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Illegal immigrants from foreign adversary hit new high amid national security fears: 'Extremely alarming'

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Illegal immigrants from foreign adversary hit new high amid national security fears: 'Extremely alarming'

A record-breaking number of Chinese nationals have illegally crossed the border nationwide so far this fiscal year, figures released this week show, an increase of nearly 8,000% since FY 2021.

Customs and Border Protection updated its encounter numbers for April, showing that now there have been 27,583 encounters of Chinese nationals by Border Patrol this fiscal year, which began in October.

That is compared to 24,125 in all of FY 2023, 1,987 in FY 2022 and just 342 in FY 2021.

ILLEGAL MIGRANTS FROM THIS FOREIGN ADVERSARY ARE INCREASINGLY CROSSING THE BORDER

Migrants in line in Jacumba, California. Border authorities are contending with an influx of Chinese migrants in a key border sector. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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This means there has been a 7,965% increase from FY 2021 in numbers of Chinese crossing illegally. Of the 27,583 so far this FY 2024, 23,622, or 85%, were single adults.

More than 90% of the crossings this FY 2024 have been in the San Diego sector. There have also been more than 1,200 encounters in the first eight days of May, an average of more than 150 a day. 

Republicans and some border officials have raised concerns about the potential for espionage, as well as the smuggling of drugs like fentanyl. Republicans on a House Homeland Security subcommittee are holding a hearing Thursday on the matter, called, “Security Risk: The unprecedented surge in Chinese illegal immigration.” 

Democrats dismissed that hearing, calling it on their website, “Another Republican border ‘hearing’ with invasion rhetoric and fearmongering.”

SOUTHERN BORDER MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS DECREASE SLIGHTLY BUT GOTAWAYS STILL SURGE UNDER BIDEN 

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Chinese migrants speak to a border patrol officer before being processed

A Chinese migrant speaks to a border patrol officer before being processed after crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S. (Brandon Bell)

A committee spokesperson told Fox News Digital this week that the minority expects Republicans to use the hearing to “employ hyperbolic and xenophobic rhetoric to scaremonger about a ‘foreign invasion’ at the border.” 

“But the facts show that changes to Chinese migration reflect deteriorating economic and political conditions in China, and broader shifts in global migration patterns,” they said. “Responding to those shifts requires congressional action, including bipartisan legislation and additional funding for border security – which Republicans consistently oppose or block.”

Republicans on the committee described the dismissiveness as “disappointing.”

“It’s sad that House Democrats’ response to this hearing sounds more like Chinese state media than anything else,” Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop told Fox News Digital. 

“This fiscal year, apprehensions of Chinese nationals by Border Patrol agents at our Southwest border already exceed those from fiscal years 2007 – 2020 combined,” he said. “It should be extremely alarming to everyone, regardless of party, when record numbers of individuals from an adversarial nation flood into our country without vetting or oversight. House Democrats are clearly uninterested in combating this national security threat, which is disappointing — but not surprising.”

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Overall, the numbers of migrant encounters in April declined slightly. There were 179,725 encounters across the southern border in April, compared to 211,992 in April 2023 and 189,357 in March. 

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Proposal to limit transgender youth rights fails to qualify for California's November ballot

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Proposal to limit transgender youth rights fails to qualify for California's November ballot

A measure that would have required schools to notify parents about their child’s gender identity and limited transgender youth medical care has failed to get enough signatures in support to qualify for the November ballot, proponents said Tuesday.

The proposal sought to notify parents if their child changes their name or pronouns at school or requests to use facilities or play sports that don’t match their gender on official records. It also would have banned California doctors from prescribing hormones or otherwise providing gender-affirming care to minors.

For the measure to qualify for the ballot, proponents had to submit the signatures of more than half a million registered voters by Tuesday, the deadline set by the California secretary of state.

The campaign fell short but gathered more than 400,000 signatures, according to Jonathan Zachreson, a Roseville school board member who was leading the initiative.

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“If we had a little more time and a little more money, we would have easily qualified for the ballot,” he said.

Zachreson said the initiative had the support of tens of thousands of volunteers, with the most signatures collected from counties including Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino.

But the measure was always a political long shot in left-leaning California, home to some of the strongest LGBTQ+ protections in the nation.

The campaign raised $200,000, according to Zachreson, a paltry number in a state where some past ballot measure campaigns have had hundreds of millions of dollars in backing.

Supporters of the measure sought to bring Republican-backed debates over “parental rights” that have been playing out on school boards in conservative pockets of California to the statewide level. California Democrats in turn have fought to thwart gender notification policies considered by several school boards, measures they said are harmful to transgender students who may feel safe at school but not at home.

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Last week, Democratic state lawmakers in Sacramento introduced a bill that seeks to ban such school policies and shield teachers from retaliation for supporting transgender students as lawsuits over the issue are pending across the state.

The legislation comes after California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit last year against the Chino school district alleging its parental notification policy was discriminatory and violated civil rights and privacy laws.

Bonta also challenged the ballot title of the proposed measure that fell short Tuesday. Last month, a Sacramento Superior Court Judge tentatively sided with Bonta, who titled the measure the “Restrict Rights of Transgender Youth” initiative, while backers wanted to call it the “Protect Kids of California Act.”

Zachreson said supporters plan to appeal that decision. They will “absolutely” continue to push for similar ballot measures in the future and are now throwing their weight behind opposing the state legislation introduced last week, he said.

They are hoping for the financial support of billionaire Elon Musk, who has criticized healthcare for transgender youth.

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LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have warned that parental rights debates over gender identity are harmful to youth who already face high rates of suicide.

“Across the country and here in California, LGBTQ+ young people are under attack from extremist politicians and school boards seeking to ban books, terrorize teachers and make transgender youth afraid to be themselves at school,” Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang said in a statement.

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New court challenge filed in Pennsylvania to prevent some mail-in ballots from getting thrown out

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New court challenge filed in Pennsylvania to prevent some mail-in ballots from getting thrown out

A new lawsuit filed Tuesday by a constellation of left-leaning groups in Pennsylvania is trying to prevent thousands of mail-in ballots from being thrown out in November’s election in a battleground state that is expected to play a critical role in selecting a new president.

The lawsuit, filed in a state court, is the latest of perhaps a half-dozen cases to challenge a provision in Pennsylvania law that voters must write the date when they sign their mail-in ballot envelope.

PENNSYLVANIA CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO MISS BALLOT AFTER LEGISLATIVE DEADLOCK

Voters not understanding that provision has meant that tens of thousands of ballots have been thrown out since Pennsylvania dramatically expanded mail-in voting in a 2019 law.

A new lawsuit filed by left-leaning groups in Pennsylvania is trying to prevent thousands of mail-in ballots from being thrown out in November’s election. (FOX News)

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The latest lawsuit says multiple courts have found that a voter-written date is meaningless in determining whether the ballot arrived on time or whether the voter is eligible. As a result, rejecting someone’s ballot either because it lacks a date or a correct date should violate the Pennsylvania Constitution’s free and equal elections clause, the 68-page lawsuit said.

“This lawsuit is the only one that is squarely addressing the constitutionality of disenfranchising voters under Pennsylvania’s Constitution,” said Marian Schneider, a lawyer in the case and senior policy counsel for voting rights for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

Enforcement of the dating provision resulted in at least 10,000 ballots getting thrown out in the 2022 mid-term election alone, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit names Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s top election official, as well as the election boards in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, both heavily Democratic jurisdictions.

However, Democrats have fought to undo the dating requirement, while Republicans in the past have fought in court to ensure that counties can and do throw out mail-in ballots that lack a complete or correct date.

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Roughly three-fourths of mail-in ballots tend to be cast by Democrats in Pennsylvania, possibly the result of former President Donald Trump baselessly claiming that mail-in voting is rife with fraud.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the Black Political Empowerment Project, POWER Interfaith, Make the Road Pennsylvania, OnePA Activists United, New PA Project Education Fund, Casa San José, Pittsburgh United, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause Pennsylvania.

Currently, a separate challenge to the date requirement is pending in federal court over whether it violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the constitution’s equal protection clause. In March, a divided 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the date requirement does not violate the civil rights law.

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Opinion: What's convincing voters that the economy is worse than it ever was?

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Opinion: What's convincing voters that the economy is worse than it ever was?

One of the worst things about democracy is the way we talk about it.

For instance, politicians love to talk about unity, but our constitutional system was to set up to keep unity at bay, preferring a more adversarial approach, pitting faction against faction. Checks and balances, separation of powers and the divided authorities between the federal and state governments are predicated on the idea that unity will be rare and temporary. The Constitution places our most cherished liberties on a high shelf, hard to reach during moments of unifying populist passion.

The rhetorical mismatch doesn’t just apply to the mechanisms of democracy but also to the culture of democracy. Democratic manners demand that politicians never say the voters are wrong. But competitive elections — essential to any workable definition of democracy — require some voters to be “wrong.” I don’t necessarily mean in their policy preferences (though that’s frequently the case), I just mean elections create winners and losers. And yet, winning politicians, with barely half of the electorate on their side, routinely declare that the “America people have spoken” after every victory.

More to the point, voters are often simply wrong about basic facts going into an election. For instance, the Biden campaign is struggling with an electorate that believes the economy is far worse than it is. To be clear, I didn’t say they the economy is good, though that argument can be made. No, President Biden is struggling to convince the electorate that the economy isn’t the worst ever.

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A recent YouGov survey asked voters to say which decade, starting in the 1930s, had the worst economy. A third (32%) said the 2020s, our current decade, is the worst, worse even than the 1930s or 1970s. Only 23% said the ’30s and a mere 5% named the ’70s as the worst. This is, by any objective measure, wrong, spectacularly wrong.

Now, there’s a lot of partisan bias at work here. Only 19% of Democrats said ours is the worst decade and 24% did say the 1930s were, but 45% of Republicans believe the 2020s are the worst. Still, when nearly 1 in 5 Democrats wrongly believe things are worse than during the Great Depression, Democrats have got a problem.

This is merely one facet of Biden’s “vibes” problem. Large numbers of Americans (42%) think the 2020s are the worst decade for crime, which is just wrong. Twenty-eight percent think the 1940s — World War II, duh — had the “most war.” Only 4% named the 1970s and 6% cited the 2000s — when America fought, respectively, the Vietnam war and invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. But 19% said the current decade had the “most war” — and we’re not at war, though events in Ukraine and Gaza do make the times seem bellicose. From scientific breakthroughs to family unhappiness to racial inequality, lots of Americans just think things have never been worse.

Now, subjectively, there are perfectly valid arguments that things are not going well or that they can or should be going better. But we’re talking about objective judgments here, and objectively huge numbers of Americans are objectively wrong. And in fairness to them, I suspect many people don’t think they’re making objective judgments. When people say, “I’m having the worst day — or decade — ever!” they’re not necessarily being literal. They’re making a vibes declaration.

This is obviously a huge problem for Joe Biden. Thanks in part to the ravages of inflation and high interest rates and in part to his own shortcomings, he can’t change minds about the economy. But the causality works both ways. Economic realities contribute to negative attitudes and negative attitudes shape how the economy is perceived. And on many fronts, particularly race, Biden is fueling those negative attitudes (see his commencement address at Morehouse College).

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But that explanation is insufficient. Democracy depends on the promise of incremental, cumulative, progress. James Madison didn’t want polls to be the measure of the voters’ mood, but elections. Which is why we have them constantly, at every level of government. Democracy, for Madison, isn’t about unity or agreement, but about argument and disagreement, and constant self-correction.

Thanks to that vision, we’ve made enormous strides. But now, both parties wallow in catastrophism and presentism. Donald Trump — who has the historical memory of a goldfish — falsely screeches that things have never been worse. Yet as cartoonish as his rhetoric is, he’s making a right-wing version of a common left-wing argument. Indeed, every four years, partisans insist that this is the “most important election ever” and that catastrophe or salvation is on the ballot. Relentlessly crying wolf has fueled the mess we’ve found ourselves in, and perhaps the mess to come.

After all, when you constantly tell people we’re in an existential crisis, the vibes can create the reality, whether it’s warranted by the facts or not.

@jonahdispatch

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