The president is right about Baltimore.


The president is right about Baltimore. Are Democrats really prepared to defend failure?

James S. Robbins, Opinion columnistPublished 5:00 a.m. ET July 30, 2019

Baltimore is one of the least livable, most dangerous cities in America. It’s not racist to point that out.


Ask yourself honestly: Would you ever consider living in West Baltimore? And are you a racist if you say no?

Baltimore ranks in the top 10 of the least livable cities in America. Until this week, it was not controversial to point that out. But now that President Donald Trump has tweeted about Baltimore, it seems as though anyone who criticizes the awful conditions there is opening themselves up to charges of prejudice.

The flap began last week when Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose 7th district covers much of Baltimore City, lashed out at acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan at a hearing on conditions inside illegal alien detention centers. “What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower?” Cummings shouted. “Come on, man. What’s that about?”

President Trump responded with tweets saying Cummings’ district was “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than the detention facilities, “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” The president suggested Cummings focus more on cleaning up this “dangerous & filthy place” than on bullying in hearings about the border issue. ADVERTISEMENT

The accusations of racism continue

The president’s remarks were immediately denounced as racist by Democrats and the usual frantic pundits, even though the tweets had no racial content. Trump respondedthat “Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people.” 

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Sunday that it was “unbelievable that we have a president of the United States who attacks American cities.” But it was perfectly fine four years ago when Sanders said during a visit to West Baltimore, “Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood … would think that you were in a Third World country.” 

Sanders’ comment came in the wake of riots sparked by death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Articles from that period routinely cited the city’s endemic poverty as a root cause of the rioting. A typical 2015 report from the Associated Press noted that Baltimore “struggles daily with pervasive poverty and widespread joblessness, failing schools, drug addiction, a crumbling infrastructure and corruption.” 

President Barack Obama said then that difficult conditions in Baltimore required national “soul searching” — because the $1.8 billion stimulus bonanza he had lavished on the city didn’t seem to solve anything. 

In Baltimore on July 28, 2019 (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Many Americans probably imagine West Baltimore as the gritty, open-air drug mart  portrayed in HBO’s “The Wire,” and they aren’t that far off. Last year, USA TODAY reported that “Baltimore is the nation’s most dangerous big city.” 

The poverty rate is over 22%, and the population is shrinking. The city’s politics are riven with endemic corruption — former Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned in disgrace this May. She’s the third Baltimore mayor in a row to leave in the wake of intense scandal. Baltimore is dotted with thousands of vacant buildings, and as for rodents, exterminator Orkin listed Baltimore in the top 10 of its annual survey of “rattiest cities.” The 1970s promotional nickname “Charm City” is as ironic as ever.

The city’s premier newspaper failed to represent its own territory accurately

The Baltimore Sun rose gamely to the city’s defense against President Trump, editorializing that Baltimore is better than you think, citing inter alia “the beauty of the Inner Harbor or the proud history of Fort McHenry.” (Note that the gentrified Inner Harbor neighborhood is one of the whitest neighborhoods in the city at 68%, so maybe not a great example for the Sun’s purposes.)

“If there are problems here, rodents included,”the newspaper claimed, “they are as much (Trump’s) responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.” 

It is a bit of a reach to argue a president in office since 2017 bears more responsibility for city sanitation issues than the local congressman elected to his safe seat in 1996. Maybe the people of the 7th district just need a more effective champion.

Readers sound off:Despite Trump’s cruel and racist taunts, I have hope for America

It’s hard to say when this latest tweet-based freakout will subside. Will Democrats carry the #WeAreAllBaltimore banner into the 2020 election? Is Baltimore now the model city they will present to the country as the representative product of Democratic social and economic policies in action? Good luck with that.

Critics can continue to shout about racism, but that is no replacement for a rational discussion about the problems of poverty, crime, drug abuse, family breakdown and lack of educational attainment. A job-creating economy will do more in the long run to help the people of Baltimore than endless political posturing about race. It probably already has.

James S. Robbins, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors and author of “Erasing America: Losing Our Future by Destroying Our Past,” has taught at the National Defense University and the Marine Corps University and served as a special assistant in the office of the secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration. Follow him on Twitter: @James_Robbins

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to

Did Obama Admin Build Cages That House Immigrant Children at U.S.-Mexico Border?

While under scrutiny for treatment of migrants, the Trump administration has been shifting blame to its predecessor.


Obama’s Cages


The Obama administration, not the Trump administration, built the cages that hold many immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.




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AP FACT CHECK: 2014 photo wrongly used to hit Trump policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the government acknowledged last month that the Trump administration had lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children, the debate over what that means and who is to blame has roiled Twitter. A look at the partisan claims and a reality check behind the latest immigration fight:


AP FACT CHECK: 2014 photo

—“Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation.” — Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, former Los Angeles mayor now running for governor, referring in a tweet Sunday to photos showing young-looking immigrants in steel cages.

AP FACT CHECK: 2014 photo


Pants On Fire! Joe Biden – Middle Class? LOL

How Joe Biden became a millionaire
Duration: 05:37 1 day ago
Joe Biden used to joke about being the poorest member of Congress. Now, he and his wife Jill Biden are millionaires. The 2020 presidential candidate, who has touted himself as a champion of the middle class, released his tax returns. The documents show the Bidens made more than $15 million in the two years after they left the White House. Watch the video to learn how the Bidens made their millions.

Southwest Border Migration FY 2019

Southwest Border Migration FY 2019

U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions FY 2019

Southwest Border Unaccompanied Alien Child 4,965 5,259 4,753 5,107 6,817 8,963 8,893 11,489 7,378 63,624
Family Units* 23,115 25,164 27,507 24,189 36,531 53,206 58,716 84,491 57,389 390,308
Single Adult 22,927 21,432 18,487 18,684 23,536 30,666 31,681 36,900 30,130 234,443
Southwest Border Total Apprehensions 51,007 51,855 50,747 47,980 66,884 92,835 99,290 132,880 94,897 688,375
*Family Unit represents the number of individuals (either a child under 18 years old, parent, or legal guardian) apprehended with a family member by the U.S. Border Patrol.

In June, 94,897 people were apprehended between ports of entry on the Southwest Border, compared with 132,880 in the month of May and 99,290 in April. In FY18, a total of 396,579 individuals were apprehended between ports of entry on our Southwest Border.

For breakdown by Sector, visit USBP Southwest Border Apprehensions by Sector

Office of Field Operations Southwest Border Inadmissibles FY 2019
Field Operations Demographic OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP Total
Southwest Border Unaccompanied Alien Child 453 404 350 408 426 424 385 386 306 3,542
Family Units* 4,178 4,986 4,382 4,213 4,210 4,214 3,633 4,139 3,618 37,573
Single Adults 5,052 5,146 5,213 5,617 4,937 6,159 6,062 6,798 5,455

Accompanied Minor Child** 86 70 81 70 76 91 92 70 68 704
Southwest Border Total Inadmissibles 9,769 10,606 10,026 10,308 9,649 10,888 10,172 11,393 9,447 92,258
*Family Unit represents the number of individuals (either a child under 18 years old, parent, or legal guardian) deemed inadmissible with a family member by the Office of Field Operations.

**Accompanied Minor Child represents a child accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and the parent or legal guardian is either a U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, or admissible alien, and the child is determined to be inadmissible.

In June, 9,447 people presenting themselves at ports of entry on the Southwest Border were deemed inadmissible, compared with 11,393 in the month of May and 10,172 in April. In FY18, 124,511 people presenting themselves at ports of entry on the Southwest Border were deemed inadmissible.

OFO inadmissibility metrics include: individuals encountered at ports of entry who are seeking lawful admission into the United States but are determined to be inadmissible, individuals presenting themselves to seek humanitarian protection under our laws, and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their countries of origin within a short timeframe.

For breakdown by Field Office, visit Southwest Border Inadmissibles by Field Office.

Read The Full Transcript of Migrant Testify.

Her 19-Month-Old Daughter Died After Being Held at an ICE Facility. Here’s What Yazmin Juárez Told Congress.

I get it. Sad that her daughter died. LOOK AT HER NOW! ALL MADES UP, LONG PAINTED NAILS. Nice suits….
She has a better life now than SOME OF US and the HOMELESS WOMEN ALL OVER THE US, who can not afford the time and the MONEY to fix ourselves up like that.


Yazmin Juárez, a migrant mother whose 19-month-old daughter died weeks after being released from a detention facility in 2018, gave an emotional testimony at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, where she said her daughter died as a result of “neglect and mistreatment.”

Juárez, 20, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that she left Guatemala with her daughter to seek asylum in the United States. “We made this journey because we feared for our lives,” she said in Spanish, with a photograph of her and her daughter next to her. “I hoped to build a better, safer life for my daughter Mariee. Unfortunately I watched my baby girl die, slowly and painfully.”

Mairee died of a viral lung infection weeks after being released from the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “I hope her story will spur the United States government to act, so that children do not die because of neglect and mistreatment,” she said.

Kamala Harris aide resigns after sexual harassment settlement surfaces

Kamala Harris aide resigns after sexual harassment settlement surfaces
Tal Kopan Dec. 6, 2018 Updated: Dec. 6, 2018 4:25 p.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., denied knowing about an aide’s alleged harassment or settlement until this week. The aide re

signed after the Sacramento Bee inquired about a $400,000 harassment and retaliation settlement from his time working for her at the California Department of Justice. Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — A senior aide to Sen. Kamala Harris of California has resigned after it was reported that the state paid $400,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him for his alleged conduct at the California Department of Justice while Harris ran the agency.

Harris denied knowing about the alleged harassment or settlement until this week. Larry Wallace, a senior adviser in the Democratic senator’s Sacramento office, resigned after the Sacramento Bee inquired about the settlement Wednesday.

“We were unaware of this issue and take accusations of harassment extremely seriously,” Harris spokeswoman Lily Adams said in a statement. “Mr. Wallace offered his resignation to the senator and she accepted it.”

The plaintiff, Danielle Hartley, filed her lawsuit on Dec. 30, 2016, as Harris was ending her tenure as state attorney general and transitioning to the Senate. But it’s not clear when the state Department of Justice was made aware of the suit. The confirmation that the agency was officially served with the complaint was not until Jan. 20, 2017, after Harris had left for Washington.

Wallace joined Harris’ Sacramento office on March 1, 2017, the senator’s staff said.

Harris did not comment to reporters about the lawsuit Thursday. Efforts to reach Wallace were unsuccessful.

Hartley said in her suit that Wallace, her boss in the Justice Department’s Division of Law Enforcement, repeatedly harassed her starting in 2011.

She said Wallace had placed a printer under his desk and required Hartley to refresh its supplies daily, in front of him and other male executives. He refused her requests to move the printer to a spot where she would not have to crawl on the floor, she said.

Hartley said her career at the Justice Department suffered after she complained about Wallace and also sought damages for the alleged retaliation.

A state Department of Justice spokeswoman said the agency would not comment on “personnel matters” and that the lawsuit “was handled in keeping with standard procedure.”


, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, is a non-partisan, public interest organization of concerned Americans, united in the belief that our immigration policies and laws should again serve the nation’s future needs. This means better border management, lower levels of overall immigration, and a greater focus on highly skilled immigrants.
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