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Elections

Trump grants clemency to 143 people before leaving office

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Before leaving office, President Donald Trump grants clemency to 143 people, including former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Just before 1 a.m. ET Wednesday, President Trump granted pardons to 73 people and commuted sentences for 70 others. The list ranges from Trump allies to celebrities to non-violent drug offenders.

One of Trump’s top fundraisers, Elliot Broidy, is receiving a full pardon after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws.

Further, Trump extended pardons to three former Republican congressmen: former representatives Rick Renzi, Robert Hayes and Duke Cunningham and commutated the sentence of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving time on corruption charges.

Aviem Sella, an Israeli air force officer who the U.S. accused of being a spy,
Bob Zangrillo, the Miami developer and venture capitalist charged in the Varsity Blues college admission scandal and Robert Hayes, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to lying to the F.B.I, also received pardons.

Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, both convicted of weapon charges, were also included on the list.

Missing from the list were WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Tiger King star Joe Exotic — whose supporters had pushed for pardons.

Trump has until noon on Wednesday to issue any final pardons before leaving office.

The clemency announcement came after Trump delivered a farewell message video on his last full day in office.

“I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices, because that’s what you elected me to do,” Trump said.

He extended his “best wishes” to the new administration.

“This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes and also want them to have luck, a very important word.”

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Economy

Analysis: the 7.2 million illegals Biden has let enter the U.S. is larger than the population of 36 states

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For those who can’t comprehend the magnitude of what the Biden administration’s poor border policies have done, the nearly 7.3 million migrants who have illegally crossed the southwest border  on Biden’s watch is a greater amount than the population of 36 individual states.

A Fox News analysis looked at data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which shows the total number of southwest land border encounters since Biden assumed office in 2021 is 7,298,486. The CBP already reported 961,537 border encounters in the current fiscal year, which runs from October through September.

Fox News reports:

If the current pace of illegal immigration does not slow down, fiscal year 2024 will break last year’s record of 2,475,669 southwest border encounters — a number that by itself exceeds the population of New Mexico, a border state.

That is larger than the population of 36 U.S. states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The analysis found that compared to the largest U.S. states, the 7.3 million number is about 18.7% of California’s population of 39 million; 23.9% of the state of Texas and its 31 million residents; 32.3% of the population of Florida; and 37.3% of New York. It’s more than half the size of Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio.

Were the number of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. under President Biden gathered together to found a city, it would be the second-largest city in America after New York. And the total does not include an estimated additional 1.8 million known “gotaways” who evaded law enforcement, which would make it bigger than New York.

This unprecedented surge in illegal immigration isn’t an accident. It is the result of deliberate policy choices by the Biden administration,” said Eric Ruark, Director of Research for Numbers USA, a nonprofit that advocates for immigration restrictions.

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