Morning Wire: Border Crisis Continues, Canadian Pastor Faces Jail Time, Cuomo Loses His Emmy
Mexico Faces Migrant Crisis With Few Resources A helicopter flies above a section of the U.S. and Mexico border wall in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Shelters across Mexico are packed, amid reduced capacity because of the pandemic, and groups providing food and medical care strain to meet an acute need as the number of migrants grow, reports the Los Angeles Times. Photographer: Jonathan Alpeyrie/BloombergContributor via Getty Images
Photographer: Jonathan Alpeyrie/BloombergContributor via Getty Images

It’s Saturday, August 28th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.

1) Border Crisis Continues

The Topline: As the crisis in Afghanistan continues, migrants are still crossing the southern border at a rate not seen in decades as the Biden administration struggles to respond.

The Numbers

Border crossings have increased every month since Biden took office. In July, border authorities encountered a grand total of 212,000 migrants, including 19,000 unaccompanied children, which is a 13% increase from the 189,000 migrants encountered the previous month.

So far this year, border agents have apprehended over a million border crossers.

John Moore/Staff via Getty Images

Biden Administration

The administration still doesn’t appear to have a coherent plan. This month, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was caught on leaked audio saying, “If our border is our first line of defense, we’re going to lose, and this is unsustainable.”

COVID-19 Concerns

This month, the Texas border city of McAllen said that over 7,000 migrants who tested positive for the virus have been released into the city since February, which includes more than 1,500 migrants in one week this month.

Single adults and some families have been sent back over the border under Title 42, which allows migrants recently in a country where a contagious disease was present to be expelled. Unaccompanied children and migrant families with young children, however, are being processed and then released into the U.S.

Border Policies

Last month, the White House announced it would speed up asylum claim processing, saying it wants a “fair, orderly, and humane” immigration system. The new policies allow asylum officers to rule quickly on asylum claims, meaning migrants get to bypass the federal immigration courts, which are backlogged.

Remember: The administration has not done the same for U.S. allies in Afghanistan — specifically interpreters and their families, who are desperate to evacuate and escape the Taliban.

krisanapong detraphiphat via Getty Images

2) Canadian Pastor Faces Jail Time

The Topline: A Canadian pastor who gained international attention for telling state officials enforcing COVID-19 restrictions to leave his church could be sentenced to four years in jail.

Quote Of The Day: 

“In order to implement what they want, they have to eliminate the opposition. And opposition is small- and medium-sized businesses, middle class, and clergy. Christians, Christians are their opposition. That’s why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

— Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski

Pastor Artur Pawlowski

Artur Pawlowski first made headlines in 2020 when police arrived at his church in Alberta, Canada, to enforce the province’s Public Health Act, which restricted outdoor church services to 10 people due to COVID-19. He refused to comply and is now in legal jeopardy for not limiting his church attendance.

Pawlowski became most famous for ejecting police officers from Easter services at his church and said he objected to government officers bringing guns into the sanctuary.

Pawlowski Charged And Convicted

Canadian authorities have since arrested Pastor Pawlowski and his brother for violating the limits on congregational attendance and not observing social distancing requirements. In May, Calgary Police charged the brothers with holding an illegal church service and with “requesting, inciting, or inviting others” to attend church.

In June, a judge convicted them, and Pastor Pawlowski could serve four years in prison.

Key Point: Pawlowski says he feels singled out because police did not apply the law equally to Alberta’s Muslim community when it celebrated Ramadan.

Pawlowski’s History With Police

The pastor’s clashes with the government go back more than a decade. Pawlowski began preaching the Gospel on the streets of Calgary and feeding the homeless, and authorities repeatedly cited him and his parishioners for preaching and feeding the hungry without a government permit; they also confiscated his Bibles. In 2009, a provincial court judge overturned many of these infractions, saying they bordered on “an abuse of power.”

The Bottom Line: Pawlowski was born in Communist Poland and immigrated to Greece in 1990 before going to Canada. He is worried that freedom is slipping away in Canada and the United States.

As a father, as a patriot, as a lover of my country, Canada, I want to stand up and say, ‘Hey, I have seen this movie before. It does not end well. Wake up,’” he said.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Staff via Getty Images

3) Cuomo Loses His Emmy

The Topline: Less than a day after Andrew Cuomo stepped down from his role as governor of New York, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced they were revoking the Emmy award they gave him last year.

Quote Of The Day:

“The Governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure. People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on …”

 – International Academy President & CEO, Bruce Paisner, of Cuomo last year

Hollywood Praised Cuomo Over COVID

Last spring, Cuomo held daily press briefings where he would take questions from journalists about COVID-19.

Talk show hosts used the term “Cuomosexual,” joking they were attracted to him because he handled the virus well, while other celebrities voiced their admiration of him.

In November, the Emmys gave him the Founder’s award because of his “leadership during the Covid19 pandemic & his masterful use of TV to inform & calm people around the world.”

Why Are They Rescinding It?

The reason for taking back Cuomo’s Emmy is said to be due to the New York Attorney General’s finding that Cuomo sexually harassed eleven women, and then his “resignation.”

But Remember: New York had one of the highest COVID death totals in the country, with another 12,000 deaths added last week. Cuomo’s office covered up the true number of deaths because they were worried it could be used as a political weapon against him.

There was no mention of this from the Academy, however, even though they rescinded the award for press conferences about COVID-19. They only discussed allegations about him inappropriately touching and attempting to kiss staffers.

pamelasphotopoetry via Getty Images

Weekend Sports Update

College football has arrived with Week Zero of the college football season beginning today. There are five games on the slate, highlighted by Nebraska at Illinois kicking off at 1 p.m. EST.

Sports Media News

ESPN NBA reporter Rachel Nichols will no longer be part of the network’s NBA coverage, and her show “The Jump” has been canceled. The news comes after a private conversation was inadvertently recorded in which Nichols is heard complaining that she lost a job due to ESPN’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.” Her colleague, Maria Taylor — who is black — was given a position over her.

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