Inside the Beltway: ‘Private citizens’ maintain the border – Washington Times

It is a simple but telling insight into the ongoing and unsolved challenges of the southern U.S. border.

“Private citizens should not have to maintain an international boundary,” advised Russell Johnson in a podcast conversation with Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan research organization.

Mr. Johnson is a fourth-generation cattle rancher in southern New Mexico who lives and works along 8 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border on the same land occupied by his great-grandfather in 1918.

The rancher and his family have been tasked with establishing and maintaining miles of fencing in order to deter the arrival of immigrants — who have, he said, illegally crossed the border by climbing over barriers or simply driving through them.

“It’s very labor-intensive to keep up those fences. There’s no compensation for that. It all out of my pocket,” Mr. Johnson said.

Mr. Krikorian asked whether the rancher would ever consider moving somewhere else.

“We’ve been here for over a hundred years, we’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this land. We don’t think we ought to move. This is an issue that our government needs to get control of,” Mr. Johnson replied.

“We’re living in America. This is still the United States. We should be afforded the same protection that people who live inland are given,” he said.

The podcast itself is part of a series titled “Life on the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Abandoned Americans,” which is focused on U.S. citizens who are facing unique challenges in the region on their own.

“Most Americans have never heard the details of how the lack of operational control of the border impacts their fellow taxpaying countrymen, who live and work near the border,” the Center for Immigration Studies said in a statement.

The group also noted that U.S. Border Patrol agents have apprehended 1,659,206 illegal migrants in fiscal 2021, a record for apprehensions at the southwest border.

Find the podcast and much more at CIS.org.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Joe-cialists.”

Here’s a handy term deployed by Ike Brannon, a senior fellow at the Jack Kemp Foundation, in a New York Post op-ed.

The “Joe-cialists” are those lawmakers and other officials who go along with President Biden and twist reality when it comes to inflation and the economy, Mr. Brannon wrote.

“The news that inflation hit a 31-year high in October, increasing at an annual rate of 6.2 percent, has made it extremely difficult for anyone to deny that inflation is real. Most economists acknowledge that it now constitutes a threat to the incipient economic expansion and the standard of living of U.S. households. However, the Biden administration is doing its best to obfuscate this reality,” Mr. Brannon wrote.

THE PUBLIC MOOD GETS WORSE

A significant and wide-ranging survey from the Harvard University Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll has more bad news for President Biden and his administration.

It finds that 57% of the respondents say the U.S. economy is “weak,” while only 24% say their personal financial situation is improving. Another 56% say the nation is on the “wrong track.”

The Democratic Party has an approval rating of just 38%, though Republicans are only a notch ahead at 39%. Mr. Biden’s approval stands at 43%, down from 62% in June. The overall approval of the U.S. Congress is a meager 31%.

Among the more disconcerting findings: 58% of the overall respondents think Mr. Biden “is showing he is too old to be president”; 90% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 27% of Democrats agree. Another 53% overall “have doubts about his fitness for office”; 85% of Republicans, 57% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military earns a favorability rating of 80%, followed by the nation’s police forces with 71% approval and the FBI with 59% approval.

They are, the poll said, “the most favored government institutions.”  

The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll of 1,578 registered U.S. voters was conducted Oct. 26-28 and released Thursday.

THE LAWYERS HAVE A SAY

Now underway in the nation’s capital, it’s the Federalist Society’s annual National Lawyers Convention at a historic hotel just a few blocks north of the White House.

The three-day event features an official Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner, the Honorable Robert H. Bork Memorial Lecture, a debate luncheon plus input from Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, Judge Laurence H. Silberman, Judge Amul R. Thapar, John Allison, Ashley Keller, and a “fireside chat” by bestselling author Vivek Ramaswamy.

Watch a live stream of all the big doings at FedSoc.org.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Historic and “stately” Revolutionary War-era home built in 1770 by Plymouth Council member David Drake on 2 acres in Westfield, Massachusetts. Five bedrooms, four baths, three fireplaces, wide plank pine floors, original paneling, hand-hewn beams and original beehive oven; 2,748 square feet. Chef’s kitchen, many restorations and updates, clapboard exterior, mature trees, two-car garage, manicured lawns. Priced at $499,000 through Sotheby’s Realty; details at 161honeypotrd.com.

POLL DU JOUR

• 44% of U.S. adults have put off buying new clothes or personal items this year in order to save money.

• 41% have saved money by putting off going on a vacation or taking time off.

• 29% have put off doing home repairs or maintenance.

• 28% have chosen not to put off their expenditures this year.

• 23% have put off car repairs or maintenance, 21% have put off receiving medical care.

• 7% are not sure about the issue.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 6-9. Respondents could given multiple answers.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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