FROM Laura Meckler
Does "hire an American" mean fire a foreigner? America's H-1B program allows US companies to hire foreign workers skilled in "specialty occupations," including science, technology, medicine and the law. Last week in Wisconsin, President Trump signed an Executive Order called " Buy American, Hire American ." Trump says "America First" means it should only apply to the highest paid applicants, so US workers aren't being replaced by cheap foreign labor. His latest immigration order, along with his travel ban, may be responsible for a decline in immigration. Applications from foreign students are down by 40%. Such programs help spread Western values among foreign elites. Will changes risk diluting America's "soft power?"
President Obama Goes It Alone In last night’s speech to the nation, President Obama announced executive action to protect up to five million undocumented workers from deportation. Saying that the Senate had passed “common sense” immigration reform, he faulted House Republican leaders for refusing to allow an up or down vote on the measure – and challenged them to pass new legislation. But, even though the GOP will control both houses of Congress, they’re focused on attacking the President’s action rather than unifying behind such legislation. This morning House Speaker John Boehner accused the President of “deliberately sabotage(ing) any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms he claims to see…and damaging the presidency itself." We hear about the legality of the executive order and what it could mean for the next two years of a lame duck in the White House.
Will Obama’s Immigration Reform Delay Pay Off… and For Whom? Less than three months ago, in a speech from the Rose Garden, President Obama made a promise about immigration reform, stating "I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress." Then came tens of thousands of Central American children to America’s southern borders. This past weekend, Obama said the following on NBC's Meet The Press: “The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem. I want to spend some time, even as we’re getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we’re doing this, why it’s the right thing for the American people, why it’s the right thing for the American economy.” The underlying message is that promised executive action on immigration reform will now be postponed until after the mid-term elections.
Border Crisis Scrambles the Politics of Immigration House Speaker John Boehner said today that Republicans will introduce legislation making it easer to deport Central American children. The goal is to pass it before leaving Washington for the August recess. Meantime, the Obama White House is hinting that the President plans some kind of executive action. Laura Meckler writes about politics and immigration for the Wall Street Journal…
Immigration Reform and Presidential Politics "So immigration is not just the right thing to do. It's smart for our economy." President Obama returns to a risky issue at the start of his re-election campaign. We look at the prospects for immigration reform.
Immigration Reform and Presidential Politics "Comprehensive immigration reform" was a promise of Barack Obama 's first presidential campaign. Now he's returned to it as he tries for a second term. With Americans in a state of high anxiety over unemployment, that means finding economic arguments for welcoming newcomers into the country. Has President Obama been tough enough on border control, or too tough? Does reform have a chance with Congress so polarized before next year's elections? Will the courts allow states like Arizona to make immigration policy the federal government can't or won't?
Russian Intentions and US Response Barack Obama has taken a week off from his presidential campaign. From his vacation retreat in Hawaii, he has condemned Russia's aggressive actions and demanded that it withdraw ground forces and cease flights in Georgian airspace. Obama called for the US, the United Nations Security Council and others to try to make peace and said the conflict resulted in part from lack of a "neutral and effective peacekeeping force operating under an appropriate UN mandate." Campaigning hard, John McCain seized the issue by declaring "Russian actions in clear violation of international law have no place in 21st century Europe."
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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?
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.