By Emily Allison

In this episode of “The Nation Speaks,” host Cindy Drukier addresses how the issue of critical race theory in education may have played a role in recent Republican wins across the nation, and how Biden’s Build Back Better plan’ creates mass amnesty for illegal aliens.

Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the recent Virginia gubernatorial election shows how CRT and K–12 education is becoming an issue that favors conservative candidates now more than ever before. When Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe said before the election “I don’t think parents should have a say in what is taught in schools,” parents showed up to tell him otherwise. Youngkin campaigned on the opposite side, saying he would abolish the teaching of CRT in schools on his first day in office. A Fox news poll nearing election day revealed that 72 percent of voters said that the issue of CRT in schools was either the single most important factor or an important factor in influencing how they cast their vote.

The conservative wave at the state level stemmed from battles being fought on the local level in school board meetings. Most notably, was the Loudoun County Virginia incident where a 9th grade girl was sexually assaulted in her school bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt. Her father was later arrested when he protested at a school board meeting.

Ryan Girdusky, founder of the 1776 Project PAC and co- author of “They’re Not Listening” joins Drukier to give insight into school board elections across the country. The 1776 PAC was formed to campaign for candidates in school board races that upheld conservative education principles. The political action committee was involved in 58 races and won 42 of those races by November. He said between funding and target marketing to encourage voter turnout in an off-year election, they saw impressive voter turnout by Republicans who usually don’t come out for local elections. He said the candidates did most of the boots-on-the-ground work, but he thinks his PAC influenced races that came in with razor thin margins. They even won races held in traditionally blue areas and several flipped for more conservative candidates.

Regarding the disagreement about CRT being taught in schools, Drukier addresses liberals denying that CRT is even being taught or what the content of it even is. Girdusky says that if CRT doesn’t exist at all, then why would people be opposed to teaching it? “They’re saying ‘Oh it doesn’t exist’ and yet, they’re fighting tooth and nail to preserve it. That’s very ironic.” According to Girdusky, CRT isn’t being taught in schools as much as it is being practiced, through books with CRT content; “privilege walks” where kids are told to line up and have to take steps forward based on their races and their “privilege;” certain schools receiving reduced funding for having a majority of white students; as well as some schools abolishing their gifted and talented programs for not being racially diverse enough. “That is critical race theory in action.”

Girdusky says that for too many decades, Republicans’ only education talking points were pushing school choice and that colleges are left wing indoctrination centers. Now, Republicans are leading the discussion regarding if schools should teach advanced classes; whether or not kids should be judged based on their skin color, or if classrooms should be racially segregated; should schools dumb down grading, or if there should be merit-based grading and reward systems. These curriculum-based discussions are what parents are most concerned about right now.

Drukier goes on to address the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Congress recently passed with bipartisan support. The bill will now likely pass very soon and be included as part of the Build Back Better plan, a nearly 25,000 page bill that contains Biden and progressives’ over trillion dollar wishlist. One criticism of the bill is that it is so large that legislators can’t possibly know what all they are voting for. What we do know, however, is that the bill holds policies such as immigration reform, which will affect millions of people. Former Deputy Secretary of DHS, Ken Cuccinelli and now Senior Fellow at the Center for Renewing America, joins to talk about the immigration ramifications of this bill.

Cuccinelli says that the Biden administration’s vision for the southern border is to fund and attract more people to come illegally into this country. The Build Back Better plan contains billions of dollars to give amnesty to illegal immigrants and to fund the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Agency, which is the legal immigration agency in the Department of Homeland Security. The bill allocates $3 billion to that agency to be put toward benefiting illegal aliens and helping them change their status to legal. “This is amnesty. It is funded by amnesty,” says Cuccinelli, noting that there are two issues with this provision. The first issue is that funding amnesty for millions of people will encourage millions more to come, during a time when we already have an immigration crisis at the southern border. The second issue is that this bill is supposed to be a budget bill, and a budget bill is not supposed to change legal policy. Nevertheless, the Build Back Better plan legalizes those who came here illegally before Jan. 1, 2010. Cuccinelli notes that amnesty cannot be in a reconciliation bill, so they will need all 50 Democrats to overrule the Senate Parliamentarian and push these provisions though regardless.

Many Democrats say that the bill does not provide amnesty, but rather, a pathway to legal residency. Cuccinelli says that amnesty is making people who are illegally here legal, without them having to do anything to correct the legal status. With a wave of a pen, this bill will be making millions of aliens legal, and that is amnesty. Although the bill does not take illegal aliens all the way to citizenship, it does get them to legal status, and once they are at legal status, they will easily be able to become citizens. “This is amnesty. Anybody voting for this bill is voting for not only amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, but to fund their move from illegal status to legal status to the order of $3 billion.”

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He also notes that the bill contains provisions relating to legal visas, backlogs, and more, which have to do specifically with policy and should not be part of the budget bill. Cuccinelli says that this bill is cruel to the poor in America. With massive amounts of unskilled labor coming into the country and taking jobs and oppressing wages, the people who are hurt the most are low income Americans. At the end of 2019, the United States reached the lowest poverty rate in recorded American history, not just because of tax cuts and deregulation that got the economy going, but also due to strong enforcement of immigration law, which protects the lower end of the wage scale. That is why the Trump administration was able to achieve the lowest levels of unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics, as well as the lowest poverty ever, because his policies protected America’s poor. Cuccinelli explains that Biden’s policies make it harder for the poor to get any job at all, and will oppress their wages for years to come if this bill is allowed to pass.

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