FROM Fawn Johnson
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Make Big Immigration Promises The Univision moderators were able to extract a number of promises from the Democratic candidates last night in Miami. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders promised not to deport any immigrant children, and each candidate vowed to discontinue the Obama policy that earned him the nickname “Deporter in Chief”. But are there any promises that the candidates wouldn’t be able to keep if they win the presidency?
Highways and Railroads: Detours and Delays As Memorial Day kicks off another travel season, millions of Americans will find that transportation infrastructure is on the decline. Roads and bridges are crumbing, while Congress, mired in long-running disagreements over funding for the Highway Trust Fund and railroad safety, passes short-term funding that delays long-term repairs and construction. New technology to increase the safety of passenger trains is likely to be postponed, despite last week's deadly derailment. As the US falls behind the rest of the world, conservatives blame government incompetence, while progressives insist there's just not enough money.
Texas Judge Stops Obama's Immigration Order More than a quarter million undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children won't be able to apply for deportation protection — at least for the moment. They were scheduled to begin applications tomorrow, but a federal judge in Texas has halted proceedings scheduled after one of the President's executive orders, as Fawn Johnson reports in National Journal .
Pres. Obama Delays on Immigration President Obama has blasted the Republican Congress for not taking up the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. He promised to exert his executive authority and act on his own. But the November mid-term elections apparently got in the way. Yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Obama was asked directly if he’s backing away from his promise on immigration reform because of partisan politics. Fawn Johnson covers domestic policy issues for the National Journal.
Detention Center Expansion The immigrant detention center in Adelanto, California, is expanding. We look at how the detention centers work as private/public partnerships. We also dig into the $4 billion President Obama requested from Congress today to confront the immigration crisis.
Immigration Reform: A Mixed Bag for Republicans Immigration reform means one thing to Republicans on Capitol Hill and something else to the GOP's chances of winning the White House in 2016. When Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Congressional seat in last week's Virginia primary to a tea partier, conventional wisdom blamed his willingness to work with Democrats for some immigration reform. But Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, an outspoken proponent of "comprehensive" reform, won in South Carolina without being forced into a run-off. Although "comprehensive" reform is being declared "dead" in Congress, smaller steps are alive and well in many state legislatures also controlled by the GOP. What are the lessons for the Republican Party? We hear how a new generation of so-called "Dreamers" has learned to play a nonpartisan game to accomplish their interests.
What's Next for Immigration Reform? The US Senate has passed sweeping immigration reform, but it’s stalled in the House. Traditional Republicans support immigration reform in terms of free-market economics and family unity. Others worry about the growing Hispanic vote. But a growing number of GOP members are pledged to vote against any immigration bill—whatever it says—claiming it’ll turn into “amnesty.” This weekend, businesses, religious organizations and activists organized events in 40 states at 150 different locations and today, the Camino Americano: March for Dignity and Respect has arrived on the Capitol Mall. One group represented today are children brought to this country by their parents and raised as Americans. This summer, a group calling themselves the “Dream Nine” staged a different kind of protest on their own. The "Dream Nine” were released on parole in August and allowed to return home pending an immigration judge’s decision on their claim of asylum. That could take years.
Boosted Momentum for Immigration Bill After yesterday's agreement to beef up border security and evidence of potential deficit reduction, it looks as if the latest immigration reform package might get 70 votes in the Senate. Even Bill O'Reilly finally says it's OK. Will that be enough for Congress? Fawn Johnson reports for the Washington Post .
Immigration Reform: The Debate Begins Yesterday, the US Senate voted 82 to 15 to let immigration reform come to the floor for the first time in decades. The vote was overwhelming, but nobody thinks it guarantees passage, and some opponents are pushing what supporters call "poison pills." Today, Senators on both sides of the aisle were lined up with amendments. There are bitter differences over border security, the need for workers and whether jobs should be saved for those born in this country. Democrats want to cement their hold on Hispanic voters. Some Republicans want to woo them away. But, is the "path to citizenship" really "amnesty?" We hear about the opening act of a drama that's taken decades to reach the political stage and we'll look at possible outcomes.
Senate Begins Consideration of 300 Amendments to Immigration Bill As the Senate took up the "Gang of Eight's" sweeping proposal for immigration reform, Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa called it "legalization first and enforcement later." Fawn Johnson , reporter for the National Journal , says he captured the major point of contention.
Senate 'Gang of 8' Hammer Out Bipartisan Immigration Bill The bipartisan "Gang of 8" Senators working on immigration reform cancelled today's press conference because of yesterday's bombing. But details are emerging anyway. Under the measure, immigrants deported for non-criminal reasons before the end of 2011 would be allowed to return. That's according to Fawn Johnson with the National Journal .
Congress Takes Up Gun Control and Immigration Reform Gun control is on the move in the Senate, and two-thirds of Americans support a "path to citizenship" for undocumented workers. Last night, President Obama dined at the White House with leading Republicans. Can he get them to support him on those issues and his budget compromise?
Deal on Background Checks Presages Senate Gun Control Debate Gun owners from both parties in the US Senate today announced a compromise amendment that could mean a gun safety measure will get to the floor. Joe Manchin (D-WV) reflected that the events at Newtown "changed our hearts and minds." Pat Toomey (R-PA) said he's on board, but played down the impact of background checks. "It's the people who fail a criminal or a mental health background check that we don't want having guns." Fawn Johnson reports on Congress for the National Journal .
The US Supreme Court: Immigration and Politics The US Supreme Court won't release its ruling on Obamacare until Thursday. Today, the Court gave the Obama Administration a partial victory today by ruling that most of Arizona's tough immigration law violates the Constitution. But the controversial "show your papers" provision was left standing. Does that give police a green light for racial profiling? Decisions also came down on money in politics and life without parole for juveniles.
The US Supreme Court: Immigration and Politics Score one for the Obama Administration today as the US Supreme Court ruled that most of Arizona's tough immigration law violated federal authority. It won't be a crime for undocumented workers to look for jobs or fail to register. Is it illegal to demand that suspects "show their papers?" That's still up in the air. And that means the immigration battle is still under way in Arizona and other states.
Trump, Russia and rabbit holes Conservatives are now joining liberal critics of President Trump by demanding to know about his administration’s ties to Russia. We hear about Washington latest political flap and possible unintended consequence.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?
Further revelations into Russian involvement in 2016 election Last week's failure to "repeal and replace" Obamacare was an early setback for the Trump Administration. There may be long-term danger of a different kind in multiple investigations into ties with Russia among campaign workers, the White House staff and the Chief Executive himself. We look as some of the threads they're following.