FROM Terry Ross
The Border Fence with Mexico: What's the Rush? Late last week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff waived more than 30 environmental laws to complete the fence on the Mexican border before the end of this year. About 300 miles have been completed, with 370 left to go. The Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts are among those that won't apply for 361 miles along the Texas-Arizona border. Significant parts of several wildlife refuges will be on the Mexico side. Private lands will be subject to eminent domain. The Mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas says it's a waste of money that conveys a false sense of security. Why is the government moving so fast? Will better enforcement be enough to justify long-term environmental costs?
Is Illegal Immigration a Burden or a Blessing? The President's latest proposal for immigration reform now includes stepped up border security and tamper-proof ID cards for guest workers. But the road to legal status and citizenship for illegal immigrants still bothers members of both parties--especially Republicans. With immigration reform seemingly stalled this year on Capitol Hill, cities and towns around the country are finding their own ways of dealing with newcomers. We hear about "zero tolerance," with fines for employers and landlords of undocumented workers, and about places revitalized by illegal immigrants, who are opening stores, paying taxes and cooperating with local police.
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?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.