Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Stop Grants to Sanctuary States That Give Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

 

House and Senate Republicans have introduced legislation that would block certain federal funds from sanctuary states that allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses.

The Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act would stop Justice Department (DOJ) grants that are a top source of federal criminal justice funding for states.

The legislation would target states that “defy federal immigration enforcement or that allow illegal aliens to get driver licenses without proof of lawful presence” and those that “prohibit or restrict a local or State government entity or official from collecting or sending to or receiving from the Department of Homeland Security immigration enforcement information.”

In the Senate, the legislation is being introduced by Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn and co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Mike Rounds, R-S.D. Companion legislation is being introduced in the House by Colorado Rep. Ken Buck. His bill is co-sponsored by 21 other lawmakers.

“Tennesseans know all too well what can happen when illegal immigrants are granted driver licenses,” Blackburn said in a statement. “While Tennessee and many other states prohibit driver licenses for illegal aliens, a growing number of states are moving in the opposite direction and unleashing dangerous open borders policies. Immigrants must follow the proper federal process and obtain citizenship or lawful status before obtaining a state driver license.”

“In America, no one is above the law,” she added.

Blackburn’s office estimated that states that issued licenses to illegal aliens received nearly $53 million that would be impacted by this new legislation during the 2019 fiscal year.

The NCSL reports that fifteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. These states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington—issue a license if an applicant provides certain documentation, such as a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport, or consular card and evidence of current residency in the state.

“In 2019, New Jersey, New York and Oregon became the most recent states to enact legislation extending drivers licenses and identification cards to those without proof of lawful presence,” their report noted.

Customs and Border Patrol Set to Deploy Elite Units to Sanctuary Cities to Assist ICE

CBP is serious about enforcing immigration law, even in cities that intend to flout it.

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Customs and Border Patrol is preparing to redeploy some of the agency’s highly trained tactical personnel throughout the nation’s “sanctuary cities” in order to support Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The New York Times reported on the development Friday, that signals the Department of Homeland Security(which presides over both entities) is dead serious about national immigration enforcement, even in scofflaw municipalities that have sought to neuter it.

According to the report, more than 100 of CBP’s agents are being deployed throughout the nation to assist in ICE operations. It’s possible the agents could be tasked with apprehending illegal alien fugitives who are released onto the streets from local jail custody. They’ve been described as members of a unit known as BORTAC, an unit of personnel analogous to CBP’s SWAT team.

It’s common for sanctuary city jurisdictions to release individuals who are often violent criminals from custody, ignoring ICE detainer requests that the fugitives be instead handed over to face federal charges for immigration violations.

Sanctuary cities often create unnecessary risks to public safety by forcing ICE to arrest dangerous criminals off of the streets, when they could’ve been simply handed over from municipal jail systems to the federal agency. Eric Garcetti, the mayor of one of America’s biggest cities, openly admits that Los Angeles simply does not participate in immigration enforcement.

If scofflaw cities such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles are truly determined to undermine immigration law enforcement, then so be it. Attorney General Bill Barr has followed the lead of his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, in instituting new measures to punish the open borders cities, restricting them from federal law enforcement programs.

Conservatives shouldn’t be afraid of advocating for a strong federal government that will step in to perform the law enforcement duties sanctuary cities are cowering away from.

Attorney General Bill Barr Announces Big Plan to Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities

By Jose Nino – 2/12/2020

U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently announced that the Department of Justice would be ramping up efforts to combat “sanctuary cities” and their activities promoting lawlessness.

The Blaze reported that Barr announced this plan at the National Sheriff’s Association 2020 Winter Legislative and Technology Conference on Monday, February 10, 2020.

“The department is filing a complaint against the State of New Jersey seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against its laws that forbid state and local law enforcement from sharing vital information about criminal aliens with DHS,” Barr declared, according to a Fox News report.

santuary

Barr said that legal action against New Jersey is in the works and represents one of numerous lawsuits against municipalities that use “sanctuary city” policies to subvert federal immigration law.

“We are filing a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against King County, Washington, for the policy,” Barr explained, “that forbids DHS from deporting aliens from the United States using King County International Airport.”

Barr stated that the Justice Department would also be reviewing the actions of “certain district attorneys” who levy lighter charges against foreign nationals in order to pre-empt possibly tougher charges coming from the federal level.

“The express purpose of these policies is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for crimes,” Barr commented. “This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

‘Puzzling’ virus of UNKNOWN origin with genes scientists can’t identify discovered in Brazil

CAP

Scientists in Brazil have discovered a virus which appears to be almost entirely new, consisting of unrecognizable genes that have been, until now, undocumented.

The Yaravirus (Yaravirus brasiliensis), named after a water deity in Brazilian mythology and folklore, was discovered in Lake Pampulha in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.

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In recent years, virologists and other researchers have discovered a variety of new viruses which challenge traditional thinking, including so-called “giant viruses” (named for their large protein shells, not their deadliness to humans).

These giant viruses possess a far more complex genome than scientists could have predicted, based on humanity’s knowledge of normal viruses, and are capable of repairing and replicating their own DNA.

“Contrary to what is observed in other isolated viruses of amoeba, Yaravirus is not represented by a large/giant particle and a complex genome, but at the same time carries an important number of previously undescribed genes,” the authors write, adding that it may be the first in “a new lineage of amoebal virus with a puzzling origin and phylogeny.”

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In fact, 90 percent of the genes in the Yaravirus have never been described before in public scientific databases and literature.

Rather worryingly, the researchers conclude that the amount of unknown proteins within the Yaravirus throws open the door to a whole other world of as-yet-undiscovered viruses we know little to nothing about.

EXPERTS WARN CORONAVIRUS SPREADING UNDETECTED IN INDONESIA, THAILAND

Experts Warn Coronavirus Spreading Undetected in Indonesia, Thailand

Reports of confirmed cases oddly low in some Asian countries

Steve Baragona | Voice of America – FEBRUARY 7, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases reported in Indonesia and Thailand is well below what scientists would expect, given how closely connected the countries are to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

That raises concerns that the virus may be spreading undetected in those countries, potentially adding fuel to the epidemic that has so far killed over 600 people and sickened over 31,000.

“Indonesia has reported zero cases, and you would expect to have seen several already,” said epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, co-author of a new study posted on medRxiv.

Thailand has reported 25 cases, “but you would expect more,” he added.

Cambodia has reported just one case, which Lipsitch said is “not very likely,” but “not completely beyond what you would expect.”

The research is based on estimates of the average number of airline passengers flying from Wuhan to other cities around the world. More passengers would presumably mean more cases.

Going undetected?

Health systems in Indonesia and Thailand may not be catching cases, Lipsitch said, which could create problems for the rest of the world.

“Undetected cases in any country will potentially seed epidemics in those countries,” he added, which can spread beyond their borders.

Lipsitch’s group’s research is one of three recent studies to say that the virus was likely to reach Indonesia.

None of these studies has gone through the normal scientific process of review by outside experts, however. During this fast-moving outbreak, researchers have been posting findings online and on preprint servers to share what they hope will be helpful information. Experts caution that these publications should be taken with an extra grain of salt.

But researchers contacted by VOA said the findings were plausible and help address some lingering questions.

In China, the number of people infected has been climbing daily. But outside China, the outbreak has barely budged. That has puzzled health experts.

Where are they?

“This [study] does get at, I think, a significant question that a number of us have, which is: Where are these cases?” said virologist Christopher Mores at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, who was not involved with the research.

“It’s either that transmission is demonstrably different outside of the main outbreak zone for some reason that has not yet been described,” Mores said, “or we’re just not capturing it and counting it, and there’s a failure to detect.”

This study suggests the latter, he added.

Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia are screening travelers from China at the border.

“Indonesia is doing what is possible to be prepared for and defend against the novel coronavirus,” the World Health Organization’s Indonesia representative, Dr. Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

However, he added, “there is still more work to do in the areas of surveillance and active case detection.”

‘Beef things up’

These countries are not the only places with shortcomings in their public health systems, said epidemiologist Art Reingold at the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Public Health.

“I wouldn’t want people to think everyone else is doing a great job. We need to beef things up in a lot of places,” he added, and not just in the developing world.

“We think we’re doing a good job,” he said. “People think they’re doing a good job in France or whatever, but I don’t think we can afford to make that assumption.”

While some countries start to cut connections with China in hopes of keeping out the disease, Mores said, those measures may not help if the virus is spreading under the radar in countries that don’t.

“There’s certainly plenty of places, especially in the developing world, that are not going to be able to shut down their economies because of this coronavirus outbreak,” he said. “And the danger there is that those countries are even more susceptible” because of weaker public health systems.

And that puts the world at risk, Mores added.

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