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.
Trump's opening offer: Making some of America 'great again?' A massive increase for the Pentagon at the expense of domestic programs. We hear about winners and losers in the President's first proposed budget.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.