'The crisis is born of a lot of bad policies': Mike Lee talks to Glenn about the border crisis

The Mercury One Children and Family Border Relief Fund has raised over $2 million over the last several weeks, and Glenn is going to the border town of McAllen, Texas on Saturday to begin distributing aid to local churches and charities. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) had rearranged his schedule to be at the border with Glenn and Mercury One, but a last minute change has prevented him from being able to attend. On radio this morning, Lee joined Glenn to discuss the immigration debate and the difference between the border crisis and the humanitarian crisis.

Glenn began the conversation by quoting President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was adamantly opposed to slavery, but respected and recognized the Constitutionally defined constraints on presidential power enough to not act out of turn:

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it my view that I might take an oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power…”

President Obama either does not understand or simply does not care to exercise the same restraint. Glenn asked Lee how we are to solve a crisis like the immigration situation we currently face, when we have a president who does not respect the rule of law.

“I'm glad you shared that Lincoln quote. It takes great restraint to recognize that although he might be completely convinced that his cause is just and right, it takes great restraint to say, notwithstanding the rightness of my cause, I don't have authority to do this, and so I'm not going to do this,” Lee said. “And that's exactly why we've got to be very careful when electing someone to the presidency of the United States. You know, possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law. There's a lot of truth to that when it comes to who occupies the White House.”

“We do have this awful crisis along the border, and the crisis is born of a lot of bad policies,” he continued. “You know, there's a lot of politics that's bound up in this crisis so much so it's easy to forget there are real people down there who need help.”

Lee is staunchly anti-amnesty and has not supported any of the immigration reform bills that have circulated the Senate. The border crisis is something the government must be responsible for fixing. With that said, Lee believes there is a problem at the border that the government cannot adequately respond to.

“I wish I could be there with you. I think it's great what you're doing. I mean, not all these problems can be addressed adequately by government,” Lee said. “Many of these problems, in fact the most significant problems, are those that have to be met if at all by private citizens, by institutions of civil society, by hard working men and women who just act out of the goodness of their heart – notwithstanding that the fact that all of this is the product of some bad policy coming out of Washington.”

Ultimately, when it comes to dealing with the lawlessness of the Obama Administration, Lee believes it is necessary for Congress to hold the President accountable by exercising the powers given to them.

“We do have to hold this president accountable, and we have do hold him accountable by exercising our powers that is our right to exercise,” Lee said. “Among other things, I think we need to start withholding funding from programs that the President is abusing. We need to address abuses of power with the prerogatives that belong to Congress.”

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!