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.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.