Warren Mass

Columbus Day, traditionally October 12, but observed as a federal holiday on the second Monday in October since 1970, evokes fond memories among Americans who remember celebrating the day in school by cutting out construction paper images of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, and by singing: “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” 

This year, however, the cities of Seattle and Minneapolis are celebrating “Indigenous People’s Day” in place of a day that has a long, proud tradition in America.

In a speech delivered October 9 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson played up the recent decline in unaccompanied minors illegally crossing our southern border, stating that “illegal migration by unaccompanied kids turned the corner, and it’s now in fact at its lowest number since January 2013.”

A report posted by the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) on October 7 stated: “Sea ice in Antarctica has remained at satellite-era record high daily levels for most of 2014.”

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito introduced a bill on October 7 that would “significantly restrict the conditions under which the NYPD complies with … ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] requests” to “detain [an] individual for up to 48 hours beyond when the individual would otherwise be released so that the individual’s custody may be transferred to ICE.

 

 

According to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general on October 6, the presence of communicable diseases at detention facilities housing illegal immigrants — both unaccompanied children and families — remains a problem. 

Speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 37th Annual Awards Gala in Washington on October 2, President Obama gave a rousing “get out the vote” speech, imploring this audience: “Si, se puede … si votamos. Yes we can … if we vote.”

Chinese officials have used the editorial pages of the People’s Daily, the flagship paper of China’s Communist Party, to warn protesters engaged in anti-Mainland China demonstrations to back off. The ranks of demonstrators have been swelled by thousands of University of Hong Kong students who have been boycotting classes to take part in the protests seeking expanded voting rights, less interference from Beijing, and the preservation of freedom of the press, which exists to a greater degree in Hong Kong than on the mainland.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed three immigration bills on September 27 that will, respectively, provide funding for state public universities to administer loans to students who are in the United States illegally, allow illegal aliens to apply for professional state licenses, and allocate $3 million for non-profit organizations to legally represent minors in deportation cases.

As has been predicted by those who have been keeping count of the large number of illegal immigrant children who have crossed our borders from Central America during the past year, the flood of such children entering our schools is proving to be a logistical and financial burden for local school districts.

During the past six weeks U.S. combat jets have bombed and eliminated 41 Humvees originally given to the Iraqi military, but afterwards captured by ISIS forces. CNNMoney cited a statement from Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, that the bombs that U.S. jets are dropping on the Humvees cost $30,000 each, while the armored vehicles themselves originally cost about $250,000 each, depending how each was equipped.