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The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out its strategies to address the root causes of immigration, a step officials call a “core component” of efforts to establish a “fair, orderly, and humane immigration system.” President Biden, in March, tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s diplomatic efforts to address the “root causes” of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. HARRIS TELLS DACA RECIPIENTS THAT ADMINISTRATION WILL TAKE ‘ACTION’ AFTER PROGRAM IS RULED UNLAWFUL”In Central America, the root causes of migration run deep—and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States,” Harris said in a statement. “For that reason, our nation must consistently engage with the region to address the hardships that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border.” The vice president, in rolling out the new strategies, said that under the Biden Administration, she and the president have “restarted” U.S. engagement with Central American governments to create a “comprehensive” strategy to address the root causes of migration. “First, addressing the root causes of migration is critical to our overall immigration effort,” Harris explained. “Second, providing relief is not sufficient to stem migration from the region.” Harris said that the root causes “must be addressed both in addition to relief efforts—and apart from these efforts.” “In everything we do, we must target our efforts in those areas of highest-out migration—and ensure that these programs meet the highest standards of accountability and effectiveness,” Harris said. “Third, unless we address all of the root causes, problems will persist,” Harris added, noting that it is the “goal” of the administration to deal with “corruption” in the region, and “mitigate the lack of economic and educational opportunities on the ground.” “Fourth, and most importantly, the United States cannot do this work alone,” Harris said. “Our strategy is far-reaching—and focuses on our partnerships with other governments, international institutions, businesses, foundations, and civil society.” Harris said that, at this point, the governments of Mexico, Japan and Korea, and the United Nations have joined the United States in providing “relief” to the region. Harris also called on the private sector—in the United States and abroad—to invest in the region. “Private sector investment not only boosts economic opportunity, but also incentivizes regional governments to create the conditions on the ground to attract such investment,” Harris said. “Ultimately, our administration will consistently engage in the region to address the root cases of migration. We will built on what works, and we will pivot away from what does not work,” Harris said. “It will not be easy, and progress will not be instantaneous, but we are committed to getting it right.” She added: “Because we know The strength and security of the United States depends on the implementation of strategies like this one.” The Root Causes Strategy “identifies, prioritizes and coordinates actions to improve security, governance, human rights, and economic conditions in the region,” while integrating various U.S. government tools including “diplomacy, foreign assistance, public diplomacy and sanctions.” Senior administration officials said implementation of the strategy will rely on the expertise of a wide range of U.S. departments and agencies, with support from governments inside and outside the region, the private sector, Congress, and more. Officials said the U.S. will coordinate a “place-based” approach, targeting areas where migrants are most likely to come from. The strategy, according to officials, has been broken down into five pillars: addressing economic insecurity and inequality; combatting corruption, strengthening democratic governance and advancing the rule of law; promoting respect for human rights, labor rights and a free press; countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations; and combating sexual, gender-based and domestic violence. The administration on Thursday also rolled out its Migration Strategy, which officials called the first U.S. government strategy focused on strengthening cooperative efforts to manage safe, orderly and humane migration in North and Central America. The Migration Strategy includes efforts to stabilize populations with acute needs; expand access to international protection; expand access to protection in countries of origin; improve and expand temporary labor programs in the region with worker protections; assist and reintegrate returned persons; foster “secure and humane” management of borders; strengthen regional public messaging about migration; and expand access to “lawful pathways” for protection and opportunities in the United States. Senior administration officials said that Biden and Harris “inherited a broken and dysfunctional system,” acknowledging that there were “a number of problems that pre-existed the Trump administration,” but said the Trump administration “made them so much worse.” “For this strategy to be successful, we will have to undertake sustained efforts, which is both hard work over time, but also a very hard-nosed approach to having an impact on the ground for the people of the region who are suffering so badly.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe administration’s strategies come as migrant crossings into the United States across the U.S.-Mexico border hit a 10-year high. More than 188,000 migrants were encountered in June. Encounters of family units, meanwhile, surged by 25% to 55,805 from 44,746 in May.Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
The White House plans to continue pursuing Iranian nuclear talks and a “diplomatic path forward,” even as they condemn Tehran’s “dangerous and despicable” alleged plot to kidnap a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. An Iranian intelligence officer and three alleged members of an Iranian intelligence network were charged in New York with plotting to kidnap a prominent opposition activist and writer in exile and take her back to Tehran, authorities said this week. WHAT ARE THE IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS ABOUT?The identities of the alleged victims were not released but Brooklyn-based Masih Alinejad confirmed that authorities had told her she was among the targeted victims.The White House did not weigh in on the specific allegations of the plot Wednesday, but condemned the actions. “We categorically condemn Iran’s dangerous and despicable reported plot to kidnap a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, we will forcefully defend U.S. citizens and U.S. interests,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “That includes law enforcement actions like the one announced yesterday, as well as the actions the president has taken to defend U.S. forces in the region from Iranian backed militant groups.” IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER: VIENNA OFFERS ‘NOT WORTH LOOKING AT’Psaki added that it also includes the administration’s “diplomatic effort to constrain Iran’s nuclear program,” calling it one of their “most important and urgent actions.” “It is the actions to attempt to silence the voices of those peacefully working to address the situation both inside of Iran and outside of Iran that are appalling,” Psaki continued. “We will continue to speak out against that, and obviously, law enforcement authorities will take appropriate steps.” Psaki was asked whether the plot would have any impact on the Biden Administration’s Iran nuclear talks. “Well, it still remains,” she said. “We have never assessed Iran to be a good actor in the world, not just by this plot to kidnap a U.S. person who is residing in the U.S. but their active ties in the region, which we have had great concern about, and the president has taken retaliatory actions for,” Psaki said. She added, though, that “at the same time, we still see it, we will continue to pursue those talks, pursue the diplomatic path forward.” Iran has become more aggressive in recent years about seizing opposition journalists and dissidents abroad amid tensions over its tattered nuclear deal.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
President Biden on Monday convened a group of federal law enforcement and community leaders at the White House to discuss his administration’s comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crimes, saying there is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to combating gun violence and doubling down on the need to hire more police officers and crack down on illegal firearms. The president, on Monday, hosted a number of administration officials, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, White House counsel Dana Remus and domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, as well as mayors from Washington, D.C., and San Jose, California, and police chiefs from Memphis, Chicago, Wilmington, N.C., and Newark, N.J.BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ FOR GUN DEALERS IN PUSH AGAINST VIOLENT CRIMEThe president welcomed attendees, noting that he and the attorney general have “been at this a long time,” adding that it “seems like most of my career I’ve been dealing with this issue.” “There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” the president said. “We know there are some things that work, and the first of those that work is stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes.” The president said that includes “cracking down on holding rogue gun dealers accountable for violating the federal law. That includes the Justice Department creating five new strike forces to crack down on illegal gun trafficking in the corridor, supplying weapons to cities of New York, to the Bay Area.” “Our strategy provides, including funding for law enforcement through the American Rescue Plan for states, cities, and to be able to hire police and pay them overtime in order to advance community policing,” the president said, adding that the administration’s plan also will “invest in community violence intervention.””What we want to do, is when we know we utilize trusted community members, and encourage more community policing, we can intervene before the violence erupts,” he explained, saying that has been “the consensus in our experience and community violence prevention programs have shown to reduce crime in some cities by 60%.” A White House memo sent Monday morning to state and local officials discussed the need “to put more police officers on the beat,” and urged the use of American Rescue Plan funding to hire more law enforcement officers, bringing the police forces back “above pre-pandemic levels in communities experiencing an increase in gun violence associated with the pandemic.” The president also said the strategy will fund other “vital services,” like mental health and substance abuse programs, as well as job training and summer job programs. “This is going to help prevent crime and support young people, to pick up a paycheck, instead of a pistol,” Biden said. The administration’s strategy also will help formerly incarcerated people “successfully reenter society with housing, jobs, training and other support.” “We know this will help,” the president said. “This will make us all safer.” DOJ ACKNOWLEDGES ‘STAGGERING’ RISE IN VIOLENT CRIME AS IT ROLLS OUT EFFORT TARGETING GUN TRAFFICKING”The American Rescue Plan funds programs to help get job training and apprenticeships and work experience so they can gain stability and security and a chance for a better life,” the president said. “There’s a lot more to my strategy, but that’s at the core.” He added: “It’s about coordinating at the federal, state and local level.” Before the meeting Monday, senior administration officials told Fox News that contributors to gun violence are multifaceted, so it takes a multifaceted approach to tackle the issue. One official said the administration plans to provide federal resources, including additional FBI and ATF funding to help states and localities reduce gun violence, the ARP funding to hire additional police officers and advance community policing, and investments in community violence prevention. The official added that ATF is moving to tackle gun dealers through the administration’s “zero tolerance” program, which was announced last month. The president and attorney general last month announced a “zero tolerance” policy for gun dealers who willfully violate the law, as part of the Biden administration’s strategy to combat what the Justice Department calls a “staggering” surge in violent crime. The “zero tolerance” policy targets federally licensed firearms dealers who “willfully” transfer a weapon to someone prohibited from owning one or ignore a tracing request from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF would seek to revoke the dealer’s license after the first offense, a senior White House official said.At the time, the Department of Justice announced that it is launching “strike forces” to target gun traffickers and to provide more transparency around the enforcement of federally licensed firearms dealer policies. BIDEN ANNOUNCES SLATE OF GUN CONTROL ACTIONS, CLAIMS ‘PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS’The DOJ “strike force” teams are meant to target illegal gun trafficking in five cities – New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area and Washington, D.C. – all locales where authorities have said many guns used in crimes originate elsewhere.The strike force teams will coordinate with ATF and share information with local and state law enforcement agencies about where firearms originate and where they are used to commit crimes in an effort to bring down gun-dealing rings.Meanwhile, senior administration officials told Fox News that they are “eager” to work with state and local officials, law enforcement, community violence intervention experts “no matter what their politics are.” “This is one of the most bipartisan issues there is, and gun violence doesn’t discriminate regarding whether you are Democratic or Republican,” the official said, adding that officials “continue to do repeated outreach.” “It is important for us that we demonstrate that we are eager to engage with Republican leadership on this important issue,” the official added. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBiden discussed how $350 billion of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package can be used by cities to hire law enforcement officers, pay overtime, prosecute gun traffickers and invest in technology to make law enforcement more efficient. The officials said the Biden administration hoped cities would choose to use the money for alternatives to policing, too, and to invest in community policing models.The administration has also taken aim at “ghost guns” and modified firearms, which are homemade firearms without serial numbers that can be used to trace them, making it difficult for law enforcement to determine where, by whom, or when they were manufactured and to whom they were sold.The Justice Department’s ATF in May sought to update the legal definition of “firearm” in an effort to crack down on ghost guns. The administration also said they would support local law enforcement with federal tools and resources to help address summer violent crime and invest in evidence-based community violence interventions. Administration officials said those investments would expand summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults, as well as help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter their communities.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Former Donald Trump senior adviser Jason Miller launched a new social media platform on Sunday, using the July 4 holiday to declare “independence” from Big Tech.Miller announced that the platform, which he calls “GETTR” and says evolved from the idea of “getting together” as a community on social media, officially launched at 10 a.m. ET.FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: TOP TRUMP ADVISER LAUNCHING NEW SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM”GETTR is a direct challenge to the social media oligarchs from Silicon Valley, and what better day to declare independence from their woke tyranny than July 4th?” Miller, GETTR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “GETTR is the marketplace of ideas. We will not cancel people for their political opinions, and GETTR offers far more features and better technology than anything else out there.”Miller last week told Fox News – which was first to report on the new platform – that the July 4 launch was “very much intentional.” He emphasized that it “ties in with Independence Day….Independent from social media monopolies, independent from cancel culture; embracing free speech.”On Sunday, he touted that while GETTR was only available for a short time during Beta testing, it surged into the top 10 among all free Apps downloaded from the Apple App Store and ranked third among social networking Apps. He added that GETTR ranked two among all free Apps in the Google Play App Store, ahead of the launch.TRUMP, GOP CANDIDATES EMBRACE NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM TO PROTECT FROM ‘CANCEL CULTURE’Miller pointed to what he called “the explosion of interest in GETTR,” and stressed that the platform is not just for conservatives but “for people of all political stripes from around the world. We’re not afraid of ideas that challenge our own. That’s what the online experience should always be about.”Miller said that GETTR allows users to post longer messages with up to 777 characters, will also allow users to post “clearer pictures,” post videos that are up to three minutes long, and have the ability to edit the videos within the app. He added that upon signing up for GETTR, users will have the option to “import their existing tweets into this new platform.” As for former President Trump, Miller told Fox News on Thursday that “realDonaldTrump is waiting for him and ready to go.””We certainly hope President Trump will join the platform, but I’ll leave it to him to make decisions on what he’s doing,” Miller said.Miller told Fox News that Trump is not funding the platform in any way. “I hope he joins, but President Trump has a number of different options he’s considering,” Miller said. The former president’s been searching for ways to reach his millions of supporters after being kicked off Twitter and suspended from Facebook at the beginning of the year. Trump temporarily tried to engage his base through the launch of a now defunct blog.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe ousting of Trump from the social media giants’ platforms only intensified feeling by Trump supporters and conservatives that Big Tech is attempting to silence the right online.Former Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh is also involved with the new app, serving as a consultant.
The Biden Administration is mulling ways to ensure borrowers are supported when federal student loan repayments resume in September, as congressional Democrats push to extend the pause in payments and urge President Biden to unilaterally act to cancel up to $50,000 in debt per borrower. The Department of Education paused federal student loan payments in March 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and set the interest rates to 0% during the pause. Federal borrowers are scheduled to resume payments on Oct. 1. WARREN, SCHUMER PRESS BIDEN TO EXTEND PAUSE IN FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTSA Biden Administration official told Fox News Wednesday that the pause was designed to support borrowers impacted by the pandemic and its economic impact, but noted that the U.S. economy, each day, is making progress and recovering. The official added that the administration is still aware that there are impacts for individual borrowers and families, saying the Department of Education is working to ensure that borrowers still struggling amid the economic impact of the pandemic are supported when the pause in payments expires on Sept. 30. But dozens of Senate Democrats are calling on President Biden to extend the federal student loan payment moratorium by at least six months. Last week, 64 lawmakers urged the president to take action before the Sept. 30 deadline and requested the pause be extended until March 31, 2022, or until the economy returns to its pre-crisis levels—whichever is longer. The effort was spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Joe Courtney, D-Conn.”The suspension of payments and interest during the pandemic has provided essential relief to borrowers and their families during this economic and public health crisis,” the letter said. “Restarting payments, however, will present a significant challenge for borrowers, loan servicers, and the Department of Education, and we urge you not to let the payment pause lapse when borrowers are still depending on this financial relief.”A wave of student loan defaults would cause long-term damage to borrowers’ credit and financial stability and could put a sudden and unnecessary drag on the recovering economy,” they wrote.CANCELING STUDENT LOAN DEBT WOULD BE INEFFECTIVE AT BOOSTING THE ECONOMY, STUDY SHOWSThe Education Department has provided about $72 billion in relief on student loan interest alone, the lawmakers said. About 41 million Americans are benefitting from the federal government’s pause of student loan payments, which has already been twice extended.Earlier this month, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, during Senate testimony, said the administration had “no announcements” that officials are continuing to have conversations about a potential extension in the pause in payments. Schumer and Warren are among the lawmakers who have advocated for Biden to cancel $50,000 in outstanding federal debt per borrower via executive order, with Schumer this week vowing to “keep pushing” him to do it. “With Joe Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, the time is now to take action,” Schumer said this week. But the White House has maintained that major action with regard to loan cancellation needs to go through Congress. An administration official told Fox News that the president supports Congress providing $10,000 in debt relief per borrower and continues to look into what debt relief actions can be taken administratively. Congressional Democrats, though, have maintained that Biden could use existing executive authority under the Higher Education Act to order the Department of Education to “modify, compromise, waive or release” student loans.”The Department of Education is working in partnership with colleagues at the Department of Justice and the White House to review options with respect to debt cancellation, which is an ongoing process,” an administration official told Fox News.Outstanding student loan debt has doubled over the past decade, nearing a staggering $1.7 trillion. About one in six American adults owes money on federal student loan debt, which is the largest amount of non-mortgage debt in the U.S.Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.
Sen. Marco Rubio called for a return to “commonsense conservatism,” telling Fox News the Republican Party has an “enormous opening and opportunity” to shift its messaging closer to a pro-worker agenda, as those voters who traditionally gravitated toward Democrats have become turned off by the left’s “woke” rhetoric. In an interview with Fox News, Rubio, R-Fla., discussed private union workers, who, in the past, have followed union leadership in supporting Democratic candidates. HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ABOUT UNIONS’ ‘SPECIAL TREATMENT’”These are people that see what’s going on in America, from a cultural and societal standpoint, and think the left is crazy,” Rubio told Fox News, calling for a new “political movement that stands on behalf of common sense and individual liberty and defense of traditional values.” “Union leaders are elected by their members,” Rubio continued. “And if their members support a political movement, the leaders will follow that.” “I think there is an enormous opening and opportunity for the Republican Party because the Democratic Party has abandoned those principles for the woke left,” Rubio said. Rubio said that union workers have “become more supportive” and “more open” to Republican candidates, telling Fox News that former President Trump “deserves a lot of credit, because he was able to challenge a lot of the established market fundamentalist ideology that had become orthodox within the GOP, showing that you can be 100% pro-capitalism, but also understand the importance of workers.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during the Road to Majority convention at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla., on Friday, June 18, 2021.
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/AP)”In my view, this is a return to commonsense conservatism, which is what the party has been about, before it became market fundamentalism,” Rubio said, pointing to former President Ronald Reagan’s work in fighting for pro-American policies to help American workers. In recent weeks Rubio has been praised by a number of Florida-based unions, following his vote earlier this month to protect the prevailing wage requirement, commonly known as Davis-Bacon, in the CHIPS Act funding. The Davis Bacon Act of 1931 is a federal law that requires all on-site employees to be paid fair wages, benefits and overtime, also known as the “prevailing wage,” weekly, while working on government-funded construction, alteration or repair projects. The provision is typically pro-union, often rejected by Republicans and favored by Democrats. “Good, dignified work is critical to the success of the country,” Rubio said after taking the vote. “As we invest tens of billions of dollars into critical industries through large, publicly traded companies, it is only right that we require that those funds also invest in the men and women who will build and maintain these cutting edge facilities.” He added: “Ensuring these Americans receive a prevailing wage for this work — work that is critically important to the future of our nation — is common sense.” Rubio told Fox News that vote was not necessarily in support of unions, but instead “in support of American workers.” “I don’t think any society would succeed unless it is one that provides good work and good pay for millions of its people,” Rubio said, noting that “good work is what makes possible strong families and strong communities.” Rubio, though, acknowledged that that vote is “different from what I would have voted for in years past.” WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS ETHICS WAIVERS FOR EX-UNION OFFICIALS, SAYS THEY ARE ‘IN THE INTEREST OF GOVERNING'”Capitalism is the single greatest engine of prosperity in human history, and the market is far superior than government control,” Rubio said. “But policy makers have an obligation to step forward…we have an obligation to the national interest to step forward when the outcome is not good for America.” Rubio said, for example, that the market will “generally reach the right outcome,” but said that policy makers need to step in when the outcome is “not in the national interest.” “It is more efficient to make things in China because it is cheaper, but it is not in our interest to depend on China,” Rubio said. Rubio called a shift in the Republican Party toward a pro-worker agenda a “work in progress,” noting that “many of my colleagues are still operating under the pure market fundamental concept that many of us generally believe in and have for a very long time.” “I think more Republicans will [shift their stance] — especially those running for office,” Rubio said. “You’re running in the 21st century as a Republican — it is hard to ignore the energy the party picked up from new voters and people who didn’t vote Republican before Trump in 2016 and 2020, so I think you’re going to see more Republicans favorable to this view.” Meanwhile, Rubio, who ran for president in 2016, left the door open for a potential 2024 White House bid, but said his focus is on his work in the Senate. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”What I’ve learned over the last few years, is sometimes you’re so busy thinking about three years ahead, that you overlook what is three days ahead and three months ahead,” Rubio said. “I have work to do and I want to continue to serve in the Senate.” “As we get closer to 2024, I’ll assess where I am in my personal life, with my family, the world, the party, the country, and make a decision on where the best place for me to serve is,” Rubio continued. Rubio added: “As a senator, I can accomplish and help accomplish a lot of things important to the future of America.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said President Biden will likely “continue to attend church” despite efforts by U.S. Catholic bishops to prevent him and other politicians who support abortion policies from receiving Communion at Mass.The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) last week voted overwhelmingly to draft a formal document on the meaning of the Eucharist after a contentious debate on whether Biden and other politicians supportive of abortion policies are worthy of receiving Communion. The vote tally announced Friday was 168 bishops in favor, 55 opposed, and six bishops abstaining. BIDEN DOUBTS BISHOPS WILL TRY TO PREVENT OFFICIALS BACKING ABORTION RIGHTS POLICIES FROM RECEIVING COMMUNIONA section of the document is expected to include a specific admonition to Catholic politicians and other public figures who disobey church teachings on abortion and other core doctrinal issues. When asked about the proposed document Monday, Psaki said President Biden “is a strong man of faith,” calling religion “personal” to him.”He goes to church, as you know, nearly every weekend. He even went when we were on our overseas trip,” Psaki told reporters. “But it’s personal to him. He doesn’t see it through a political prism, and we’re not going to comment otherwise on the inner workings of the Catholic Church.”
President Joe Biden walks from St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church after attending mass, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)