June 29, 2018

Amnesty Squashed

Two long-awaited immigration bills were brought to the House floor in the past week. Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760) was the first to be voted on and ultimately stopped the terrible discharge petition that would have resulted in massive amnesty. The Goodlatte bill would have ended chain migration, eliminated the Visa Lottery, and stripped funding of sanctuary cities, just to name a few. Despite the great measures on border security in this bill, it failed in a 193-231 vote.

Although the second bill was supposed to be voted on the same day, House Leadership delayed the vote until the following week in hopes to get more votes to pass. The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (H.R. 6136), also known as the “compromise bill”, was a moderate bill at best that would have granted amnesty to 1.8 million illegal immigrants and certainly did not go far enough to protect our borders. After it finally was brought to the floor, the bill failed 121-301.

We are hearing that the next step is to introduce a narrow bill that will fix the situation of family separation at the border. However, one of the ideas is to issue the families ankle monitors so that I.C.E. agents can track them. This would be a bad idea seeing that I.C.E. does not have the equipment or resources to track that many people while tending to their other duties. This would also pose a tremendous burden on taxpayers, likely negating the tax cuts that President Trump just implemented.

Eagle Forum will continue to keep you informed as this bill and other immigration initiatives begin moving through Congress.


Four Notable Supreme Court Wins

The Supreme Court has been the center of attention in Washington, DC this week with win after win. Here are four notable cases to celebrate:

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights CommissionIn 2015, baker Jack Phillips was asked to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony.  He refused based on his religious beliefs.  He also made it clear that this was not the only event he would refuse. He did not believe in using his artistic skills for Halloween celebrations, lewd events such as bachelor/bachelorette parties, and so on. The couple complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission who then forced Jack to “re-educate” his staff on discrimination.

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Jack’s favor, protecting his free speech rights and religious freedoms. They even took notice of the continuous harassment by the Commission with Justice Anthony Kennedy accusing them of expressing “hostility to religion.” Although this is a narrow ruling only pertaining to Jack Phillips, it is a reminder that our government will uphold our Constitutional rights.

Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington

Similarly to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, Baronelle Stutzman who owned Arlene’s Flowers in the state of Washington refused to arrange flowers for a same-sex wedding ceremony based on her religious beliefs. The couple that she had served for nine years did not sue. The Attorney General of Washington took it upon himself to do so and ordered her to pay penalties.

The Supreme Court did not rule on this case, but instead, sent it back to Washington to reconsider in light of the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling. This is significant because it erased Washington’s ruling against her and holds them accountable for their new ruling.  It is likely that the new ruling will be appealed back to the Supreme Court, but in the meantime, this is good news for religious freedom.

NIFLA v. Becerra

An oppressive California law was under scrutiny this week because it suppressed the free speech rights of pregnancy centers. Pro-life religious clinics were forced to post a statement in their facilities and websites stating that the State of California provided low-cost or free abortion services. This policy dictated the location, languages, and size of signage.  In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court sided with the pro-life clinics, allowing them to retain their freedom of speech.

Trump v. Hawaii

Last year, President Trump issued a travel ban on five countries from entering the United States. The President made this decision based on evidence that these nations posed a threat to our national security. Liberals deemed this as a “Muslim ban”. Shortly after, a judge from Hawaii challenged this order based on this sentiment.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the travel ban citing “persuasive evidence” that this was in the best interest of national security and sought to improve vetting techniques. Since Congress largely disagrees on how to protect our borders, this is a win for the security of all Americans.

With the recent news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, we can expect President Trump to nominate a well-qualified judge who will uphold the Constitution. Eagle Forum applauds the favorable outcome of these cases and looks forward to many more wins