Archive for BigGovernment

Amid Heated Debate, Louisiana Lawmakers File Lawsuit to Suspend Common Core Standards

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Lawmakers in Louisiana filed a lawsuit Monday in Baton Rouge district court that seeks an immediate suspension of the Common Core standards in the state’s schools.

According to the Associated Press, the 17 legislators – 13 Republicans and 2 Democrats – argue in the suit that state education leaders failed to properly enact the controversial standards that have been the focus of a heated debate between Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and John White, state superintendent.

The lawsuit claims Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the state education department failed to follow the state’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA) for implementing the Common Core standards.

The APA requires public notice, a 90-day comment period, and legislative oversight be provided prior to changes made to education standards in the state, but the lawmakers say these requirements were not met in the case of the Common Core standards.

“Unless an injunction issues herein by the Court, needless time and resources will be expended in the teaching, testing, learning, and financing of Common Core, all to the detriment of the citizens of Louisiana,” the lawsuit states.

BESE President Chas Roemer and Education Superintendent John White have planned a conference call to address the lawsuit’s claims.

“There are many statutes in Louisiana that require the use of the Administrative Procedures Act to implement a new rule,” Louisiana state Rep. Brett Geymann (R), one of the lawmakers who filed the lawsuit, told Breitbart News. “The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Education are not exempt from the APA and did not follow the law in implementing Common Core; therefore, they denied the public the opportunity to be a part of the process.”

“We are hopeful the court will rule Common Core invalid and we can move forward with developing our own standards with local control,” Geymann added.  

Jindal, like other governors and lawmakers, once approved of the standards, but as more light has been shed on the federal government’s involvement in pushing the Common Core standards onto the states, many are now distancing themselves in one form or another from the unpopular nationalized initiative.

On Monday, The Advocate observed that the Louisiana Common Core debate had “mushroomed into the biggest education fight” in the state, according to veteran education officials.

In June, Jindal issued executive orders to remove his state from the controversial Common Core standards and the assessments tied to them. He based this move on the argument that the decision by the Louisiana Department of Education to sign onto the PARCC Common Core test consortium was unlawful because it bypassed the state’s procurement law which requires an open bidding process.

In response, BESE voted to hire legal counsel to challenge the Governor’s executive orders, claiming his actions were illegal and defiantly asserting that Louisiana “will implement the Common Core State Standards, as well as … PARCC for the 2014-2015 school year.”

Meetings between Jindal and White have failed to produce any terms of agreement in what appears to be a battle of unprecedented intensity.

The rancorous dispute once again underscores the national debate sparked by the controversial Common Core standards regarding the power of the federal government and its often allied state boards of education over the elected representatives of the people, local school districts, and parents.

Sara Wood, an attorney and parent who has been involved in organizing a grassroots group against the Common Core, said she believes White needs to be removed immediately as state superintendent.

“The longer BESE continues on this Common Core/PARCC path as a Board, it will continue to erode any trust in the ability of this Board to direct education in Louisiana and will bring more havoc to [the] lives of children, parents and teachers,” Wood said in an email statement. “After the July 1st meeting, it is undeniable that as a Board, BESE has no interest in protecting children, but it is only driven to protect its interests and agenda.”  

With every action of the BESE majority, it is creating a clear perception of its indignant presumption that it is above the law and the principal actors have no shame in acting in that manner,” Wood continued. “In continuing to ignore parents and teachers and to defy the laws and leader of our state – Governor Jindal, and by refusing to do a proper RFP for the assessments, these principal actors are only digging a deeper hole for themselves and destroying the public perception and credibility of BESE.”  



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Layoffs Prove the Deceit of Amnesty

The shocking announcement that Microsoft is cutting 18,000 jobs is still sinking in. Most of those employees do not have a realistic chance of obtaining as good a job as the one they are losing.

In the United States, the number of engineering jobs has been sharply declining. In 2002 the number of electrical engineering jobs in the United States was 385,000, but despite increased demand for technology, the job total dropped to only 300,000 last year.

And that number is not even for American workers, because thousands of these jobs are soaked up by the H-1B visa racket, whereby companies like Microsoft can import and pay foreign workers less than it costs to hire an American. High-tech companies have thousands of foreign employees working on H-1B visas, who are almost like indentured servants to the company because they lose their right to be in our country if they leave their job.

Microsoft’s massive layoff makes downright ridiculous the op-ed recently published by Bill Gates and his billionaire pals, Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson. They and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who financed the lobby group FWD.us, demand immediate amnesty disguised as immigration reform in order to bring in more cheap labor.

The real shortage is in good jobs, but these visas flood the labor market and hold wages down, when wages should be climbing for American workers. Fewer Americans have a job today than just six years ago, even though the potential workforce has expanded during that time. One reason is the overuse of foreign labor by large companies.

Microsoft is highly profitable, breaking its own records for revenue and profits as recently as last year, with an effective tax rate of less than 20 percent. One of its directors has agreed to pay $2 billion for a basketball team, and Bill Gates is often listed as the wealthiest man in the world.

In 2007, at a U.S. Senate committee hearing, Gates asked for permission to import “an infinite number” of foreign workers. “I don’t think there should be any limit,” he continued, but at any rate the cap should be “dramatically increased.”

In 2008, before the Science and Technology Committee of the U.S. House, Gates claimed he had jobs “going begging” that no American could be found to do, so he had no choice but to import workers from India. When Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) suggested he might consider raising the pay for those jobs, Gates impatiently dismissed that option, saying, “No, it’s not an issue of raising wages. These jobs are very, very high paying jobs.”

Economics 101 teaches that wages are a function of supply and demand. When the supply of labor is increased, such as by expanding immigration, then wages can and do decrease, despite increased productivity.

Recently a reporter caught up with the laid-off semiconductor engineer whose wife publicly challenged President Obama in January 2012, “Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?” Darin Wedel eventually found a job in the health care industry, earning $40,000-a-year less than before.

President Obama is still deceiving the American public about the economy, bragging that 288,000 jobs were created last month. As Mort Zuckerman explained in the Wall Street Journal, “Most people will have the impression that the 288,000 jobs created last month were full-time. Not so.” They were part-time jobs, which pay lower wages than the full-time jobs that have disappeared.

There are several reasons for this, such as employers’ desire to avoid the Obamacare mandate to provide health insurance to anyone working 30 or more hours a week. Another is women’s willingness to accept lower pay in exchange for a flexible schedule with fewer hours per day, per week, and per year.

But now many breadwinners, including men, have been forced to take these jobs. Of men aged 25 to 54, one in six does not work; fifty years ago, only one in 20 was not working.

When we first brought the transformation of the American economy into a part-time worker society in 2010, many scoffed and suggested that when the ‘recovery’ really gets going the temp jobs will all be morphed into high-paying full-time jobs. Instead, Zuckerman writes, “more than 24 million Americans remain jobless, working part-time involuntarily or having left the workforce.”

Zuckerman hits us with the depressing conclusion: “Faith in the American dream is eroding fast. The feeling is that the rules aren’t fair and the system has been rigged in favor of business and against the average person.”

One Senator who always speaks up for Americans, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, said, “I don’t think you can make the argument that we have a labor shortage.” The answer should be: close the border; absolutely no amnesty masquerading as “immigration reform.”

Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of the New York Times Best-Seller titled “No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.” She can be contacted by e-mail at phyllis@eagleforum.org. To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at www.creators.com



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Choosing Life over Convenience

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As the debate examining prohibiting late term abortions has unfolded, I can’t help but think of my youngest grandson who was born a few years ago, weighing only 2 lbs 5 oz at 28 weeks. After his birth, I spent a lot of time with him in the neonatal intensive care unit, watching him grow stronger every day until he was able to finally go home with his family.

Witnessing the miracle of his birth and the struggle he had in those early weeks, it breaks my heart that anyone would have a problem with limiting late term abortions and abortions after 20 weeks.

Every child should have the opportunity at life, like my grandson did.

When did we become a country that celebrated abortion on demand and convenience over life?

Conservatives have been fighting for life since Roe v. Wade was handed down, and although we have been able to chip away at that life destroying decision, the battle will continue until every unborn life is protected.

My opponent in the Louisiana Senate election, Mary Landrieu, calls herself pro-life “with exceptions.” She is going to have to explain this concept to me because there is no exception when it comes to life. You either believe in saving it or not.

It’s troubling to me that a candidate would run for re-election as a pro-life advocate with a record that doesn’t match this claim. The Louisiana Right to Life Federation gives Landrieu only a 27 percent score while she has a 100% pro-abortion record according to National Right to Life. She has also voted for a resolution that supports Roe v. Wade, the decision that made abortion in the United States legal.

So where does she really stand? Her record does not line up with her rhetoric.

Recently, Rasmussen found that more and more voters are identifying themselves as pro-life instead of pro-choice. This shows, that yet again, Landrieu’s priorities are not in line with the voters. Or even worse, she’s deliberately choosing to use a pro-life vocabulary to pander to pro-life voters, hoping no one will notice that her record doesn’t add up with her promises.

As a Senator, I will support our values, our families, and more importantly life. Without life we have no liberty. Life is our most basic right, the right from which all our other rights derive. Everyone has not only the right to life, but a responsibility to protect it, especially for those that can’t protect themselves.

Rob Maness is a retired Air Force colonel, running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana. He was a commander in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and his combat decorations include the Bronze Star and Air Medal. 



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Ben Carson: Chief Justice Roberts Probably Having 'Second Thoughts' about Upholding Obamacare

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After a federal court ruled on Tuesday that the Obama administration exceeded its statutory authority when it decided to grant Obamacare subsidies through state and federal exchanges, Dr. Ben Carson said Chief Justice John Roberts is probably having “second thoughts” about his decisive vote to uphold the law.

Carson told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer that the Obama administration, along with the IRS, had been essentially saying that they “could be doing pretty much whatever they want,” even though the law “specifically states that subsidies were going to come through the state exchanges.”

“You can’t just come along and change the law at will,” Carson said. “This is going to the Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court recently ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that certain businesses do not have to abide by the Obamacare mandate and pay for abortion-inducing pills for their employees. And Carson said, in reference to Roberts, “I suspect some of them probably had some second thoughts on their initial pass on this.”

The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the Obamacare law “unambiguously” establishes that subsides can only be given to those who purchase insurance on state exchanges. Thirty-six states decided not to set up state-based exchanges, and the Supreme Court will likely have the final say on the matter since the Fourth Circuit is expected to rule in favor of the Obama administration in a similar case.

Carson said that there would be “even more revelations” about Obamacare in the future, and he warned that Americans will be “extraordinarily alarmed” when the “employer mandate hits after the election.” Carson stated that he was in favor of everyone having quality health care but it did not have to come through the government and its many “shenanigans.” 



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A Big F'ing Deal: D.C. Circuit Strikes Down Federal Obamacare Subsidies

A 2-1 panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has reversed a lower court’s ruling and invalidated the Internal Revenue Service regulation that provides for insurance subsidies to millions of lower-income Americans using the federal Obamacare exchanges. The decision, handed down on Tuesday, will cancel the subsidies in 36 states, making Obamacare unaffordable to many and potentially crashing the system.

The case was thought to be the most significant challenge to Obama’s signature domestic achievement, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, since the law survived a Supreme Court challenge in 2012. The lawsuit was brought by individuals and employers in states that did not create their own insurance exchanges and who were therefore forced to use the troubled federal Obamacare exchanges–or face an IRS tax.

The basis of the challenge was the precise wording of the law, which restricts the federal subsidies to exchanges “established by the State.” The IRS interpreted that wording liberally to cover even those states that did not establish Obamacare exchanges (though, ironically, the administration recently exempted U.S. territories by interpreting the term “state” narrowly). The D.C. Circuit sided with the plaintiffs’ plain reading of the law.

“We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an ‘Exchange established by the State,’ and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges,” the majority held. Arguments about the broader intent of the law, or about the possible negative results of a literal interpretation of the law, could not outweigh the text of the law itself.

“The D.C. Circuit ruled today that the government isn’t Humpty Dumpty and so statutory text doesn’t mean whatever the government says it means,” said Ilya Shapiro, who filed an amici curie brief with the California-based Pacific Legal Institute. “Today’s ruling shows that Obamacare, a cynical political bargain that lacked popular support from day one, simply doesn’t work as conceived,” he told Breitbart News after the decision.

In addition, the majority found that a literal interpretation of the text did not lead to “absurd” consequences for the law–and that, in fact, it helped the law in some cases, such as in states where subsidies could jeopardize the eligibility of recipients for state Medicaid assistance. Though the majority said it reached its conclusions “with reluctance,” the supremacy of Congress required them to rule in accordance with the letter of the law.

The dissenting judge–the lone Democrat appointee–complained that the lawsuit was a “not-so-veiled attempt to gut the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” He argued that the majority’s ruling meant that the disputed section of the law “would function as a poison pill to the insurance markets in the States that did not elect to create their own Exchanges.” Congress, he wrote, would not want state insurance markets to collapse.

The decision was made by a Court that has been at the center of political controversy lately. Though the D.C. Circuit has been balanced between Republican and Democrat appointees in recent years, President Barack Obama was able to appoint several new judges to fill vacancies after Democrats in the Senate unilaterally changed the filibuster rule. Republicans wanted to reduce the number of judges rather than allow an imbalance.

The government is expected to appeal the case to the full D.C. Circuit, which now has a 7-4 Democrat majority. Regardless of the outcome there, the case is likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has shown a tendency in the past to interpret the Obamacare statute rather creatively, ruling in the 2012 case, NFIB v. Sebelius, that Obamacare was a “tax,” not a “penalty,” though there was no textual basis for that controversial conclusion.

Congress could, in the meantime, solve the problem on its own–either by passing new legislation that would put the government’s argument into effect (as the two-judge majority suggested), or by repealing Obamacare.

“It’s time to repeal this Frankenstein’s monster and instead pass market-based health care reform that lowers costs, expands choice, and increases quality-all while respecting the rule of law,” Shapiro suggested.



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Ted Cruz Spokeswoman: Cornyn Bill 'Does Not Go Far Enough'

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A bill introduced by his home-state colleague and Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) “does not go far enough” in addressing the tens of thousands of illegal alien children streaming across the southern U.S. border, Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), told Breitbart News.

“The Cornyn Cuellar bill takes positive steps but does not go far enough,” Frazier said. “We must put a stop to the President’s amnesty if we want to stop this crisis, and that starts with stopping DACA.”

The criticism from Cruz comes after Cornyn aides have touted Cruz’s claimed support for the measure. Asked whether Cruz supports the Cornyn bill, Frazier said he did not.

The Cornyn bill amends a 2008 human-trafficking law that has been cited as a key obstacle to deporting the illegal alien children flooding the border, as well as language mirroring a House proposal from Rep. Michael McCaul requiring the administration to create a plan to secure the border.

Cruz has called for the legislation to address Obama’s executive actions on immigration and has offered his own bill aimed at curbing the flow of illegal immigration rather than dealing with illegal aliens once they’re here.

“What I want to do is solve the crisis,” Cruz said in an interview on Fox News Sunday this weekend, adding:

The cause of this crisis is the promise of amnesty. If you look at the history of this issue—in 2011, there were roughly 6,000 children apprehended coming in illegally. Then in 2012, President Obama unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally who entered as children. The direct foreseeable consequence of that was the number of unaccompanied children skyrocketed so that this year, the Obama administration is estimating that 90,000 kids will come, next year 145,000. That’s up from 6,000 just three years ago.

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pressed Cruz on why he’s not supporting the other bills—like Cornyn’s or a forthcoming House GOP bill—even if they don’t take enough action that he wants.

“The only way to solve this crisis is to stop President Obama’s amnesty,” Cruz said, to which Wallace replied, “What if that blocks action on this crisis?”

“I don’t want to block action,” Cruz said. “What I want to do is have action that fixes the problem. If we pass a bill—let’s take President Obama’s proposed bill, $3.7 billion—it does nothing to solve the problem.”

Wallace then showed a quote from, and played video of, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attacking Cruz. The quote that Wallace showed on screen was of Reid on the Senate floor arguing that Cruz was using illegal alien children as chips in a high-stakes political poker game.

“Had we done comprehensive immigration reform, we wouldn’t be having this issue,” Reid added at a press conference last week. “Everyone here, the border is secure.”

“President Obama and Harry Reid both engage in debates divorced from the facts and divorced from the reality,” Cruz responded. He continued:

Harry Reid lives in the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. I’m sure, from his perspective, the border seems secure. I would invite Harry Reid to come with me down to Texas and see the border. On the border, we are seeing the opposite of following the law. The border is not secured; 90,000 children are expected to come into this country illegally this year, and Harry Reid says the border is secure? I’ll tell you who’s holding these kids ransom: It’s Harry Reid and the President because their view is, “Don’t do anything to fix the problem.” The Gang of Eight bill is one of the causes of this problem. What the kids are saying is they’re coming because they believe they’ll get amnesty. Part of the Gang of Eight bill is promising them amnesty.



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Boehner: House Border Bill Subject To Discussion

House Speaker John Boehner is lowering expectations on whether any border bill will pass in the wake of heavy criticism from conservatives like Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and increasingly intransigent Democrats.

“Republicans have made clear that we support efforts to take care of these children, return them safely to families in their home countries, and secure the border,” Boehner said in a Tuesday press release. “As promised, our border working group, led by Rep. Kay Granger, has conducted an extensive review of the crisis, and will present recommendations to our conference this week. In addition, Chairman Rogers and the House Appropriations Committee have reviewed the administration’s supplemental request and will be presenting the results of that review. We look forward to reviewing the recommendations of our members, and charting a path forward.”

Boehner’s remarks that the group’s recommendations are subject to additional discussion and a chance for the GOP conference to chart a path forward suggest the speed at which the House border bill is moving through the chamber has slowed substantially.

Last Wednesday morning, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), the leader of a working group of lawmakers appointed by Boehner, said her group’s recommendations would be released later that day. Ultimately, the group sent the substance of its recommendations to Boehner Thursday night. On Friday, Rep. John Carter (R-TX), a member of the group, said the proposals were being put into legislative form.

Now, on Tuesday morning, Boehner is saying the recommendations will be released “this week” and are subject to input from the GOP conference.

Notably, Boehner remains focused on amending a 2008 anti-human trafficking law that Sessions and Cruz argue is a distraction from the real cause of the border crisis and surge in illegal immigration: President Barack Obama’s executive orders granting to amnesty to illegal aliens, especially the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Boehner criticizes the White House—and many Congressional Democrats who are resisting changing that law.

“In order to resolve this crisis in a timely manner, however, the White House must engage both parties on constructive solutions,” Boehner said in his Tuesday release.

“After first supporting common-sense changes to the 2008 law that is making it more difficult to resolve this crisis, the White House backpedaled and failed to include those changes in its formal request to Congress. Meanwhile, many Democrats in Congress have reversed themselves and now say no changes to the 2008 law are acceptable. As I said last week, I don’t believe the American people will support sending more money to the border unless both parties work together to address these policies and actually solve this problem. The lack of leadership from this White House, and President Obama’s refusal to stand up to critics in his own political party, are jeopardizing our ability to find common ground and help the kids who are caught in the middle of this crisis.”



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Federal Appeals Court Deals Major Blow to ObamaCare

President Obama’s un-Constitutional practice of lawlessly ignoring and rewriting laws to suit his left-wing political agenda has come back to bite his signature domestic achievement as president. Tuesday morning a federal appeals court dealt what USA Today describes as a “potentially major blow” to ObamaCare with a 2-1 ruling against the Obama administration’s end-run around Congress to disburse federal subsidies:

The appeals panel ruled that as written, the health care law allows tax credits to be offered to qualified participants only in state-run exchanges. The administration had expected most if not all states to create their own, but only 16 states did so.

The court said the Internal Revenue Service went too far in allowing participants in other states served by the federal exchange to qualify for billions of dollars in government assistance. The aid has helped boost enrollment figures to more than 8 million.

Once it became clear 36 states could not be bribed with federal dollars or bullied by the media into setting up their own ObamaCare exchanges, rather than go back to Congress to lobby for changing the law, President Obama blithely believed he could ignore and rewrite a law he signed after helping to usher it through a Congress dominated by Democrats.

If the ruling stands, those enticed into purchasing ObamaCare coverage with the help of untold billions in federal tax dollars will lose their subsidy in these 36 states. This is almost certain  to force many ObamaCare recipients to drop coverage. The big question is how many of these people lost their affordable coverage after ObamaCare made the insurance they were happy with illegal and cancelled those plans?

“We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance,” Judge Thomas Griffith said. “At least until states that wish to can set up exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly.” …

Michael Cannon, a Cato Institute health economist who helped devise the legal challenge, said the refusal by so many states to create health exchanges led to the court ruling. “This is popular resistance to the law,” he said.

For now, USA Today reports,  everything is on hold.

Although the ruling will have no impact while it is appealed — either to the full appeals court, which includes four Obama appointees, or to the Supreme Court — the result could be chaotic if ultimately allowed to apply nationwide.

While the political Left and mainstream media are almost certain to wring their hands over the roughly 5 million able-bodied Americans not receiving federal monies (the sick, elderly, disabled, and truly poor are covered by Medicare and Medicaid) paid for by other able-bodied Americans, the principle here is much larger and more important: The rule of law.

The Constitution is very clear that it is the job of the legislative branch (House and Senate) to write law. The Executive branch enforces the law.

Rather than enforce the law, Obama broke it by rewriting it. 

The potential danger of the court’s allowing such a precedent is staggering.   

Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC               



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Separate Entrances for Rich and Poor in Heavily Democratic NYC District

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Over the weekend, New York City, defying those who think such a move is insulting to the poor, approved a move by the developer Extell to build a separate entrance at an Upper West Side condominium for its affordable housing tenants.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat, had been furious about the possibility that such an arrangement would win approval. She told the West Side Rag:

This “separate but equal” arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side. A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off. The developer must follow the spirit as well [as] the letter of the law when building affordable housing, and this plan is clearly not what was intended by the community.

Ironically, the district in which this is located voted heavily for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, giving him 76% of the vote in 2008 and 74% in 2012.

The New York Post reported that the new entrance has been nicknamed the “poor door,” and it will be part of the 33-story luxury condo at 40 Riverside Drive, with 55 low-income units and 219 market-rate condominiums facing the Hudson River.

From the second to the sixth floors, prices will range from studios at $845 a month, one-bedrooms for $908, and two-bedrooms for $1,099. Those not qualifying for the affordable housing will have to pay over $1,000 per square foot.

The condo is part of the city’s “inclusionary zoning strategy,” which is meant to encourage developers to build affordable housing for low-income families in return for tax breaks.

Extell’s arrangement is not unique; some other large development projects in New York have separate entrances for renters and owners.



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OK Delegation to Obama: Do Not House Illegals at Fort Sill Long Term

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On Monday, six of the seven members of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation demanded that the federal government reconsider using Fort Sill military base to house illegal immigrant children who have been flooding across the border.

The Obama administration announced last week that the Department of Defense agreed to housing possibly 5,000 more illegal immigrant children at Fort Sill, in addition to the 3,600 children who were sent to the facility in May before state officials were even notified. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), along with Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin, Frank Lucas, and James Lankford, noted in a joint statement that the agreement “also commits DOD facilities to be used through January 31, 2015.”

Inhofe, the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said there is a “significant concern the contract” will “begin to impede on the base’s vital responsibility to house and train new recruits.”

“While our military bases have been used before to temporarily aid migrants and refugees, we now have an administration that is asking our military to do more with less resources than ever before,” Inhofe said. “President Obama needs to stop putting the onus on our military to manage his crisis, and he needs to prioritize solutions that will quickly reunite these children with their families in their home country.”

Inhofe, who previously said housing illegal immigrants at the base raises serious national security concerns, also warned that the Obama administration’s “lack of organization and the President’s failure to send a strong signal that he will secure the border will only increase demand of our military installations.”

After reiterating that the border crisis “threatens our national security and national sovereignty,” Bridenstine said the request to use the facilities until 2015 “is a very real threat to U.S. military readiness” because “Ft. Sill is the primary artillery training center for troops before deployment.”

“The barracks are needed in October to prepare them for housing our warfighters in this critical training mission,” Bridenstine said. “Secretary Hagel should not extend or expand the use of Ft. Sill as a UAC camp.”

Lankford said since the “vast majority of these children already have at least one parent illegally in the United States,” many are not protected under human trafficking provisions under a 2008 law.  Since the term “unaccompanied children” refers to minors who do not have a parent in the United States, Lankford said that “this is an issue of ignoring the law and attempting to jump ahead of other immigrants who have waited patiently to legally enter the United States.”

Cole said the Obama administration has incentivized even more illegal immigrants to come to the country, and he emphasized that he remains “strongly opposed to use of our military bases for housing illegals.” He added that he, in no way, “supports any time extension for HHS use of these facilities.”

“Regardless of their origin, the treatment of all illegal immigrant children should be the same, meaning deportation should be immediate and mandatory,” he stated. 

Lucas also emphasized that the Obama administration cannot rely on housing illegal immigrants on military bases as “a long-term solution” to the crisis, while Mullin noted that the Obama administration’s “decision to hold the unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill in the first place was irresponsible.”

“Fort Sill is not designed for this purpose, and turning the facility into a longer-term solution for housing these minors is extremely concerning,” Mullin said. “We need to be looking for real solutions, not temporary fixes.”

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin started a petition to demand that illegal immigrants no longer be housed at Fort Sill after the lease with the federal government expires in four months.



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