House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel is speaking out on the crisis in Venezuela and the Trump administration’s response. Engel blames President Nicholas Maduro for the chaos there but warned against military intervention. Engel instead highlighted the plight of refugees, calling on the US to accept more Venezuelan’s into the country to relieve the humanitarian crisis. Radio America’s Christian Whittle reports.
A strong America means secure borders, free trade, and putting American citizens first when focusing on national security and job creation, according to businessman turned congressional candidate Paul Nehlen.
Best known for his high-profile but unsuccessful primary challenge to House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2016, Nehlen is already running against Ryan in 2018 and is author of the brand new book “Wage the Battle: Putting America First in the Fight to Stop Globalist Politicians and Secure the Borders.”
The book focuses on several major goals, including restoring American sovereignty and reinvigorating American economic nationalism and an America-first foreign policy.
Nehlen has Fortune 500 business experience and points to success in bringing companies to the U.S. from all over the world. He says America need policies that allow our workers to thrive because he knows they are second to none.
“Hands down, America is number one. We have got just a fabulous workforce,” said Nehlen. “There are pockets of great work forces out there. I worked in Poland a lot. They’re great. But there’s nothing the American work forces can’t do, unless they are hamstrung by our government.”
He says convoluted government policies that play favorites in the economy is hurting our competitiveness.
“If, like Speaker Ryan, you try to give certain corporations a leg up on other small and mid-size businesses, you’re really undermining America. We can’t have a strong military, we can’t have a strong nation unless we have strong trade,” said Nehlen.
Nehlen contends the current structure of our economy is a far cry from what it was intended to be.
“This country wasn’t founded on free trade deals. This country was founded on protecting our manufacturing base, protecting our natural resources, and tilting the playing field in the favor of our manufacturers. That’s not what’s happening now,” he said.
Instead, Nehlen says our current course has actually landed us in the midst of economic hostilities with multiple nations.
“We are literally at economic war with countries like China and South Korea and Taiwan, many of whom are manipulating their currency to undermine our ability to do business in the global marketplace. That has to stop,” said Nehlen.
According to Nehlen, even the recent history of American trade agreements shows the government is choking the freedom out of our trade relationships.
“Back in 1985, we negotiated a free trade agreement with Israel and it was 13 pages long,” said Nehlen. “Fast forward about 10 years, they passed NAFTA. It’s 1,700 pages long. Fast forward another couple decades, the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes along, 5,500 pages. There is nothing free about trade that is described in 5,500 pages. It just doesn’t happen.”
Nehlen is thrilled that Trump is more than making good on his pledge to eliminate two regulations for new one placed on the books, operating at a clip of scrapping approximately 16 regulations for every new one. But he says that success has a lot of people wanting to share the credit, including the Speaker of the House.
“We see Speaker Ryan trying to take credit for that now. He’s had 18 years in Congress and he’s abdicated his role to the executive branch. Now he’s trying to take credit for what the executive branch is doing,” said Nehlen.
Congress has yet to approve funds for the construction of a border wall, which was one of President Trump’s most common promises on the campaign trail. Democrats threatened to shut down the government when a spending bill was approved in April. Now, reports suggest Republicans are still reluctant to approve the funds.
Nehlen is appalled.
“I’m disgusted with this Congress not voting on the wall and essentially just attaching some spending which will get us about 60 miles of new border fence,” said Nehlen.
“It’s ridiculous. I’ve been to the border and there are areas of the border where there is – they call it Jurassic Park – the fencing looks like enormous spikes coming up out of concrete. Adjacent to it is your normal, run of the mill barbed wire, put up by ranchers to keep their steer from going into Mexico because the water is inches deep. To suggest we’ve got the border secured is absurd,” he said.
Getting the wall done is right at the top of an ambitious laundry list that Nehlen hopes to accomplish if elected to Congress.
“One would be to advocate for this wall. Another would be to advocate for national reciprocity for anybody who has concealed carry. If you leave your state and go to another state, you shouldn’t have to relinquish the ability to protect yourself,” said Nehlen.
He would also slam on the brakes when it comes to refugee resettlement.
“Nine voluntary organizations – they’re not really voluntary – are getting paid by U.S. taxpayers to move people, predominantly Muslim – 99-plus percent I might add – to the United States. We are funding our own demise right now. It has got to stop,” said Nehlen, who also wants Congress to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
“We have got to get the Muslim Brotherhood out of the United States. We have got to root them out. That will roll back 60 years of their efforts to undermine the United States from within,” said Nehlen.
One reviewer declared Nehlen’s book a plan of action for Trump-like candidates. It’s a label Nehlen welcomes.
“I am very flattered by that. That is exactly why I wrote the book, because we need hundreds of good, righteous candidates who believe in securing the border and putting American workers, American retirees, and American children first,” said Nehlen.
The man who unsuccessfully challenged House Speaker Paul Ryan in a Republican primary last year is now releasing a documentary highlighting what he sees as a threat to the United States through a coordinated Muslim migration strategy.
Nehlen says hijrah can refer to multiple ideas, ranging from leaving sin behind to Mohammed’s journey from Mecca to Medina. However, he says Islamic texts clearly speak about strategic migration.
“Hijrah means ‘migration in the name of Allah,'” said Nehlen, who says the ultimate goal is to populate non-Muslim nations to the extent needed to impose Sharia law.
“The hijrah is one way of spreading the Sharia, spreading the law of Islam, this political doctrine, to land where Islam isn’t. That’s what this documentary covers. It talks about the bigger picture here of what we saw here . It stems directly from their fundamental texts,” said Nehlen.
He says hijrah is another method by which Muslims can earn their salvation.
“Quite unlike a Christian, who believes you can’t earn your way in and only by the grace of God are you granted access to heaven through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, Muslims believe they can earn their way in. They believe they have to earn their way in,” said Nehlen.
In addition to explaining hijrah in his documentary, Nehlen says he made the film to counter the conventional wisdom offered by the media.
“What is portrayed in the mainstream media is so far from the truth that what I learned prior to and during my campaign compelled me to make this documentary to expose it for what it is and really to point out the massive hypocrisy in our refugee resettlement mechanisms in this country,” said Nehlen.
Specifically, Nehlen takes aim at the nine voluntary agencies, or volags, that facilitate refugee resettlement in the U.S.
“[They] receive over a billion dollars to resettle people who are predominantly – almost exclusively – Muslims into this country,” he said.
And he says the financial research he’s done shows more refugees admitted to the U.S. mean a lot of money for the volags.
“I researched these nine volags and all of their top people – I researched five deep into their salaries – and they’re making six-figure salaries. In fact, the highest-paid individual is making over $650,000 a year,” said Nehlen.
“When you have a profit motive that large to bring people in and you’re making more money by bringing more people in, you can’t argue that this is a humanitarian-only issue. This is a profit-driven issue,” he added.
He also claims not all the volags are as they seem based on their names.
“You have groups that have very Christian-sounding names, but the reality is they are being co-opted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. They are working on behalf of the United Nations, which is clearly working at odds to the United States,” said Nehlen.
Nehlen says this concern over a de facto Muslim invasion is not just theoretical. He says the apprehension of a suspicious person photographing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge years ago ultimately led to a trove of unvarnished Muslim Brotherhood documents.
He read from one that directly references strategic migration.
“The process of settlement is a civilization jihadist process with all the word means. The Iquan, Arabic for Muslim Brotherhood, must understand that their work in America is kind of a grand jihad, eliminating and destroying the western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that is it eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions,” read Nehlen.
Nehlen is strongly urging Congress to pass HR 377, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.
“It will roll back 60 years of work the Muslim Brotherhood has done,” said Nehlen.
Defenders of refugee resettlement and general Muslim migration contend the vast majority of Muslims are looking for a peaceful opportunity to pursue physical and financial security for their families. However, Nehlen says polling shows more than 50 percent of Muslims in the U.S. want to see Sharia law trump the Constitution as the final legal authority in the U.S..
“We are seeing Islamist Muslims who are reading directly from their documents and doing what is prescribed in their documents. It is inarguable. You cannot argue that this religion is being perverted. It is not being perverted. It is being practiced in a fundamental way to spread Sharia around the world,” said Nehlen.
And he says giving ground at the margins is a sure-fire way to lose the fight.
“There is no reason that a country should give up its culture, its heroes, its holidays, its traditions in order to make way for a new culture, new traditions, new holidays, new heroes. That’s not what a nation state is all about. I for one will not stand by and watch it happen,” said Nehlen.
President Trump’s executive order is not a permanent ban but is necessary for national security thanks to the lax vetting practices applied by the Obama administration, according to a leading immigration policy experts.
Trump has issued a flurry of orders, but his executive order last week ordering an immediate and indefinite pause on travel to the United States from seven terrorism-prone nations is drawing by far the fiercest response. Protesters have clogged airports and political critics are demanding Trump rescind the order.
Jessica Vaughan is director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. She says there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about what Trump’s order does.
“I think the most misunderstood part is that people are being permanently prevented from coming to the United States who had been approved before,” said Vaughan. “This is not a permanent ban. It’s a temporary suspension. You can call it a ban if you want, but it’s a temporary ban. No one has been told that the benefit they were approved for has been taken away.”
And she says refugees in dire situations are still being processed from those countries even with the pause in place.
“I have to emphasize there is language in this executive order that anybody with a particularly emergency situation, compelling circumstances, in imminent danger, or in other categories can ask for a waiver. From what I’ve heard in statements today, they’ve already granted more than a thousand waivers for people,” said Vaughan.
But she says the pause on entry from the seven unstable nations is needed to recalibrate how the U.S. screens people entering our country.
“The point was to give our government the opportunity to take another look at these people who have been granted green cards, visas, refugee status. We know that the vetting process under the Obama administration was not adequate,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan, a former visa officer, says the Obama administration failed to do even basic screening much of the time, including waiving required interviews with those seeking to go to the U.S. But she said the problems didn’t end there.
“In other cases, officers were not allowed to look very deeply into the applications that they got. The claims they made on their applications were not always verified. Officers were told to assume that they were qualified and not ask too many questions. [There was] not a lot of fraud prevention work taking place,” said Vaughan.
Then there is the problem of trying to vet people coming from hostile countries or ones that don’t have decent records on their people.
“In some of these countries, we don’t have enough of a relationship with the government to be able to be sure that people’s identities are who they say they are or that their story checks out,” said Vaughan.
“There was a lot of enforcement that was undone by the Obama administration. We’ve seen illegal immigration rise to levels we have not seen in many years,” said Vautghan.
Vaughan says she has sympathy for those caught in transit as the order took effect, but she says national security has to take precedence.
“It is important to recognize that our security has been put at risk every single day that we have not had adequate vetting in place. So it was important to put a stop to that as soon as possible,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan likens the pace of Trump’s immigration actions thus far – ranging from this order to ordering border wall construction to cracking down on sanctuary cities – to “drinking from a fire hose,” but she believes Trump is on the right course.
“There’s a lot that needed to happen,” she said. “It’s been presented as an integrated plan. Throwaway lines like, ‘Let’s have more border security.’ They’re talking about a wall but changing the policies also and enforcing the laws in the interior. That’s a comprehensive approach that’s likely to work.”
Greg Corombos of Radio America and David French of National Review discuss President Trump’s orders seeking to reduce federal regulations. They also say Trump is on the right track with his refugee policy but did not implement it well, and they unload on the hysterical left-wing reaction to the policy. And they practice their shocked faces as Iran defies the United Nations and tests a ballistic missile – the ones that carry nuclear warheads.
The Berlin terrorist attack may well be the result of poor immigration and refugee policies that threaten the population now and even more so in years to come, and the author of a new book on the subject says it’s already happening in many parts of the United States.
Leo Hohmann is a longtime investigative reporter. He is news editor at WND.com and author of “Stealth Invasion: The Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.”
On Tuesday, authorities in Berlin released a man originally suspected of carrying out the attack due to a lack of evidence. Hohmann says it could be very difficult for the Germans to track down the perpetrator due to their own loose immigration policies.
“The German government has imported so many of these refugees and asylum seekers over the past two years, up to 1.3 million have come in, that they don’t know exactly who they have that they’re dealing with here,” said Hohmann.
And he says the longer the manhunt goes on, the harder it will be to find the terrorist.
“The real killer, they said, remains on the loose. The problem is with that many refugees in Germany, they have set up many enclaves. There are many, many safe houses that the killers could have escaped to and in which they’re being harbored,” said Hohmann.
He has no doubt this attack is an an example of radical Islamic terrorism.
“There’s no question about that. The only question in my mind is was it done by a refugee or could it have been a son of a Muslim migrant,” said Hohmann.
He reaches that conclusion by using the past as prologue in evaluating terrorism in the U.S. and abroad.
“They all have Islam in common and the other thing they have in common is that they’re all perpetrated by either Islamic immigrants or sons of Islamic immigrants. So you have a whole class of people who have isolated themselves in these western countries, come in through liberal immigration policies, live in enclaves, don’t assimilate and at some point or another get ‘radicalized,'” said Hohmann.
He rattled off a list of 10 recent terrorist attacks that fit the bill, from the Boston Marathon bombing to the Chattanooga military recruitment murders to last December’s attack in San Bernardino.
He says the liberal immigration policies in Germany have already reshaped that country.
“They’ve basically established a nation within a nation,” said Hohmann.
Hohmann says our media constantly treat terrorism as isolated attacks that share no common threads, thereby minimizing the threat. He says that has lulled Americans into not seeing the scope of the threat.
“The American people live in ignorant bliss and think that we’re really at a state of peace in the world when, as my book points out, we’re in the middle of World War III,” said Hohmann.
President-Elect Donald Trump drew political fire from many corners by calling for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration. Hohmann believes that is the right policy. He says Trump’s updated call for “extreme vetting” won’t stop the threat.
“I’m not sure it would have caught a single one of the terrorists in this list of ten that I have on my page sitting in front of me over the past two years,” said Hohmann.
He says current vetting is worthless since U.S. officials only ask applicants if they are members of ISIS. But he says even much tougher scrutiny wouldn’t solve the problem.
“Say they answered all the questions correctly and we let them in. They does not preclude them from becoming radicalized after they get here. That’s what happens most often. Not to mention the second generation of migrants is more dangerous than the first generation,” said Hohmann.
But Hohmann says Muslim groups are playing a much longer game, namely changing societies as immigration continues.
“The violent jihad that we’ve been speaking about is only part of the problem and some could argue that it’s only the smallest part. There’s another problem and it’s a more long-term problem. That is civilization jihad,” said Hohmann.
“It’s a long-term plan by the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate American society from within, using liberal immigration policies and lack of assimilation, to build what is called a nation within a nation,” said Hohmann.
He says tightening immigration laws might solve part of the problem but there is also a clear path forward for addressing those already here.
“You have to start requiring assimilation. You have to stop giving special favors to Islam. As we’ll read in my book, we’ve not only invited folks here from these areas of the world that hate American values, but we’ve been kowtowed to their values and not expected any sort of assimilation,” said Hohmann.
The apparent terrorist attack on pedestrians at Ohio State University Monday is triggering a wide range of political and cultural reaction, but a leading terrorism expert says the most important responses need to be much tougher screening for refugees and helping people spot radical threats before they strike.
On Monday morning, Somali refugee Abdul Azak Ali Artan allegedly drove a car into a crowd of people before getting out and trying to stab as many people as possible. Artan was quickly shot and killed by campus police officer Alan Horuljko.
In the aftermath, the Obama administration has been careful not to describe the attack as radical Islamic terrorism, despite ISIS claiming credit for the attack and officials suggesting Artan’s social media postings indicate he was inspired by ISIS. At least one of the victims says he is withholding judgment on Artan’s motives.
President-Elect Donald Trump was much less diplomatic, saying Artan never should have been in the country in the first place.
Terrorism expert Dr. Harvey Kushner says Artan should have raised red flags as he tried to enter the U.S.
“This individual should have raised some red flags, given when he came here. At the time when he came here and the time when ISIS was beginning to be in full bloom and was recruiting heavily on the internet. And the area of the world which he came from should have raised some questions of more extreme vetting,” said Kushner.
Kushner, who is also head of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Institute at Long Island University. He says Artan’s actions were a textbook ISIS attack, given the terrorists’ public push for stabbing attacks. He says we have to do a better job of screening who comes into this country.
“Our authorities need to be able to get data on individuals who want to come in here. There has to be a very deep interviewing process and there has to be some kind of follow-up while they’re here. I’m not saying to pause completely from all areas of the world but some areas are certainly more problematic,” said Kushner.
“People from certain regions of the world that we know are problematic, which we know bring political baggage with them could cause a problem in the future. This attack represents such an incident,” said Kushner.
He says trying to limit refugees from terror-prone nations is made far more difficult now that so many are dispersed throughout Europe and could attempt to come to the U.S. from nations that don’t raise red flags.
“What’s happened throughout Europe and the European Union and movement between countries there,” said Kushner. “We really need to step back and take a look at the process that we have currently in terms of gathering data about individuals and making sure these individuals don’t pose a serious threat.”
While students who claim to know Artan say they never suspected he was radicalized, Kushner says it is far more likely that this rage was building for some time rather then Artan suddenly snapping.
“I don’t think this necessarily happens overnight, that there’s some sort of epiphany that the person should go out and do this. I think this was building up. Most likely it was disguised in his behavior prior to this. I don’t think there was a straw that broke the camel’s back. There was a build-up here and I think we need to be more astute about recognizing these signs,” said Kushner.
Kushner admits spotting a threat is not easy.
“It’s not recognizable to the general public or the people close by, because they’re not trained as psychologists or psychiatrists or people involved in looking at looking at individuals from certain regions of the world,” said Kushner.
He says one of the possible triggers for radicalization is the intense clash of cultures for some people who come to the U.S.
“I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but I will say it. When you’re bringing people from certain regions of the world who have cultures and backgrounds that are somewhat different that what you have here in the states. This, unfortunately, lays the groundwork for something like this to spring up,” said Kushner.