- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 29, 2021

The White House started work on an immigration policy plan after Vice President Kamala Harris returned from her visit to the southern U.S. border in late June. “We will build on what works,” Ms. Harris said at the time.

It is of note that the phrase “what works” was a popular, straightforward theme during the Reagan era — particularly at the Labor Department, but that’s another story.


The aforementioned border plan was released Thursday under the name — and drum roll, please — “Root Causes Strategy,” which emphasized five ways to remedy the incoming push of migrants seeking asylum, relief, citizenship and much more.

A Texas Republican has a thought to share on it all.

“The vice president’s new ‘strategy’ implies she had a strategy to begin with,” Sen. John Cornyn said in a statement.

He already introduced the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act in April — but now wonders what the White House and Ms. Harris have been doing since then.

“For months she and President Biden have hidden, waffled, and done everything but tackle this crisis head on. Meanwhile, the situation on the border has gone from bad, to worse, to a catastrophe. Vice President Harris and the Biden administration have yet to demonstrate they have the knowledge, experience, or will to fix the border crisis,” Mr. Cornyn continued.

“A successful strategy focuses on making reforms to speed up adjudication of asylum claims by judges, protect unaccompanied children, and deter those who do not have real claims from making the journey altogether. My bipartisan bill would do just that, and I stand ready to work with the administration to actually fix this,” he said.

Mr. Cornyn — with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Democrat — proposed the legislation in the Senate.

Others ponder the new “Root Causes Strategy” in the meantime.

“It is impossible for anyone concerned about the current Biden border crisis to look at this plan and not ask, ‘Are you kidding me right now?’ Not only is the strategy a rehash of what has been done for decades by past administrations with little success — but Kamala escalates U.S. involvement in domestic policies of Northern Triangle countries,” writes Karen Townsend, a contributor to HotAir.com.

THE MASK MEDIA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered everybody to wear masks in the U.S. Capitol, threatened to arrest and fine those who don’t comply, and also called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a “moron” for criticizing her mask policy.

But wait, there’s more. Three Republican lawmakers were each fined $500 for not obeying the new mask rule and have since filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, calling the rule unconstitutional.

The unfolding melodrama attracted coverage from a spectrum of news organizations, including The Hill, CNN, New York Post, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, USA Today, MSNBC, Fox News and Forbes.

One Republican lawmaker in particular leaped over the media and had her say via social media.

Rep. Nancy Mace took to Twitter, posting a video of herself strolling through the U.S. Capitol complex maskless.

“I’ve had COVID. I’ve had two vaccinations. I’m washing my hands. I’m even wearing my mask in the chamber. But I’m not going to wear it anywhere else,” the South Carolina Republican advised.

“So, Madam Speaker, come and get me,” she said.

CANDID ON FAITH

Michael Dimock, president of the Pew Research Center, has issued a statement explaining why the pollster has maintained a “longstanding emphasis on religion research” in the U.S. and abroad.

Religion, he said in the quarterly update, “is often central to personal identity and experience, and religious values frame social change, cohesion and conflict in the United States and around the world.”

Mr. Dimock also pointed out that there are no federal or state statistics on religious identity in the U.S. — and there haven’t been since 1956, when Congress discontinued funding for “The Census of Religious Bodies.” Gauging the faith of America has long been a factor; Census takers began asking questions about religious persuasion starting in 1850.

Mr. Dimock noted that the Pew Research “Religious Landscape Study” attempts to offer the insight through a periodic poll of 35,000 U.S. adults which reveals the particulars of religious beliefs and practices, along with social and political views.

The most recent study revealed that 72% of Americans “believe in heaven” while 59% said they felt a sense of “spiritual peace and wellbeing” at least once a week.

“Our mission is to generate a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making. Religious perspectives and values can shape many areas of decision-making, from federal and state policy to the choices facing individuals. Understanding the role of religion in people’s day-to-day lives, and how this role is changing, is critical to understanding the broader trends shaping our world,” Mr. Dimock said.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The original home of the late evangelist Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth, built in 1900 on one acre in Montreat, North Carolina. Stone cottage with four bedrooms, two baths, dining and family rooms, pine interior and flooring; 2,564 square feet. Heavily wooded, patio, stone walls, rustic paths. A “hidden gem” purchased by the family in the 1940s, and their home during Graham’s most “monumental” faith outreach. Priced at $595,000 through PremierSothebysRealty.com; enter 3757715 in the search function.

POLL DU JOUR

• 55% of U.S. adults say most new cases of COVID-19 are among people who are unvaccinated; 46% of Republicans, 54% of independents and 70% of Democrats agree.

• 14% say most new cases are “equally split” between unvaccinated and vaccinated people; 21% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.

• 7% overall say new cases mostly occur among vaccinated people; 6% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

• 24% overall are not sure where the cases originate; 27% of Republicans, 24% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted July 10-13 and released Wednesday.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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