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NJGOP Chairman Calls On Murphy To End Frivolous Lawsuits Against Trump Admin and Focus on New Jersey

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Yesterday after the Trump administration moved to block state efforts to work around a new limit on state and local tax deductions, Governor Murphy has said he is weighing legal actions.. New Jersey’s top Republican NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt released the following statement:

Continue reading NJGOP Chairman Calls On Murphy To End Frivolous Lawsuits Against Trump Admin and Focus on New Jersey

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US Supreme Court Hands the Trump Administration its Second Major Victory This Week

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather Quill

June 27,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, for the second time in a week the US Supreme court gave the Trump administration a major win . First on Tuesday the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban affecting several mostly Muslim countries, offering an endorsement of the president’s executive authority on immigration in one of the hardest-fought battles of this term.

The 5-4 ruling marks the first major high court decision on a Trump administration policy and it upholds the selective travel restrictions.

Today in perhaps a more significant issue for New Jersey Taxpayers and in a major legal and political defeat for municipal and state unions, the Supreme Court ruled once again 5-4 that state government workers cannot be forced to pay so-called “fair share” fees to support collective bargaining and other union activities.

Unions claim 5 million government employees in 24 states including New Jersey and the District of Columbia will be affected by this ruling.

The so called “Janus decision” is seen as a victory for Free Speech advocates . Teachers and other public sector members will now have freedom to choose to voluntarily join a union if they decide it will serve their interests, rather than endure compulsory fees to unions that put their own agenda first. Public sector unions will no longer be able to force non-members to pay bloated “agency fees” as a condition of employment.

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Voters Blame Parents, Not Feds, For Children Crisis at the Border


June 23,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Rasmussen Reports , most voters blame the parents of the separated children at the border for the latest illegal immigration crisis, not the federal government.

When families are arrested and separated after attempting to enter the United States illegally, 54% of Likely U.S. Voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 35% believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

To help understand the current political debate over the children issue, a closer look shows that 82% of Republicans and 56% of voters not affiliated with either major political party feel the parents are more to blame for breaking the law. But 60% of Democrats say the government is more to blame for enforcing the law.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Democrats think the Trump administration is too aggressive in trying to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, a view shared by only 23% of Republicans and a plurality (46%) of unaffiliated voters.

Among all voters, 49% say the administration is too aggressive trying to stop illegal immigration. Twenty-five percent (25%) say it’s not aggressive enough, while 21% view the administration’s policies as about right.

Fifty-four percent (54%) agree with President Trump when he says, “The United States will not be a migrant camp. And it will not be a refugee-holding facility – it won’t be.” Thirty percent (30%) disagree, while 16% are undecided.

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Trump Administration Takes on Senior Scams


February 23,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions , “Each year, an estimated $3 billion are stolen or defrauded from millions of American seniors. Through “grandparent scams,” fake prizes or even threats, criminals prey on some of the most vulnerable Americans to steal their hard-earned savings and their peace of mind.”

Upscale towns like Ridgewood, Glen Rock etc are often the prime targets of these scams . The Ridgewood blog has reported over and over again senior scams , phone scams , internet scams  and identity theft .

And this threat is only growing. The Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline received twice as many reports in 2016 as it received in 2015. The rise of new technologies has made it easier for criminals to coordinate their efforts and perpetrate their crimes.

The Trump Administration is taking action. We will not let this crime continue to rise.

Last month, the Department ordered all 94 of our U.S. Attorneys’ offices to each designate an elder justice coordinator, who will customize our strategy to protect seniors in their district. This will ensure even greater cooperation between the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners.

The Trump administration is forming unprecedented law enforcement partnerships around the country and, indeed, around the world. These partnerships are already bearing fruit.

Today, the Department of Justice is announcing the largest elder fraud enforcement action in American history.

With the help of our partners at all levels of government and in the private sector, we have charged more than 200 defendants for committing elder fraud schemes and brought civil actions against dozens more.

These defendants allegedly robbed more than one million Americans of more than half a billion dollars.

In the past month alone, the Department’s Consumer Protection Branch and our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have filed cases against more than 40 defendants. These 40 defendants are responsible for a majority of those 1 million victims I mentioned, and they include charges against the transnational criminal organization highlighted on the map we have displayed.

Just yesterday the Postal Inspection Service executed 14 search warrants across America. The Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch and our U.S. Attorneys are working closely with the postal inspectors on these investigations.

And as we speak, our partners with the Vancouver, Canada Police Department are executing dozens of search warrants as part of this enforcement action. These warrants are being carried out against members of transnational criminal organizations that have allegedly defrauded tens of thousands of Americans and people all over the world.

And so I want to thank the Postal Inspection Service, the FTC and its Consumer Sentinel database, the FBI and its Los Angeles field office, the Vancouver Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of Iowa, our elder justice coordinators, and all of our state, local, and international partners who helped make this historic achievement possible.

Thank you to Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General and President of the National Association of Attorneys General for participating in this action and representing our state Attorneys General, who play a vital role in this effort.

And thank you to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, especially to my good friends Senators Grassley and Collins. They have a real passion for this issue and they have helped raise awareness about it.

I also want to thank Deborah Cox-Rausch, director of Senior Corps, a federal agency that coordinates the work of hundreds of thousands of senior citizen volunteers across the country. Senior Corps has helped get the word out about the threat of fraud schemes to our seniors, and I believe that helps prevent crime.

That’s why I hope that no victim of fraud feels ashamed. This can happen to anyone. Several members of my staff have told me about their grandparents being targeted by fraudsters. In fact, just this past week, one of my senior staffers was in a meeting with me when she got a call from her grandmother, who had just received a phone call from a fraudster.

We need to spread the word about this. So, please, if you or someone you know was victimized by an elder fraud scheme, please report it to the FTC. It might just give us the tip we need to put criminals in jail—and to protect other seniors.

We are joined here today by several Americans who have had the courage to step forward and share their stories of being victimized by fraudsters. They’ve come a long way to be here—and I want to thank them for that and for sharing their experiences and insights.

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Trump Administration Official Throws Cold Water on Gateway Tunnel Funding Agreement


December 30,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, earlier this month Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced commitments to fund 100 percent of their respective share of the new Gateway tunnel. The agreement follows a 2015 framework agreement in which the federal government agreed to fund 50 percent of the project.

The agreement for a combined $5.5 billion states that the State of New York will contribute $1.75 billion with NJ Transit committing $1.9 billion and the Port Authority contributing $1.9 billion.

But the Trump administration through cold water on the idea on Friday . In a letter to New York and New Jersey officials, a top Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator Jane Williams signaled that the Trump administration would not recognize the agreement struck under former President Barack Obama that called for the federal government to pay half the cost of the project.

The letter stated that ,“There is no such agreement,” and “We consider it unhelpful to reference a nonexistent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders,”

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Trump Administration Deregulation Drive Spurs Economic Growth


December 15,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC , President Trump is touting his administration’s progress on deregulation, according to the President for every one new regulation an amazing 22 are eliminated. Trump said the goal is to get the stack of regulations smaller than that of the 1960’s.

According to the Wall Street Journal ,” the biggest change has been in U.S. economic policy, notably the Trump Administration’s deregulatory efforts and the boost they have given business confidence.”

The Labor Department reported Friday December 8th  that the U.S. created 228,000 net new jobs in November, in the latest sign that the American economy is growing at a healthier pace.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that nonfarm payrolls grew by 228,000 jobs in November, with gains across all sectors except information and utilities. The pace in November is higher than the 2017 average of 174,000 per month, and 1.7 million jobs have been added since January. The November unemployment rate matched October’s rate of 4.1 percent, which was the lowest rate in more than 16 years (since December 2000).

For Hispanic workers, the 4.7 percent unemployment rate in November was the lowest in at least 44 years.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department revealed Wednesday that the GDP expanded at a 3.3 percent rate in the third quarter after being adjusted for seasonal factors and inflation. That’s the first time since 2007 that quarterly economic output exceeded the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of its “maximum sustainable level,” the Wall Street Journal reported .

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Kellyanne Conway started a company when she was 28, and it has made her millions

President-Elect Donald J

Sarah Jacobs

Kellyanne Conway’s climb from pollster to White House counselor has been closely watched by the media.

When Conway joined the Trump administration, she and her husband, New York City lawyer George Conway, disclosed assets worth up to $39.3 million. Much of that wealth came from Kellyanne’s polling business, which she started in 1995, at the age of 28.

While attending law school at George Washington University, Conway worked as an assistant at a firm headed by Richard Wirthlin, who was President Ronald Reagan’s pollster and strategist.

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Confidence in the American Economy Booms Under Trump Administration

Pence and  Trump

“We’re going to win economically; we’re going to win with the economy.” – Donald J. Trump

BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN THE AMERICAN ECONOMY: Since President Donald J. Trump’s election, economic indicators have responded with record confidence to his pro-growth agenda.

April 4,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, last week the National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey showing the highest level of optimism in 20 years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 12 percent since Election Day 2016.
The Weekly Gallup Economic Confidence Index turned positive shortly after the President’s election and has remained positive for 19 consecutive weeks.
The Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Index recently jumped 19 points, the largest jump since 2009.
The National Association of Home Builders Confidence Index currently is at its highest level in 12 years.
The Gallup Small Business Index reflects the most optimistic small business owners have been since July 2007.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index recently soared to its highest level in more than 16 years.
The American Dream Index recently rebounded to 100.5, up from a 12-month low point in December, the final full month of the Obama administration.

EARLY PROGRESS: In just the first full month of President Trump’s Administration, the United States economy has already made promising strides in the job market.

In February, the President’s first full month in office, the U.S economy created 235,000 new jobs.

58,000 new construction jobs were created.
28,000 new manufacturing jobs were created.

In February, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent.
In February, the U.S. labor force participation rose to 63 percent.
In February, long-term unemployment in the U.S. fell by 49,000.

IMPLEMENTING JOB CREATING POLICIES: President Trump is executing an agenda that favors the American worker.

President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the White House Office of American Innovation, which will implement policies and scale proven private-sector models to spur job creation.
President Trump ordered the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and negotiations.
President Trump initially signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and recently his Administration formally approved the project.
President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access pipeline serves the national interest and is being prepared to be put into service.
President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to help ensure that new pipeline construction and repair work uses materials and equipment from the United States.

CUTTING GOVERNMENT RED TAPE: President Trump has quickly taken steps to get the Government out of the way of job creation.

President Trump signed an Energy Independence Executive Order to help eliminate burdensome regulations on America’s energy industry.
President Trump directed each agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify costly and unnecessary regulations in need of modification or repeal.
President Trump has required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated.
President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers.
President Trump signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to prevent the burdensome “Stream Protection Rule” from causing further harm to the coal industry.
President Trump ordered the review of the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States,” known as the WOTUS rule, to evaluate whether it is stifling economic growth or job creation.

PARTNER OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR: President Trump has worked hand-in-hand with the private sector to get companies re-investing in America.

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced a $20 billion investment in the United States, which will create more than 45,000 jobs.
Charter Communications announced a $25 billion investment in the United States, and that it will hire 20,000 American workers in the next four years.
Accenture announced the creation of 15,000 new high skilled jobs in the next four years and a $1.4 billion investment in training its own employees.
Intel announced a $7 billion investment in a new factory in the United States, supporting over 10,000 jobs.
Fiat Chrysler announced a $1 billion investment to modernize two plants in the United States, creating 2,000 jobs.
General Motors announced plans to invest $1 billion in the United States, creating over 1,000 new jobs.
Ford announced the cancelation of a plant in Mexico, while adding 700 jobs in Michigan.

FOLLOWING THROUGH FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: President Trump campaigned on jumpstarting the economic engine of America so businesses could grow and Americans could get back to work.

As a candidate, Mr. Trump promised “I am going to bring back the jobs that have been stripped away from you and your country.”
As a candidate, Mr. Trump promised “we will make America the best place in the world to start a business; we’ll hire workers, and we’ll open factories.”
As a candidate, Mr. Trump promised “we will also get rid of wasteful rules and regulations, which are destroying our job-creation capacity.”

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Trump Administration : Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law


Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

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By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), and in order to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the United States as well as to ensure that our Nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby declare the policy of the executive branch to be, and order, as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  Interior enforcement of our Nation’s immigration laws is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States.  Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety.  This is particularly so for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.

Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.  These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.

Tens of thousands of removable aliens have been released into communities across the country, solely because their home countries refuse to accept their repatriation.  Many of these aliens are criminals who have served time in our Federal, State, and local jails.  The presence of such individuals in the United States, and the practices of foreign nations that refuse the repatriation of their nationals, are contrary to the national interest.

Although Federal immigration law provides a framework for Federal-State partnerships in enforcing our immigration laws to ensure the removal of aliens who have no right to be in the United States, the Federal Government has failed to discharge this basic sovereign responsibility.  We cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.  The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.

Sec. 2.  Policy.  It is the policy of the executive branch to:

(a)  Ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States, including the INA, against all removable aliens, consistent with Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution and section 3331 of title 5, United States Code;

(b)  Make use of all available systems and resources to ensure the efficient and faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States;

(c)  Ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law;

(d)  Ensure that aliens ordered removed from the United States are promptly removed; and

(e)  Support victims, and the families of victims, of crimes committed by removable aliens.

Sec. 3.  Definitions.  The terms of this order, where applicable, shall have the meaning provided by section 1101 of title 8, United States Code.

Sec. 4.  Enforcement of the Immigration Laws in the Interior of the United States.  In furtherance of the policy described in section 2 of this order, I hereby direct agencies to employ all lawful means to ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens.

Sec. 5.  Enforcement Priorities.  In executing faithfully the immigration laws of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by the Congress in sections 212(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 235, and 237(a)(2) and (4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 1225, and 1227(a)(2) and (4)), as well as removable aliens who:

(a)  Have been convicted of any criminal offense;

(b)  Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;

(c)  Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;

(d)  Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;

(e)  Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;

(f)  Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or

(g)  In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

Sec. 6.  Civil Fines and Penalties.  As soon as practicable, and by no later than one year after the date of this order, the Secretary shall issue guidance and promulgate regulations, where required by law, to ensure the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.

Sec. 7.  Additional Enforcement and Removal Officers.  The Secretary, through the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, take all appropriate action to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, who shall complete relevant training and be authorized to perform the law enforcement functions described in section 287 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357).

Sec. 8.  Federal-State Agreements.  It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

(a)  In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).

(b)  To the extent permitted by law and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary.  Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.

(c)  To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in a manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws for that jurisdiction.

Sec. 9.  Sanctuary Jurisdictions.  It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that a State, or a political subdivision of a State, shall comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.

(a)  In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.  The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction.  The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.

(b)  To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.

(c)  The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is directed to obtain and provide relevant and responsive information on all Federal grant money that currently is received by any sanctuary jurisdiction.

Sec. 10.  Review of Previous Immigration Actions and Policies.  (a)  The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate action to terminate the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) described in the memorandum issued by the Secretary on November 20, 2014, and to reinstitute the immigration program known as “Secure Communities” referenced in that memorandum.

(b)  The Secretary shall review agency regulations, policies, and procedures for consistency with this order and, if required, publish for notice and comment proposed regulations rescinding or revising any regulations inconsistent with this order and shall consider whether to withdraw or modify any inconsistent policies and procedures, as appropriate and consistent with the law.

(c)  To protect our communities and better facilitate the identification, detention, and removal of criminal aliens within constitutional and statutory parameters, the Secretary shall consolidate and revise any applicable forms to more effectively communicate with recipient law enforcement agencies.

Sec. 11.  Department of Justice Prosecutions of Immigration Violators.  The Attorney General and the Secretary shall work together to develop and implement a program that ensures that adequate resources are devoted to the prosecution of criminal immigration offenses in the United States, and to develop cooperative strategies to reduce violent crime and the reach of transnational criminal organizations into the United States.

Sec. 12.  Recalcitrant Countries.  The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall cooperate to effectively implement the sanctions provided by section 243(d) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1253(d)), as appropriate.  The Secretary of State shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition precedent the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States.

Sec. 13.  Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens.  The Secretary shall direct the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take all appropriate and lawful action to establish within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement an office to provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and the family members of such victims.  This office shall provide quarterly reports studying the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States.

Sec. 14.  Privacy Act.  Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.

Sec. 15.  Reporting.  Except as otherwise provided in this order, the Secretary and the Attorney General shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order within 90 days of the date of this order and again within 180 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 16.  Transparency.   To promote the transparency and situational awareness of criminal aliens in the United States, the Secretary and the Attorney General are hereby directed to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on the following:

(a)  the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons;

(b)  the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as Federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the United States Marshals Service; and

(c)  the immigration status of all convicted aliens incarcerated in State prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States.

Sec. 17.  Personnel Actions.  The Office of Personnel Management shall take appropriate and lawful action to facilitate hiring personnel to implement this order.

Sec. 18.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


January 25, 2017.

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Trump Administration Releases Joint Statement on U.S.-Mexico Relations

January 28,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, The United States President Donald J. Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke by phone this morning for an hour.  The call was mutually arranged by their teams.

The two had a productive and constructive call regarding the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the current trade deficit the United States has with Mexico, the importance of the friendship between the two nations, and the need for the two nations to work together to stop drug cartels, drug trafficking and illegal guns and arms sales.

With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship.

Both presidents have instructed their teams to continue the dialogue to strengthen this important strategic and economic relationship in a constructive way.