Immigration

Phyllis Schlafly Praises Jeff Sessions, Trump & Cruz, Warns GOP 'Kingmakers'

In her February newsletter,  which came out just after Sen. Jeff Sessions’ endorsement of Donald Trump, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly reproduced a column she wrote earlier in the month gushing about a round of interviews Sessions had given in which he said 2016 “is the last chance for the American people to take back control of their government.” Sessions helped Trump craft his immigration platform and previously backed his call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Here’s Schlafly:

“To win, Republicans need to demonstrate that they care about the average person who goes to work every day,” he added. Average Americans are tired of paying billions in welfare handouts to immigrants who are undermining U.S. wages. “People should have total confidence and a clear commitment on those issues. If they don’t, then they don’t have my vote,” he said…

Our immigration policy has been anti-American, decade after decade, and the voters need to know that 2016 might be our last chance to elect a president who can reduce this tide of illegals crossing our borders. The interests of working Americans must “be put first,” Sessions urged. “We need a president with the credibility to tell the world that the time of illegality is over. Do not come to this country unlawfully,” he said.

In the same column, Schlafly praised “outsider” candidates like Trump and Ted Cruz, and warned against “the Washington-based Republican Establishment” who she said are plotting to “take back control of the party from the outsiders and grassroots.” Among those she names as would-be “kingmakers” are House Speaker Paul Ryan – “who is openly contemptuous of Trump and has little use for Cruz” – and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who offended Schlafly by using her response to the State of the Union Address “to slam the ‘angriest voices’ in the presidential campaign and disavow the Republican front-runner’s popular call for a temporary pause in Muslim immigration.”

Schlafly vows that the Republican platform will be written by GOP delegates who are disappointed with the ineffectiveness of congressional Republicans and who “will have no use for Ryan’s open-borders ideology, which holds that anyone who can find a low-wage job should be allowed to settle in the United States.” Schlafly warns that a deadlocked convention could make  someone like Ryan the nominee. “Such an outcome,” she writes, “could destroy the Republican Party and guarantee a Democratic victory by causing disheartened grassroots voters to stay home and tempting an aggrieved candidate to mount a third-party or independent presidential campaign.”

In January, Schlafly declared that Donald Trump was “the only hope” to defeat the GOP’s “Kingmakers.”

PFAW Releases Report on White Nationalist Connections of Leading Anti-Immigration Groups

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) released a new report analyzing the leading anti-immigration groups, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), NumbersUSA, and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The report analyzes the groups' history and white nationalist roots. It also explores the undue influence they wield in Congress and their work to drive the talking points and policy priorities of leading Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump.

“These leading anti-immigration groups poison the well on immigration reform in America,” said PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery. “Yet despite the fact that these groups peddle misinformation and pander to the xenophobic fringe to further their anti-immigration goals, they continue to wield influence in the media, in Congress, and on the campaign trail.”

Among the report’s findings:

  • Today’s anti-immigration movement centers on a small group of interconnected organizations all stemming from one white nationalist and population control activist, John Tanton.
  • The organizations tied to Tanton – including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA – saturate media coverage of immigration issues and maintain close ties to anti-immigration politicians.
  • All of these groups have ties to the dark underbelly of the anti-immigrant movement, which smears immigrants in racial terms, plays to fears of demographic change and caters to those who want the U.S. to be and remain a nation run by and for a white majority.

Read the report here.

For questions about the report or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura Epstein (lepstein@pfaw.org).

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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Meet A Law Professor Conservatives Turn To On Marriage, Immigration And The SCOTUS Blockade

Among the right-wing figures encouraging Republican senators to block any nominee President Obama might make to the U.S. Supreme Court last week was law professor John Eastman, who right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt calls “perhaps the most revered center-right specialist in America.” If that’s true, it may be because Eastman puts himself out there on so many issues that rile today’s far-right. He chairs the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage and he is also one of the leading voices in opposition to birthright citizenship. His advocacy pretty much covers the right wing’s public policy wish list.

On Hewitt’s radio show on February 15, Eastman called Scalia’s death a “devastating loss” not only for Scalia’s family “but also for our understanding of the appropriate role of the court in constitutional adjudication.”  Eastman agreed with Hewitt’s assertion that it is “well within” Republican senators’ constitutional authority “not to give a hearing or a vote to President Obama’s nominee,” saying that Republicans “ought to oppose with every bit of their power” the kind of nominee he would expect from President Obama, someone who he believes will “try and nail the lid in the coffin on advancing his radical transformative agenda.”

Eastman said Scalia’s death will put the role of the high court at the center of the presidential campaign, declaring that “there is a fundamental difference” between the political parties on a central question: “Do we live in an autocratic, unelected regime run by nine black robed individuals, or are we the people the ultimate sovereigns in this country?”

That’s the kind of rhetoric that warms the hearts of far-right leaders like Sharron Angle, the Tea Party activist who lost a challenge to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid in 2010 and whose is encouraging an effort by a couple of state legislators to draft her for a 2016 Senate bid. “The U.S. Senate should absolutely put a hold on any nomination this President sends to the hill,” Angle said last week. “We have to stop the damage to the Constitution now!”  Angle went even further, declaring that Eastman would make the “perfect” Supreme Court justice.

If he ever did make it onto the court, Eastman would manage the remarkable feat of being to the right of the late Justice Scalia. Like Chief Justice John Roberts, Scalia opposed the Supreme Court’s infamous 1905 Lochner decision, which ushered in an era in which the court routinely rejected economic regulations, like a state limiting the hours employees could be required to work, and exhibited hostility to union activity. On Hewitt’s show, Eastman recalled Scalia turning a speaking invitation into a forum on Lochner, on which Scalia disagreed with Eastman, who is part of a pro-Lochner movement in right-wing legal circles.  Eastman also takes a fringe position, one held on the current Supreme Court only by Justice Clarence Thomas, that the First Amendment’s ban on the establishment of religion cannot be properly applied to the states.

Eastman is a professor  at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law in California and is the founding director of Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, affiliated with the conservative Claremont Institute. He stepped down as dean of the law school to run for California attorney general in 2010. National right-wing leaders, including Ed Meese, Ed Whelan, Bill Bennett, Michele Bachmann and others backed his bid, but he failed to win the nomination.  Eastman, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and 4th Circuit Appeals Court Judge Michael Luttig, worked at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during the Reagan administration. In 1990 he was the GOP nominee for Congress from the 34th District in California.

A few highlights (or lowlights) from Eastman’s activism and rhetoric:

Role of the Courts

Eastman, who chairs the National Organization for Marriage, appeared at a July 2015 Senate hearing convened by Ted Cruz after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, which Cruz called “the very definition of tyranny.”

Eastman agreed with Cruz’s call for Supreme Court justices to be subjected to judicial retention elections and term limits, and added his own proposals to keep the court in check. He said a simple majority of states should be allowed to override “egregiously wrong” Supreme Court decisions, and that Congress should be able to veto Supreme Court rulings by a two-thirds majority in both houses.  He also suggested that Congress should impeach judges whose rulings it considers unconstitutional.  And he interpreted Scalia’s dissent in the marriage case to be “an invitation to executive officials throughout the land to refuse to give their ‘aid’ to the ‘efficacy of the’ Court’s judgment in the case.”

I truly hope this Committee will give serious thought to these proposals, advancing them with your approval, first to the full Senate, then to the other House, and then ultimately to the people for consideration and hopefully ratification. But I encourage you to do that soon, as I sense in the land a strong feeling that our fellow citizens are about out of patience with the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that have emanated from an unchecked judiciary. They have demonstrated for a very long time now that they, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, have been “more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms [of government] to which they are accustomed.” We should not expect that the patience of our fellow citizens will last forever. Let us now, therefore, in good faith, advance solid proposals to restore and expand checks and balances on the judiciary before that patience runs out.

Marriage and LGBT Equality

In 2000, Eastman called homosexuality an indicator of “barbarism.” He called the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence decision, which overturned laws criminalizing consensual gay sex, a “despotic” decision.

Given his position at the National Organization for Marriage, which he has chaired since 2011, it is not surprising that Eastman’s rhetoric in opposition to marriage equality has been consistently hostile. When he took the position, he told the conservative National Catholic Register, “Evil will be with us always, and it requires constant vigilance to defeat.”

At the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, Eastman attacked the Ninth Circuit decision overturning California’s Proposition 8 and warned that legalizing marriage for same-sex couple would hurt children and have “catastrophic consequences for civil society.” He said marriage equality “would destroy the institution that has been the bedrock of civil society since time immemorial.”

At the June 2014 March for Marriage in Washington, organized by NOM, Eastman said that Justice Scalia’s dissent from the court’s 2013 decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act was “a call to arms.” “Let the justices know that we will not tolerate them redefining marriage!”  he said. “The good of society and the wellbeing of our children depend on it!”

In 2014, after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a federal court ruling that made legalized marriage for same-sex couples in North Carolina, Eastman told North Carolina legislative leaders to defend the state’s marriage ban anyway — even though Attorney General Roy Cooper had said it would be a waste of taxpayer money. The Charlotte Observer later reported that the Claremont Institute, where Eastman serves as the director for the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, had billed North Carolina $78,200 for its work defending the law, a price that it said included a “public interest” discount.

In an April 2015 podcast for the Constitution Center following oral argument in Obergefell, Eastman said it was “perfectly legitimate” to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples due to their “unique procreative ability.”  He denounced the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling as “not only wrong, but illegitimate,” going so far as to encourage anti-equality groups in Alabama to resist the decision. 

In 2015, commenting immediately after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling for a Federalist Society podcast, Eastman called it “surreal beyond belief” to believe the people who ratified the 14th Amendment would believe that it mandated “the redefinition of a core social institution that is both religiously and biologically grounded.”

Eastman has praised Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who tried to stop her county office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying  “She confronted what I call a Thomas More moment, and she’s demonstrated her saintliness in how she’s responded to this.”

Outside of marriage equality, Eastman has said that a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s decision to treat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a form of sex discrimination was an example of the “utter lawlessness” of the way “these agendas are being pushed through.”  Last July Eastman said that some gay rights activists “in their candid moments … have admitted that they want to destroy the church, and they want to destroy the family…”

A few months ago, Eastman reacted to Hillary Clinton’s address to the Human Rights Campaign in a radio interview in which he denounced the LGBT equality movement as “fascist” and claimed that it was promoting pedophilia:

This is not about anti-discrimination laws any more. This is about forcing people to bend the knee to an agenda to say things that are inherently immoral are in fact normal and moral … It’s a very fascist movement that forces a viewpoint on other people that disagree ... We’re finding challenges to age of consent rules because a good portion of this movement seeks to remove age of consent so they can have sex with teenage boys.

He claimed that the LGBT movement’s actual goal was not to achieve the right to marry but to destroy the institution of marriage, because the family is a bulwark against unlimited and omnipotent government.

Support for Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act

In 2015, Eastman gave a speech at the Family Research Council defending Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act and saying he hoped the law — rejected by the country’s Supreme Court over a procedural issue — would come back “in short order.”

He cited as justification for the law President Mouseveni’s claims that “western groups” were trying to use the schools to recruit children into homosexuality.  Eastman said that the law’s provision for lifetime in prison was only for “aggravated homosexuality,” which he defined as “homosexual acts” by someone with HIV/AIDS or “homosexual acts with minors.” In reality, the law’s definition of “aggravated homosexuality” also included serial offenders. As he noted, the law included prison terms for someone who “counsels” a person into homosexuality, a provision that seemingly did not bother Eastman. The law would even have imposed a prison term of up to seven years for attempting “to commit the offence of homosexuality.” Eastman denounced American opposition to the bill as “cultural imperialism.”

Eastman also joined Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater as a speaker at a “National Family Conference” in Nairobi in 2015; the conference was sponsored by Kenya Christian Professionals Forum, a group that not only supports the country’s law criminalizing homosexual sexual activity, but fought to prevent LGBT groups from even being allowed to legally register as advocacy organizations.

Immigration as Invasion

Eastman has also become one of the most visible advocates for eliminating the 14th Amendment’s protection of birthright citizenship. Actually, Eastman believes there’s no need to change the Constitution or law in order to deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants, just a court decision to correct what he thinks is an erroneous interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

In December 2014, Eastman testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which he said violated the Constitution. Eastman rejects the idea that the administration’s actions reflect an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.  Obama, he said, “has taken it upon himself to drastically re-write our immigration policy, the terms of which, by constitutional design, are expressly set by the Congress.” 

Eastman has been at this for a long time. He testified before a House subcommittee in 2005 in favor of reconsidering birthright citizenship in the wake of 9/11, and he published a paper for the Heritage Foundation in 2006 urging Congress to assert its authority and make clear that children born to people who are not in the country legally are not considered citizens.

In a 2006 Federalist Society exchange, he said:

Our current non-enforcement policy has fostered "outlaw" communities of non-citizens amongst our midst, who not only work illegally, but who are bankrupting our social services systems and who, tragically, are preyed upon by trans-border thugs well aware that their victims will not report crimes for fear of deportation. This is no way to treat fellow human beings. Why should we expect that the new spate of amnesty proposals, whether denominated "guest worker" plans or something else, will not also continue the incentive for illegal immigration that the 1986 Act provided?

In that same Federalist Society Q&A, he noted that the Constitution requires the president to protect the country against invasion, adding, “We have been invaded by more than 10 million people, and it is the president's duty, not just right, to defend against that invasion.” He also challenged the notion of dual citizenship, calling it “self-contradictory” and saying “it has no place in our existing law.”

In 2011, he co-authored an article for a Federalist Society publication defending Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant bill SB 1070, writing that “Arizona was well within its rights to adopt SB 1070. Indeed, given the border lawlessness that Arizonans are facing, it is not a stretch to argue that the Arizona government may well have been duty-bound to take some such action.”

Church-State

Eastman is critical of more than a half century’s jurisprudence on church-state issues. He says that under the modern view of church-state separation “we completely destroy the foundation for our entire constitutional system.” He has argued that a state taxing people to support an official church, as some states did early in the nation’s history, was not all that coercive and, as we noted earlier, he believes it is wrong to interpret the 14th Amendment as applying the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the states.

Eastman champions an expansive reading of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in line with the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling and backs the passage of additional state RFRAs and religious exemptions. He has joined Religious Right leaders in portraying Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis as a heroine for refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Anti-Union

Eastman, not surprisingly, supports right-wing attacks on unions. In a July 2015 blog post, Eastman argued that it is “time to drive a stake through the heart of mandatory dues.” Eastman noted that Justice Samuel Alito, writing in an earlier decision, essentially invited the kind of lawsuit that the Court has agreed to hear this term in the Friedrichs case, which conservatives hope the Supreme Court will use to dramatically weaken the power of public employee unions.

Constitutional Limits on Spending

Eastman has also argued that the country’s view of the Constitution’s Spending Clause has been wrong ever since the Supreme Court’s 1936 decision in United States v. Butler. He believes Congress does not have the constitutional authority to make appropriations for “internal improvements,” citing, among other things, President James Buchanan’s veto of a bill that would have granted public lands to states for the establishment of agricultural colleges.

In 2014 he joined the advisory council of the Compact for America, a group whose goal is to have the states propose and ratify a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution through an “Article V” convention. Under the proposal, Congress could only increase the debt limit with the approval of a majority of the state legislatures; any new sales or income taxes would require two-thirds approval of both houses of Congress.

Reproductive Rights

At a Federalist Society debate, Eastman referred to Roe v. Wade as one of the Supreme Court’s “grievous mistakes” — like its affirmation of the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality — to which he would not give deference.  At a Federalist Society panel from 2014 on the ACA’s contraception mandate, he argued that there is basically no distinction between individuals and the corporate structure when it comes to freedom of conscience, a view adopted by the Court majority in Hobby Lobby, which has opened a door to corporations claiming exemptions from generally applicable laws based on the religious beliefs of company owners, such as complying with the requirement that insurance provided for employees include coverage for contraception.  

 

Schlafly: GOP Must Block All Obama Judicial Nominees, Strip Courts Of Funding And Power

Right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly wrote today that Justice Antonin Scalia’s death is “a terrible loss for our Nation” and “a reason for Republicans to rethink their approach to the judicial branch of our government.”  The Eagle Forum founder agrees with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pledge to block any nominee President Obama puts forward to fill the Scalia vacancy, but she wants much more — essentially a declaration of war on the federal judiciary by a conservative Congress.

Of course Senate Republicans should block President Obama from filling this Supreme Court vacancy in an election year, and they have 80 years of precedent on their side. But Republicans should go further and block nominations for all the other vacancies in the federal judiciary, too.

But even with that call for a total blockade of the federal courts, Schafly is just warming up. She wants Congress to cut funding for the courts, cut funding for the enforcement of what she believes are “bad” court decisions, and strip the courts of their jurisdiction over immigration, abortion, and marriage:

It’s fine for the Republican presidential candidates to point out that a vacancy on the Supreme Court is part of the upcoming election, and to promise to fill Justice Scalia’s immense shoes with someone similar. But even if a Republican wins the upcoming presidential election, even if he picks another Justice Scalia, and even if he is confirmed by the Senate, the federal judiciary will still be stuffed with hundreds of activist judges appointed by Obama, Clinton, and even Jimmy Carter.

The Founders gave Congress everything necessary to take power away from this runaway federal judiciary. Congress can deprive the federal courts of power over immigration, abortion and marriage, and can completely defund enforcement of bad federal court decisions that are already on the books.

Congress spent months trying unsuccessfully to defund Planned Parenthood, a laudable goal, but Congress can more effectively defund enforcement of the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage decisions by the judiciary without sparking a phony “war on women” debate.

Congress should also defund use of taxpayer money by the Department of Justice to push the liberal agenda in the liberal courts. Congress should cut back on the funding for the courts themselves, too, and eliminate rather than fill some of the vacancies.

While stopping short of an actual endorsement, Schlafly recently called Donald Trump “the only hope” that grassroots activists have, while many of her Eagle Forum colleagues have endorsed Ted Cruz. But Schlafly is apparently not satisfied with any of the presidential candidates:

While some presidential candidates promise to work with Congress, none of them promise to rein in the Supreme Court in the absence of Justice Scalia. None of them promise to stand up against an unconstitutional order by an activist court by refusing to enforce it, as the next president could do with respect to activist Supreme Court rulings on immigration, abortion, and marriage.

Diana West Decries 'Hispanization' Of US, 'Demographic Invasion' From Southern Border

Conservative columnist Diana West, a frequent guest on Frank Gaffney’s “Secure Freedom Radio” program, appeared on Gaffney’s program yesterday to discuss with guest host Jim Hanson the struggle that many European countries are having in accommodating millions of refugees and migrants from North Africa and the Mideast.

West warned that the U.S. is “deep into the same exact transition” as Europe and “we are being replaced also and our culture is being absolutely taken over in similar ways,” not only by relatively small numbers of refugees, whom she called “non-assimilable,” but by the “Hispanization” of U.S. culture through immigrants from Latin America.

“We are experiencing the exact same forces and movement here,” she said. “We’re much bigger, obviously, and the conditions are somewhat different. However, we have no border, we have massive invasions by demographic invasion coming up on the southern border in particular. This would be an effort that we are watching, my father used to use the phrase, the United States becoming the northern tip of South America. I mean, this is a sense of the Hispanization of the country.”

“And meanwhile we’re watching refugee resettlement and the Syrian quote ‘refugee’ project also coming in with population blocks, non-assimilable population blocks coming out of the Islamic world and elsewhere being imposed on communities across the country,” she added.

Schlafly & Pratt: Today’s Immigrants Have No 'Desire To Be American'

Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly and Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt have both opposed immigration reform on the grounds that new citizens will overwhelmingly vote Democratic and, in Pratt’s words, “vote to take away our guns.” So it was no surprise that when Schlafly joined Pratt on his radio show this weekend, the discussion eventually turned to how immigrants don’t understand America and so will never vote Republican.

Schlafly started things out by alleging that the political problems of conservatives stem from the fact that “we’ve taken in millions of people who have no concept of the whole idea of limited government” and who “don’t even know what it means or have a desire to be American.”

Pratt agreed that we are “bringing in people who have never had any tradition of, never been schooled in what it means to have a limited government” and that “folks coming abroad are all natural Democrats, they’re looking, as you say, for big government, that’s their whole idea of what government is about, it’s there to give them more and more things.”

He added that Democrats are “eagerly bringing in these immigrants who at best don’t have an idea of what it means to be an American if they were to become one and may well be terrorists.”

“You know, I have friends who came in long ago,” Schlafly said, “and they told me with pride that after they got off the boat at Ellis Island to immigrate, their parents would stand them up and say, ‘And now we’re in America and we’re going to be Americans and we’re going to learn English and we’re going to learn a whole new set of laws and this is our country now, we’re going to be American.’ But you don’t find these immigrants saying this today.”

Now, she said, “anybody can come, no matter how much you hate us, no matter how you have no concept about limited government and the rule of law and the things that we believe in.”

Pratt added that this problem was especially acute with Muslim immigrants because “they’re taught from the Koran, they’re taught to hate people like us, they’re taught to want to kill people like us, and to the extent that they don’t, that’s taqiyya, that’s just a temporary lying to get along until they are tactically and strategically in a position to strike.”

Republican Presidential Candidates: End Your Campaigns of Hate

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

It seems there's no end to the Republican presidential candidates' campaigns of hate. As showcased by last week's Republican debate, their deeply-troubling rhetoric on immigrants and Muslims has become a standard talking point. It's impossible to turn on the TV without hearing the newest iteration of the candidates' hateful stances.

Sitting through last week's debate was nothing short of painful. Donald Trump doubled down on his commitment to ban Muslims from entering the United States. All the candidates were united in their anti-refugee stances.

Of course, it's not just debates where the Republican candidates spew their xenophobia. Their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies are flooding the airwaves. The ad Donald Trump released recently is focused on banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and paints immigrants as a danger to national security. Trump's fellow Republican contenders have been mirroring his language. As Marco Rubio campaigns throughout the country, he's repeating the talking point he used in the last debate, that all immigrants and refugees pose a terrorist threat to America. He also has gone so far as to accuse President Obama, our Commander in Chief, of having "deliberately weakened America." Ted Cruz, for his part, is trying to out-Trump Trump. He too released a new TV ad that falsely portrays immigrants as taking jobs and draining the U.S. economy and he'sproposing not only that the US should not accept any Syrian refugees, but that we should expel refugees who are already here.

That's not the American way. As President Obama said at the State of the Union: "We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn't a matter of political correctness. It's a matter of understanding what makes us strong."

It's time for the Republican candidates to end their campaigns of hate. The bigoted rhetoric and policy positions we're hearing from these candidates go against core American values. They don't merit discussion at the kitchen table, and they certainly don't merit discussion at a debate for those aspiring to the nation's highest office.

Sadly, I'm not holding my breath for Republicans to stop vilifying Muslims or immigrants.

As the Republican presidential candidates continue their attacks, it's critical that ordinary Americans stand up for the values we know are right. The message we heard from President Obama during the State of the Union, his call to embrace diversity and our history as a nation that welcomes immigrants and refugees, is rooted in our country's deepest principles, and no matter what happens in the GOP primary, that's the message we need to carry forward.

PFAW

Ann Coulter: God Raised Up Trump To Save Us From 1,000 Years Of Darkness

Yesterday on “The Eric Metaxas Show,” Ann Coulter repeated her claim that God is using Donald Trump to save the U.S. — and all of civilization — from destruction.

Coulter started off the interview by defending herself from charges that she’s “divisive,” noting that Jesus Christ was divisive as well. “Yeah, I’m ‘divisive’ because I say things I believe, generally, so does Jesus, and liberals yell at me, that makes me ‘divisive.’ It’s the hecklers’ veto,” she said.

She went on to liken the media’s treatment of her to how it covers Donald Trump, whom she believes will save the U.S. and, therefore, the whole world.

“We are talking about the future of not only of America but of the last genuinely Christian country on earth and thus the world,” she said. “If we lose America, it is lights out for the entire world for a thousand years.”

Coulter explained that God has a role in lifting up Trump’s candidacy: “It is like the fall of Rome but, thank God, and I am not using the Lord’s name in vain, I mean that absolutely literally, thank God for raising up Donald Trump and giving us a chance to save the country.”

“Unless Donald Trump is elected, we’re never going to have another Republican president,” Coulter added, warning that having another Democrat in the White House would mean that “it’s over” and “the country is finished” because there will be a “Supreme Court of nine Ruth Bader Ginsburgs.”

If Trump loses, Coulter said, she will probably “stop wasting my time on politics” since “a Republican can never be elected president” if the country fails to enact severe restrictions on immigration.

“What is the point of talking about abortion or anything else unless you get Donald Trump in to build the wall, deport illegals, end this ‘anchor baby’ nonsense, stop importing 100,000 Muslims a year, in addition to two million Third Worlders per year,” she said. “It’s madness what this country has been doing.”

Coulter went on to say that President Trump should “deport [Sen. Marco] Rubio” and members of the advocacy group National Council of La Raza.

PFAW Calls on President Obama to End Raids

In response to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids targeting for deportation children and families who have come to the United States fleeing violence in Central America, People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan stated:

“It is deeply distressing to see the Obama administration deporting children and families seeking refuge from violence and creating fear in immigrant communities through their raids. Refugees and immigrants deserve our protection; instead, these raids are tearing up families and threatening the lives of innocent people.

“The values our country was founded on, and the values that President Obama has articulated throughout his administration, urge a very different policy from the one we’re seeing. We need real solutions to our broken immigration system, not dangerous and destructive raids harming immigrant communities.”

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Meet Marco Rubio's 'Religious Liberty Advisory Board'

Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign has announced its creation of a Religious Liberty Advisory Board that includes Religious Right legal and political activists, including academics and some big names, like Rick Warren of Saddleback Church.

The list could be seen as a response by Rubio’s campaign to last month’s closed-door meeting at which “dozens” of Religious Right leaders voted to rally behind his rival, Sen. Ted Cruz. But Rubio’s director of Faith Outreach, former Manhattan Declaration Executive Director Eric Teetsel, told World Magazine that “membership on the board doesn’t equal an endorsement of the GOP candidate, and the members could advise other campaigns if they wanted.”

Among the members of Rubio’s advisory board are two Latinos who have urged conservatives to adopt a more welcoming approach to immigration: Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and  Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University and former president of Pat Robertson’s Regent University.

Rodriguez has been pushing the Republican Party to take a more constructive tone on immigration in order to open the door for more effective outreach to Latino voters, a tough sell on the right, even before the era of Donald Trump. Rodriguez has participated in recent Religious Right gatherings with Cruz, but has been quoted as saying he’s not in Cruz’s camp.

Rubio shaped and advocated for the so-called Gang of Eight immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013, but he later disavowed his own bill in the face of strong right-wing opposition. He is viewed with suspicion by some right-wingers but has said on the stump that he knows how to fix the immigration system better than anyone else in the race.

Also on Rubio’s advisory board are people affiliated with legal groups promoting Religious Right efforts to portray LGBT equality and religious liberty as incompatible, including Doug Napier and Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom and Kyle Duncan, lead counsel for the Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby, and former general counsel of the Becket Fund, which was once described in Politico as “God’s Rottweilers.”

Formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, ADF is a heavyweight among Religious Right legal groups, and is spreading its anti-gay, anti-choice advocacy worldwide. Fiedorek argues that the “agenda to expand sexual liberty and redefine marriage” puts religious liberty in “great peril.” She has compared business owners who refuse to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples to Rosa Parks.

The Greens’ challenge to the contraception coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act was used by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to reinterpret the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and give owners of for-profit corporations the right to seek exemptions from laws that offend their religious beliefs. 

Another member of the Rubio board, law professor Michael McConnell, runs a religious liberty law clinic at Stanford University that was funded by $1.6 million steered to Stanford by the Becket Fund in 2013. Becket Fund attorneys appear in Rick Santorum’s 2014 movie, “One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty.”

Advisory board member Wayne Grudem, an anti-gay seminary professor and author, argues that God will hold people accountable for shaping laws to meet biblical standards. Grudem has promoted a chart on how to “defeat the enemy’s plan” in politics. He has said that religious freedom makes it legal in the U.S. to have a Muslim mosque or a Buddhist temple, “but that doesn’t mean it’s morally right for people to seek to come to God that way….”

Rick Wiles: 'A Bloodbath Is Coming' Due To Immigration

In a cheerful Christmas message yesterday, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles said that homicidal enemies of America are “coming by the millions” into the country.

The End Times preacher warned listeners that immigrants “bringing bombs and weapons and chemicals and biological poisons” to kill Americans have already arrived in the U.S., and now millions of such people are entering the country because “the gate is wide open and the wall is down.”

“The enemy is pouring into America and a bloodbath is coming,” he said.

Ann Coulter: Only 'President Trump' Can Save Us From Turning Into 'Uganda'

Ann Coulter was not impressed by Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate on CNN, telling Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday that only Donald Trump isn’t “embarrassed about getting white votes” and recognizes that “the threat facing America right now is we’re about to become Uganda.”

Coulter told Kaufman that she’s fed up with Republicans comparing themselves to Ronald Reagan. “For Pete’s sake,” she said, “Reagan was elected 35 years ago. The world was a different place. The main problem facing America is no longer the threat of a nuke from the Soviet Union, it’s not encroaching communism, the threat facing America right now is we’re about to become Uganda.” She added they we may also soon be “living under Sharia law.”

Coulter then lit into RNC chairman Reince Priebus for attempting to strike an inclusive tone in remarks before the debate.

“‘We are the Republican party and that means we welcome Hispanics, Asians, women,’” she paraphrased Priebus saying.

“What on earth?” she demanded. “And, by the way, I noticed that white men weren’t included on the list of people that Republicans stand for. Why are Republicans embarrassed about getting white votes? What is that? Democrats can’t get them, I can see why Democrats are always going around dissing white people, but why does the Republican have to be embarrassed about getting white votes?”

This prompted Kaufman to lament that even Republicans are adopting the “bankrupt philosophy” that “inherent white privilege” exists. “It’s all like a bad movie, Ann,” she said, “and every day I wake up and I say, I don’t know how this story ends.”

“I know how it ends,” Coulter responded. “President Trump”

Zmirak: Obama Wants Refugees To Destroy 'Middle Class, White, Christian America'

John Zmirak, a conservative writer and an editor of James Robison’s The Stream website, said in an interview with former Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller this week that President Obama wants to accept refugees from the Syrian civil war because he sees Muslims as “tools” to “destroy the middle class, white, Christian America that he has hated since his youth.”

Miller, appalled that the U.S. will still accept refugees after the terrorist attacks in Paris, asked Zmirak, “What’s going on with the administration, why aren’t they recognizing the danger?”

“Because Obama identifies with the Islamic world,” Zmirak responded. “He went to Islamic school, his political sympathies have always been with the so-called victims of colonialism in the Third World, and every one of his policies in foreign policy, as Dinesh D’Souza pointed out, can be explained by an attempt to de-westernize America and to weaken the West and to strengthen the Third World. It’s all in support of his postcolonial, quasi-Marxist agenda.”

“I don’t think Obama is a Muslim,” he clarified. “I don’t think he would be this brazen if he were a Muslim. He would be actually less brazenly pro-Muslim if he were really a Muslim, he’d be a little bit embarrassed. But because he’s an atheist Marxist, he can just see the Muslims as tools to be used to destroy the middle class, white, Christian America that he has hated since his youth.”

Trump: Why Do Refugees Have Cell Phones?

At a campaign rally in Mesa, Arizona, today, Donald Trump, discussing reports that several asylum seekers in Norway had images of ISIS flags on their cell phones, wondered how the refugees got access to mobile phones in the first place.

“First of all, why are people in a migration having cell phones?” Trump asked. “It’s sort of strange. Who’s paying for those cell phones? Where are they coming from? Who are they calling? These are people — can you imagine, many, many, many cell phones. Where do they get cell phones? Who pays their monthly bill?”

One woman in the crowd incessantly shouted, “Obama!”

Trump also declared that Syrian refugees in the U.S. are “all going back” if he’s elected president.

This led him to claim that he has the support of a majority of Hispanic voters because they don’t want to be “overrun by people pouring across the borders.”

FAIR Warns Of Dangerous Immigrants From Canada

In an interview with conservative Wisconsin talk radio host Vicki McKenna last week, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) spokesman Ira Mehlman, warned that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s acceptance of Syrian refugees would endanger the U.S.

McKenna lamented that the United States is doing “nothing to secure our borders” and described our border with Mexico as the “porous as they come,” stating that it is a “conduit point for people from Middle Eastern countries.” Our border with Canada, McKenna said, is just as insecure. Mehlman agreed, adding that Trudeau has agreed to continue taking in refugees from what McKenna referred to as “known terrorist countries.”

“If you think our southern border is not secure, our northern border is not secure at all,” Mehlman said. “We haven’t had the need before now, but I guess if the new prime minister up there in Canada has his way, you might start seeing people in Wisconsin coming across.”

Jesse Lee Peterson: Only 'Traitors' Like Obama Disagree With Trump On Muslim Immigration

Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson is coming to the defense of Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country, writing in WorldNetDaily over the weekend that only “traitors” like President Obama disagree with Trump’s plan.

Peterson laments that just seven years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans elected “a man with a Muslim name and sympathies” who “sides with the enemy.”

“Knowing the administration’s desire to overrun us with Muslims, Trump’s position makes a whole lot of sense,” he writes … unless, of course, you’re a traitor.

For many American citizens, the murder of nearly 3,000 of our own on 9/11 by Muslim fanatics was a wake-up call. The naïve way many of us had viewed the world melted under shattering reality in the space of one chilling morning.

Unfortunately, after the immediate shock passed, most went back to sleep and stayed asleep. Just seven years later, a man with a Muslim name and sympathies, Barack Hussein Obama, was elected president, and four years later, was re-elected. Now after Paris and San Bernardino, it couldn’t be clearer that he sides with the enemy. God help us.

Paris and San Bernardino brought some of the post-9-11 reality back to us – that Muslims represent a clear and present danger. It was another wake-up call for some, and for others, another opportunity to deny their country’s need for self-preservation by siding with the enemy.

The deniers are cowards – and traitors.

After San Bernardino, Americans rejected Barack Hussein Obama’s call for gun control and massive Muslim immigration. The people instead clamored for Muslim control.

In this environment, one man, Donald Trump, dared to voice what was on the minds of millions of Americans, and called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., until we can get a grip on our nation’s security. Knowing the administration’s desire to overrun us with Muslims, Trump’s position makes a whole lot of sense.

Unless you’re a Quran-believing Muslim, liberal or RINO Republican.

This all points to the insanity of today’s world, where Muslim savages follow a seventh-century madman who grew up without his father, and waged bloody jihad against Jews, Christians and other “infidels.” And yet, almost all of our leaders – instead of standing against the atrocities committed by members of the “religion of peace” – are actually supporting their reign of terror by doing nothing to stop it. Worse, they’re actively working against the few who – like Donald Trump – are standing up for the American people.

They are cowards, and they are traitors.

Ann Coulter Hopes President Trump Suspends All Immigration

Ann Coulter, the conservative pundit who has taken credit for shaping Donald Trump’s immigration policy, spoke with Breitbart News on Saturday, where she said that Trump’s “genius” plan to ban Muslim immigration should lead to a sweeping suspension of all immigration.

Coulter said that the ban on Muslims from entering the country should lead to a halt on non-Muslims immigrants as well, likening it to Obamacare, which she insisted was designed as a “two-step” plan that was designed to fail and then usher in a single-payer health care system.

“Trump’s immigration policy paper, the greatest political document since the Magna Carta, proposes a moratorium on all immigration,” she said. “It’s completely out of control. It isn’t just the Muslim terrorists we’re letting in, though that is stupid enough. Far more Americans are killed by Mexicans than by Muslim terrorists, Muslim terrorists do it in a more spectacular way.”

She added: “Why not just suspend it all? It seems to me that’s the two-step we’re moving to here until we can figure out what’s going on with any of these immigrants coming in.”

Trump Spox: Muslim Ban 'Not Religious Discrimination' Because Any Muslim Can 'Flip Into A Jihadist'

Katrina Pierson, a national spokeswoman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, addressed concerns about Trump’s proposal for a ban on Muslim immigration on Friday by saying such a ban would not be “religious discrimination” because you don’t “have the freedom to kill Americans just because it’s based on your religion.” She added that any Muslim “can just flip into a jihadist” and that Americans victimized by Islamist terrorism are now being “criminalized.”

“It’s absolutely not religious discrimination,” Pierson told One American News Network’s Liz Wheeler , because one of the things that we keep hearing is that it’s not constitutional, it’s un-American, etc., etc., freedom of religion. But I have to tell you, I’m not sure that anyone in this country agrees that you have the freedom to kill Americans just because it’s based in your religion.”

Pierson then linked Trump’s proposal to the American lives lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “But more importantly,” she said, "this was a ban simply on immigration coming in as a Muslim. We all know that Muslims are not hostile, all of them. However, we also know that they are killing Americans in the name of Islam and we have to take that seriously. And what I don’t understand is that since 9/11, we have the Iraq War, we have the fight in Afghanistan, that’s 10,000 American lives, and we still have a porous border, we haven’t reformed the visa system, and just when we had the San Bernardino attacks, he was radicalized for a couple of years and she came in on a visa and passed with flying colors.”

“I’m not quite sure why there’s this real big push to sort of cover the hostility that comes within the faith of Islam,” Pierson added later in the interview. “We have two sides of this coin. We have the ‘Islam is a religion of peace,’ but, at the same time, all of the sudden the same people can just flip into a jihadist. We have to figure this out one way or another because one thing we can no longer continue to do is allow Americans to be attacked on their own soil and then be criminalized afterwards.”

Gun Activists: Obama Raising Private Army Of Undocumented Immigrants, Refugees, Federal Employees & 'Soviet Troops'

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, perhaps more than any other activist on the Right provides a direct bridge between the Republican establishment and the chain-email conspiracy theories festering on the right-wing internet.

This was perfectly illustrated this weekend when, just one day after Sen. Ted Cruz announced that GOA’s chairman and Pratt’s boss Tim Macy would head up his presidential campaign’s “Second Amendment Coalition,” Pratt took to his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio program to discuss how President Obama is secretly building up a private army that can only be defeated if patriotic members of the military turn against him.

Pratt’s guest on Saturday’s program was Lawrence C. Mackin, the author of a new novel called “The Police Revolt of 2016,” which imagines a ragtag group of police officers and military personnel who must organize a revolution when “a group of radical Islamists allied with Obama's private internal army composed of units from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, are planning to establish an Islamic dictatorship within the United States,” a premise that Pratt said was “not too fictional.”

Mackin came prepared with a great number of conspiracy theories that he had found on the internet, telling Pratt that Obama signed a deal with Russia “to bring Soviet troops into this country in the event that we needed extra security, such as a Super Bowl event, for example” as part of his “plan to build up his private internal army within the United States.”

Also manning Obama’s private army, Mackin said, would be undocumented immigrants and “all the illegal aliens from the Middle East that he’s bringing into this country right now,” who are “all men.”

Mackin also informed Pratt that former DHS secretary Janet Napolitano “stated that she wanted to buy an AR-15 rifle — that’s a personal defense weapon — for every federal employee” so that they could also join “Obama’s private army.”

His book, he told Pratt, is not that “far-fetched” because all of these things are already happening in the Obama administration.

Pratt agreed that the premise was entirely realistic because “as much as the president has tried to cull the military of senior officers who are known to be pro-American … he certainly hasn’t gotten them all, so if it ever did come down the rubber meeting the road, the president really couldn’t be sure that he would be giving an order that would be followed.”

If the president’s plan to build a private army continues, Pratt said, “at some point the guys and gals would say, that’s it, he’s gone too far, today’s the day, let’s go, let’s roll.”

I think we’re at that point right now,” Mackin said, “but again, we’re just looking for a leader.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Pratt brought up the debunked rumor that the nuclear deal with Iran included a mutual defense agreement that would require the U.S. to attack Israel if Israel attacked Iran, which Mackin said was just more proof that Obama is a “radical Muslim.”

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