FROM Jessica Vaughan
Immigration enforcement and family breakups Seven hundred children have been separated from adults applying for asylum at the Mexican border. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that’s what it takes to prevent immigration fraud--even if it means breaking up families. A federal court is deciding whether to end the practice.
Administration defends travel ban, despite havoc President Trump's sweeping executive order banning refugees and barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is just three days old, but has already upended hundreds of lives, drawn tens of thousands of protesters to airports around the nation, and spawned five federal lawsuits, as well as global outcry from across the political spectrum. Why is a defining campaign promise causing such confusion? Is it constitutional? Guest host Barbara Bogaev explores the fallout from the President's travel ban.
Does the President-elect want a divided White House? CNN reports that Donald Trump was surprised to learn he'll have to appoint an entirely new White House staff. There's passionate conflict over his choice of two top leaders. Where Trump sees unity, others see confusion and a recipe for continued internal conflict. Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus is deeply tied to the Republican establishment. Chief Strategist Steve Bannon wants to shake it to its foundations. GOP critics — as well as Democrats -- are alarmed by Bannon's exploitation of misogyny, racism and anti-Semitism as head of Breitbart — the online "Alt-Right" news site. In the meantime, is Trump compromising on his "beautiful wall?"
Is the US Taking its Fair Share of International Refugees? More than a million refugees crowded into Europe last year, and Germany made a deal with Turkey to help reduce the flow. That's forcing migrants to choose a more dangerous route -- from Libya to Italy -- and last week alone, almost a thousand drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Now the deal with Turkey may be in trouble, but that won't reduce the flight of desperate fugitives from the Middle East and Africa. The US has agreed to take just 75,000 — after exhaustive screening. So few have made it that America's being accused of failing to meet its moral obligations.
America Outsources Border Control Last year, almost 70,000 unaccompanied minors were detained at America's border with Mexico after arduous journeys all the way from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Now, many are being intercepted in Southern Mexico and sent home, where many are killed by criminal gangs in league with corrupt officials. Human rights groups say their rights to apply for asylum are being denied — in violation of international law. While the US continues to argue about immigration, is it turning its back on a humanitarian crisis?
Will the US Shoulder the Burden of Refugees? Four million people have fled from Syria during five years of civil war, and the number is still growing, and the massive humanitarian crisis is spreading from the Middle East to Europe -- all the way to the White House and Congress. Images of refugees fleeing by the tens of thousands are fueling calls to make good on America's promise to shelter "huddled masses, yearning to be free." But, while Germany will accept 800,000 Syrian refugees, the Obama Administration is willing to take just 10,000 so far. Given fears about homeland security since September 11, 2001, are there better ways for this country to meet its moral obligation?
The Deterrence Dilemma The Obama Administration claims that "immigrant family detention" stopped last year's surge of people fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. But newly established detention centers are called "gilded cages," and a federal judge has ruled that they're "inhumane." Last Friday, Judge Dolly Gee ordered 1700 women and children released from detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania until immigration courts settle their claims for asylum. What are the options? Will Congress consider a billion dollar proposal to improve conditions in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala?
A Legal Defeat for Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement — started its Secure Communities program in 2009. Local law enforcement agencies were asked to detain non-citizen inmates for up to 48 hours after their jail terms had expired. ICE would then decide who could stay in the country and who should be deported. Former Sheriff Lee Baca supported Secure Communities, and some 33,000 were departed from Los Angeles County alone. Not any more. The LA Sheriff's Department is one of about one hundred agencies around the country that no longer allows detainers.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Trial As Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio became famous for holding detainees in tents under the blazing Arizona sun and for making inmates wear pink underwear. But it's his focus on immigration enforcement – what he calls "crime suppression" and the plaintiffs call "racial profiling" -- that's led to a class action lawsuit scheduled to open tomorrow in a federal courtroom in Phoenix. Will it hurt him or help him in this year's campaign for a sixth term? Will it move Washington any closer to immigration reform?
America's 'Toughest Sheriff' and Federal Immigration Law Sheriff Joe Arpaio became famous for holding detainees in tents under the blazing Arizona sun and for making inmates wear pink underwear. But it's his focus on enforcing immigration law by racially profiling Latinos that's led to a class action lawsuit scheduled to open tomorrow in a federal courtroom in Phoenix. The Maricopa County Sheriff is the darling of immigration hard-liners and the target of the Obama Administration, which has filed a separate civil rights action. But the case also illustrates the chaos caused by 26 years of inaction by Congress and successive administrations in Washington. We hear what Arpaio symbolizes for both sides of a polarized nation and the potential legal consequences for immigration reform.
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.
States, Feds Shift Tack on Illegal Immigration Illegal immigration has become a big issue all over the country, in cities and towns that have never had to deal with it before. The Bush Administration is dramatizing the issue with high-profile raids , but in the absence of action by Congress, more and more state and local officials are passing their own laws. Local police departments are rounding up immigrants and turning them over for deportation. In Mississippi, it's a felony for an undocumented worker to hold a job. In Georgia, an immigrant was deported for fishing without a license. What's the economic impact on communities that crack down and those that don't? Are the presidential candidates caught between Lou Dobbs and Latino voters?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.