA administrator is taking the reins and coordinating efforts. And people focus on coordinating federal efforts.
But what Brock is doing is really pretty special because what doing is he's coordinating federal efforts across different departments and agencies but he’s also he's coordinating volunteers and workers and professionals from other states as well.
We have talked a lot this morning about the search and rescue efforts under way. Life-saving and life-sustaining is our priority right now.
But you will see some of those search and rescue teams are coming from different states all over the country and that is what makes us special at this point of kind of a unifying feeling there's a lot of effort under way.
And what Brock has to do and what the president has to remain focused on and what I try to help him focus on is unity of the efforts.
FEMA Administrator, Brock Long, on NBC’s "Meet the Press" gives an update on FEMA’s actions following the storm:

CHUCK TODD: Let me start with this cleanup effort and the fact that Lester was just saying and understandably that some of it is delayed or stalled because more is to come. What kind of extra efforts are you having to -- resources are you having to marshal to deal with issues of flooding? Are you having more air support, Coast Guard coming in? What are the resources you're having to start now?
ADMINISTRATOR LONG: So, first of all, I'd like to say that President Trump is extremely concerned about this. He's given me all the authorities to amass the resources from the federal government down through our state and local partners.
And right now we have nearly 5,000 staff that we have coordinated across the federal government within the states of Texas and Louisiana helping Governor Abbott as well as the locals respond.
Right now we're not doing recovery. There's no such thing as recovery right now.
Right now we are deep into the life safety mission of helping people be rescued through swift water rescues, search and rescue. And it's my job to coordinate that.
So specifically what I mean is that under the national response framework we mission assign the Coast Guard. We mission assign DOD assets in support of our state and local efforts. And you're seeing that take place right now.
Administrator Long on CNN’s "State of the Union" on FEMA’s continued work in the affected areas:
JAKE TAPPER: The National Weather Service says parts of Texas might be uninhabitable for weeks, even potentially months after the hurricane. Are you prepared? Is FEMA prepared to be there for months on end?
ADMINISTRATOR LONG: FEMA is going to be there for years, sir. This disaster recover -- this disaster is going to be a landmark event and we're already in the stages, while we're focused on response and helping Texas respond.
We're already pushing forward, recovery housing teams, we're already pushing forward forces to be on the ground to implement National Flood Insurance Program policies as well. And doing the inspections that we need.
So we're setting up and gearing up for the next couple years.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Fox’s "Fox News Sunday" on the President’s game-changing strategy for victory in Afghanistan:
SECRETARY TILLERSON: I think the President has been clear, Chris, that this is a dramatic shift in terms of the military strategy.
We are shifting from a time-based military strategy that had very clear troop ceiling levels as compared to now, he indicated a conditions-based strategy, which means it will be dictated by conditions on the ground informed by battlefield commanders.
He has also delegated significant authority to Secretary Mattis to set troop levels but has also been able to delegate for the military commanders in the field to begin to turn the tide against the Taliban.
I think we all recognize for the past couple of years that Taliban has been advancing and Afghan forces have been unable to push them back.
There will be a definite change in military tactics on the ground.
Now all of this is directed to sending a message to the Taliban that we are not going anywhere.
We're going to be here, we will continue to fight for the Afghan government, support the Afghan Security Forces and what needs to happen is the Taliban need to engage with Afghan government in a process of reconciliation and developing a way to govern the country in the future.


President Trump’s top priority remains to protect the American people and keep our country safe. The President has approved a new strategy for South Asia to ensure that terrorists will never again use Afghanistan as a haven to attack the United States.
Key Elements of Strategy:  New strategy departs from previous approaches to South Asia in several key respects.
    Any future decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan will depend on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables.
    Strategy will integrate all American power—diplomatic, economic, and military—in a way that is sustainable and cost-effective.
    Will support the Afghan government and security forces in their fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups to prevent the establishment of terrorist safe havens in the country. This will include providing advisors to Afghan brigades and additional combat air support.
    Will put military pressure on the Taliban and set conditions for our ultimate goal - a peaceful settlement between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban that protects our interests.
    The United States does not seek a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. We are prepared, however, to remain militarily engaged in Afghanistan to produce a political settlement that protects the interests of the United States.
    The heaviest burden will continue to be borne by the Afghan people and their forces.
Pakistan:    Change in our approach to Pakistan: will reflect the commonsense understanding that no partnership can survive a country’s tolerance for militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials.
    This strategy marks a break with the status quo in U.S.-Pakistan relations and a fundamental change in how we approach the challenge of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan.
    While Pakistan is an important partner for achieving our priorities in the region, it must take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region.
    No partnership can survive a country’s tolerance of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials.
    Strategy will require Pakistan to demonstrate that it is willing to assist the U.S. in its core counterterrorism goals in the region.
    Regional approach: new strategy will emphasize developing our strategic partnership with India.
    The United States views India as a valued partner, with mutual interests.
    India is making important contributions toward Afghanistan’s democracy, stability, prosperity, and security.
    Strategy incorporates the serious threat of nuclear weapons that could be obtained by terrorists

    To that end, reducing nuclear dangers in South Asia is a critical element of protecting the safety and security of Americans.

Since his inauguration, President Trump has made undeniable progress reducing illegal immigration along the southern border and targeting the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in the country.
  Illegal border crossings over the southwest border have decreased by 47 % compared to the same period last year.
  Illegal aliens removed due to ICE arrests have increased by over 32% to 48,580 illegal aliens, compared to the same time last year.
  71% of the more than 91,000 administrative arrests conducted by ICE since President Trump’s inauguration have involved convicted criminal aliens.
  Of the illegal aliens arrested without criminal convictions, 74 percent were charged with a crime, were immigration fugitives, or were repeat violators.
  So far in fiscal year 2017, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of 2016.
   During Project New Dawn, a nationwide, six-week operation, ICE officers and agents arrested 1,378 suspected gang members. 104 of those arrested were members or associates of MS-13.
  Operation Matador in the New York City metropolitan area has led to nearly 140 arrests, the vast majority of these are affiliated with MS-13.

President Trump is following through on his promise to the American people to build a wall to secure the southern border and the Yuma Sector is a clear example of how effective the wall can be.
Illegal border crossings in the Yuma Sector have declined by 70 percent from 2006, when the Yuma Sector built more than 50 miles of border wall.
To jumpstart construction on the border wall, President Trump ordered DHS to use $20 million of unspent appropriations in its account for border security, fencing, and infrastructure.
DHS has authorized a waiver to expedite a 15-mile stretch of wall near San Diego.
President Trump has worked with Congress to pass border wall funding and the House of Representatives passed $1.6 billion to fund 28 miles of new border wall and 46 miles of new and secondary fencing.

President Trump is working with Congress to pass tough new laws to secure the border, strengthen immigration enforcement, and increase penalties for breaking our immigration laws.
President Trump supports the passage of Kate’s Law to increase mandatory penalties for illegal aliens who re-enter the United States to a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 25 years.
President Trump supports the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would block localities that do not cooperate with immigration enforcement from receiving many Federal grants.
President Trump supports the Davis-Oliver Act, which would restrict Federal money to sanctuary communities, increase funding to local communities enforcing immigration laws, and raise penalties for immigration crimes.

Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio
By Alice Greene

Arpaio is “humbled and incredibly grateful”

President Trump has pardoned conservative hero and former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The self-styled “toughest sheriff in America” who was convicted after he ignored a court order to stop profiling Latinos in his crackdown on illegal immigration.   Trump is receiving serious backlash for his decision to grant this pardon.
As of Wednesday, 85-year-old Arpaio faced up to six months in jail. He was to be sentenced on October 5th. By Friday evening he had been pardoned.
Arizona's large Hispanic community has responded with outrage, claiming Arpaio is yet another example of the white supremacy that plagues our country.
Thousands gathered in Phoenix Tuesday to protest as Trump delivered a speech at the city's convention center. Protestors waved signs that read “Arpaio & Trump: A match made by racism” and “No pardon for criminal sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
Arpaio did not attend the event, choosing to watch the speech from his home in Fountain Hills. The former sheriff claims the media has failed to tell his full story and insists that he has been unfairly targeted due to politics.
Arpaio says he is “humbled and incredibly grateful” for the pardon. He slammed his conviction as “a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department” and said he is “not concerned” about the people who are going to continue criticizing him “no matter what.”
Here’s the way I see it:
Arpaio has been a Trump supporter from the very beginning. He even introduced then-candidate Trump during his campaign events in Arizona.
Arpaio did break the law, but he did so adhering to principles that Trump shares. At the root of it, Arpaio’s pardon is more evidence of how Trump plans to uphold his campaign promises and embolden his voter base.
NBC journalist Stephen A. Nuno labels the Trump Administration's approach to illegal immigration as "fanaticism" and points out how sometimes this can be a legitimate strategy. "Approaching disagreements over civil rights, reproductive rights, police reform, etc. from a fanatical position is a legitimate strategy, perhaps even the best one...Trump knows this." 
President Trump has drawn a red line against illegal immigration from the very beginning, and his pardon of Arpaio is consistent with his approach to politics.