September 20, 2018

NIGERIA: Muslim Mob Burn Alive Christian Pastor, His Wife, And Three Of Their Children. omg...😦😢😠 AND 9 Churches Burnt Down And Christian Students Attacked By Muslim Mob NECROMONGERS

Jihad Watch
written and news shared by Christine Douglass-Williams
Friday August 31, 2018
Fulani Muslim militants launched raids on eight villages in central Nigeria this week, burning alive a Christian pastor along with his wife and three of their children.
In order to spread “Islamic teachings and practice,” the Fulani jihadi gangs routinely rampage through towns and villages, seeking out Christians in order to rid whole areas of “all aspects of Christian faith.”

Nathan Johnson, regional manager for Africa of International Christian Concern, stated:
The fact that the government allows the continued destruction and killing of its villages and citizens shows a lack of care or ability…..If this continues, there will have to be international intervention or else Nigeria may devolve into a major civil war.
Unfortunately, international intervention will likely not come, as Christians have nearly been wiped out in the Middle East, and there was no international intervention on their behalf in that region. While ignoring real human rights abusers, the UN accuses Israel of “war crimes” for defending itself; and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation continues its aggressive propagandist “Islamophobia” campaign all over the West.

Muslim Militants Burn Alive Christian Pastor and His Family in Nigeria,” by Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, August 30, 2018:

Fulani Muslim militants launched raids on eight villages in central Nigeria this week, burning alive a Christian pastor along with his wife and three of their children.

In the village of Abonong in Plateau State, the Islamic raiders, armed with machetes and AK47 rifles, looted and destroyed 95 houses, along with farmland and three churches. They killed Pastor Adamu Gyang Wurim and his family by setting fire to their house while they were inside and shot the pastor’s wife in the bathroom. The assailants killed two other villagers as well, wounding several others.

The attack, which began Tuesday evening around 8:00 p.m., lasted over four hours before security personnel finally arrived on the scene. By then the attackers had razed much of the villages of Abonong and Ziyat, and stolen valuables including electronics, mattresses, food, and livestock.

The incident occurred just 24 hours after a two-day peace summit in Jos organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria with the theme, “Sustainable peace and security in Northern Nigeria as a panacea for development.”

A local lawyer, Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, spoke with one of the three surviving children of the pastor, who was away at the University of Jos at the time of the attack and learned of it on Facebook.

“When I called a friend to find out about the situation, the report I received was very devastating,” the young man said. “I couldn’t believe that all my family members have been engulfed in the pogrom. On reaching home, I saw my daddy and younger ones burnt beyond recognition.”

“The three of us left don’t know what to do, especially now that we are still students who have nothing to hold on [to],” he said.

One witness, Mr. Gwom Pam Dusu, who works at a Roman Catholic Church in the area, said that local security had received information about an impending attack planned by Fulani herdsmen and their hired mercenaries but failed to act.

Despite the information, “security personnel stationed at Bek of Foron District didn’t do anything to avert the terror attacks,” Mr. Gwom claimed.

Nathan Johnson, the regional manager for Africa of International Christian Concern, expressed astonishment over the government’s inaction in an area of continued inter-religious strife.

“The fact that the government allows the continued destruction and killing of its villages and citizens shows a lack of care or ability,” Mr. Johnson said. “If this continues, there will have to be international intervention or else Nigeria may devolve into a major civil war.”

A member of the House of Representatives, Istifanus Gyang, concurred in a statement accusing the federal government of complicity following the renewed attacks which came about two months after the slaughter of over 200 Christians by Fulani herdsmen.

“These attacks are coming at a time when the people are yet to recover from the massacre of over 200 persons in the same Barkin Ladi LGA with thousands of the displaced victims still languishing in Internally Displaced Persons camps,” Mr. Gyang said.

“The unfortunate thing is that the perpetrators of these attacks continue to execute their agenda with reckless abandon without an appropriate response by government!” he said.


CBN News published on July 9, 2018: Christian Children Murdered in Their Beds by Muslims: Nigeria Now the Deadliest Place to Be a Christian

World Watch Monitor
written by Staff
February 9, 2018

In Nigeria, a new wave of attacks has seen dozens killed in Christian communities across the country.

The violence has hit the north-eastern state of Adamawa, one of the most affected by Boko Haram, and also the Middle Belt states of Nasarawa and Benue, where Fulani herdsmen have caused havoc in recent years.

In Adamawa state, a Christian student was killed, and others injured, in an attack by Muslim students at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH) of Yola, the state capital, on 4 February.

A local source, who wanted to remain anonymous, told World Watch Monitor that the incident started around 7pm, as some students were in their classes, revising ahead of their exams scheduled the following day.

Other students were holding their fellowships in various places across the campus, when suddenly, a mob of fellow students, armed with sticks and machetes and chanting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest), stormed the classrooms.

Christian students in one of the lecture theatres (Lecture Room LT2) were forced to flee after their room was set ablaze. They ran immediately to a Catholic church (still on the campus), where other students were having their fellowship, to prevent the assailants from attacking and setting it on fire.

Other students who were having their fellowship in another church, the Trinity Chapel (also on the campus), had to come out immediately to help.

Erick McBen Kyari, 25, a second-year Urban and Regional Planning student, was attacked, along with three other students. They were helping to evacuate other injured fellow students when he was hit on the head with machetes and sticks. He later succumbed to his wounds.

His funeral was held yesterday (8 February) at ECWA Bishara 1 Church, in Yola.

The assailants also destroyed nine out of 11 stores where Christian students keep their musical instruments, setting them ablaze.

The Muslim students said they were angered by a message posted by a Christian student on Facebook on 18 December 2017. They said the message was an insult to their prophet, Muhammad.

In a message posted on Facebook, they warned the management that it had 24 hours to respond or they “will do whatever they feel it’s right for them and nobody will stop”.

The Christian student accused of posting the blasphemous message denied any wrongdoing.

Ajine Delo, President of the Youth Fellowship of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for Adamawa state, told World Watch Monitor that the accusation of blasphemy was only an excuse to attack Christian students.

“At the time of the attack, there was no single Muslim female student at the campus,” he said. “They have all left since Friday, but nobody informed the Christian students.

“The assailants may have been angered by the elections of the Student Union Government (SGU) leadership, held on 29 January 2018. The results had seen the emergence of Christian students on almost all the positions of the Union.”

The university management condemned the violence and announced the closure of the university.

Fulani violence continues

Meanwhile, at least 30 people were killed in two separate attacks by armed men, believed to be Fulani herdsmen, against Christian communities in Song LGA, also in Adamawa state.

On Friday 2 February, the assailants attacked and burnt down Shimba and Shiure villages. Two days later (4 February), they attacked and burnt down Tinde and Dumne villages.

The second attack took place in broad daylight, as people were about to go to church, a local source told World Watch Monitor.

He said the assailants chased and killed many innocent people. They also burned down lots of properties, including nine churches.

“Despite several calls to the governor and his deputy, and other security apparatus, the government remained silent as the atrocities continued,” the source said. “The Fulani were able to carry out their deadly attack. They stayed for hours in the vicinity, moving at will, unchallenged.”

Nasarawa

In the central state of Nasarawa, some 25 villages have been destroyed since 15 January, as Nigeria’s Daily Post reported. The inhabitants of the affected villages are predominantly Christian farmers from the Tiv ethnic group.

An umbrella group, ‘Concerned Indigenous Tiv People’, has accused the authorities of not doing enough to protect their communities.

In a statement, the group wrote: “Since the outbreak of the crisis on the 15th January, this year, due to the Fulani/herdsmen attack on our villages, leading to the displacement of Tiv in their ancestral homes, the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Almakura, has done very little to bring the situation under control.”

Benue

Two people were killed, and many others sustained serious injuries, in a fresh attack attributed to Fulani herdsmen in Waku village, Guma Local Government area, on 6 February. According to local media, several houses were set ablaze in the village.

Benue state has been among the worst affected by Fulani herdsmen attacks in recent months. On 11 January, 73 people were buried during state-organised mass funerals following violence over the New Year in Makurdi, Benue’s capital.

The ongoing violence has prompted the state’s governor, Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday 6 February to call on the people of the state to defend themselves from herdsmen attacks.

“I think the people should have the right to defend themselves and not make themselves easy prey to be killed in their homes,” said Orton. “So any lawful means, you can adapt to defend yourself, just go ahead in Benue state. We are not going to wait for the Inspector General of Police to do it.”

On Wednesday (7 February) the Nigerian Army said it would send troops into the restive Middle Belt region. According to an Army spokesman, Major General David Ahmadu, the deployment will start from 15 February, and will crack down on “herdsmen/farmers clashes and attacks on innocent members of our communities, particularly in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa state, by armed militias”.

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World Watch Monitor
written by Staff
Friday September 14, 2018

In Nigeria, dozens lost their lives during the first week of September as Fulani militants continued their killing spree in the central state of Plateau.

Last month, more than 20 people – including a pastor and four members of his family – were killed in various raids attributed to Fulani militants, as World Watch Monitor reported. Among them were Rev. Adamu Wurim Gyang, 50, and his three children, who were set ablaze and burnt beyond recognition, while his wife, Jummai, 45, was shot and left to die in a pool of blood when Fulanis stormed their Abonong village on 28 August.

Since then, the violence has continued, with more attacks in the same area and elsewhere.

On 6 September, four men lost their lives, while two others sustained bullet wounds as Fulani militants attacked their village of Nding Susut, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA).

Local resident James Pam, 34, told Watch Monitor that the killings came just two days after a peace meeting between members of the predominantly Christian farmers and the mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Barkin Ladi.

“We thought everything was all right between us until this morning [6 Sept], around 6.30am, when we heard gunshot sounds,” he said. “We later found out that the Fulani militants killed some of our youths, who were on their way to farm.”

Pam said some members of his community lost their lives in previous attacks in April and that the peace meeting was organised by the army commander in Barkin Ladi, with the aim to forestall any further outbreaks of violence in the community.

“Unfortunately, the community was still attacked this morning,” he said.

On the same day, gunmen believed to be Fulani militants ambushed six people on their way to farm elsewhere in Barkin Ladi, killing four.

A day earlier (5 September), the traditional ruler of Kwi village, in Riyom Local Government Area, was arrested by security forces. Chief Joshua Dung Lwon, a Christian, spent a night at the army headquarters in Jos, before being released the following day. His arrest took place while attacks targeting his community were going on.

On 4 September, five people were killed by armed men believed to be Fulani militants. According to local sources, the attackers, who came in a van at about 12 noon, sprayed bullets on people at the tin mining site in Razat village, in Kwock Ropp District. The victims were four men – whose first names were Gyang, Jillim, Lamba and David – and a woman called Rebecca.

Other reports said two people were killed by suspected Fulani militants while on their way to another mining site on the same day in Gana Rop, which straddles Bokkos and Barkin Ladi LGAs. A week earlier, on 28 August, the same community had suffered a similar attack, which claimed three lives.

“This spate of attacks on ethnic communities is of great concern and we continue to call on the government to do more in protecting the life of its citizen from terrorists,” said Mark Lipdo, the director of Stefanos Foundation, a human rights and advocacy group active in Plateau.

About two months ago, his organisation issued a report highlighting the scale of a June massacre which claimed 230 lives and rendered more than 11,500 people homeless.

On 2 September, at least 11 people were killed and 12 injured in a drive-by shooting by Fulani militia in the Du community of Jos South LGA. Details provided by advocacy group CSW, quoting eyewitnesses, said a Fulani militia arrived in a Hilux van at Latiya at about 8.30pm. They opened fire on people in their shops and on the road using semi-automatic weapons, before speeding off minutes later.

While a police spokesperson said 11 people had died, members of the local community put the number at 12, with one missing and presumed dead. Twelve people sustained varying degrees of injury, five of whom are reportedly receiving treatment at Plateau Hospital, while five are being treated at Jos University Teaching Hospital, where two have reportedly died.

Local resident Simon Dung Zih told World Watch Monitor what happened:

“With my friend, we were coming from Lamingo when we saw a moving vehicle coming from Jos; the vehicle was at very high speed and that gave us concern. We continued moving towards Bukuru, and as we got to Yelwa Club, we received a call from someone, telling us that they were attacked.

“The person told us that some people driving in a very fast car shot sporadically on people in the community and killed many. We waited for some time before rushing to the scene of the attack, only to discover that several people were killed and some wounded. Those wounded were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. When I went back to the scene of the attack the next morning, I counted 12 dead bodies.”

Another local advocacy group, the Middle Belt Forum, denounced the violence in a series of tweets signed by its coordinator of public communication.

“The terrorist attacks on the people of Plateau state have entered a new dimension with the drive-by shooting,” the statement said, describing them as being “one too many in a week filled with renewed attacks on the people of Plateau state”.

In another similar incident, two people were reported killed in an ambush laid by Fulani herdsmen in Adu village, Bassa LGA, on 2 September. According to local sources, the attack was carried out at about 11pm. One of the victims, Monday Ariki, was reportedly cut into pieces, while the second victim, Likita Tsi, died in hospital the following morning.

A spokesperson of the Miango Youth Development Association, Lawrence Zongo, told the Nigerian View Point online magazine that six people in the same district had their farm produce (almost due for harvest) destroyed by Fulani herdsmen during the week. He said the herdsmen were grazing on the farmlands indiscriminately, without being arrested, and called their actions “evil and inhuman”.

“So far, we lost 27 of our people in ambush attacks from April to September, 2018,” he said. “The Fulani herdsmen killers have changed their method of killings and have adopted ambushing of our youths, targeting them when going back home or going to farm.”

CHINA: Communist Police Raided Four Churches, Burned Bibles, Cordoned Off The Area And Began Tearing Crosses Down From The Walls. 😦😠 Marxist Communist Control Your Life LITERALLY.

VOA News
written by Joyce Huang
Friday September 7, 2018

Authorities in central China's Henan province are ratcheting up pressure on unregistered religious establishments with the intent of shutting down at least two-thirds of Christian churches there. Observers say the aim of the policy from China's top leader, Xi Jinping, appears to be to contain the growth and spread of Christianity in the country and tighten controls over religious groups.

The province's crackdown on Christian churches has intensified since August, with at least four churches in Nanyang city being raided at the break of dawn Wednesday, according to Jonathan Liu, a priest with the San Francisco-based Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness.

Liu, who is based in the United States, said local Chinese church sources have told him that unidentified police and local government officials showed up at the Henan churches without court-issued search warrants.

​Closure of Christian churches

The unidentified police and local government officials were said to have removed church crosses inside and out, blotted out Christian slogans on the walls, and vandalized or confiscated church-owned properties before closing them down.

Followers who resisted were either beaten or taken away, Liu said.

VOA has tried unsuccessfully reach police and religious affairs officials in Henan and Beijing for comment.

Hundreds of family churches in Henan have reportedly been shut down since February when authorities became aggressive in implementing the newly-enacted Regulations for Religious Affairs. Family churches, also known as house churches, are independent of the state-sanctioned religious organizations.

"This is a provincial crackdown. In addition to the removal of church crosses, [Henan authorities] plan to merge many local Christian churches. Some local priests told me that up to two-thirds of churches there may be closed down," Liu said.

Similar raids were conducted recently on Christian churches in Guangdong and Heilongjiang provinces.

​Ax from Xi

Fuk Tsang Ying, director of the divinity school of Chung Chi College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, says Henan has one of the country's largest Christian populations, and the scale of the crackdown there is massive.

"This may be a central policy from Xi Jinping to stop the growth of Christianity in mainland China. … The scale [of crackdown] in Henan is indeed much stronger than [that] in Zhejiang because the target of [the crackdown in] Zhejiang province [was] only crosses of the churches on the rooftop," Ying said.

Zhejiang had carried out a campaign to forcefully remove crosses from churches between 2014 and 2016.

The Chinese Communist Party's efforts to exert more control over religious groups, including Protestants, Catholics, Muslims and Buddhists, may be increasing.

Already, more than one million Muslims are believed to have been detained in Xinjiang's massive "re-education camps."

In early June, Buddhist monks and nuns in Tibet were requested to complete a three-day training course in Lhasa about Beijing's policies on religions, plus socialism with Chinese characteristics to "strengthen their political beliefs."

China's communist leaders have made it increasingly clear in recent years that the doctrine of all faiths should be secondary to the party's tenets, and its religious citizens have to worship the party first and then their respective gods.

In his report delivered to the 19th Party Congress late last year, Xi stressed that the party will fully implement its policy on religious affairs, "uphold the principle that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation and provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt themselves to socialist society."

Even registered Christian preachers and missionaries are facing harsh political appraisals. Those who fail the government's tests on the core values of Chinese Socialism or Xi thoughts will be banned from serving in churches, Liu said.

One-third of Christian preachers who take the tests may be disqualified, while minors are being banned from going to Bible studies on Sundays in provinces such as Jiangsu, he added.

​Political tools

"The authorities strongly demand priests and preachers of all public churches nationwide to serve for [the Communist Party's] political propaganda. Its ideology and thought control is horrifying. They are further asked to get rid of elements of Christian teachings that may pose a threat to or oppose to the Communist Party," Liu said.

On Tuesday, nearly 30 pastors of family churches across China issued a joint statement on social media, urging Chinese authorities to stop ruthless suppression, saying "such acts of brutality have not been seen since the Cultural Revolution."

Social media posts, both from within China and abroad, also lashed out on the government's crackdown, with one user arguing that what authorities were doing was tantamount to the "Communist party officially declaring war on Christians."

On Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging platform, one user said "they are doing the devil's bidding" and another wrote, "Lord, have mercy on these ignorant people who know not the truth."

Unwavering faith

China constitutionally guarantees religious freedom, but that is seen as window-dressing among believers.

"As a Christian, how come I can't feel that my religious freedom is guaranteed? The police and local religious affairs bureau keep harassing my church. Please, explain to me, how is my religious freedom guaranteed?" a Chinese Christian told VOA on the condition of anonymity.

The believer, formerly a rights lawyer, called the revised regulation on religious affairs illegal as it violates China's own constitution, laws and legal administrative penalties, as well as the international bills of human rights.

He added, however, that he was confident Christians would not waver in the face of such suffering and suppression.

"The government's crackdown will only backfire as experience during the harsher Cultural Revolution period had showed that the population of Christians in China was instead on the rise," he said.

Estimates are that there are approximately 70 million practicing Christians in China today, close to the numbers of the Chinese Communist Party, which has 88 million members.


CBN News published on Sep 14, 2018: One Nation Under Xi? This is why Christian Persecution in China is Escalating

CBN News
written by Associated Press
Monday September 10, 2018

BEIJING - China's government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.

The campaign corresponds with a drive to "Sinicize" religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people's lives.

Bob Fu of the U.S.-based group China Aid said over the weekend that the closure of churches in central Henan province and a prominent house church in Beijing in recent weeks represents a "significant escalation" of the crackdown.

"The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief," he wrote in an email.

Under President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, religious believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

Fu also provided video footage of what appeared to be piles of burning bibles and forms stating that the signatories had renounced their Christian faith. He said that marked the first time since Mao's radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that Christians had been compelled to make such declarations, under pain of expulsion from school and the loss of welfare benefits.

A Christian pastor in the Henan city of Nanyang said crosses, bibles and furniture were burned during a raid on his church on Sept. 5.

The pastor, who asked not to be identified by name to avoid repercussions from authorities, said several people entered the church just as it opened its doors at 5 a.m. and began removing items.

He said the church had been in discussions with local authorities who demanded it "reform" itself, but no agreement had been reached or official documents released.

Chinese law requires religious believers to worship only in congregations registered with the authorities, but many millions belong to so-called underground or house churches that defy government restrictions.

A local official reached by phone at the Nanyang city government disputed the account, saying officials respected religious freedom. The man declined to give his name, as is common with Chinese bureaucrats, while a person answering phones at the local religious affairs bureau said they were "not clear" about the matter.

In Beijing, the Zion church was shut on Sunday by around 60 government workers who arrived at 4:30 p.m. accompanied by buses, police cars and fire trucks, the church's pastor, Ezra Jin Mingri, said Monday. Zion is known as the largest house church in Beijing, with six branches.

The officials declared the gatherings illegal and sealed off church properties, Jin said, after already freezing the pastor's personal assets in an apparent attempt to force him to comply with their demands.

"Churches will continue to develop. Blocking the sites will only intensify conflicts," Jin told The Associated Press by phone.

A notice posted Sunday on the website of the Chaoyang district government in Beijing said the Zion Church had been closed because it failed to register with the government.

All of China's officially recognized religions appear to have been affected by the crackdown. In the most extreme example, an estimated 1 million Uighurs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the country's northwest have been arbitrarily detained in indoctrination camps where they are forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party.

The government says it is taking necessary measures to eliminate extremism, but denies setting up the camps.

China has an estimated 38 million Protestants, and experts have predicted that the country will have the world's largest Christian population in a few decades.

CHINA: China Is Eliminating A Trio Of Agencies Responsible For Enforcing Family Planning Policies; China Move Points To Possible End Of Birth Limits. Marxist Communist Control Your Life LITERALLY.

Bloomberg News
written by Associated Press
Monday September 10, 2018

Beijing - China is eliminating a trio of agencies responsible for enforcing family planning policies in a further sign the government may be planning to scrap long-standing limits on the number of children its citizens can have.

The move was part of a reorganization of the National Health Commission announced Monday that creates a new single department called the Division of Population Monitoring and Family Development responsible for "establishing and perfecting a specialized system for supporting families."

Expectations of an end to birth limits were also raised by the appearance of a postage stamp last month featuring smiling mother and father pigs with three piglets.

Alarmed by the rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce, China abandoned its notorious one-child policy two years ago to allow two children, producing a nearly 8 percent increase in births in 2016, with nearly half of the babies born to couples who already had a child.

However, that appeared to have been a one-time increase, with 17.2 million births in the country last year, down from

17.9 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the proportion of the population aged 60 or older increased last year to 17.3 percent.

China currently has the world's largest population at 1.4 billion, which is expected to peak at 1.45 billion in 2029.

While authorities credit the one-child policy with preventing 400 million extra births, many demographers argue that the fertility rate would have fallen anyway as China's economy developed and education levels rose.

Over its 36 years of existence, the policy vastly inflated the ratio of boys to girls as female fetuses were selectively aborted in line with a preference for male offspring. China is predicted to have around 30 million more men than women by the end of the decade.

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LifeNews.com
written by WOMEN'S RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS
Thursday August 30, 2018

According to a Reuters report this week, “All content on family planning has been dropped in a draft civil code being deliberated by top lawmakers on Monday, the Procuratorate Daily [a state-run newspaper affiliated with China’s prosecutor’s office] wrote in a post on its Weibo account.” News of this Weibo [Twitter-like] post sparked a spate of headlines heralding that China is about to “end,”and “scrap”the two-child policy, “finishing decades of family planning.”

However, two articles this week in the China Daily– the official, English-language newspaper published by the People’s Republic of China – quashed these speculations.

In “Removal of family planning in draft doesn’t mean end of policy,”China Daily acknowledges that the reference to family planning has been removed from the draft Marriage and Adoption sections of the Civil Code. However, it remains in the family planning section of the code:

“Given the country’s demographic situation, the decision [to remove family planning clauses from the Marriage and Adoption sections] has triggered widespread speculation as to whether it is meant to pave the way for the abolishment of the country’s decades-old family planning policy. However, legislators explained on Tuesday that there’s a special law on family planning, so there’s no need to include similar content in the marriage section while drafting the civil code. Related regulations can still be found in the Population and Family Planning Law.” (Emphasis added.)

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “The statement from China Daily does not eliminate the possibility that China is considering the abolition of its brutal population control program. It does, however, clarify that the deletion of family planning content from the civil code sections on marriage and adoption law is irrelevant to this potential policy change. It seems that again, the media has jumped the gun in proclaiming the end of “family planning” in China.

“We continue to press for the complete elimination of all coercive population control measures, effective immediately. Now, under the two-child policy, all couple scan have two children. Single women and third children, however, remain at risk for forced abortion. In addition, girls – especially second daughters – remain at risk of sex-selective abortion. We urge the Chinese government to specify that all women – not just married women – can have as many children as they want. We also urge them to provide strong incentives for baby girls. We have saved hundreds of girls through our Save a Girl Campaign. We would encourage the Chinese government to implement such a campaign nationally.”

“In addition,” Littlejohn continued, “we need to guard against forced pregnancy. On August 17, it was reported that two Chinese scholars proposed the creation of a “procreation fund,” into which couples of childbearing age would be forced to pay if they had fewer than two children. Given the desperation the Chinese government faces because of its rapidly aging population, I could see a move by the Chinese government to pressure all couples who are eligible to have a second child into having a second child, whether they want a second child or not. This would be preposterous. The Chinese Government needs to stop functioning as womb police and let go of the idea that women’s bodies are domain of the state.”

The abolition of coercive birth limits will not end gendercide in China, because many couples in China choose to have small families. Many do not want a second child, because of limited resources of time and money. Because strong son preference remains, baby girls will continue to be selectively aborted and abandoned; people want their only child, or one of their two children, to be a boy. Second daughters, therefore, remain especially vulnerable, even with the abolition of coercive birth limits.

“Because of the ongoing impact of the One-Child Policy and continuing coercive population control,” Littlejohn concluded, “hundreds of millions of Chinese women have been forcibly aborted, tens of millions of girls have been selectively aborted, and women from within China and throughout the world are being sucked into sexual slavery. China’s population problem is not that it has too many people, but rather that it has too few young people to sustain its rapidly aging elderly population, as well as a critical shortage of girls. China’s One Child Policy has caused more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth and any other policy in human history. This is the true war against women.”

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Population Research Institute
written by Steven W. Mosher and Jonathan Abbamonte
January 15, 2018

Women in China found pregnant with an over-quota child continue to face severe penalties, PRI has found. These penalties include, in many provinces, being forced to have an abortion.

It has been nearly two years since the Chinese Government modified its planned birth policy. In December of 2015, the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee officially transitioned from a one-child policy with a two-child policy.

Under the new policy, married couples are prohibited by the Communist government from having more than two children. For unmarried women who find themselves pregnant, the Chinese Government continues to enforce a zero-child policy, counting all unwed births as out-of-quota births unless they marry within 60 days after the child’s birth.

Special circumstances apply for divorced and remarried couples, and for couples with a handicapped child who “will not be able to join the labor force upon reaching maturity.”
Special Circumstance No. 3: Couples who have already given birth to two children one or both of whom are handicapped: The couple must be be certified by both a “handicapped children’s hospital” and the relevant government agency that their child[ren] is[are] actually handicapped, and will not be able to join the labor force upon reaching maturity, and that, from a medical standpoint, the couple should be permitted to have additional children [that is, that they are not likely to give birth to a child with a congenital birth defect.]

夫妻已生育的两个子女中有残疾,经病残儿医学鉴定机构鉴定为病残儿,不能成长为正常劳动力,且医学上认为夫妻可以再生育的;
Provincial governments have slowly revised their family planning regulations to comply with the national standard. However, changes to the original regulations governing the one-child policy have been modest, and have been carried out with an eye to preserving the Chinese Party-State’s control over the number of children that couples are allowed to have.

As a recent PRI on-the-ground investigation in China has revealed, in certain locales the two-child policy is being just as rigorously enforced as the one-child policy was. Indeed, as greedy and unscrupulous family planning officials find fewer targets for their fines and extralegal confiscations of property, and face the prospect of seeing their income reduced, they seem to be bearing down even harder on those who violate the new policy.

Such ongoing human rights abuses in China’s two-child policy are not generally a matter of Planned Birth officials breaking the law, however. Provincial Population Control and Planned Birth ordinances continue to grant officials wide latitude in enforcing the new policy, powers which often result in widespread human rights abuses.

Couples who exceed their government-mandated birth limit continue to be punished with crushing fines equal to two to ten times their annual household income, according to the Planned Birth ordinances of Hunan, Liaoning, Hainan, and Henan provinces. Under certain circumstances, these fines can climb even higher. The only exception is Heilongjiang province, where the fine is only pegged to a single year’s income—still a steep fine be anyone’s standards.

Such fines are euphemistically referred to as “social compensation fees,” even though most of the money collected winds up in the pockets of the same officials who collect them.

Planned Birth ordinances in many provinces mandate abortion for women pregnant with an unauthorized child. Regulations in Hunan, Liaoning, Hainan, and Henan provinces explicitly state that women who violate the policy must terminate their pregnancies. The Planned Birth rules for Hainan province, for instance, proclaim:
Article 23: Those whose pregnancies do not conform to these Regulations, must promptly terminate their pregnancy. Those who still refuse to terminate their pregnancies after “persuasive education” will be dealt with according to the relevant provisions of these Regulations.”

第二十三条 不符合本条例规定怀孕的,应当及时终止妊娠。经说服教育仍拒绝终止妊娠的,按照本条例有关规定处理。
Similarly, the family planning ordinance currently in force in Hunan reads:
Those whose pregnancies do not conform to the birth regulations instituted by law must promptly terminate their pregnancies. Those who do not promptly terminate their pregnancies will be ordered by the Township (Town) People’s Government or the subdistrict office to terminate their pregnancies within a given time limit.

不符合法定生育条件怀孕的,应当及时终止妊娠。对未及时终止妊娠的,由乡(镇)人民政府或者街道办事处责令限期终止妊娠。
Regulations in Liaoning go even further, threatening legal consequences if they do not do so. Women who do not terminate their pregnancies “must bear legal responsibility [for not doing so].” (应当承担法律责任)

“Article Twenty-Five” of the Planned Birth regulations in Henan province states that:
Any person who engages in one of the following behaviors must, under the direction of Planned Birth ‘technical service cadres’ [i.e., abortionists], be given ‘remedial measures’ [i.e., an abortion] to terminate their pregnancies:

Those who are pregnant and not married;
Those who have already given birth to one child and become pregnant again without a ‘birth permit’;
Those who use illicit means to obtain a ‘birth permit’ and become pregnant.
第二十五条有下列行为之一的,应当在计划生育技术服务人员指导下采取补救措施,终止妊娠:

   (一)非婚妊娠的;

   (二)已生育一个子女,无生育证又妊娠的;

   (三)以不正当手段获取生育证妊娠的。
The Planned Birth regulations in Hubei province actually impose a fine on those who refuse to abort an illegal pregnancy:
Article Twenty-Six: Those whose pregnancies do not conform to the birth regulations instituted by law who must terminate their pregnancies and yet refuse to do so … shall be given a warning by the Health, Planned Birth, and Administrative government offices and told to take ‘corrective action’ [an abortion] by a certain deadline. For those who refuse to take corrective action, both parties involved in the matter [e.g., both husband and wife] will be fined 500 renminbi.

第三十六条 有下列行为之一的,由卫生计生行政部门给予警告,并限期改正;拒不改正的,对当事人双方各处500元罚款:…(三)不符合法定生育条件应当终止妊娠拒不终止的。
The Planned Birth regulations in Guizhou, instead of imposing a fine, actually garnish the wages of those women who do not terminate out-of-quota pregnancies:
Article Sixty-Two: Those who violate these Planned Birth regulations and who, after becoming pregnant, refuse to take advice and refuse to terminate their pregnancy:
If they are employed by a state-owned corporation or by a private enterprise, both the husband and the wife shall have 30% of their monthly wages garnished as a down payment on the ‘social support cost’ [of their illegal child].
All others shall have to pay 50% of the assessed ‘social support cost’ up front.
When the pregnancy is terminated, the amount of ‘social support cost’ that has been pre-paid shall be returned to them, minus the cost of the abortion procedure.
As far as those who actually give birth, this amount will be used to offset the ‘social support cost.’
第六十二条 违反本条例生育规定怀孕后,不听劝告,不终止妊娠的,国家机关工作人员、企业事业单位职工,由所在单位按月预征夫妻标准工资各30%的社会抚养费;其他各类人员分别按照其社会抚养费应征金额的50%预征。   终止妊娠的,预征的社会抚养费,在扣除终止妊娠所需的手术费用后全部退还;造成生育事实的,冲抵社会抚养费。
Such fines—along with the promise of their return if one’s unborn child is terminated—is obviously a powerful inducement to comply with the Planned Birth regulations.

Many of the regulations that we have reviewed, including those in Qinghai, Yunnan, and Jiangxi province, require the government to take “remedial measures” when dealing with unauthorized pregnancies. “Remedial measures,” of course, is a well-known euphemism for forcing women to have abortions.

Another prominent aspect of the post-two-child policy Planned Birth regulations is their continuing emphasis on eugenics. Several provinces explicitly require couples where one of the spouses is considered “unfit to reproduce” to be sterilized, and to abort any pregnancy that occurs. For instance, Article 43 of the Guizhou Planned Birth regulations reads:
If either husband or wife suffers from a serious congenital defect, etc., and is, in the opinion of medical science, is unfit to reproduce, they must undergo sterilization; if already pregnant, she must terminate the pregnancy in timely fashion.

第四十三条 夫妻一方患有严重遗传性疾病等医学上认为不宜生育的,应当采取节育措施;已怀孕的必须及时终止妊娠。   
Similar language is found in the Planned Birth regulations of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hainan, and Shanxi provinces.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Jinlin province further requires family planning officials to “promptly report” unauthorized pregnancies. While Guangdong has removed references to “remedial measures” in the province-level ordinance, the language has been inserted into local municipal ordinances. The State Department has also found that even in provinces without explicit requirements to terminate unauthorized pregnancies, local family planning officials continue to strongly coerce women to submit to abortion.

In one case reported by the Chinese government-funded media outlet Sixth Tone, a woman in Guangdong was forced to abort her child at six months after her government employer threatened her with job loss and steep fines.

Several provinces still mandate employers to report, sanction, demote, deny promotions to, or even terminate employees who are discovered having more than two children. In many provinces, regulations deny violators access to financial assistance for pre-natal or childbirth expenses that they would have otherwise been entitled to.

Recently, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee sent a letter to provincial governments in Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Jiangxi, and Yunnan provinces recommending that provisions in the Planned Birth regulations requiring the termination of employment for over-quota couples should be dropped. Since the NPC is a “rubber-stamp congress”, without any real authority, it is unclear what effect this will have.

At this time the employee penalties associated with the two-child policy remain codified in Planned Birth regulations across the country. Regulations in at least ten provinces (Yunnan, Hainan, Guangdong, Guizhou, Fujian, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Hubei, Shanxi, and Qinghai) explicitly require the imposition of “administrative sanctions” on government employees who exceed their birth limit, up to and including demotion and dismissal from their posts. In the countryside, those elected to local village committees are automatically dismissed from their posts if they exceed their government-mandated, two-child limit.

Some provinces, including Yunnan, Hainan, and Fujian, also seek to impose such punishments on employees working for private companies. That is to say, private companies are required to sanction and fire employees for becoming pregnant with, or actually giving birth to, an illegal child.

The Planned Birth regulations in Jinlin province, for example, concedes that the practice of private company sanctions against violators not only exists but is well-known. These stipulate that Planned Birth policy violators should be punished “including employees who have been fired or relieved from their posts”:
(一)出现违反本条例规定生育的职工(含开除或者解聘违反本条例规定已怀孕生育的职工)
The regulations in Fujian province require private companies to punish their employees for violating the Planned Birth regulations “by referring to, and following” the punishments in place for government employees:
第四十七条 违反本条例规定生育或者有其他违反计划生育行为,属国家工作人员的,由所在单位或者上级部门按有关规定给予记过以上的处分;情节严重的,给予开除公职处分并报同级人民政府卫生和计划生育行政部门备案;属企业事业单位或者社会组织工作人员的,由其所在的单位或者组织参照国家工作人员给予处分,并报同级人民政府卫生和计划生育行政部门备案。
There is evidence that such policies are actually being carried out by private companies. Within days of the roll-out of the two-child policy, in fact, a woman in Zhejiang province was, according to Sixth Tone, fired by her private employer for having given birth to her second child.

Migrant workers are being swept up in the two-child policy net as well. Planned Birth regulations in a number of provinces, including Guangdong and Hainan, require both employers and landlords to verify marriage license and birth permits as a condition of employing or renting to migrant workers and their families.

The Guizhou provincial regulations go even further, making it mandatory for those who employ migrant workers to “promptly report” any news to the local government village committee in order to facilitate the work of the family planning police. Article Fifteen of those same regulations even seeks to enlist everyone into a kind of anti-natal Neighborhood Watch:
Those who provide goods or services within apartment complexes and neighborhoods must accurately report population numbers and information related to Planned Birth concerns to Health and Planned Birth offices in order to assist in family planning work.

第十五条 住宅小区的物业服务企业应当向卫生和计划生育行政部门如实提供服务区域内的人口与计划生育相关信息,协助做好计划生育工作。
Perhaps the most extreme example of how private companies in China are being forced into the very public business of enforcing the two-child policy comes from Hubei province. There, all employers have been ordered to cooperate with forcing migrant workers to have abortions. The Hubei law states:
All those who hire workers, who rent out or are responsible for renting out apartments and houses, who run factories, shops, and other enterprises must cooperate with Township (Town) committees in registering and collecting information on the migrant population when it comes to the Planned Birth policy. As far as those members of the migrant population who violate the regulations and laws governing pregnancy are concerned, employers and companies must assist in carrying out the measures necessary to terminate such pregnancies.

用人单位、房屋租赁中介机构、房屋出租(借)人和物业服务企业等应当配合村(居)民委员会登记采集流动人口计划生育主要信息,对不符合法律、法规规定怀孕的,应当协助落实终止妊娠措施。
The list of punishments for violating the two-child policy goes on and on, varying only slightly from province to province. As this summary makes clear, the Two-Child Policy is being enforced just as vigorously—and with just as little regard for the human rights of the Chinese people—as the One-Child Policy was.

The Chinese Party-State continues to control reproduction just as it controls other aspects of Chinese society: under a state plan.

Learn more about China’s human rights abuses here.

September 17, 2018

USA: President Donald Trump Hosts Celebration Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month At The White House. 👏😊💖 For All Of You Liberal Elitist Out There, We're Not All Maids And Gardeners.




I've share the full video of President Trump's speech above and the transcript below.

Issued on: September 17, 2018
[source: WhiteHouse.gov]

East Room

5:22 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you very much. I appreciate you being here. And I’m really thrilled, once again, to welcome so many of my friends to the White House to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. That’s a big month. (Applause.) That’s a big month, right? (Applause.)

And I want to thank all of our incredible representatives that are here, and a very good friend of mine who’s done a fantastic job, Vice President Mike Pence. Where’s Mike? (Applause.) Mike. Thank you, Mike.

Today we come together to honor the incredible contributions Hispanic Americans make to our communities, our culture, and our country every single day. You know it. (Applause.)

Hispanic Americans embody American values: devotion to faith and family, commitment to hard work, enterprise and community service, and a fierce patriotic pride. Does that sound like you? I think so. (Applause.) Right?

Throughout all 50 states, Hispanic Americans enrich our nation in countless ways — from small businesses to support our neighborhoods, and to innovations that improve our lives, and through military service that protects our people and our great American flag. (Applause.)

One such American joins us tonight. He opened tonight’s ceremony with an inspiring rendition of our National Anthem: Vietnam Veteran, Daniel Cortez. Where’s Daniel? (Applause.) Where’s Daniel? Good job. I heard that. I heard it. It was good. You’re blessed. You know that? You’re blessed.

CORTEZ: I’m blessed because you’re our President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Ah, thank you. Thank you very much. Very nice.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mr. Trump! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. We’re out there fighting for you, that I’ll tell you. You know it. Thank you very much. And thank you, Daniel.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. What a lot of spirit. But I know that about you. I know. (Laughter.) I know all about your spirit. You got great spirit. Thank you very much everybody. I appreciate it.

And we’re honored to be joined by Secretary Alex Acosta. Great guy. (Applause.) Great guy. Thank you, Alex. And the Treasurer of the United States — that’s a very big position, huh? — Jovita Carranza. Thank you. Jovita. (Applause.) That’s a very big position. Thank you, Jovita.

Thank you, as well, to the many ambassadors joining us, some of whom were just credentialed earlier today. They came over to the Oval Office. We took pictures. We said hello. Some great, great people. Put your hands up wherever you may be. Put your hands up. Yes. Yes. (Applause.) Great people. Thank you. You’re going to have a good time. (Applause.) And congratulations to all of you. Congratulations.

And thank you to all of the state and local leaders who are here with us this evening, including New Mexico’s great Governor, Susana Martinez. Susana? Susana? (Applause.) Thank you, Susana. Great job. Thank you, Susana. And Puerto Rico’s Lieutenant Governor, Luis Marín. (Applause.) Where’s Luis? Luis — come up here, Luis. Great job. (Applause.) That’s a great job. You did a great job. Well, I didn’t mean the stage, but that’s okay. Come on up here anyway. Hey, Luis. Why don’t you all come on up? Come on, you’ve been so incredible. Come on up, Mike. Come on up, on the stage. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you.

That wasn’t in the playbook but I think they deserve it. Do you agree? Right? (Applause.) Come on up. Good, Susana. Good. Great job.

I want to thank Luis for his partnership with our agencies during the unprecedented disaster that you saw what happened, and everybody saw what happened — the recovery and all of the efforts we made in Puerto Rico. It’s been an incredible, tough situation. But we fought, and we are winning that one big. And I want to thank you, Luis, and everybody. I want to thank you and the people of Puerto Rico. (Applause.)

And we stand with Puerto Rico, and we are helping them to rebuild stronger and better than ever before. And that’s what’s happening too. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Luis. (Applause.)

As we speak, our fellow citizens are being affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence. Nearly 20,000 federal and military personnel are deployed to support response efforts along the Southeast Coast. These are incredible people that are going through a lot right now. We will do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe.

To every family who has lost a loved one in these really devastating hurricanes and storms: All of America grieves with you. Our hands are folded in prayer and outstretched with love. We will never, ever leave your side. (Applause.)

Today, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we share our gratitude for all the ways Hispanic Americans make our country flourish and prosper. These are incredible people. You know you’re incredible people, don’t you? Huh? (Applause.) You know that, don’t you? Especially with that beautiful Trump hat on. Thank you. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible) Puerto Rico!

THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. That’s good. Great. Thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s beautiful. Thank you very much.

From our courts to our classrooms, from large boardrooms to small businesses, from statehouses to the White House, Hispanic Americans uplift our citizens and inspire our nation. You really do. You inspire our entire nation. And I want to let you know that personally.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling. Thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Viva Trump! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Very nice. Thank you.

We especially thank the quarter of a million Hispanic Americans who serve in our military — and serve well. (Applause.) We will always honor the men and women who serve in uniform, and we are truly proud that we have secured the largest pay raise — now, unless they want to give it back. (Laughter.) Okay? Anybody want to give it back? No, don’t bother. For our troops — the largest one in a decade. So we are, really, very proud of that. And they deserve it, and they deserve it very much.

Our military, we’ve rebuilt. And we’re rebuilding our military — $700 billion. And we’re rebuilding our military. I won’t even say the second number. But the second number for the second year is $716 billion. So that’s a lot of money, but there’s nothing like what we’re doing. And it needed it. It was tired. It was depleted. But on top of that, we got those pay raises for our great military people. (Applause.) Thank you.

We also honor our great veterans, including our 1.5 million Hispanic veterans. And thanks to the passage of Veterans Choice — big thing — and Veterans Accountability — they’ve been trying for over 40 years to get those two — we are giving our veterans the care they so richly deserve. Finally. Finally. Been a lot of years. (Applause.) They’ve been waiting a lot of years.

At this event last year, I also promised that our massive tax cuts and regulation cuts would deliver tremendous prosperity to Hispanic Americans. You remember everybody said we weren’t going to be able to get them; it wasn’t going to happen. It happened. Nobody has cut regulation like we have. In less than two years, we’ve cut more regulation than any other President, and that could be for a much longer period of time. And we also delivered the biggest tax cuts ever, and reform — and tax reform.

So now we have the best economy in the history of our country. (Applause.) Big one. That’s a big one. We have created more than 4 million new jobs since the election, and the Hispanic unemployment rate has recently reached an all-time historic low in the history of our country. (Applause.)

I don’t know. I don’t know how you beat that in an election. When we say, Susana — when we say that Hispanic has reached the lowest unemployment rate in the history of our country, how does somebody beat that? Say, oh, they’re going to do better? I don’t know. I don’t think so. They’re not going to do better. In fact, it will start going in the wrong direction.

Middle-class income has reached a new all-time high, and household income grew fastest among Hispanics. Did you know that? Median income for Hispanics rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history. (Applause.)

The poverty rate for Hispanics just reached a new all-time historic low. Nearly 350,000 Hispanics were lifted out of poverty in 2017. That’s pretty good. (Applause.) These are very hard numbers to beat. I better win the Hispanics next time, right? (Laughter.) But we did well. We did well. Did a lot better than anyone thought. But we better win it, Alex, okay? I’m going to put that on you. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY ACOSTA: We’ll make it happen.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much.

Nearly 40 percent of the reduction in the overall poverty rate is the result of poverty reductions among Hispanic Americans. Home ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.

Hispanic-owned businesses now make up more than 10 percent of all businesses in the United States. That’s an incredible number. (Applause.) They contribute nearly half a trillion dollars to our economy last year alone.

The growth in Hispanic-owned businesses is over twice the national average. That’s something. That’s really — these are amazing statistics, when you think. Right? These are amazing statistics. Be proud of yourselves. That’s incredible. Of course, I’d like to take full credit. Can I take full? (Laughter and applause.) Huh? I don’t know. I wasn’t the one getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go to work, I know that. But I get up at five for other reasons. (Laughter.)

According to recent studies, Hispanic-owned small businesses are increasingly confident in our nation’s economic future, and 77 percent plan to grow their business over the next few years. That’s optimism.

With us today is Irina Vilariño. How do you like that? Was that good? (Applause.) They wanted me to get that little emphasis on the “O.” Who is from Miami Beach, Florida and is a beautiful person. Irina is expanding her family’s restaurant business that began in the 1980s as a fruit stand after her family escaped from Cuba. And we did great with the Cuban people, didn’t we? Huh? (Applause.)

Irina, please come up and say a few words. Where is Irina? Come here.

VILARIÑO: I’m here, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Where? Good. Good, I thought so. (Applause.)

VILARIÑO: Thank you. Hi. Thank you. Thank you, everyone.

Good afternoon, Vice President Pence and Mr. President Trump. It is a privilege to be here in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. And while I’m very proud of my origins, I am even prouder of what we have accomplished in this great country.

This is why I propose we have an American Heritage Month. (Laughter and Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll need it.

VILARIÑO: Right? Had it not been for the principles on which this country was founded on for its generous nature and that of its people, my family and millions that conform our Cuban-American community in South Florida, I would not be telling this story here today — the story of white rice, black beans, and the American Dream. (Applause.)

My father was a political prisoner in Cuba, and we had the opportunity to immigrate to the United States in 1980, during the Mariel Exodus.

Four years later, we opened our first restaurant, Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine, in Hollywood, Florida. Today, we employ over 400 employees in South Florida in 15 locations.

While we have worked hard, I am fully aware that our success is not solely merited on our persistence, but on the attribute of the free market principles and the opportunities available to all Americans, whether you are from Cuba, Cambodia, or Kansas.

Bureaucratic policies, senseless spending, red tape, and increased taxes do not help entrepreneurs or the middle class or anyone who is attempting to aspire above their means. On the contrary, they stifle upward mobility.

Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing — (laughs) — how am I doing?

THE PRESIDENT: You’re doing great.

VILARIÑO: Good. (Laughter.) Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing we were deviating from this path, and that in order to preserve these opportunities for future generations, we must keep America great. (Applause.) Which is exactly what your tax plan, and like many other initiatives and policies you have accomplished, have done for our community.

Where there is order, law, and prosperity, there is peace. Thank you again. It’s truly an honor.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Irina.

VILARIÑO: My pleasure. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.

VILARIÑO: My pleasure. Absolutely. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Irina. That’s beautiful. Thank you. Great job. That’s a lot of employees, too, isn’t it? Big business.

VILARIÑO: Well, not half as many I would like, but we’re working on it. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s okay. I have no doubt.

Joel Garza is also here. Joel is a proud owner of 45 Sonic Burger franchises. (Applause.) It’s in the Houston area. How are they, Joel? Pretty good, huh? He employs more than 1,500 people, and that number has grown considerably in the last year. Really successful person.

Joel, please join me on stage, say a few words, and tell us a little about your success. Thank you. (Applause.)

GARZA: Thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to be here representing the Hispanic community, and (inaudible) on the shoulders of my family and many Hispanics that work hard every day to make America great.

Mr. President, I want to thank you for the tax reform. You know, it was, to us, a huge impact in our business. We — just last year, we opened three more restaurants and we created about 100-and-something jobs in the Houston area. (Applause.)

It’s been a lot easy for us to go to institution financials, and get — borrow money in the last few years, the last two years, than before. That’s another huge achievement that you help us to have access to capital.

THE PRESIDENT: We made it much easier.

GARZA: A lot easy.

THE PRESIDENT: Make sure you pay back the money. (Laughter.)

GARZA: That’s another thing. (Laughter.) I want to thank my lovely wife that she been with me since day one. Because when we start, it was not easy. Angie. (Applause.)

And like a typical Hispanic, my daughter Gigi (ph), my son Joe, Jr., and my son Andy, my parents, my grandkids, and especially a real good friend of mine that make this possible to be here with you, Rick Figueroa and Mario. I don’t know where they at. (Applause.)

And all we ask is that God give you health; that way you can be with us and guide this country in the right direction. (Applause.)

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s beautiful. What a beautiful statement that is. So I want to thank Joel. America is winning again. And Hispanic owned-businesses are leading the way. They are winning again. (Applause.)

Hispanic Americans are not only living the American Dream, but their incredible efforts are unlocking the American Dream for citizens all across our land. You’re doing a fantastic job.

Today and every day, we honor, cherish, and celebrate Hispanic American workers, families, students, businesses, and leaders. You have great leaders. And we also remember that America is home to people from many backgrounds, with many different stories, and hailing from every single walk of life.

But we are all one people. We are all part of one great American family. And we are all in this together, saluting one flag, singing one anthem, and pledging allegiance to one nation under God. (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you. God bless America. (Applause.)

END

5:41 P.M. EDT