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‘We are not in Jim Crow’: Burgess Owens blasts comparison to Georgia election law

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At a Tuesday hearing on voting rights titled “Senate Judiciary Hearing – Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote,” Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) slammed the notion that Georgia’s new controversial election law was similar to Jim Crow.

“As someone who’s actually experienced Jim Crow laws,” Owens said, testifying before the committee, “I’d like to set the record straight on the myth regarding the recently passed Georgia state law and why any comparison between this law and Jim Crow is absolutely outrageous.”

Talking about his experiences with Jim Crow, Owens explained that when he was only 12 years old, his father let him participate in protests with college students against segregation at the Florida State Theatre.

“I was the youngest participant there,” Owens said. “Only 50 years later did I learn that my father parked across the street to watch and make sure I was safe.”

The Utah Republican also brought up the segregation in schools, bathrooms, and gas stations, adding: “Jim Crow laws like poll tax, property tests, literacy tests, and bias and intimidation at the polls made it nearly impossible for Black Americans to vote.”

“The section of the Georgia law that has brought so much outrage from the left, it simply requires any person applying for an absentee ballot to include evidence of a government-issued ID on the application,” he said next.

“If a voter does not have a driver’s license or ID card, that voter can use a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or any other government document that shows a name and address of this voter,” Owens continued. “If a voter somehow cannot produce one of these forms of ID, that voter can still vote and cast a vote, a provisional ballot. By the way, 97% of Georgia voters already have a government-issued ID.”

“What I find extremely offensive is the narrative from the left that Black people are not smart enough, not educated enough, not desirous enough of education to do what every other culture and race does in this country: Get an ID,” the congressman said. “True racism is this, it’s the projection of the Democratic Party on my proud race. It’s called the soft bigotry of low expectation.”

He also criticized President Joe Biden for calling Georgia’s new election law “Jim Crow on steroids.”

RELATED: Biden: Georgia needs to ‘smarten up’ to avoid losing business

“With all due respect, Mr. President, you know better. It’s disgusting and offensive to compare the actual voter suppression and violence of that era that we grew up in with a state law that only asks that people show their ID,” Owens said. “This is the type of fearmongering I expect in the 1960s, not today.”

“To call this Jim Crow 2021 is an insult, my friends,” he later said. “For those who never lived Jim Crow, we are not in Jim Crow.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year

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The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.

According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.

ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.

Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries. 

Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.

Surprisingly, ADN reports:

A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.

Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.

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