“Washington (CNN)Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary of a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation — but supporters worry this one could be its last.
“Washington (CNN)Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary of a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation — but supporters worry this one could be its last.
“Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) recently introduced a revised version of the bill addressing legal immigration into the United States, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. It is supposed to spur economic growth and raise working Americans’ wages by giving priority to the best-skilled immigrants from around the world and reducing overall immigration by half.
Nevertheless, it will not reach the president’s desk without support from influential Democratic congressmen, which will be difficult to get and won’t be free.
According to Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), the RAISE Act “and the bear hug by the Bannon/Kelly/Trump White House — betrays the deep animosity towards legal immigration that has become the central, unifying tenet of the Republican Party.”
. . . .
Suggestions for a compromise.
The main price for Gutierrez’s support would be to establish a DREAM Act program that would be based on an appropriate merit-based point system.
The number of undocumented aliens who might benefit from a dream act can range from 2.5 to 3.3 million. It isn’t likely that an agreement will be reached if Gutierrez insists on a number in that range.
Concessions have to be made to achieve an acceptable compromise, and allowing termination of the Visa Waiver Program would be a reasonable choice. An alternative would be to keep the program as is but distribute the visas on a merit point system instead of using a lottery.
The refugee provision is problematic, but the president has sole authority to determine the number of admissions and the current president supports the 50,000 cap. The Democrats will try to eliminate this cap or raise it if they can’t eliminate it, but this should not be a deal breaker if the other issues are worked out satisfactorily.
The restrictions on family-based immigration, however, are another matter. They should be modified. Cotton and Purdue doomed their bill to failure with these provisions. They hurt constituents on both sides of the aisle.
Moreover, they do not make any sense. What does national interest mean if the family-unification needs of citizens and legal permanent residents don’t count?
Some advocates strongly opposes the point system because they think it fails to take into account the needs of U.S. businesses, but their concern is based on the point criterion in the current version of the RAISE Act, which has not been subjected to any hearings or markups yet. If the senators and Gutierrez cannot work out a compromise that protects the needs of U.S. businesses, there will be plenty of time to make additional changes.
This isn’t just about moving these bills through congress. According to recent Gallup polls, “Americans view Congress relatively poorly, with job approval ratings of the institution below 30% since October 2009.”
And the current Republican-controlled congress is not turning this around. Reaching an agreement with the Democrats on an immigration reform bill that includes a DREAM Act legalization program would be a good place to start.”
Go over to The Hill at the above link to read Nolan’s complete article.
Lisa Rein reports for the Washington Post:
“President Trump’s plan for an aggressive hiring surge of 15,000 Border Patrol and immigration personnel to help keep out undocumented immigrants is unrealistic — and the Department of Homeland Security has not made a case for it, the agency’s watchdog says.
A report released this week by the DHS inspector general concludes that based on its rigorous screening requirement for law enforcement jobs and the relatively high rate of attrition among Border Patrol agents, Homeland Security would have to vet 750,000 applicants to find 5,000 qualified personnel.
In addition, to hire the 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents the president called for in executive orders he issued in his first days in office, a pool of 500,000 candidates would need to apply, auditors found.
The report calls into question whether DHS officials even need 15,000 new hires to target undocumented immigrants. Agency leaders have done such poor planning for what their workforce should look like, with an understaffed, poorly trained human resources operation, that they cannot justify thousands of new employees, the report says.
“Neither [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] nor [ICE] could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the additional 15,000 agents and officers,” the report by the office of Inspector General John Roth said.
DHS officials told auditors that they are still three to four years from getting a system in place that will be able to tell them how many new personnel they need and where to deploy them.
“Without comprehensive staffing models, operational needs analyses, and deployment strategies, CBP and ICE will not be able to identify clearly the correct number and type of employees required, what positions must be filled, or where to deploy those employees,” the report said.
Trump promised on the campaign trail to vastly beef up enforcement against undocumented immigrants with a new border wall, a surge in agents to help seal off the Southwest border with Mexico and a “deportation force” to arrest people in the country illegally. The 15,000 new front-line employees would come with almost 9,600 more technical and support staff, the report said.”
Read Rein’s complete article and get a link to the IG’s report at the above link.
More fraud, waste, and abuse from the “Fraudster In Chief.” For a fraction of the money Trump & Co propose to squander, we could build a first-class U.S. Immigration Court system that would be a model of due process and fairness and would contribute much more to fair, efficient, and effective enforcement of the immigration laws.
“Washington (CNN)The DACA program, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, could be in serious jeopardy, President Donald Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security told lawmakers Wednesday.
“Washington (CNN)Building a border wall remains a stated top priority for President Donald Trump, but thus far he has precious little to show for it.
Maria Sacchetti reports in the Washington Post:
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the Trump administration “fully supports” Texas’s harsh new ban on sanctuary cities, and the Department of Justice will help defend it against a federal court challenge next week.
Lawyers for the tiny border city of El Cenizo, the League of United Latin American Citizens and major cities such as Dallas and Austin say the law requiring them to detain immigrants for federal deportation agents is “patently unconstitutional” for a number of reasons. On Monday, they will urge U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio to block the law from taking effect Sept. 1.
The state of Texas argues that the government is within its rights to bar localities from interfering with immigration enforcement. Under the law, officials could lose their jobs, police chiefs could go to jail, and governments could face fines of up to $25,500 a day if they adopt or enforce policies that prevent law enforcement officers from asking about a person’s immigration status or complying with requests to detain immigrants, a job that has been chiefly the responsibility of federal agents.
“President Trump has made a commitment to keep America safe and to ensure cooperation with federal immigration laws,” Sessions said in a statement. “Texas has admirably followed his lead by mandating state-wide cooperation with federal immigration laws that require the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”
Luis Roberto Vera, Jr. the national general counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens, which is a plaintiff in the case, said the Texas law is discriminatory because it primarily targets Hispanics, one of the state’s largest groups.
El Cenizo Mayor Raul Reyes. El Cenizo is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that will seek to temporarily halt Texas’ sanctuary cities ban before it takes effect Sept. 1. (Matthew Busch/Matthew Busch For The Washington Post)
“It’s a continuation of Donald Trump’s war on Mexicanos,” Vera said. “That’s the sad part about this.”
The faceoff comes amid rising tensions nationwide over the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration and its relentless march forward despite a string of losses in federal courts.
On Friday, congressional aides said House Republicans are advancing a bill that would withhold some federal grant money from so-called sanctuary cities; give greater legal weight to immigration detainers, which are requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to local jails to hold immigrants who are being targeted for deportation; and shield local governments from lawsuits related to detainers. A second bill would increase penalties against deported immigrants who return illegally.”
Yup, full employment for lawyers, on all sides.
Bad time to be an immigrant, refugee, or minority in America. Great time to be a lawyer!
Eugene Robinson writes in a Washington Post op-ed:
“The “health-care bill” that Republicans are trying to pass in the Senate, like the one approved by the GOP majority in the House, isn’t really about health care at all. It’s the first step in a massive redistribution of wealth from struggling wage-earners to the rich — a theft of historic proportions.
Is the Senate version less “mean” than the House bill, to use President Trump’s description of that earlier effort? Not really. Does the new bill have the “heart” that Trump demanded? No, it doesn’t. The devil is not in the details, it’s in the big picture.
Fundamentally, what Republicans in both chambers want to do is cut nearly $1 trillion over the next decade from the Medicaid program, which serves almost 70 million people. Medicaid provides health care not just for the indigent and disabled but also for the working poor — low-wage employees who cannot afford health insurance, even the plans offered through their jobs.
Additionally, about 20 percent of Medicaid spending goes to provide nursing home care, including for middle-class seniors whose savings have been exhausted — a situation almost any of us might confront. Roughly two-thirds of those in nursing homes have their care paid by Medicaid.
Why would Republicans want to slash this vital program so severely? You will hear a lot of self-righteous huffing and puffing about the need for entitlement reform, but the GOP’s intention is not to use the savings to pay down the national debt. Instead, slashing Medicaid spending creates fiscal headroom for what is euphemistically being called “tax reform” — a soon-to-come package of huge tax cuts favoring the wealthy.
That’s the basic equation in both the House and Senate bills: Medicaid for tax cuts. Both bills start with various of the taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act, but those are mere appetizers. The main course is intended to be big cuts in individual and corporate tax rates that would benefit the rich.
There is no other point to this whole exercise. All the “Obamacare is in a death spiral” talk is Republican wishful thinking, aided and abetted by active sabotage.”
Undoubtedly, many of those who would die or suffer needlessly as a result of the GOPs “Reverse Robin Hood” operation would be Democrats and non-voters (like children). But, many in the GOP base also fall within the group of poor and “lower middle class” folks who would be sentenced to death or suffering by the GOP. Killing off your own voters, with their support, is an interesting new twist in modern GOP politics. But, obviously Trump, McConnell, Ryan, and their Fat Cat handlers are confident in the gullibility and inability of many in their base to discern either their own or the general public’s best interests. Difficult to comprehend.
Upset, schmupset, the four consecutive House races that Dems have lost in the “Trump” era are exactly the types of elections they are going to have to consistently win to retake power. Yes, it’s an improvement for our system when there are more competitive races, and it’s good for Dems that they are actually taking races in “GOP Territory” seriously.
But, in Georgia, the Democratic Candidate John Ossoff actually ran behind Hillary Clinton who narrowly lost the District to Trump. There was no GOP incumbent, and now-Rep. Karen Handel actually beat Ossoff by a very comfortable margin of almost 4 points.
I keep saying it. The strategy of counting on Trump to self-destruct, the inability of the GOP to govern, and criticism of the GOP’s “help the rich, stiff everyone else” agenda isn’t working any better in the post-election era than it did for Hillary. The Dems are leaderless, programless, and all too often clueless. Until that changes, the reign of Trump and one-party government in America is likely to continue, notwithstanding the polls and the media.
And, speaking of polls and the media, remember their performance in predicting the mood of America and the results of the 2016 election. Not much has changed.
http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/06/09/swalwell-trump-clownish-performance-lead-sciutto-intv.cnn Continue reading 🤡 Just When You Thought Ringling Bros Was Dead — Listen To Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) Describe The “Clown-In-Chief’s” 🤡 Rose Garden Reality Show — Trump Is Debasing & Trivializing The High Office To Which He Was Elected!
The Washington Post reports:
“Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser under President Trump, refused to comply with a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena as a top House Democrat disclosed portions of new documents suggesting Flynn lied about his Russia ties to federal investigators.
Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee must now meet to vote and decide whether to hold Flynn in contempt or accept his attempt to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The committee has demanded that Flynn provide it with a list of any contacts he had with Russian officials between June 16, 2015, and Jan. 20, 2017.
In a statement late Monday, the committee chairman and vice chairman, Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said they were “disappointed” by Flynn’s decision and would “vigorously pursue General Flynn’s testimony and his production of any and all pertinent materials pursuant to the Committee’s authorities.”
Flynn’s refusal comes as Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, cited a previously undisclosed document alleging that Flynn had “lied” to security-clearance investigators about payments he received “directly” from Russia for appearing at a December 2015 gala hosted by Russian state-owned media company RT.”
This baby isn’t going away any time soon!
Tal Kopan reports for CNN:
“Washington (CNN)Democrats and Republicans on Thursday faced off over immigration policy as a House committee began considering a set of immigration bills that Democrats say would amount to the creation of a “mass deportation force.”
Proponents of the first bill under consideration by the House judiciary committee — named after two law enforcement officers who were allegedly murdered by an undocumented immigrant — advocated for the bill as important to public safety and rule of law.
But Democrats on the committee decried the bill as an unnecessarily harsh anti-immigrant push by President Donald Trump.
“Proponents of this bill say that it’s necessary to keep us safe, but what the bill really does is pander to the noxious notion that immigrants are criminals and should be dealt with harshly,” said immigration subcommittee ranking member Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat. “This bill gives Trump and (adviser Steve) Bannon the legislation to establish their mass deportation force. … This bill should really be called the ‘Mass Deportation Act,’ because that’s what it is.”
Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said the bill was not intended to target immigrants, but to “respect the rule of law.”
“This is simply a bill that gives any administration, the current one and future ones, the authority to enforce our laws properly, and gives to state and local governments … the ability to participate in that enforcement,” Goodlatte said.
The committee was set to mark up three Republican bills related to immigration on Thursday — one that would vastly expand the role of state and local jurisdictions in immigration enforcement and two others that would authorize immigration components of the Department of Homeland Security.
But by mid-afternoon, the committee recessed until next week after only making its way through two amendments. Both were brought by Democrats to strike portions of the bill, and after lengthy debate, both were rejected by the Republican majority committee. Democrats were expected to continue bringing a number of similar amendments when the markup continues on the nearly 200 page bill.
The main bill the committee discussed, the Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, was introduced by Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, and closely resembles similar legislation that the House judiciary committee has advanced in the past and that now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced in his time in the Senate.
The Davis-Oliver Act would substantially increase the capabilities of federal and local immigration enforcement, including empowering state and local law enforcement to enact their own immigration laws and penalties. It also would give the government powers to revoke visas, beef up Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants, increase criminal penalties for undocumented immigrants and punish sanctuary jurisdictions.
The two parties went back and forth on the bill, with Democrats decrying it as demonization of all immigrants, as an increase in mass incarceration and as a promotion of racial profiling and as unconstitutional federal overreach. They noted that local law enforcement in sanctuary cities say their policies are important for victims and witnesses of crimes to feel comfortable coming forward.
But Labrador said the notion that the bill harms public safety is “the most preposterous and outrageous argument I’ve ever heard.”
“For too long we have allowed individuals to enter our country illegally and in many cases do us harm,” he said. “While other reforms are needed, this bill is vital to a long-term fix.”
The other two bills, introduced by Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, would serve as authorizations for ICE and US Citizenship and Immigration Services, codifying the mission statements of both entities. The USCIS bill would focus the agency, which oversees the issuance of visas and grants immigrants the ability to enter the U.S. . . . .”
America has all the immigration enforcement we need at present. Undocumented entries are down, the undocumented population is stable, and all reputable studies show that migrants of all types are among the most law-abiding sectors of our society. Also, the DHS is unable to remove everyone who is currently under a final order of removal. The U.S. Immigration Court system is completely backlogged, with nearly an astounding 600,000 pending cases.
Consequently, beyond funding “fixes” for the overwhelmed Immigration Courts and the DHS program for executing final orders of removal, there is no need for additional immigration enforcement personnel and authority at this time. Nor is there any need to push reluctant cities to help DHS out with immigration enforcement.
No, notwithstanding the disingenuous statements by GOP Reps. Goodlatte and Labrador, this is all about generating anti-immigrant sentiment and promoting a non-existent link among immigrants, crime, and national security..
What America really needs is some type of legalization program to allow the millions of law-abiding undocumented individual already here to continue to work and contribute to our society. Additionally, we need immigration reform that would expand the legal immigration system to more realistically match supply with demand. This, in turn, would encourage individuals to enter through the legal system and thereby register and submit themselves to complete pre-entry vetting. That’s what would actually promote the safety and prosperity of America!
Jonathan Capehart reports in the Washington Post:
“I think he’s a racist, I think he’s a throwback and I don’t mind saying it, any day of the week.”
Oh, I bet you think Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was talking about President Trump. Nope. In the latest episode of “Cape Up,” the gentlewoman from Los Angeles was unloading on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“I think that Jeff Sessions is very dangerous … and I think that he absolutely believes that it’s his job to keep minorities in their place,” Waters told me. “And so I think we have to watch him, we have to keep an eye on him, and be prepared to push back.”
The 13-term California congresswoman sat down with me in her Capitol Hill office on May 4, just after delivering a speech on the House floor against the Trumpcare bill, but before she had to dash back out to cast her “no” vote. So emphatic is Waters in making her points against the president and the attorney general and, well, everything, that you will hear her finger and ring tapping the desk as she makes each point.”
Read Capehart’s entire article and listen to the audio at the above link.
And, this was even before Sessions’s totally disingenuous performance on the firing of FBI Director James Comey!