FROM Tamar Jacoby
The Road to Immigration Reform: Rough as Ever When Congress took off for the two-week Easter recess, the so-called "Gang of Eight" Senators had not finished their work on immigration reform. So the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce took up what some called the only remaining issue, a guest-worker program for unskilled immigrants, which scuttled George Bush's effort six years ago. Over the weekend, they announced a deal, leading to agreement from South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham and New York Democrat Charles Schumer. But another Senate player, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, says the celebration is " premature ." Are elements of the new coalition unhappy? What about border security and the "path to citizenship" for guest workers and the 11 million illegals already here?
Immigration and the Fourth of July In the aftermath of Arizona's new immigration law , with the prospect of other states passing similar crackdowns, President Obama has made an impassioned plea for comprehensive immigration reform, although there's no chance of action before November's elections. Transparently courting the votes of Hispanics, he bashed the Republicans. But he also addressed all sides of an issue that is polarizing the nation. He wants accountability for the federal government's failures, the greed of employers and the lawbreaking by undocumented workers. Will his speech help resolve differences or make them worse? Will it stop other states from going the way of Arizona?
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?
Is the U.S. entering a new era in immigration? Under the immigration bill now being debated in the U.S. Senate, skilled and educated workers will be given preference over family ties - a huge shift in an immigration policy that has long favored reuniting families. Is the change overdue? Will the U.S. lose its competitive edge in global markets without these workers? Why isn't the U.S. producing enough high-skilled workers at home?
Negative Campaigns Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and other founding fathers exchanged personal insults and publicized each others' extramarital affairs. Lyndon Johnson all but accused Barry Goldwater of wanting a nuclear war. So it's no surprise that President Bush and Senator Kerry are at it again even though neither is on any ballots this year. All over the country, candidates are accusing each other of idiocy, flip-flopping and corrupting the Boy Scouts. With the war in Iraq and control of the Congress at stake, we talk about the crucial role of negative campaigning in US elections.
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 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?
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?