Intelligence Agencies Reportedly Hacked Ransomware Group Responsible for JBS Attack

Aerial view of a man on a desktop computer with three monitors in front of him

National security agencies in multiple countries reportedly succeeded in hacking ransomware gang REvil, the group responsible for the cyber attack on meatpacker JBS, forcing them offline.

Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at cloud computing company VMWare, told Reuters that intelligence officials in multiple countries worked to stop REvil.

“The FBI, in conjunction with Cyber Command, the Secret Service and like-minded countries, have truly engaged in significant disruptive actions against these groups,” Kellermann, who serves as an adviser to the U.S. Secret Service on cybercrime investigations, told Reuters. “REvil was top of the list.”

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Internet Watchdog Says Ex-Intelligence Community Officials Are Echoing Big Tech Talking Points

A warning by former national security officials about the dangers of regulating technology companies is in lockstep with arguments made by Big Tech chief executives, according to a report from an internet watchdog group.

A group of former intelligence community officials sent a letter Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy arguing against the passage of a series of antitrust bills advanced in the House Judiciary Committee in June. The warnings echo talking points made by groups lobbying for the tech industry and major tech firms themselves, according to a report by the Internet Accountability Project, a nonprofit conservative advocacy group focused on issues related to Big Tech.

The intelligence community officials argued the bills would make the U.S. less competitive with China and could even compromise America’s national security. 

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44 Afghan Refugees Brought to the U.S. Flagged as Potential National Security Risks

Afghan men

Some 44 Afghan refugees who were brought to the U.S. were flagged as potential national security threats in the last two weeks, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Over 60,000 Afghans have been evacuated to the U.S. and around 13 of them are waiting to go through additional counterterrorism screening measures in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, according to the Post. Fifteen others were transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and returned to processing stations in Europe and the Middle East or allowed to enter the U.S. after further screening.

Another 16 Afghans are waiting to see whether they’ll be cleared for travel at U.S. processing sites in countries overseas, the Post reported. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents reportedly show officials raised concerns about multiple refugees for potential ties to terror organizations including suspicious information on their electronic devices.

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Chinese-Owned TikTok Overtakes YouTube in US

After former President Donald J. Trump attempted to ban TikTok, a popular video streaming social network, the Chinese-owned company has overtaken Google-owned YouTube in popularity in the United States.

“App users in the UK and US are spending more time on TikTok than on YouTube, a new report suggests,” BBC reported. “Data from app monitoring firm App Annie indicates that average time per user spent on the apps is higher for TikTok, indicating high levels of engagement.”

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Commentary: After Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal, Pro-Biden National Security Experts Conspicuously Quiet

In the aftermath of any botched U.S. military operation, what inevitably follows are numerous news cycles of noisy recriminations across Washington’s national security and foreign policy establishment. Republican lawmakers and some conservative military and diplomatic hands have blasted President Biden as the Afghanistan withdrawal spiraled out of control over the last two weeks, but there have been glaring exceptions.

Conspicuously absent from the after-action finger-pointing are nearly all of the 500 national security experts — both civilians and former senior uniformed officers — who endorsed Joe Biden for president last fall, while denouncing President Trump as an unfit commander-in-chief.

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Commentary: Biden Gave Up More Than Bagram

Joe Biden

Earlier this week, as covered in a previous column in the American Spectator, the Democrat National Committee bragged about the “achievement” of this alleged president in his “best-run evacuation” of Kabul. Chief among the DNC’s arguments for such ludicrous praise was the lack of American casualties.

The press flacks at the DNC, every one of whom would be fired if that organization had the slightest honor (its chairman, the failed U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, should similarly resign in disgrace before the weekend), were merely parroting statements the alleged president made about the absence of dead Americans at the time.

Every single credible person with either operational military experience or a knowledge of Afghanistan was warning that casualties were already inevitable by that point. Even the alleged president, in a fit of congratulatory onanism, qualified the alleged safety of the “best-run evacuation” with the proverbial knock on wood.

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National Security Correspondent for The Washington Times, Bill Gertz Outlines Dangerous Ramifications of Afghanistan Withdrawal

Bill Gertz

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Washington Times National Security Correspondent since 1985, Bill Gertz on the newsmakers line to outline the consequences of US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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Biden Officials Gave the Names of Americans and Afghan Allies Trying to Evacuate to the Taliban

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice President Kamala D. Harris, National Security Advisor to the President Jake Sullivan, and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Nancy McEldowney at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 2021. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

U.S. officials in Kabul have given the Taliban “a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies” who should be granted entry through Taliban checkpoints outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Politico reported Thursday. This decision to trust the Taliban with this information has reportedly “prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.”

The U.S. military has been sharing “information with the Taliban” since Aug. 14 ostensibly to prevent attacks, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. confirmed during a Pentagon briefing Thursday.

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‘This Is a Massive F*** Up’: Team Organizing Private Flights out of Afghanistan Says the Biden Administration Has Been an ‘Impediment’ to Their Evacuations

Joe Biden

The Biden administration has been an “impediment” to a private effort to get people out of Afghanistan, Robert Stryk, who is arranging privately chartered flights to get Americans and vulnerable Afghans out of the country, exclusively told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday.

“The Brits and South Africans have been fucking awesome and heroic in getting people through the Mil Gate,” Stryk told the DCNF.

Stryk, whose Washington-based lobbying firm was in 2017 paid by the government of Afghanistan for “US Government affairs and commercial sector advice. Executive Branch and Legislative Branch Engagement; Defense consultation; strategic advice pertaining to extremism/terrorism; and promotion of democracy and foreign direct investment,” said he had reached out to the administration “dozens and dozens” of times and had yet to hear back.

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Commentary: The Woke Road to Kabul

If stagflation, rising urban crime, and a weak Democratic president did not remind us enough of the 1970s, we now have our very own fall of Saigon.

To the astonishment of many naïve observers, especially those among the polite and orderly caretakers of America’s decline (for whom I suggest the acronym “POCAD”) now so foul misplaced atop our discredited foreign policy establishment, Afghanistan’s Taliban shrewdly—and predictably—waited until U.S. forces had nearly completed their withdrawal from the country before launching a massive offensive that has conquered almost all before it.

Outside Kabul’s precariously held airport, the capital has fallen. Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani fled the country and was within a matter of hours replaced by a Taliban mullah. U.S. diplomats destroyed the secret papers (and, reportedly, images of the American flag) while pusillanimously begging the new regime not to attack the embassy, over which the colors no longer fly. Taliban fighters are joyfully lounging in captured bases where they have won huge caches of American military hardware for use against their doomed countrymen, or to supply whatever other terrorist groups take refuge with them.

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Host Leahy with Guests Ogles and Henry Follow Up on Hagerty Interview and the Wreckage of Afghanistan Withdrawal

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles and Grassroots Director Grant Henry to the studio to give their take on Senator Bill Hagerty’s summation of Biden’s decision to abruptly withdraw from Afghanistan.

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Republicans Sound Alarm on Biden Border Policy as COVID Spreads

As the number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border reaches a 20-year high and COVID-19 cases consequently spike, Republican lawmakers are blasting the Biden administration for the converging security and public health crises.

July saw the highest number of illegal immigrants crossing the border in over 20 years, with a total of 210,000. Simultaneously, fewer MS-13 gang members have been caught crossing the border this year than in each of the previous three years, and COVID-positive migrants are flooding the Texas border town of McAllen.

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Commentary: The National Security Agency and Tucker Carlson Controversy

Tucker Carlson vs. NSA

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s charge that the National Security Agency illegally spied on him and leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought “to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American,” declared MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectively claiming that “I’m not a crazy person overstating a case!”

When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?

The Carlson controversy cannot be understood outside the context of perennial NSA abuses. The NSA possesses a “repository capable of taking in 20 billion ‘record events’ daily and making them available to NSA analysts within 60 minutes,” the New York Times reported. The NSA is able to snare and stockpile many orders of magnitude times more information than did East Germany’s Stasi secret police, one of the most odious agencies of the post-war era.

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Lincoln Fellow David Reaboi Analyzes the Marxist Hijacking of the American Education System

David Reaboi

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute and independent thinker, David Reaboi to the newsmakers line to discuss the origins and intentions of critical race theory as a tool of Marxists in America’s education system.

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American Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan Returning to Washington as Tensions Heighten

John Sullivan

United States Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said Tuesday that he was returning to Washington for “consultations” with top American officials as tensions increase between the two countries.

The former deputy secretary of state and appointee of former President Donald Trump said that “it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Russia.”

Sullivan added that he was returning to see his family, and that he would “return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting” between President Joe Biden and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

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National Security Expert David Reaboi Weighs in on Understanding the Enemy and the Nuclear Threat of Iran

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed national security expert David Reaboi to the newsmakers line to weigh in on threats both foreign and domestic to America and a little bit of jazz.

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Trump National Security Official Says Evidence for Wuhan Lab Error ‘Far Outweighs’ Other Theories

Matt Pottinger, who served as deputy national security adviser under former President Donald Trump, said Sunday that the evidence that the coronavirus resulted from human error in a Chinese lab “far outweighs” other theories about the origins of the pandemic.

“If you weigh the circumstantial evidence, the ledger on the side of an explanation that says that this resulted from some kind of human error, it far outweighs the side of the scale that says this was some natural outbreak,” Pottinger said in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

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Retired Brigadier Gen. Robert Spalding Talks National Security, China and the Sinister Reality of 5G

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Retired Brigadier Gen. Robert Spalding to the newsmakers line to discuss his role in the Trump administration, China, and the reality of 5G.

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Commentary: Biden Signals Pivot Back to China with Controversial National Security Council Pick

President Joe Biden is signaling a pivot back to China with his most recent choice to sit on the National Security Council, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell.

Campbell wrote the book, “The Pivot: The Future of American Statecraft in Asia,” where he argued, “While the Asian Century detoured to the Middle East in the years following the September 11 attacks… the United States has led a ‘Pivot’ (or ‘rebalancing,’ as many prefer) of American diplomacy toward the nuanced yet demanding tasks of engaging a rising Asia. The Pivot is premised on the idea that the Asia-Pacific region not only increasingly defines global power and commerce, but also welcomes U.S. leadership and rewards U.S. engagement with positive returns on political, economic, and military investments.”

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Second Judge Blocks TikTok Ban in Latest Setback for Trump Administration

A federal judge blocked the Department of Commerce’s proposed restrictions on Chinese-owned social media app TikTok in an order Monday evening.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols’s order is the latest setback in the Trump administration’s attempt to effectively ban TikTok from the U.S. over national security concerns, according to Reuters. Nichols is the second federal judge to block the Department of Commerce’s TikTok restrictions after Judge Wendy Beetlestone blocked them on Oct. 30.

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Commentary: America Needs a Stable Bipartisan Consensus on National Security

Those of us who remember the years before Vietnam remember when, in foreign policy matters, “partisanship ended at the water’s edge.” There wasn’t much foreign policy in the United States until a rending national debate over participating in the League of Nations in 1919 and 1920. President Woodrow Wilson invented the League and asserted that, in entering World War I, the United States was waging “a war to end war and to make the world safe for democracy.” 

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Michigan: Ground Zero for Biden-Led Chinese Acquisition of Automotive Manufacturer with National Security Implications

A key presidential election battleground state of Michigan is also ground zero for a Chinese company’s acquisition of an automotive manufacturer with direct involvement by one of Hunter Biden’s businesses.

The transaction gave Chinese companies direct control of technology with possible military applications and, therefore, has national security implications.

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Former Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan Explains the Need for Four More Years of Trump Border Policies to Ensure Our National Security

Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed former Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan to the show to discuss the southern border, immigration and national security.

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U.S. Bans WeChat, TikTok from App Stores Citing Security Risk

The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday and will saddle the apps with technical restrictions that could seriously limit their functionality in the U.S.

The order, which cited national security and data privacy concerns, follows weeks of dealmaking over the video-sharing service TikTok. President Donald Trump has pressured the app’s Chinese owner to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company. It is not clear how the latest prohibitions will affect a deal recently struck by California tech giant Oracle aimed at satisfying U.S. concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.

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Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on the National Security Establishment’s Response to Rule Breaking Trump

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Tennessee Star’s National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the show to discuss recent peace treaties completed by the Trump administration.

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Commentary: Chinese Market Meddling in Pebble Mine Threatens National Security

One of America’s foremost energy experts is raising alarms over China’s latest meddling in U.S. mineral production. Dan Kish, a distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, says the attempt by a dubious Chinese investment firm to undermine Alaska’s Pebble Mine is one of many “war tactics” China is using against the United States.

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Americans Overwhelmingly Favor a Pause on Immigration During Coronavirus Pandemic

A vast majority of Americans – 8 in 10 – now favor dramatic restrictions on immigration amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey has found.

American attitudes about the coronavirus and its impact on our way of life has changed dramatically over the course of one month, a USA Today/ Ipsos poll discovered. The survey had asked voters questions about their feelings on the coronavirus March, when the virus first began spreading through the U.S., and then posed the same questions roughly one month later.

With more than 95% of the country under lockdown orders, millions filing for unemployment benefits, and more than 22,000 deaths from the virus, the U.S. population is, by leaps and bounds, more willing to implement strong measures to combat the pandemic.

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National Security Expert Nadia Schadlow Discusses Her Recent Article on China

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy was joined on the line by Nadia Schadlow who is an American academic and defense-related government officer who briefly served in 2018 as an assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy in the Trump administration.

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Border Patrol Catches Child Sex Offender Attempting to Illegally Enter the US

CBP detainee

Border Patrol agents on Thursday apprehended a 29-year-old Honduran national after he unlawfully entered United States territory via the Arizona-Mexico border.

Rudy Chirinos-Hernandez was arrested by agents patrolling the desert near Sells, Arizona, according to a press release by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Following his apprehension, agents conducted a records check and discovered that Hernandez had been convicted of sexual assault against a minor — a felony offense — in 2012 in Dallas, Texas.

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Marsha Blackburn’s New Green Light Bill Foils Illegal Immigrants from Obtaining Drivers Licenses That Would Risk Our National Security

In a special interview Friday on the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy welcomed U.S. Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee to the newsmakers line.

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Commentary: The Genius of Trump’s Terrorist Designation for Mexican Cartels

President Trump last week signaled his intention to designate the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO). In doing so, he takes the most aggressive step yet toward addressing the brutal violence that plagues Mexico and is fueling a migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border.

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Commentary: ‘Orange Man Bad’ Becomes Foreign Policy

Have you noticed an uptick in the appearance of a specific talking point from the political and military elite about President Trump’s recent drawdown in northern Syria? It goes something like this: Yes, the president was in a tight spot in Syria – caught between Turkey, a NATO ally, and the Kurds, who we were allied with against ISIS. But the president was wrong to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria the way he did. Very often, these detractors say the president ordered the precipitous drawdown of U.S. forces in Syria without “consulting the Pentagon.”

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The Tennessee Star Report: ‘Transnational Crime is the Real Threat to America’, says Former Director of Special Ops Division Derek Maltz

  On The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy was in Washington, D.C. last week talking to Derek Maltz who is the former Director of the Special Ops Division with 28 yrs in…

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Commentary: Deficits Are Secondary to What You’re Paying For

US Capitol

“I am not worried about the deficit,” Ronald Reagan famously said. “It is big enough to take care of itself.”

If you pay attention to the libertarian purists, President Reagan earns mixed reviews on his economic policies. After all, in 1983, the federal budget deficit exceeded 6 percent of GDP. But Reagan was untroubled by federal budget deficits for at least two reasons, and in both cases he has been vindicated by history.

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Democrats Join Forces to Urge the Supreme Court to Block the Southern Border Barrier Based on ‘the Environment’

by Kevin Daley   Environmental groups and House Democrats urged the Supreme Court not to disturb a lower court order blocking the reallocation of military funds for border wall projects. The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to put that ruling on hold while litigation continues July 12. Granting that request — called…

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Senator Tom Cotton Fires Back at Fellow Senator Chuck Schumer: ‘Democrats Have A Radical, Open-Borders Position’

by Jason Hopkins   Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton had a response of his own after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the president of threatening to “tear families apart” with his upcoming illegal immigration raids. “When things aren’t going well, [President Donald Trump] plays to his base. Instead of putting…

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Bernie Sanders Stands by ‘Fake Border Crisis’ Comments, Criticizes Trump’s Deal with Mexico

by Jason Hopkins   Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders dodged questions Sunday when explicitly asked if he would call the situation at the U.S.-Mexico a “crisis.” CNN host Dana Bash asked Sanders on CNN’s “State of the Union” about a tweet he sent Wednesday in which he called the situation at the…

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Commentary: President Trump’s Immigration Pitch Has Real Merit

by Rachel Bovard   President Trump on Thursday rolled out his administration’s first, substantive take on immigration reform, and the reactions have been what you’d expect. Democrats and some Republicans immediately panned the proposal because it doesn’t provide amnesty to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (otherwise known as President Obama’s illegal executive…

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Analysis: The Exploitation of the U.S. Asylum System

by Andrew Kerr   Tens of thousands of apprehended migrants from the Central American countries driving the border crisis exploit loopholes in the immigration system by making false asylum claims, according to data, experts and surveys. The loopholes allow “people with suspect asylum claims … to make their way into…

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Border Wall Going Up in National Monument, Wildlife Refuge

  The U.S. government plans to replace barriers through 100 miles of the southern border in California and Arizona, including through a national monument and a wildlife refuge, according to documents and environmental advocates. The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday again waived environmental and dozens of other laws to…

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Nearly 100 Indicted, 50 in Custody After ICE Uncovers Large-Scale Marriage Fraud Scheme

by Jason Hopkins   Fifty people have been arrested and 98 have been indicted after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) busted an enormous marriage fraud operation allegedly taking place in Vietnam and Houston. A months-long Homeland Security Investigations probe uncovered a criminal operation that enabled numerous foreign nationals to fraudulently…

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Commentary: The Democrats Are Humanitarian Frauds on the Border

by Rachael Bovard   The evidence that Democrats are now an unapologetically open borders party is piling up, and Republicans need to start calling them on it. From opposing expanded detention facilities, actively blocking legislation to fix family separation policies, and even voting against legislation that would prohibit illegal immigrants…

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