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6 Americans, 2 other service members killed in Egypt helicopter crash

A helicopter crash in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula took the lives of eight Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeepers, the MFO stated on Thursday.

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A helicopter crash in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula took the lives of eight Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeepers, the MFO stated on Thursday.

The crash occurred Thursday morning in the southern part of the peninsula near the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh and took the lives of six Americans, as well as one French and one Czech national. All of these fatalities were military service members. One American peacekeeper survived the crash and has been transported to a hospital in Israel, the Israeli military stated according to Reuters.

The helicopter involved in the incident was a Black Hawk that was on a supplying mission. The Czech Defense Ministry said that the crash was “caused by technical issues,” multiple outlets have reported, including Reuters and CNN.

The Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in a statement tweeted out Thursday by the Department of Defense expressed his sadness at the loss of these service members and offered his condolences to the members’ friends, families, and colleagues.

“We are saddened by the loss of 6 US and 2 partner nation service members in a helicopter crash in the Sinai Peninsula operating with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO),” he said.

With Veterans Day having happened on Wednesday, Miller added: “Yesterday we recognized the sacrifice of millions who have defended our nation, and today we are reminded of the last full measure our warriors may pay for their service. I extend @DeptofDefense’s condolences to the families, friends, and teammates of these service members.”

The 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace accord saw the demilitarization of the peninsula and placed the U.S.-led MFO in charge of monitoring that process. Israeli forces had occupied the peninsula after capturing it from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War but left after the 1979 U.S.-brokered treaty.

Reuters’ Dan Williams notes that the size of the MFO in Sinai has decreased over the years as the countries next door have bolstered their cooperation in defeating Islamist militants on the peninsula. The U.S. has been wanting to reduce its involvement in the MFO, which Egypt and Israel have historically opposed since a large portion of MFO personnel are American and, in the case of Egypt, has brought in billions of dollars in U.S. defense aid.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Mayorkas Border Manifesto: Why the DHS Secretary must be impeached

If this isn’t a reason to impeach Mayorkas, I don’t know what is.

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Alejandro Mayorkas

Listen to “The Smoking Gun: The Mayorkas Memo Telling Border Patrol to Stop Doing Its Job” on Spreaker.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memorandum to top DHS officials on Sept 30, 2021, that set the stage for an open border policy that has resulted in the most dangerous national security situation the United States has ever confronted. That seven-page letter, written by Mayorkas and obtained by this columnist, is an open borders blueprint and reveals his purposeful failure to secure the southern border. Numerous retired and current DHS officials said it is sufficient enough for Congress to impeach him.

The Mayorkas policy, which has perpetuated a tsunami of people from all over the world to illegally enter the United States, is simplified and made clear in his memorandum. It is so direct that it is easy to see why the policy overrides almost all U.S. immigration laws by pushing all federal immigration agencies under DHS to exercise  “prosecutorial discretion” [ not the law ] to assess whether those who enter the country illegally should be given the right to stay, despite any criminal background or failure to qualify for asylum.

Some of the memo’s contents have been openly discussed by Mayorkas under questioning by lawmakers at hearings. Even parts of the policies have been exposed in reports but what makes this memo unique is that it is the roadmap the Biden Administration used to implement this failed open border policy that has become the biggest concern for most American voters.

And Mayorkas is the architect of the policy. It is a policy that fails to uphold the Constitution, and current immigration laws and turns Federal law enforcement officers and agents into de facto human traffickers.

“In exercising our discretion, we are guided by the fact that the majority of undocumented noncitizens who could be subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years,” states Mayorkas, as he goes on to list all the possible jobs illegal aliens are doing in the nation. “The fact an individual is removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them. We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way.”

Those ‘targeted resources’ Mayorkas was referring to have mostly been directed at processing illegal migrants into the country and not deporting those breaking the law, according to lawmakers and DHS officials who spoke with me. I’ve documented for the past three years on both Fox News’ Sean Hannity and on SaraACarter.com the enormous resources used not to deport but to import illegal aliens into the country.

Rep. Andy Biggs, who is currently co-chair of the Border Security Caucus and the House Judiciary Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance. told me Sunday that the memo in its entirety is Mayorka’s ideological push for open borders and it’s “his philosophy, cobbled together in place…the letter reflects his distorted thinking on border security.”

Mayorkas’ ‘distorted thinking’ has now led to calls for his impeachment. There are currently two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. The articles charge him with “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and a “breach of public trust.” This memo alone is evidence of that breach with the American public.

In the first article, the Republicans with the House Homeland Security Committee state that Mayorkas “has repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security…His refusal to obey the law is not only an offense against the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States, it also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country.”

Republicans accused Mayorkas in the second impeachment article of “knowingly making false statements to Congress and the American people and avoiding lawful oversight to obscure the devastating consequences of his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law and carry out his statutory duties.” And although the feckless Senate may not have the votes to make the impeachment stick, it will expose those Republicans who truly are open borders advocates from those who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law. It would require a two-thirds majority to convict and remove Mayorkas from office.

If there was ever a reason for impeachment, Mayorkas fits the bill. His impeachment will send a clear message to the Biden Administration and Senators on both sides of the aisle that gig is up and that our nation’s security must be the priority.

Mayorkas ushered in the administration’s expansive use of  “prosecutorial discretion”  that allowed our borders to become an open gateway for our adversaries, drug cartels, terrorists and people from all over the world, stated Joel Maldonado, a recently retired Border Patrol Supervisor, who spoke for the first time about the memo to me on, The Sara Carter Show podcast Sunday.

“When we are not upholding the law but being forced to commit treason it puts everyone at risk, it’s demoralizing and they are lying to the American people,” said Maldonado, who published his first book on his 28 years with the Border Patrol, A Binding Oath: A Border Patrol Journey and the Mayorkas Effect. 

Maldonado, who retired in March 2023, had never seen the Mayorkas memo until this year. He said it coincided with the policy his station in Texas had to abide by and a dangerous policy “that continues to this day.”

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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“The memo itself is a smoking gun, it’s proof that the administration usurped the law with this prosecutorial discretion policy, along with so much more,’ he said. He described how he and other supervisors would put agents out on the border to conduct enforcement instead of using them all for processing illegal aliens into the country when directed to do so by DHS. He said “We would do this out of sight of Washington D.C. and DHS but then be scolded later if we increased our apprehensions. They wanted us to process and they didn’t care how many more people came in or what the consequences would be.”

The seven-page memo was emailed from Mayorkas to Director Tae Johnson, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Director Ur Jaddou, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Robert Silvers, Under Secretary of Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans; Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Lynne Parker Dupree, Chief Privacy Officer with the Privacy Office.

Many areas of the memo are striking but one that stood out was the list of reasons and excuses that Mayorkas gives can be used when attempting to not deport illegal aliens that clearly present a danger to the nation or have violated U.S. law.

This memo “brings to the forefront the official policy of Alejandro Mayorkas to open wide our southern border,” Biggs stated, adding that he believes Congress has the votes to impeach the DHS Secretary.

One of the most stunning parts of the memo refers to the ‘threat to public safety.’  Mayorkas said those threats possibly posed by illegal aliens are ‘not to be determined according to bright lines or categories. Instead, it requires an assessment of the individual and the totality of the facts and circumstances.’

He lists reasons for enforcement action, such as, “sophistication of criminal offense, use or threatened use of a firearm or dangerous weapon, serious prior criminal record” but then follows with mitigating reasons as to what could constitute a reason not to deport them.

He states,  “There can be mitigating factors that militate in favor of declining enforcement action: 

  • advance or tender age
  • lengthy presence in the United States
  • a mental condition that may have contributed to the criminal conduct, or a physical or mental condition requiring care or treatment
  • Status as a victim of crime or victim, witness, or legal party in legal proceedings,
  • the impact of removal on family in the United States, such as loss of a provider or caregiver,
  • whether the noncitizen may be eligible for humanitarian protection or other immigration relief
  • military or other public service of the noncitizen or their immediate family;
  • time since an offense and evidence of rehabilitation;
  • conviction was vacated or expunged

Maldonado said the list of excuses to allow illegal criminals to stay “is basically a strict warning to supervisors” in Border Patrol, ICE and other agencies that deportation was no longer a priority. The priority was ensuring that those who came in illegally stayed in the country, regardless of status, asylum claims or failure to properly vet them for national security threats.

What’s more disturbing in the Mayorkas border manifesto – is not just how he ties the hands of federal agents and risks the national security of our nation – but how he exonerates himself and the Biden Administration from any possible repercussions due to a dangerous open border policy.

“The civil immigration enforcement does not compel an action to be taken or not taken. Instead, the guidance leaves the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to the judgment of our personnel,” Mayorkas states.

Maldonado, and numerous other retired and current Border Patrol supervisors and agents, told me this guidance gives the federal officials – including Mayorkas – cover,  by putting the onus on the federal law enforcement officers who are forced to process people into the nation, and not the administration’s policy.

One current ICE supervisor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, summed it up by saying, “It means if anything goes wrong – if there’s a terror attack or something of that magnitude because of what Mayorkas has done – it will be the poor BP agent or ICE officer that will be blamed…Even though we have been the ones forced to let in the criminals and terrorists because of Mayorkas’ policy.”

If that isn’t a reason to impeach Mayorkas, I don’t know what is.

Follow Sara A. Carter on X at @SaraCarterDC 

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