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‘Absolute catastrophe’: Babin slams Mayorkas for defending Biden admin border policies

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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released a lengthy statement Tuesday saying the Biden administration is “tackling” the “situation” at the U.S.-Mexico border. His comments were quickly criticized by Republicans, including House Border Security Caucus Chair Rep. Brian Babin, R-TX.

“I’m not sure who the administration thinks they’re fooling by saying ‘we’ve got this under control’. The facts and numbers don’t lie – we’ve already surpassed the total numbers from all of 2018,” Babin said in a statement to this reporter Tuesday.

While Mayorkas acknowledged the surge in illegal immigration, he avoided calling the issue an all-out crisis or emergency. He also said that the Biden administration isn’t responsible for the issue.

“The situation we are currently facing at the southwest border is a difficult one,” Mayorkas said. “We are tackling it.  We are keeping our borders secure, enforcing our laws, and staying true to our values and principles. We can do so because of the incredible talent and unwavering dedication of our workforce.”

Mayorkas continued, “I came to this country as an infant, brought by parents who understood the hope and promise of America. Today, young children are arriving at our border with that same hope.  We can do this.”

Additionally, he ensured that the U.S. is sending “most” single adults and families back to Mexico and some to their home countries and that the situation with COVID-19 is being mitigated. He added, “we are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years. We are expelling most single adults and families.  We are not expelling unaccompanied children.”

Since Jan. 25, 210 migrants in Brownsville, Texas, for example, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to local reports. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-TX, have asserted that the issue could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases among the public.

Still, Chair of the White House COVID Equity Task Force Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith said on Sunday that there’s no “evidence to support” the claim that migrants are spreading COVID-19 to the public.

National Border Patrol Council Vice President Chris Cabrera recently told Sara Carter on “Hannity” that there’s an estimated 700-1,000 migrants crossing the Texas border each day.

“Huge groups are coming because they know they are going to be let go,” Cabrera said. “And once they get here no matter what they hear our politicians say… as long as one person gets through they call back home and say this is what we did this is how we got through…”

When asked about his message to the Biden administration and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., he said, “This needs to stop being a partisan issue.”

With unaccompanied children, DHS now refers the minors to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours of their arrival into the U.S., according to DHS. Moreover, Mayorkas said the unaccompanied minors are tested for COVID-19 and quarantined, and later sent to a sponsor or in some cases their family within the U.S.

“In more than 80 percent of cases, the child has a family member in the United States. In more than 40 percent of cases, that family member is a parent or legal guardian,” Mayorkas said. “These are children being reunited with their families who will care for them.”

The influx of unaccompanied minors has overwhelmed Border Patrol and Mayorkas recognized that in his statement. “The Border Patrol facilities have become crowded with children and the 72-hour timeframe for the transfer of children from the Border Patrol to HHS is not always met,” he said. “HHS has not had the capacity to intake the number of unaccompanied children we have been encountering.”

To mitigate the influx of migrants entering the U.S., Mayorkas recently deployed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and recruited 560 DHS volunteers to help house unaccompanied children at the border.

Mayorkas said the “challenge” at the border right now largely stemmed from the Trump administration’s border policies. In response to the blame-shifting, Babin said, “Instead of stepping up, securing our border, and putting the safety of Americans, and migrants, first, President Biden is doing what the Democrats do best – blaming Donald Trump.”

He added, “This is a true border crisis and an absolute catastrophe that could have been avoided.”

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Daily Wire investigation: Italian company may have illegally sold rights to the Vatican’s priceless art

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The Daily Wire has been conducting a fascinating investigation into the Vatican Museum’s priceless artwork. “Rights to the Vatican Museums’ priceless trove of art treasures may have been illegally sold without the Holy See’s approval in what one attorney described as a “high-tech heist,” the investigation finds.

An Italian company is allegedly selling the rights to reproduce the Vatican artwork in six-figure deals, while claiming to be working in “collaboration with” the Vatican Museums.

“This scheme is nothing less than a pre-meditated, high-tech heist of world-class treasured art from the Vatican Museums under the disguise of bogus licenses, as if sanctioned by the Vatican,” Sarah Rose Speno, a New York attorney, told The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire’s report notes that Speno said she stumbled upon the alleged scheme in March when she sought permission to use images of Vatican art for an exhibition by a client.

“We discovered that a large table book had been published with high-resolution images of the interiors of the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel,” Speno said. “We very much wanted to pursue an opportunity to license these images, as soon as possible.”

Speno contacted Scripta Maneant — the Italian publisher that licensed the photos in the book. Scripta Maneant claimed authority to broker the publishing rights via its “collaboration” with Vatican Museums vice director, Monsignore Paolo Nicolini. Scripta Maneant wanted $550,000 for the rights — with a portion being paid to the Vatican through Nicolini, according to Speno. Although Scripta Maneant claimed the fee would be shared with the Vatican, Speno said she later became suspicious.

“The Scripta Maneant scheme became obvious when the Scripta principals demanded a cash wire in the amount of $82,500 no later than their return from summer holiday in late August,” Speno said. “They said that they would produce Vatican approval for our Italian Renaissance Immersive project ‘if and only if’ the fee were wired to the Scripta bank account they provided. It was at this point that grave suspicion entered my mind.”

Ultimately, Speno said, “we terminated the deal when Scripta could not provide us with documented consent by the Vatican.”

Continue Reading: Daily Wire

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