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DEAR CNN: Border Deaths Are DOWN In Trump’s First 2yrs – Is That ‘News?’


Written by Wes Walker on July 22, 2019

To hear AOC and her fraud squad tell the tale, ICE is practically throwing babies to the wolves. But what does the EVIDENCE say? Short answer — it says that they’re lying. All that weeping and finger-pointing laying the blood of children at the feet of Trump and his administration was a complete fraud.

If they were being honest, they would be thanking Trump for REDUCING deaths at the border. And considering how Democrats are working their damnedest to throw these children to the Coyotes, that’s a REALLY impressive statistic.

A tragic photograph of the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, who drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande River from Mexico into Texas, renewed outrage about the border crisis. Politicians expressed their indignation at the image while, predictably, blaming the Trump administration.

[Harris, O’Rourke and Booker denounced Trump’s ‘inhumane’ and ‘immoral’ policies.]

…Former Vice President Joe Biden also tweeted about the tragic photo: “This image is gut-wrenching. The cruelty we’re seeing at our border is unconscionable. History will judge how we respond to the Trump Administration’s treatment of immigrant families & children — we can’t be silent. This isn’t who we are. This is not America.”

Instead of sharpening their pointing fingers, these Democratic hopefuls should have been pulling up statistics. If Trump’s a moral monster, what do you call the LAST administration? (Which, as we recall, had one Joe Biden working in the White House.)

But the reality is that deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border decreased after Donald Trump became president, according to data from the United States Border Patrol. During the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years they averaged 291 per year, down from 372 during the Obama/Biden administration and 382 under Bush.
Source: NationalReview

Of course, that’s only PART of the story, isn’t it? Border Patrol agents are busy SAVING lives of people who try to cross a river and a desert through hostile terrain that happens to cross through criminal territory.

Not only do these hazards cost innocent lives, leaving a staggering number of women and girls to be exploited by predatory men, but the criminal cartels profit handsomely from these actions. First, by charging top dollar to cross through their territory on the way to America, second by assisting them over the border, which can include the use of a child carried over the border for amnesty purposes. (Something like one-in-three children coming over the border are non-relatives trafficked for this purpose.)

And with all that manpower (yes, we said MANPOWER) being spent on rescuing, feeding, securing and caring these thousands of illegals swarming over the border, there is ANOTHER consequence the Liberals have not been honest about.

When’s the last time you’ve heard any Democrat mention THIS:

Diverting border security resources to address the “humanitarian need” of migrants is leading to record-high levels of illicit drug smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border, said James W. Carroll, director of the U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy, in a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Carroll said, “I couldn’t tell you how bad this is. Seizures are down, and it’s not because there are less drugs coming in. It’s because their attention has to be diverted because of the humanitarian need, but what that means is more drugs are coming in than ever before.”

…Using federal resources meant for border security on “humanitarian” endeavors compromises the government’s ability to interdict drug smuggling, said Carroll. “That’s what these men and women want to do. They want to protect their families and their friends from these poisons coming in. That’s what we need to let them do. Fix the immigration system. Let them get back to protecting the U.S., and let us get back to the issue of saving lives.”
Source: Breitbart

Can anyone blame Dan Crenshaw for wondering their track record on policy says about the Democrats’ REAL objectives with respect to the borders?

Great point.

Then again, Democrats were the ones who said their political future would rise or fall on this issue, remember?

“The fight to protect Dreamers is not only a moral imperative, it is also a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” the memo read.

It finished, “If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond.”
Source: Fox

Dress it up in whatever pretty little bow you like, it doesn’t change the facts. This issue isn’t about the Left’s COMPASSION. They use all the right buzzwords as though it was, but it isn’t. They said itself in that leaked memo — this is about political power, and who gets to wield it.

It is literally nothing any more noble than that ugly brute fact.

THAT is why they don’t acknowledge any history concerning this issue that predates January of 2017. Anything that undercuts the narrative doesn’t matter and is airbrushed out of history. If they showed the big picture in its proper context, the public might see that — however bad Pelosi’s Democrats are making the border situation — Trump’s administration is doing a pretty good job with the bad situation they were handed.

Deaths are down. That’s a GOOD thing, no matter HOW much you hate Trump. Now if we can just do something stop the smugglers from waltzing across our border with drugs, guns, and Lord knows what else… and redirect asylum claimants to using legal crossings where they won’t be exploited and raped by cartels, we’ll be golden.

You know, if Congress doesn’t have anything BETTER to do with its time.

We’ve all seen the dishonest games the left have played with the power they’re entrusted with, they’re obviously unworthy of that trust.

But what about 2020? Could a moral person pull a lever for Trump with their integrity intact? Would Jesus himself vote for Trump? We’re glad you asked. There’s a brand new book that covers precisely that question:

“Would Jesus Vote For Trump?” by Doug Giles and Brandon Vallorani.

Would Jesus ever choose someone, with a less than stellar past, to be a leader? Would Jesus be cool with how Trump blasts CNN, The Left, and his feckless ‘compadres’ on The Right? What about Health Care? Would the Great Physician give Trump’s opposition to ObamaCare the ‘two thumbs up?’ Find out in this BEST-SELLER!

Get it HERE today.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Wes Walker is the author of “Blueprint For a Government that Doesn’t Suck”. He has been lighting up Clashdaily.com since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck

Ben Carson and HUD Are Reportedly About To Shut the Door on Illegals Gaming the System


Reported By Ben Marquis | Published April 18, 2019 at 9:10pm

Perhaps just as impactful as illegal migration across our nation’s porous southern border is the manner in which some of those illegal aliens proceed to game the system. Once across the border, some illegal immigrants take advantage of taxpayer-funded government benefits that are intended solely for American citizens. Accordingly — and in line with President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy — some government departments and agencies are looking closely for ways in which they can change certain rules or close various loopholes to stop this exploitation.

The Daily Caller reported exclusively that the Department of Housing and Urban Development, led by Secretary Ben Carson, is one of those departments aiming to prevent ineligible illegal aliens from further taking advantage of benefits designed for citizens and certain classes of eligible non-citizens.

According to Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act, first passed into law in 1980, most non-citizens were prohibited from applying for and obtaining federal financial housing assistance. By virtue of “mixed family” households that include both citizens or eligible non-citizens as well as ineligible illegal aliens, the prohibition has been skirted by some. Consequently, there are illegal aliens that inappropriately receive federal housing subsidies.

The HUD department is expected to produce a proposal in the near future which would crack down on that particular loophole. Such a proposal would make sure that anyone who is not eligible to receive federal benefits cannot even live in households that do receive those benefits — even if that individual is not the direct recipient.

This proposal would reportedly bring ineligible illegal aliens’ exploitation of benefits to an end by forcing all households receiving such benefits — particularly those households where illegal aliens reside — to either comply with the new rule or vacate the subsidized housing unit entirely.

HUD will use what is called the SAVE program — Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements — to screen all subsidy-receiving households for compliance. In other words, every household that receives benefits will have to prove that each family member residing in the household is either a U.S. citizen or a legal non-citizen who falls into one of the various categories of eligibility. Should any of the benefit-receiving households be found to not be in compliance, and one or more family members do not qualify as eligible, then there is an appeals process that can be pursued.

Ultimately, however, federal assistance will cease if the non-compliance is not rectified.

This new proposal would seem to be 100 percent in line with the Trump administration’s “America First” policy.

It is worth noting that, according to HUD statistics, there are estimated to be millions of eligible American citizens who are currently stuck on waiting lists for housing subsidies simply because there are not enough resources available to the department to process and provide benefits to all who are eligible. In other words, already limited resources for deserving citizens have been stretched even thinner by illegal aliens and their enablers who have figured out how to game the system — leaving some citizens out in the cold.

That particular sentiment was ironically posited by liberal actress/singer Cher in a recent tweet — and subsequently retweeted by President Trump in hilarious fashion — after Trump had suggested sending all detained illegal migrants to live in sanctuary cities. Trump’s suggestion sparked a hypocritical “not in my backyard” response from many Democrats.

“This proposal gets to the whole point Cher was making in her tweet that the President retweeted. We’ve got our own people to house and we need to take care of our citizens,” an unnamed Trump administration official told The Daily Caller.

“Because of past loopholes in HUD guidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens. As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime,” the official added.

As Cher aptly noted in her tweet, there’s an overwhelming number of American citizens in dire need of assistance, some of whom are left wanting as limited resources are taken by illegal aliens that don’t deserve them. Cracking down on the exploitation of federal benefits by illegal aliens will help go a long way toward being able to adequately provide for our own citizens in need.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments. He has covered current events and politics for Conservative Tribune since 2014.

Breaking: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trump on Illegal Immigrant Detention


Reported By Randy DeSoto | Published March 19, 2019 at 10:47am | Modified March 19, 2019 at 10:52am

The Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration, ruling that immigrants with criminal records can be detained and held indefinitely while they await deportation proceedings.

In the 5-4 decision, the high court overruled the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided in 2016 that immigrants with criminal records can only be detained by federal authorities if the detention occurs soon after he or she is released from jail, The Hill reported.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in the ruling.

“In these cases, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that this mandatory-detention requirement applies only if a covered alien is arrested by immigration officials as soon as he is released from jail,” Alito wrote.

“If the alien evades arrest for some short period of time — according to respondents, even 24 hours is too long — the mandatory-detention requirement is inapplicable, and the alien must have an opportunity to apply for release on bond or parole,”  he continued.  “Four other circuits have rejected this interpretation of the statute, and we agree that the 9th Circuit’s interpretation is wrong.”

The case centers around the interpretation of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

“The law states the government can detain convicted immigrants ‘when the alien is released’ from criminal detention,” according to Reuters.

“Civil rights lawyers argued that the language of the law shows that it applies only immediately after immigrants are released. The Trump administration said the government should have the power to detain such immigrants anytime,” the news outlet added.

Mony Preap, one of the lead plaintiffs in the class action suit against the government, is a lawful permanent resident who had two drug convictions, which were deportable offenses. He completed his jail time for these crimes in 2006 but was detained by federal authorities in 2013 after being released from jail for non-deportable offenses.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in the dissent — in which he was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — that the Constitution did not intend for people who have already served their sentence for crimes committed to be deprived of their liberty indefinitely.

“I would have thought that Congress meant to adhere to these values and did not intend to allow the Government to apprehend persons years after their release from prison and hold them indefinitely without a bail hearing,” he said reading his dissent from the bench, the Washington Examiner reported.

Breyer warned the “greater importance in the case lies in the power that the majority’s interpretation grants to the government.”

“It is a power to detain persons who committed a minor crime many years before. And it is a power to hold those persons, perhaps for many months, without any opportunity to obtain bail,” he said.

Cecilia Wang, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, who argued the case for the immigrants, said, “the Supreme Court has endorsed the most extreme interpretation of immigration detention statutes, allowing mass incarceration of people without any hearing, simply because they are defending themselves against a deportation charge.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton applauded the decision, saying the Supreme Court upheld the rule of law.

He tweeted, “U.S. Supreme Court gives @RealDonaldTrump victory on immigration detention. Actually, court upholds rule of law on immigration in case dating back to Obama administration.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Randy DeSoto is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”

Report: Company Says It Can Build 234 Miles of Border Wall for Just $1.4 Billion


Reported By Jack Davis | Published March 5, 2019 at 5:22pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/report-company-says-can-build-234-miles-border-wall-just-1-4-billion/

The president and CEO of Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. told the Washington Examiner he could build 234 miles of wall on the U.S.-Mexico border for $1.4 billion — if President Donald Trump can get the rulebook and the bureaucracy out of the way. For $4.31 billion, Tommy Fisher said, his company could build the Cadillac version of a border barrier, complete with a high-speed highway on the U.S. side of the wall for Border Patrol agents and the latest in technology to help detect migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

“Our whole point is to break through the government bureaucracy,” Fisher told the Examiner. “If they do the small procurements as they are now … that’s not going to cut it.”

Trump has $1.375 billion in wall funding available, but Congress tied a string to the funding so that it can be used only in the Rio Grande Valley. Fisher said that for $1.4 billion he could build the 20 miles required in the Rio Grande Valley, plus another 214 miles of wall. He said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that the work could be completed by the 2020 election.

Fisher said he would build a levee wall in the valley. The money Congress appropriated funds steel slat fencing.

The 234 miles of wall Fisher wants to build would last for 75 to 80 years, he said. He said he could get the work done because he moved quickly when it became apparent that a steel wall would be preferable.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you can get behind this,” Fisher said on “Fox & Friends.”

“If you need it done now — nothing against government bureaucracy, but it takes time — so you need an expert to come in there and do it now and do it right,” he said.

Trump is seeking $8 billion overall for the wall project, including $3.1 billion from reallocated defense funding and $3.6 billion from his emergency declaration. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas, recently spoke to The Daily Signal about the need for a border barrier.

“Wall, fence, barrier. It is absolutely critical,” Burgess said.

He said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “stood up in front of a microphone after the president gave his Oval Office address. She and (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer did kind of what looked like to be a hostage video in the Capitol. But she said, ‘We want sensors, and we want to be able to detect when someone has crossed our border.’ No. With all respect to the speaker, we want to prevent someone from crossing our border.

“It does us no good to detect it, and then a week later, we can get someone out there to see where it was that they crossed. That’s not helpful when you’ve got numbers to the degree that we’ve got.

“And, look, I don’t minimize the problems that people are having in other countries. But I will say this, the United States. … First off, we’re the most generous country on the face of the earth when it comes to immigration: 1.1 million people a year come into this country legally.

“And people shouldn’t forget that because we’re oftentimes branded as being heartless, putting a ‘closed’ sign up on the State of Liberty. No. We are the most welcoming country on the face of the earth. All of the other countries combined do not allow the people in that we allow in.”

Burgess also suggested that as long as Central American nations are the source of so much illegal immigration, they should pay a price.

“Their governments are corrupt. They don’t do the work that is required to protect their people, and their people get hurt. And so they decide to come north,” he said.

“I have introduced a bill for a couple of Congresses that said, ‘We are sending you foreign aid generously, courtesy of the taxpayers of America. If you are not willing to do the job to take care of your children, when we end up taking care of them on our side of the border in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement … it’s an expensive venture. … We are going to charge you a surcharge per child,” Burgess said. “No, we know you’ll never pay the bill. We’ll just deduct it from your foreign aid check. It will be smaller when it arrives.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Jack Davis is a free-lance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

NYT Tries To Fact Check Trump’s Tweet on Abortion, Immediately Ends Up Backfiring on Twitter


Reported By Ben Marquis | Published March 1, 2019 at 1:21am

In light of the recent fierce discussion over late-term and even post-birth abortions, Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse introduced a bill called the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require doctors and medical personnel to make all efforts to save the life of a baby that survived an attempted abortion, rather than kill it or stand idly by while it died naturally.

Incredibly, that bill failed to achieve the necessary votes for passage on Monday, according to The Daily Wire, after only three Democrats joined with Republicans to vote in favor of saving an abortion survivor’s life, while 44 other Senate Democrats heartlessly voted against the measure.

In response to that grotesque and disheartening outcome, President Donald Trump excoriated Democrats in a pair of fiery tweets Monday evening, calling the left “extreme” for being in favor of “executing babies” after they had been born.

Trump tweeted, “Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”

He added, “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”

As if on cue, The New York Times set about the next day with an attempt to “fact check” the president’s outraged tweets, but that effort failed in rather stunning fashion — at least on social media.

Just scroll down through the overwhelmingly negative comments on the tweet from The Times.

The article from The Times glossed over what the bill would actually do — “require doctors to use all means available to save the life of a child born alive after an attempted abortion” — while highlighting criticism from opponents who falsely claimed the measure was “aimed at discouraging doctors from performing legal abortions.”

The article also argued that the bill was redundant due to a 2002 law known as the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, though they failed to mention that prior law had no teeth for enforcement.

The Times article then quoted a couple doctors who insisted that babies surviving attempted abortions “hardly ever happens,” and provided various facts and figures about the age of infant viability to support the notion that late-term abortions are exceedingly rare — around 1 percent of all abortions — without mentioning that the 1 percent is still in the ballpark of around 10,000 such deadly procedures per year.

Yet, the Times admitted near the end of the article that aborted babies sometimes are born alive, and that doctors and patients will allow the baby to die naturally, all while being kept comfortable” — echoing what Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in early February.

The article also admitted in the eighth paragraph, “The bill would force doctors to resuscitate such an infant, even if the parents did not want those measures.”

The tweet-trackers at Twitchy compiled a couple dozen of the brutal responses they received from Twitter users to highlight just how enormously the “fact check” of Trump’s tweets had backfired on The Times.

Countless users wondered why Democrats would vote against the bill if the issue the bill addressed was truly so “rare” and uncommon, as if that were indeed the case, a vote in favor of it really wouldn’t matter.

One user referenced Gov. Northam’s despicable commentary, and tweeted, “How can you work for the NYTimes and not know what Northam said, which kicked all this off? He specifically talked about newborns being born and then a discussion on what to do with them. This is why you’re fake news.”

Still another user hinted at Northam’s remarks and noted, “‘rarely born alive’ I guess that’s okay then! As long as they’re just rarely murdered after they’re already born and alive! Hopefully they’re kept comfortable!”

There isn’t near enough room here to include all of the saddened or snarky replies to The Times, but suffice it to say, the effort to “fact check” the president’s righteous and justified anger while defending Democrats voting against saving the life of newborn infants did not go over well, at all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments. He has covered current events and politics for Conservative Tribune since 2014.

Seventeen Burned Bodies Appear Near Border as Democrats Say We Don’t Need a Wall


Reported By Ben Marquis | January 10, 2019 at 4:25pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/seventeen-burned-bodies-appear-near-border-democrats-say-dont-need-wall/

Burned Car | Ilya Andriyanov / Shutterstock(Ilya Andriyanov / Shutterstock)

Democrats and the media immediately set about disputing Trump’s labeling of the border situation as a “crisis,” part of their overtly biased effort to instantly “fact-check” every word or statistic uttered by the president in the brief speech, and — coincidentally? — all seemed to arrive at the same conclusion: There is no real crisis at the border, only a “manufactured crisis” brought about purposefully by Trump’s actions, or some such nonsense like that.

Of course, to follow along with the media’s bouncing ball on this one, everyone must ignore the fact that the same liberal media loudly trumpeted the “crisis” at the border in 2013 and 2014 — when they were supporting comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty for illegal immigrants — or their hollering about a “crisis” on the border through much of 2017 and 2018 when Trump began to crack down on illegal border crossings and deportations ticked up.

In truth, however, the only thing “manufactured” about all of this is the Democrats ‘obstinate opposition to the president and their refusal to acknowledge the basic and undeniable facts of what is occurring on and around the porous and lightly defended southern border.

Case in point, Reuters reported on Thursday that at least 20 dead bodies — 17 of which had been badly burned — were discovered on Wednesday in the Mexican city of Ciudad Miguel Aleman, which is located a mere 56 miles across the Rio Grande River from the U.S. border city of McAllen, Texas, where President Trump visited with U.S. Border Patrol agents and other officials on Thursday.

Mexican authorities are reportedly investigating what has all the appearances of a deadly battle between members of two rival gangs in the area, gangs that routinely play in a role in the illicit cross-border excursions that bring illegal aliens, criminals, drugs, weapons and even terrorists into this nation.

The suspected gang-related massacre even drew a mention from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at his daily news conference on Thursday, and though he didn’t offer up much in the way of specifics, he did say that security officials would provide more information at a later date or time.

Reuters noted that according to one Mexican security official, five burned-out vehicles were also discovered along with the 20 dead bodies, though the outlet noted that a separate Mexican security official had reportedly counted as many as 21 dead bodies at the scene. The grisly scene was located in the Tamaulipas region of Mexico, one of the more violent states in that nation that has been controlled by dangerous criminal cartels and gangs for years. Those groups exert a great deal of control over drug and human trafficking across the border in that region, and are well-known for running extortion rackets on local residents and exploiting migrants passing through the area for whatever can be gained.

When not engaged in those border-related crimes, the cartels and gangs are fighting violently among each other or waging war against Mexican security forces, violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives — some innocent, some not so much — over the years.

Obviously, incidents like this one — and this bloody incident is far from an isolated occurrence — are what President Trump is referencing when he speaks of the “crisis” at the border while demanding Congress appropriate the necessary funds to construct a border wall where needed and to increase border security measures in other ways.

Yet, based solely on their reflexive opposition to all things Trump, many talking heads in the liberal media staunchly refuse to acknowledge as a “crisis” what their own colleagues are quietly reporting on a near-daily basis.

Indeed, some in the media have even adopted a sort of “Don’t believe your lying eyes” attitude when it comes to their anti-Trump reporting on the border, as evidenced by a ridiculous tweet from CNN’s Jim Acosta that actually seemed to prove the president’s point about how necessary and effective a border wall truly is.

In several other tweets after that, Acosta hyped up how safe the border town of McAllen is — while studiously ignoring the obvious fact that McAllen is safe because it has a border wall and other barriers obstructing those who would illicitly cross over.

Unfortunately, the wall and other barriers along the border in the McAllen region that keep it so safe only extend for so long, and eventually give way to mere chain-link fencing or nothing at all, meaning those who wish to cross the border illegally need only walk around the end to do so. Anyone with common sense and intellectual honesty can plainly see that and realize Trump is absolutely correct to want to address this security crisis post haste.

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Writer and researcher. Constitutional conservatarian with a strong focus on protecting the Second and First Amendments.

American pastor freed; ‘tenacious’ Trump team thanked


Reported by Jody Brown (OneNewsNow.com) | Friday, October 12, 2018

Andrew Brunson released (Oct 2018)An American pastor who has been held in prison by the Turkish government for two years should be on his way home to the U.S. by the end of the day.

The bottom line: Pastor Andrew Brunson, a North Carolina native, is free to leave Turkey and return home. In his own words today: “This is the day our family has been praying for – I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States. My entire family thanks the president, the administration, and Congress for their unwavering support.” (Image shows Brunson arriving at home on Friday after his release.)

Brunson, 50, had suffered for his faith in prison and then house arrest at the hands of Turkey, America’s NATO ally, since October 2016. During a hearing today, a Turkish court convicted him on an alleged “terror charge” before releasing him; a charge of espionage against him was dropped. He had faced charges that could have resulted in 35 years in prison.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins attended today’s hearing this morning.

“The prayers of thousands were answered today when Pastor Brunson was released by the Turkish government and told he could go home to the United States. Those prayers – combined with the unwavering resolve of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Brownback – brought tangible help to Pastor Brunson and hope to those around the globe who are being persecuted because of their faith.

“Pastor Brunson was also well represented legally by our friends at the American Center for Law and Justice,” Perkins adds, “and we commend them and their attorneys for the outstanding work they did on behalf of Pastor Brunson.”

The American Center for Law and Justice had been working in the U.S. and abroad to secure Brunson’s release. “President Trump and his team have been tenacious in seeking the release of Pastor Brunson,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.

“We’re grateful to the President, members of Congress and diplomatic leaders who continued to put pressure on Turkey to secure the freedom of Pastor Brunson. The fact that he is now on a plane to the United States can only be viewed as a significant victory for Pastor Brunson and his family.”

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, also is crediting the Trump administration for its role in obtaining the pastor’s release. He singles out the president, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Ambassador Sam Brownback, and Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina). “[They] refused to take ‘no’ for an answer for this man’s release,” says Johnson. “This administration stayed true to its citizen.”

“May the Lord strengthen Pastor Brunson and his family as they work to turn the page on this difficult chapter in their lives,” Johnson adds. “And may God protect and give peace to our other brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure hardships and severe persecution around the world because of their faith in Him. Let us never forget them!”

Dede Laugesen, director of Save the Persecuted Christians, strikes a similar tone in her remarks today.

“This has been a long road of persecution for Pastor Andrew Brunson,” says Laugesen. “We are joyful and so thankful for Pastor Brunson’s long-awaited freedom. We praise God for this wonderful turn of events and thank the many people who worked on his behalf, including high-ranking officials within the Trump administration and influential and committed attorneys.

“Despite the joy we feel today, we must never forget there are millions of Christians who are not free to believe in Christ. Many remain jailed, persecuted in their own communities or even shunned in their own homes. We pray all will someday experience the freedom Andrew Brunson is savoring today.”

Background

Today’s was the fourth hearing of the case against Brunson. The evangelical pastor had been accused of terror-related charges and espionage, facing up to 35 years in jail if convicted. Brunson, who had lived in Turkey for more than two decades, rejected the charges and strongly maintained his innocence. He was one of thousands caught up in a wide-scale government crackdown that followed a failed coup against the Turkish government in July 2016.

Prosecutors accused Brunson of committing crimes on behalf of terror groups, linking him to outlawed Kurdish militants and a network led by a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who is accused of orchestrating the coup attempt. The U.S. maintained he was being held unjustly and had repeatedly called for his release.

Brunson told the court he is “an innocent man. I love Jesus. I love Turkey.” He again denied accusations that his church – a small congregation in the Izmir Resurrection Church – aided Kurdish militants, saying he had handed over a list of Syrian refugees whom the congregation had helped and adding that Turkish authorities would have identified any terrorists.

“We helped everyone, Kurds, Arabs, without showing any discrimination,” he said.

William Devlin, an evangelical pastor from New York spoke to reporters outside the Turkish prison, saying hundreds of thousands of Christians were praying for Brunson’s release.


Associated Press contributed to this report.

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