In the News

Lois Frankel Leads the Charge to Take Down a Trump Nominee at the State Department

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Washington, April 29, 2019 | comments

By Kevin Derby, Sunshine State News

From her perch on the U.S. House State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., is leading the charge on Capitol Hill to defeat a State Department nominee. 

Frankel teamed with three congresswomen from California -- Democrat U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Lucille Roybal-Allard and Norma Torres to round up 45 other members of the House to write U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling on him to “withdraw Ronald Mortensen’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.”

Mortensen, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), has drawn fire for his writings. 

“Virtually all adult, illegal aliens commit felonies in order to procure the documents they need to get jobs, to drive and to obtain other benefits that are restricted to U.S. citizens,” Mortensen wrote in The Hill back in 2017. “The vast majority of illegal aliens use fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers.  They possess fake drivers’ licenses, phony ‘green cards,’ fraudulent birth certificates and any other documents that U.S. citizens and legal residents have.  In addition, they falsify I-9 forms under penalty of perjury. Thus, the average illegal alien routinely commits multiple felonies –forgery, Social Security fraud, identity theft, and perjury. This criminal activity is routinely swept under the rug in order to protect the myth of the law abiding illegal alien.”

Back in 2014, Mortensen took aim at U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on immigration. 

“Sen. John McCain's dogged support for illegal aliens and open borders has left the United States vulnerable to terrorists. This has not gone unnoticed by ISIS, also known as ISIL and IS, which reportedly is prepared to launch terrorist operations in the United States from across the southern border,” Mortensen wrote. 

Frankel and the California congressmen slammed Mortensen in the letter. 

“We urge the administration to immediately withdraw Mr. Mortensen’s nomination and identify a qualified individual who understands our country’s moral and legal obligations to assist refugees. Failing to do so would severely undermine our global diplomatic and humanitarian leadership and send a distressing message that the United States is turning its back on the world’s most vulnerable people.” they wrote. 

President Donald Trump nominated Mortensen to the post back in May 2018 but the nomination never came up for a vote. With a new Congress in session, Trump renominated him. 

At the start of the year, Jessica Vaughan and Matthew Sussis, who are both with CIS, penned a piece in the Washington Times going to bat for their colleague. 

“In the spring Mr. Trump nominated Ronald W. Mortensen to head up the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, which oversees refugee policy. Incredibly, Mr. Mortensen is still awaiting Senate confirmation, largely due to the efforts of open-borders lobbyists and left-wing activists to scuttle his nomination,” they wrote. “Ron Mortensen is impeccably qualified. He served for decades in the State Department as a career foreign service officer. More recently, he has led numerous international humanitarian assistance and economic development programs in the Middle East, the Caribbean and Africa.

“Opponents of the president's immigration agenda, such as the refugee industry contractors and immigrant advocacy groups, and ethnic grievance activists have viciously attached Ron Mortensen, not because of his character or his experience, but as a proxy for the Trump policies, which they disagree with. These are groups that want the United States to admit ever-higher numbers of refugees without regard for the impact on American communities, national security or how these resources could be more effectively deployed to help even more people abroad,” they added. 

“The refugee contractors oppose the Trump policy initiatives in large part because less refugee resettlement in the United States and more focus on international assistance means that they will have to downsize their operations here, cut back on the six-figure salaries for executives and beat the pavement for more private support to replace taxpayer dollars,” they continued. “In solidarity with the contractors, the ACLU has smeared Ron Mortensen as an ‘anti-immigrant zealot.’ The Anti-Defamation League has falsely claimed that he has used ‘extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric’ that negates his qualifications and ability to work with refugees. These charges are laughable considering Mr. Mortensen's service and personal sacrifice working for the people of Haiti providing disaster assistance following the 2010 earthquake, and for the people of West Africa in helping to fight the Ebola outbreak.”

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, signed the letter. So did Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, Donna Shalala, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson.

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