FROM Julia Preston
Domestic violence may no longer be a reason to grant asylum For foreigners looking to win asylum in the U.S., the prospects are better for women who are also victims of domestic or sexual violence. Some recent immigration court cases have established fear of abuse as a legitimate basis for protection. The Trump administration is looking to change that. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing whether domestic or sexual abuse should ever be recognized as a legal justification for asylum.
More Mexican Immigrants Leaving the US than Entering Donald Trump's wall to keep undocumented Mexican immigrants out of the country might have unintended consequences as the flow migrants appears to be changing directions. Photo by Dawn Paley For the first time since the 1970's, the number of Mexican immigrants leaving the United States is greater than the number trying to get in, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. Julia Preston, who covers immigration for the New York Times , has the details.
Are H-1B Visas Costing American Jobs? The H-1B Visa program, begun in 1990, is designed to fill jobs requiring advanced science or computer skills — but only when American workers can't be found. Immigrants who are qualified receive temporary work permits, and federal guidelines say the practice should not "adversely affect the wages or working conditions" of American employees. Now they're a nightmare made real. Veteran employees are not only laid off, but required to train younger, cheaper replacements from other countries. It's happened at an iconic American company: Disney . Now tech giants Google, Microsoft and Facebook want more foreign workers. We hear how the H-1B program is dividing both parties in Congress and candidates on the trail to the White House.
Obama's Immigration Action Stalls Without action by Congress, President Obama ordered protection from deportation for some five million undocumented immigrants. Today, some 250,000 would have been eligible to apply for work permits. But yesterday, Federal Judge Andrew Hanen imposed a delay . President Obama reacted by announcing, "I think the law is on our side and history is on our side, and we are going to appeal it. For those who are now wondering whether or not they should apply, we are going to refer those questions to the Department of Homeland Security, that's already begun the planning process, and we will be prepared to implement this fully as soon as the legal issues get resolved."
Immigration Reform: The Opening Moves President Obama whipped up a crowd of supporters yesterday in Las Vegas, commending both Houses of Congress for taking up immigration reform . He laid down what he called " key markers " to guide immigration reform, adding that if Congress fails to move in "a timely fashion" he'll send up his own bill and demand immediate action. But today's bipartisanship may or may not produce tomorrow's compromise, and everybody agrees that the devil is in the details. If 11 million illegal residents get a "path to citizenship," how many hurdles should they have to jump? How long should it take? Will they have to wait until the border's secure? When will that be? We hear the pros and cons from a former head of the Immigration Service and others.
Obama Pushes Immigration Reform and GOP Rushes to Embrace It Has the moment finally arrived for "comprehensive immigration reform?" Election returns have Republicans focused on the growing Latino vote, as President Obama calls for bipartisanship on immigration reform. At this week's news conference, he emphasized that it "has not historically been a partisan issue…so we need to seize the moment, and my expectation is that we'll get a bill introduced… the process very soon." While stressing the need to secure our borders and enforce our laws, House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged, that "a comprehensive approach is long overdue" and expressed confidence the there was common ground to resolve the issue. Even influential, conservative Fox News columnist Sean Hannity says he's done a complete about face. But "legal status" for undocumented workers sounds like "amnesty" to hard liners. What about sealing the border and setting "skill levels" for newcomers?
Is LA 'Secure' for American Citizens? The Obama Administration is setting records for deporting illegal immigrants with the highest rate in six decades. But some American citizens are being caught in the net. In the past few weeks, at least three citizens have been detained in Los Angeles County at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. It's part of the Secure Communities program, under which the fingerprints of everyone arrested and booked by local law enforcement are checked against a federal database.
Stepped-Up Enforcement Curbs Today's Immigration Protests Immigration marchers are on the streets today in dozens of cities from New York to California. But last year's May Day turnout of one million strong is not expected to be equaled. One of the reasons is recent raids and deportations. We get an update on today's demonstrations from Julia Preston of the New York Times and Antonio Olivo of the Chicago Tribune .
Measures to Protect Women Could Expand FBI's DNA Database Most states collect DNA samples only from people convicted of crimes, and that's been true of the federal government as well. While the original targets were undocumented workers suspected of crimes, a year ago President Bush signed an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act that would vastly increase federal power. The Justice Department will soon issue rules for collecting DNA from "any person arrested under federal authority and from any non-US person who is detained." Civil-liberties watchdogs claim that the broad language could result in hikers stopped by park rangers or airline passengers subjected to screening to surrender their genetic codes. Why is the new law part of VAWA? How did it pass without debate, by voice vote, virtually unnoticed? Is it a good move for law enforcement or an overextension of federal powers?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.